Park and Glide
Just in case spending 8 hours a day at work isn’t already bad enough. We have been paying for the ‘privilege’ of attending work by paying close to $12 a day in parking (each).
Colleagues at work have suggested that this isn’t too bad, and they would much rather drive than catch public transport. This mindset may be considered the norm, but to achieve Financial Independence we can’t afford to just follow the masses.
Generally I am all for public transport if its available, the benefits outweigh the slight annoyances of dealing with crowds. Canberra’s public transport is monopolised by ACTION buses. A tram line is being constructed, but this will only service a small population and is not yet operational. Catching the bus will set you back roughly $6 a day, which is half the price of parking…this alone will save you roughly $1500 a year which is nothing to scoff at.
Even though we work in Canberra, we live just over the border in NSW. Public transport ‘interstate’ is more expensive and time consuming than just driving to and from work.
Park and Glide
Introduce the concept of Park and Glide, the cheapest method I can think of commuting to work. The concept being to drive the car to the nearest free parking location to work, and then jump onto a bike/scooter/skateboard/Segway and glide the rest of the way.
Canberra being a small area geographically, we are fortunate that free parking does exist within reasonable proximity of working hubs. Often the distance from free parking to work is less than 3km, which is only minutes away on wheels.
Understandably not everyone wants to get into work all hot and sweaty after riding a few kilometers. However nowadays you can cheaply purchase electric powered devices to assist getting into work with ease.
Weather permitting, I park the car 2km away and get out my e-bike and ride the rest of the way to work. Often I am travelling at a speed of 25km per hour and reach work in no time. Using the e-bike was an easy decision for me as I had already purchased the bike during my days as a luxury consumer. Now the way I see it is, if I commute to work using this method 100x then I have justified the purchase and any commutes thereafter is money saved.
Since learning of my tight ass ways to avoid paying for parking, colleagues have invested in electronic scooters (which are far more feasible at $300). They also park for free and effortlessly glide the remaining 2km to work. After 5 weeks of using the electronic scooters they have broken even on the parking cost, and anything else is money saved.
Naturally the cheapest way would be to get free parking and walk the remainder, but where is the fun in that? Also, walking to and from the car could add up to 30 minutes a day in commuting…and one of the biggest motivators for us to become Financially Independent is to have more time to spend with the family.