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How Carpooling Can Save Your Budget

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

How Carpooling Can Save Your Budget

Levi Quinn
May 7, 2011

Cars make up a significant amount of your budget. Think about it—car payments, car insurance, gas, oil changes, tire rotations, car washes, and other maintenance costs really stack up. Obviously, finding ways to save when it comes to car-related expenses can be a big help financially. Because the American public transportation system is a bit under-developed in many cities, people cannot always rely upon the bus, the train, or the subway to get where they need to go. There is another alternative, though, and that is carpooling.

Carpooling has been around, really, since the invention of the automobile. The idea behind it is to gather a group of people headed to the same place so that they can split the cost of transportation. Oftentimes, carpool group members will take turns driving, allowing the mileage to be shared as well as the cost of fuel.

How you run your carpool is completely up to you. Some people like to meet at a member's house and then ride together from there, while other carpools operate by picking everyone up from different locations. Additionally, schedules can be made to plan who will drive and when. How you organize your carpool all depends on what is convenient and most efficient based on where everyone lives and where you are going.

Getting a carpool group together may seem difficult. Where do you start? The best place to start is with your friends. From there, branch out to other people you know and, eventually, you can build a network of carpoolers that will help you save money and practice more environmentally friendly driving habits.

• School. Whether you are in school or have little ones in school, carpools to campus are a great way to start the day and save some cash.

• Work. Carpooling to work is a wonderful way to get to know your coworkers and enjoy a little socialization before and after punching the clock. This will help alleviate the stress that tends to accumulate throughout the day while saving you enough extra money to stop by the local bagel shop and surprise everyone at the office with breakfast.

• Gym. Having a gym partner is a great way to stay motivated, but that gym membership is probably eating into your budget. Support your gym buddies before, during, and after the workout by carpooling. The larger the group the more fun you will have—and the more fuel you will save!

• Religious meetings. As a major part of many peoples' lives, religion-based activities often occur more than just once a week. Help other members out by scheduling a carpool. This also provides a great opportunity to help others who either cannot drive or do not have a car, while allowing you the chance to socialize.

Carpooling may seem outdated to some people, but in reality it is a great way for you and your friends, family, and coworkers to save some money in car costs. Carpooling will also provide you the benefit of a quiet time to socialize with your loved ones.

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