Most of us enjoy saving money, right? Who wouldn’t like to have extra money at the end of each month, based on some smart choices in terms of our expenses. It’s even better when those choices don’t involve much sacrifice on our part. The classic win-win is a great thing!
Along those lines, some people try to save money by carpooling. If there is a long commute to work, trading off driving responsibilities can be a nice way to save some money. For many people, there is very little sacrifice in doing so. It’s a bit of a twist on the topic of money and relationships, but one could save a few dollars by simply sharing a ride with people and taking turns using one’s vehicle.
Here is a look at the pros and cons of carpooling:
Reasons to Carpool
- Save money on gas. With the cost of gas at a point where it can really add up and eat into one’s budget, it would be nice to save a good chunk of change each month. The longer your commute, the more you can save.
- Avoid wear and tear on your car. The more you drive each week, the quicker the mileage on your car will add up. This means you’re accelerating your car’s useful life. Maybe a better way to put it is that the car will die out quicker.
- Delay recurring expenses. The more you drive, the quicker you’ll have to get an oil change. Or replace tires. You get the idea: maintenance and regular repairs will be done less frequently if you drive your car less often.
- Good conversation. If you have a long commute, it might be nice to have someone there to talk to. Plus, you just might be able to make a friend or do some networking.
Reasons NOT to Carpool
- Not having the same schedule as fellow carpoolers. If you and your carpool buddies can’t keep your schedules aligned, it could be a pain. What if you want to get home by 6:00pm, but your carpool mate says he (or she) needs an extra 20 minutes in the office? Wouldn’t be fun to be delayed getting home by 20 minutes due to someone else’s schedule.
- Having a relatively short commute. The benefits of carpooling, in terms of gas, wear and tear, and repair savings, aren’t quite the same if the commute is short.
- You enjoy your drive alone. For some people, a commute is a way to decompress from a day at work. That buffer between work and home when you’re driving can be a good way to slowly shift gears into family time.
- Bad conversation. If your carpool mates can be annoying, it means you’re essentially getting paid to put up with them. Some people, sad to say, can be so irritating that saving a few dollars isn’t worth being around them more than you have to 🙂
What would I do? Well, I did look into carpooling back when I had a super long commute with no public transportation options for that route. There were a few possible carpoolers that I could work with, but in the end I chose not to do it. I want flexibility in my schedule in terms of when I come and go. Plus, with responsibility for dropping a child off at daycare a few days a week, it didn’t make sense for me to carpool. So, I just kept on driving on my own.
Listening to audio books on topics I liked seemed like a good alternative to forced conversation or awkward silence, anyway:)
What About You?
Have you ever carpooled to work?
If so, what was your experience like? Would you do it again?
If you’ve never carpooled, would you give it a try?