Do you remember this?

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round-and-round, round-and-round.
The wheels on the bus go round-and-round
All through the town.
 

Whether you have kids or not, this little song is probably familiar to you. As I thought of this week’s post I had to make light of my newest discovery and this is what I came up with… hope you liked it!

So my latest SAVINGS step-by-step tool involves the bus. That’s right, the bus. For my 4-day work week which involves commuting to Uptown in the morning and evening rush hours, I have abandoned my car since early April. Now depending on where you live this may or may not be big news–but I’m from the South (South Carolina to be exact) and I have NEVER seen the inside of a public bus. In the south we drive everywhere! The ignorance of my bus experience was rooted in the notion that the only people who rode buses are people who cannot afford a car or who people who do not know how to drive. If you’re from the North, chances are very high that you have a great job, money in the bank, and probably do not own a car. I’ve met a few people who were considering to move to the South and the thought of having to drive everywhere was a major pain point for them.

A good friend, who also works in Uptown, told me about our city’s Express bus service which allows commuters to park (for free) at a local Park and Ride and take an Express bus to the most common areas in town. It sounded cute but really, who was I kidding–I wasn’t about to give up my car, my music, and my quiet time to ride a bus. Stop. Wait.

Did gas just hit $3.90/a gallon!

Where is that bus schedule?

There’s nothing like a drain to the pocket to make you re-consider what’s cute. The mere cost of gas was not my only consideration. Once I arrive in Uptown I have to pay for parking, which totaled about $80/month. My hubby also drives for work which is easily 1.5-2 tanks a week depending on his appointments. Our gas and parking expenses were stretching over $550 a month! Yikes and it was a sizable jump for us as gas prices continued to climb.

Since the 1st week of April, the Express bus is my new best friend! The buses run every 10-15 minutes so there is always one available. I pay $20 for 10 rides so within a month, I usually purchase 2 passes and I no longer need daily parking! The bus stops 1 block from my building each morning and in the afternoons, it picks up right in front of my building. It’s never loud or crowded and most people are just like me–enjoying a quick ride to and from work. We [texthighlight color=”black” ]fly through[/texthighlight] travel the HOV lanes (YEAH Baby!) and the most rewarding benefit so far is my new found time to read uninterrupted for at least 40 minutes a day! I turn on my music and I read.

I’m a working mom, who blogs, who cooks, who works out, who leads a ministry at church, who wants a real life with her husband, who enjoys a little TV in the evenings AND I can enjoy a book of my choosing at least 4x a week! I think I just saw the heavens open.

It feels great and I hope that you find this inspiring. There are several things in life that we can’t control and the cost of gas is one of them but we can control our use of it. I hope that wherever you are there are some alternatives for your commute or maybe even your weekend plans. Doing my part to be more [texthighlight color=”green-mute” ]green[/texthighlight] is nice as well. Since my first ride that faithful day in April, I have not looked back. Even as recent gas prices have dropped by as much as $0.40 cents per gallon, it’s not enough yet to make me say, “Maybe I should drive today.”

Happy Savings!

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