Monday, August 2, 2010

Thrifty Strategy- Taking the bus part two

Anyone who knew me through my former job knows I was a huge fan of taking the bus to and from work. I was a dedicated daily bus rider on Southwest Transit here in the Twin Cities. It was great to just drive 10 minutes or so to a park and ride, then take a nap, read, or do nothing for the 35 minutes it took to get downtown or home. Sure, there were some long waits for a bus and a few two-hour rides during snowstorms. But I'd much rather be sitting back and relaxing than driving myself through a blizzard!

Taking the bus or other public transportation is often a very thrifty strategy. Many employers and colleges offer discounted transit passes that can help lower your costs. In a large city, the cost of daily parking can run up very quickly. And don't forget gas and wear and tear on your car. The IRS deduction rate per mile for 2010 is 50 cents. Use that to calculate your commuting cost. Daily mileage times 50 cents per mile, plus the cost of parking. Does that number surprise you? Maybe it's time to look at other options...

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