With many offices returning to in-person work, you need to think about how your commute will affect your budget — even if you don’t live in the usual commuter towns.
When most people think of horrendous commutes, they picture LA’s infamous gridlock. And while the City of Angels certainly clinches the #1 spot on plenty of “worst of” lists, some unlikely cities across the USA have brutal traffic.
A one-way trip to work in Saint Paul, MN, for example, averages out to 25.6 minutes. That’s higher than the national average and just four minutes behind LA’s notorious stop-and-go traffic.
If you live in Minnesota, or another inconspicuous state with challenging commutes, this guide is for you. Check out these tips to help you return to work on a budget.
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Prepare Your Vehicle for Idling Traffic
Lurching through Saint Paul’s stop-and-go traffic can be hard on your car. The constant idling, in between tapping your foot against the brake as you inch along the asphalt, puts pressure on your engine and brakes.
Besides wear and tear, idling causes unwanted deposits to collect in your engine which can reduce fuel efficiency and cause physical damage. Here are a few things you can do to avoid an unexpected breakdown:
- Use premium gasoline at the pumps — it has detergent additives to improve your engine’s ability to break down deposits.
- Ask your mechanic about a fuel system cleaner to remove build-up that may interfere with fuel efficiency.
- If you can find an alternative route or start time to your day, you may avoid the worst congestion in town.
Schedule a Tune-Up
It may sound counterproductive to pay for a tune-up to save money, but this visit ensures your car is in working order, giving your mechanic a chance to fix small issues before they escalate into major repairs.
If a tune-up is hard to fit into your budget right now, sit down with your spending plan to figure out how you can save up for one. The AAA recommends saving $50 a month to cover annual maintenance and unexpected repairs.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
What happens if your car breaks down out of the blue and your fund falls short of what you need? If payday is weeks away, you can use your phone to research an MN line of credit online and compare different financial institutions.
One of the benefits of a CC Flow Line of Credit in Minnesota is the quick and simple application you can fill out right there on your phone — whether you’re sitting on the side of the highway or in your mechanic’s waiting room.
If approved, an MN line of credit can help you get your car roadworthy again. And once you pay it off, you’ll have this line of credit to use again in the next emergency, as long as you have available credit and your account is in good standing.
Pay Less for Gas
While Minnesota may not have the worst gas prices in the country, it can still be painful filling up at the pumps these days. To keep your costs low, try these gas hacks.
- Use an app to find the cheapest fuel station in your area
- Carpool with friends or coworkers to share costs
- Use a gas station loyalty card to earn rebates
- Improve your fuel efficiency by driving the speed limit and avoiding slamming on the brakes
Returning to the office means commuting back to work. Keep these tips in mind to help your budget with the transition.