Get To Work – Without Going Broke

Screen shot 2015-05-18 at 2.37.30 PMAustin’s affordability has been in the news frequently this spring, most recently with stories a few weeks ago that Austin-area home prices have hit an all-time high. The affordability conversation is important and timely, but it isn’t just housing that affects a household’s budget. The typical family in the Austin-Round Rock area spends 30% of its income on housing; and for most the second largest expenditure is transportation costs at 22% of the typical family’s income in the same metro area.

If transportation costs are eating away at your budget, maybe it’s time to try something else. Commute options can help reduce your gas, maintenance, and parking expenditures, and you might even be able to get rid of a car payment!

Here are a few options to make your commute lighter on the pocketbook.

Carpooling
Cost: $4,500 per year
Covers: Dividing expenses (gas, loan payments, insurance, repairs, parking) in HALF

Get started: Download the Carma app to find nearby matches

Vanpooling (Capital Metro has several vehicle options and prices)
Cost: $1,130 per year (est.)
Covers: Gas, loan payments, insurance, repairs.  Does not include parking.

Get started: Learn more about joining a van pool

Transit
Cost: $495-$1,155 per year (depending on which pass you need)
Covers: Monthly Pass

Get started: Plan your trip on the Capital Metro web site

Bicycling
Cost: $150-300 per year
Covers: $700 bicycle, safety gear and equipment needed divided over 5 years (the typical shelf life of a bicycle), plus annual maintenance.

Get started: Bike Austin is full of great resources for new bike commuters

These are estimates based on typical commute metrics. Want to calculate your unique costs? See how much you spend here.

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