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While British politicians were recently celebrating the fact that the national unemployment rate had fallen to 4.9 per cent, this revelation remains a source of frustration among economists.
The reason for this is that falling unemployment levels and continued economic growth have done little to increase the average wage in the UK, leaving households nationwide struggling with minimal disposable income levels.
With this in mind, the majority of families are being forced to reduce their living costs in a bid to make their money go further in the current climate.
One of the best areas in which to make savings is by reducing the cost of everyday transportation, including the arduous commute to work and weekly shopping trips!
So, here are seven tips that can help you to achieve this aim and enjoy a more frugal lifestyle:
The notion of car sharing (or carpooling) is particularly popular at present, thanks primarily to the cost-saving and environmental benefits that it offers.
While historically this only a possible through a private arrangement with friends or colleagues, there are now resources that have made it accessible across a wider, anonymous network.
Blablacar is a resource that has a trusted community of 30 million members, each of whom share car journeys on a daily basis.
By registering online and connecting with local members, you can begin to plan journeys and instantly reduce the cost of your commute.
When travelling by car, one of the biggest expenses is the cost of securing convenient parking spaces.
While some drivers will spend hours searching for free car parking slots in a bid to reduce costs, this is extremely time-consuming and there is now a contemporary alternative that enables you to find real-time spaces online.
Just Park is a resource that connects you to available car parking slots in your local area, each of which can be searched, booked and paid for online.
All that then remains is to drive to your destination and park up, while enjoying reduced prices and genuine peace of mind.
Learning to drive is a significant rite of passage for young adults, while this immersive pastime can quickly become a way of life.
The problem with this is that drivers can begin to feel lost when they are without their cars, which in turn means that they actively avoid opportunities to walk, run or cycle to their destination.
Make no mistake; this can help you to save considerable sums of money, while helping you to improve your levels of physical fitness.
Such a philosophy can also allow you to eschew public transportation in favour of walking and cycling, particularly over relatively short distances and easily accessible commuting routes.
There are some who will tell you that advanced bookings are not guaranteed to save you money, but this depends on the circumstances and just how proactive you are as an individual.
If you book train tickets more than three months in advance, you will benefit from reduced fares that can drastically reduce your annual spend.
This is more than achievable, particularly if you have a proactive attitude and take the same route to work every single day.
By planning your commute in advance and comparing the variable costs of travel, you can even make further savings while identifying cheaper, discounted trains.
With the Brexit vote having signalled the end of cheap fuel in the UK and petrol prices soaring as a result, drivers nationwide are being forced to pay more to operate their vehicles.
Help is at hand in this regard, however, with some online resources offering motorists an opportunity to the cheapest prices within your local area.
Take the Petrol Prices website, for example, which collates data and prints daily, average price points for unleaded, diesel, premium and LPG fuels.
You can then refine your search criteria to hone in on real-time, regional costs, making sure that you are able to minimise your spend on a daily basis wherever you are in the UK.
We have already touched on a method of reducing the cost of train travel, but there is another options that can be seamlessly applied to all modes of public transport.
By travelling during off-peak hours (after 9.30am and before 3.30pm), you can access significant savings whether you book a train ticket or hop aboard a local bus.
Of course, this may not be viable for the daily commute to work or in instances where you have strict time-frames to adhere to, but it is more than viable during the weekends or when you are in no particular rush.
Such an approach can translate into significant savings, but you will need to check with specific operators to confirm.
Ever since the aforementioned Brexit vote, the value of the pound has declined and this has had a profound impact on the GBP/USD currency rate.
This is indicative of currency trends and that forex market movements that occur on a daily basis, as the foreign exchange remains an extremely volatile entity that can be difficult to predict.
So if you are intending to travel abroad and need to purchase foreign currency, it is well worth researching the prevailing trends that are impacting on the forex market and comparing real-time exchange rates. T his will help you to make an informed decision, an ultimately time your purchase to guarantee the most profitable outcome.
These simple tips will hopefully enable you to reduce your everyday transportation costs, as well as some of those associated with international travel and holidays. The result should be more manageable living costs and a higher level of disposable income, while over time you may even be able to afford more luxurious and lavish trips overseas!