There are so many different costs associated with driving a car. However, parking doesn’t have to be one of them. If you live in a place where parking costs a lot of money, then you might have to get creative to reduce these costs. These five frugal hacks to save on parking should help.
5 Frugal Hacks To Save on Parking
If you regularly have to deal with paid parking (or places that ticket you after just a couple of hours), then you want to develop good parking habits. Here are our top five frugal hacks to save on parking:
1. Learn To Read Parking Signs Carefully
In many cities, like here in San Francisco, there are lots of rules about parking. You can park on this side of the street every day except Wednesdays. You can only park for two hours at a time. There’s no charge on Sundays, but you do have to pay on Saturdays. Make sure that you learn how to read all of your city’s parking signs carefully. This will allow you to find the cheap/ free parking in your area. Moreover, you’ll avoid ticket fees.
2. Ask Your Employer About Parking Benefits
If you work for someone else, then you should take advantage of all of the benefits associated with being an employee. Many businesses offer parking benefits. Some might if you just ask. For example, they might reimburse parking costs during work hours. Wise Bread points out that some employers even offer a pretax benefit for parking. This reduces your reportable income, which is definitely one of the best frugal hacks to save on parking.
3. Pay For Parking with Rewards Credit Cards
These days, you can pay for parking with a credit card. Take advantage of that. Use a credit card with terrific cash back rewards. Obviously, pay that off in full each month so you’re getting the full rewards back at no extra cost.
4. Make The Most Of Parking Apps
Wise Bread also suggests that you get familiar with the various apps available for parking. First of all, they’ll help you find the best free or cheap parking in any area. Second, they’ll provide you with clear information about the time left on the meter so that you avoid tickets. Finally, if you do get a ticket, you can actually use apps to fight those tickets.
Save yourself money by making use of the technology available to you for parking today. Our Kind of Crazy adds that you can use apps to purchase parking passes ahead of time, sometimes with great savings. The Road Trip Expert notes that you might consider unique apps such as JustPark, a tool where you find someone’s personal driveway to park in for cheap.
5. Give Yourself Time to Park Further Away
It usually costs more to park close to a popular location / event. Therefore, give yourself time to find great parking. Plan to park further away where it doesn’t cost as much. The exercise is good for you and you save money. Of course, The Road Trip Expert points out that you should pay attention to the safety of where you park, though. Saving money at the cost of car theft isn’t worth it!
Have You Considered Going Car-Free?
Of course, the best frugal hacks to save on parking is to avoid doing it all. Have you ever considered whether going car-free might work for you? Personally, I gave up my car when I moved to San Francisco 16 years ago. Sure, I do pay for ride share, public transportation, and occasional car rental. Nevertheless, I spend a lot less than I would if I had to pay for car payments, car insurance, vehicle maintenance, etc. Plus, I never have to pay for parking.
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