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October 12, 2007

Living on a Budget- Cash for the Commute

Hello Readers,

From my experience, figuring out the commute to work goes something like this:

Day 1: Get up a bit early and walk to and from work.
Day 2: Forgot work was so tiring, take the bus to work but promise to walk home
Day 3: The bus was too crowded yesterday, take the subway to work but walk home
Day 4: Take the subway to work and treat yourself to few drinks after work and a cab home
Day 5: Had too many drinks last night, so get up later than usual...

... and get a cab to work and a cab home...

Before you know it, you go from spending nothing on commuting AND getting two walks in every day to spending five hours' worth of wages on cab fare every week and getting no exercise. Does that sound familiar? Would you rather save commuting money on something else- a posh dinner, movie tickets, or even a weekend away? If so, then what you need to do is make a plan- and one that you can stick to! It's easy to say that you're going to walk to and from work every day, but will you really do that if it's raining outside or if you have a late night? Will you always have the time and energy to do the walk? Chances are, there will be days when you aren't going to want to adhere to a rigid plan.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Buy a bicycle- it's quicker and often easier than walking
2. Make a rainy day fund for days you'd rather get a cab- every day you walk/bike to work, add what you would have spent in bus/subway fare to a jar; use it when you need a day off
3. Make a reasonable weekly/monthly budget for the commute.

How do you get to and from work? Share your experiences here.

Hope that helps!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

Looking for MORE articles about living on a budget as an ESL teacher? Click HERE!

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About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in Reading, England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!


Posted by crueckert at October 12, 2007 05:37 AM

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