Thanks to the rising cost of living in the UK, it’s understandable that families are keeping a closer eye on their outgoings. For those living in cities, owning a car might seem like a frivolous luxury – especially if local transport is at hand, but we’ve all been in situations where owning a car would have made live a lot easier.
Liftshare aims to help you save money on your transport costs as a driver, and achieve simpler travel as a passenger. We also want to see our members make amazing connections with others on the road – which is ideal for parents wanting to get out there and meet new people.
With this in mind, we spoke with Becky Goddard-Hill at Baby Budgeting to discuss ways families can trim money off their transport budget, survive a road trip with kids and more.
Becky agrees that public transport is an option available to parents, but adds, “However it is hugely time saving and convenient and useful to own a car.” The problem, of course, is budgeting for a car with all the other costs of raising a child on top, and she adds, “Be prepared to share petrol costs and travel with someone else too.”
Budgeting for unexpected car costs is a big consideration for those strapped for cash. Becky warns that, “Petrol, insurance, tax, repairs and service costs all come with owning a car,” and while these may seem daunting for the money-conscious parent, putting a little away each month can help create a buffer for those unwanted – but often necessary expenses.
For those who live centrally, you can also save by using your best judgment whenever travel is required. For example: those taking their car out on several small shopping trips each month could cut back on petrol and running costs by condensing everything into one big supermarket trip. Big chain stores also offer petrol incentives via loyalty card schemes, so be on the look-out for those.
There are a few instances where sharing lifts with other parents might arise, such as travelling to a birthday party or after-school classes, but with more kids in the car, the chance of mess and disruption rises. So how does Becky survive trips with little ones in the back?
“Every family car could do with a CD player – audio books keep my kids quiet for ages. A bin for rubbish and washable covers are also essential,” she tells us. One search online reveals a wealth of cleaning products that all promise to beat stains of any kind, so doing your homework and looking into customer reviews is a must.
Car supply outlets offer dissolving sprays that are tough on sticky substances like chewing gum and crayon without damaging seat fabric. Make sure you pick the right product for your seat type – as certain solutions are designed specifically for leather and fabric seats, or both. Being prepared with the right tools can help save money on additional steam and deep clean costs when messes occur.
Becky offers us some final words of wisdom and urges all you readers out there, “Adjust your lifestyle. Use local facilities, order and shop online, get fit and car-share. Being savvy saves!”
Stay tuned to the Liftshare blog for more interviews, money-saving tips and stories of sharing. If you have a story of your own and you’d like to feature on the blog, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and you may find yourself featured on these very pages.