Destitute Diaries: Transportation

Last week we talked about eating on a budget as a low income human being. Now that your belly is full from last week, you got to get to work or school. Transportation is a bit harder to save money on. If you have a bike or skateboard then you’re good. This advice is for people who have to travel longer distances.

Public transportation: TriMet offers “honored citizen passes” for veterans and people who qualify for food benefits or the Oregon Health Plan. If you provide TriMet proof, you will be given a Hop pass to ride the bus, max or street car at nearly a 73 percent discount. If you don’t have a car you can do this. The college also offers free shuttle rides to and from Oregon City, Harmony and Clackamas Town Center. The SCID bus, which goes from CCC to Molalla, charges $1 per ride.

Gas rewards: If you drive you can collect gas rewards from shopping! Get your gas at a grocer owned station such as Safeway, as each dollar purchase you make in store equals up to one point in collecting rewards. If you obtain 100 points, you can get 10 cents off a gallon. If you have an app, sometimes point multipliers will pop up on the app doubling your gas rewards for your purchases in store.

Use your phone: Instead of heading to the nearest gas station, check online where the nearest and cheapest gas stations are. Usually they will list the price for unleaded gas and you can compare.

Different gas stations: Gas stations that are not connected to grocery stores are likely to be more expensive. Grocery stores like Safeway and Fred Meyer have cheaper prices than companies specifically for gas. Because of this you will have to wait in the long lines because other people have caught on. Don’t let that intimidate you!

Hitch a ride: Make friends with your classmates! You never know who lives nearby. Arrange days to carpool with a classmate because that can cut down on costs. Notice when a person offers you a ride they never pick out a price for gas that you have to pay? They never say, “I’ll take you, but I want $10 for gas,” so you can get away with giving a $5. A friend is better than a Uber.

Car Insurance: Know that you’re a good driver but your insurance isn’t cutting any slack? Check your insurance provider’s website for discounts or even attachments you can place in your car that monitors your driving. If you’re against the idea of a corporate entity tracking you, I understand, and that’s why I don’t have one. But, if you don’t care for your privacy, by all means, go for it.

What not to do:

Times get hard, things get rougher, people get poorer and yet the world continues to breathe. With that being said, do not purchase a ticket for any TriMet service as a child when you are an adult! Sometimes bus driver’s will make mistakes and so will you, but if you get caught you could be fined $175. Think twice before calling a taxi service, they’re very expensive. One time I took a taxi for eight miles and the final charge was around $50. Think thrice about using Uber or Lyft – yeah they’re cheaper as far as pricing. You get a flat rate and know what you’re spending when viewing the app and depending on the distance. Be prepared to pay up to $30 if you’re travelling from CCC to the CTC

Getting educated and getting to education shouldn’t be a windy road. While these might not be the biggest and best methods of saving cash, it will help in small ways to prevent your bank account from hitting $0.