Today is the 8th Annual National Dump the Pump Day. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is promoting June 20th as a day to dump your car and take public transportation. Don’t think your car is causing you financial heartache? Use an Excel spreadsheet to determine your gas consumption and fuel savings by riding the bus.
Americans love their cars. Our country wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for the highways that criss-cross our country and allow us to move people and product across this land.
That is a good thing and a bad thing. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles accounts for approximately 28 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Perhaps your office is going green and paperless. That’s great, but driving your car has a serious impact on the environment. It also reaches into your wallet. Gas prices are continuing to rise and car maintenance and insurance don’t come cheap unless you know how to make it cheap.
The APTA estimates that “a two person household that downsizes to one car can save – on the average – more than $9,700 a year.”
They have a fuel savings calculator on their site to help you determine how much you will save by taking transit. A carbon savings calculator can show how much you are helping to save the environment.
Most towns and cities have great public transportation systems. Taking a bus, subway, or commuter train allows you to relax and avoid the stress of rush hour. You can catch up on the news, read your favorite blogs or finish that book you started reading weeks ago. You can also get an early start on your workday, and get that spreadsheet finished before you even get to the office.
Most people prefer the independence and convenience of driving their own vehicle, but it comes at a cost, and not just a financial or environmental one. Road rage is becoming an increasingly visible result of the pressure that we feel while stuck in traffic jams or dealing with drivers who don’t respect the rules of the road.
If you are going to drive, try carpooling. Look around – How many vehicles do you see on the way to work with one occupant? Why be lonely? If you are single, you never know, you may just sit beside your future husband or wife on public transportation.
There is only one way to find out how much that drive to work is costing you. Start by making a spreadsheet to keep track of all of your auto related expenses. By using a PDF to Excel converter, you can convert those online calculations into your spreadsheet. Don’t forget to add your gas, road tolls, insurance, car maintenance and repair receipts and car payments. Also keep track of the amount of time it takes you to get to work each day.
You can even add a section where you post your feelings each day. Rate your mood on a scale of one to ten to determine how the commute is affecting your nerves.
Do this for a month. Then start taking public transportation and do the same thing. Now compare.
We’re not suggesting you store your car in the garage and never drive it, but it will be more fun to take that Sunday drive, and you’ll appreciate driving to the grocery store to get food when you haven’t been a prisoner behind the wheel all week.