Frugal Fridays

Crystal at Biblical Womanhood is hosting a weekly "column" on Frugal Fridays. I thought it doesn't hurt to jump on the bandwagon, and frugality is an area where I need vast improvements. I figure I will probably be listening more than posting, but hopefully this will help me get better at spending unnecessary money!

My Frugal Friday tip is about avoiding the cost of gas. My husband takes the train to work every morning, even though it adds about a half hour to his trip. We have found that to be an excellent way to save money. It costs $3.50 round trip, which is probably the same as he would spend in gas. It also saves on parking costs downtown, wear and tear on the car, and on routine maintenance associated with driving like oil changes. It is also better for the environment - less emissions, less gas being used, less traffic on the road. Another hidden benefit is that he can spend the entire time in the train in the Word and in prayer!

Once he starts fulltime at the place he is now (right now he's considered contract), he will be given free train passes so that will make it even cheaper! It's been a great situation so far, and I encourage other people to consider public transportation. A lot of people in this area view it as a method for low-income people to travel, which might be true, but that shouldn't make you too proud to use it - especially when it's a fairly clean, reliable, and safe environment.

ashley's signature

12 Comments:

  1. Beth said...
    Great tip! My husband and I do the same thing. It's amazing how much we save on gas--we spend only about $120 a year for both of us to ride the train to work and school. With gas prices as high as they are, it makes a huge difference!
    beth said...
    Josh rides the bus to school every day, except when he misses it. :) He didn't have the practice of growing up having to catch the school bus like I did. But even when he misses it and I have to drive him, it's still cheaper than having to get a parking pass! And he takes the bus back.

    Of course, it's because we only have one car and then Livi and I can get things done during the day. Josh suggested we take the bus to Wal-Mart and then we wouldn't even need gas. But then I reminded him that the driver likely wouldn't wait for me as I unloaded my 5-10+ bags of groceries and ran them into my apartment a few at a time. :-D
    Susan said...
    I think most people now are too independent to agree to take public transit. They'd rather spend more and add to pollution than to save a bit of money and add a bit of travel time. A few years ago Gwinnett started a transit system that was touted as Gwinnett's solution to our pollution and traffic. I honestly can count on one hand the number of times I've seen multiple passengers on one of the buses! They are such a waste of money and they pollute way more than cars. I wish more people would take advantage of them for commuting to work. It's easier in downtown, I guess, though, where MARTA stops more frequently. Anyway, I'm glad Paul can take advantage of MARTA.
    Ashley said...
    The problem with Gwinnett's transportation is that it's really inconvenient if you work outside Gwinnett. I really wish they would get on the same system as MARTA! I live four miles from work, but it's pretty much impossible to get there via public transportation since I live in Gwinnett County and my office is in Dekalb County. I am grateful that Paul can drive to Dekalb county and take the trains (he actually drives right by my office on the way!).

    I agree with you about people being independent. We are a very "me" focused society. We figure that if we are willing to pay for it, then we should get anything we want. There isn't a sense of "I shouldn't do it because it's bad for others or for future generations." Just look at the number of SUV's on the road - I bet a 1/4 of them are actually used for what they intended to be (all-terrain vehicles with many passengers). All these people, getting like 13 miles to the gallon, and not caring because they're willing to pay the gas costs. What they don't realize is that their children are going to pay for it in the long run as natural resources are depleted. Sorry, my soapbox. :-)
    Crystal said...
    Thanks for participating in our first Frugal Friday!
    nichole said...
    I already have looked into our public transportation system, but unfortunately it's not as good here. RIPTA is the best in NE, however, I'd still have to take a car to the nearest bus stop or walk a mile on the highway, which is dangerous, especially in the morning or at night, and with the schedule, you really have to leave early or late, meaning it's dark out and no one's around.
    Turns out it wouldn't really make a difference financially anyway because fare is the same as spending the gas to get somewhere.
    nichole said...
    not as good as "there" I meant
    Ashley said...
    Unfortunately, BECAUSE so many people don't take public transportation, often systems are not reliable or efficient. We are fortunate here because we live only 10 minutes from the train station, and there is free parking there. The trains run every 10 minutes from about 5am until 2am. I don't think public transportation is worth it if you are putting yourself in a dangerous position (i.e. walking along a highway)! I just hope that people who do live in cities with good public transportation take advantage of it and aren't too proud to ride.
    beth said...
    I can only see the first comment unless I click on "post a comment". Does anyone else have this problem?
    Ashley said...
    Nope, and I checked it on IE. Please let me know if you continue to have problems.
    beth said...
    Hmmm, it's the same today. I'm using Mozilla. I can see there are 10 comments, but when I click on the comment link, it only shows one until I click "post a comment". Well, if I'm the only one having this problem, I guess you don't have to worry.
    Becky Miller said...
    I love train and subway systems! I think I would like living in Boston or New York and being able to take the subway. I've enjoyed using them when I've visited those cities. I admit I haven't tried the RIPTA bus system. It would be easier for me to use that it is for Nichole, since I'm in Providence and there's a bus stop every few blocks. I feel a bit intimidated about learning the bus system! Now that we are down to one car, though, I think it's something I should look into.

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