Aussies are saving $12 million per day by ditching the daily commute

Posted: 11 May 2020 8:25 am
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Working from home is helping the hip pocket according to new research by Finder.

A recent Finder survey of 1,010 respondents revealed that 37% of Australians – equivalent to more than 4.8 million people – are now working from home as a result of the pandemic.

Prior to social distancing restrictions, the total cost of travel both to and from work was costing Aussies a combined average of $34.4 million per day.

A Finder analysis of both Opal and ABS data revealed that Aussies are now saving a combined average of $12.7 million per day by avoiding commuting.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said that with the end of lockdown now in sight, Aussies should save what they can while remote working.

"The government has announced a 3-step plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions by July. This means Aussies could be heading back to work in a matter of weeks.

"Transport costs are essential, but your weekly train or bus fare can really add up if you have a lengthy commute.

"A simple savings hack is to set aside what you'd usually spend on transport during this time and put it in your rainy day fund instead," Cooke said.

When it comes to commuting, ABS data shows Aussies typically spend the most on driving to work, forking out more than $10.5 million per day one way.

This is followed by train fares ($3.7 million), bus fares ($1.4 million) and driving a personal truck ($313,500).

Cooke said that commuting may end up a thing of the past sooner than expected.

"Thousands of companies are now functioning online, and the majority of workers have proven they can work efficiently at home.

"With restrictions set to lift by July, it will be interesting to see if workplaces continue to offer increased flexibility around remote working.

"Not only will this help Aussies to save on transport costs, it may also help to free up traffic on the roads and lower pollution levels as the country transitions back to normal," Cooke said.

Money saved by working at home (per transport type)

TrainBusFerryTramCar, as driverTruck
Money spent per person (daily)$4.90$4.10$7.00$3.40$1.80$6.80
Money saved per person (monthly)$108.18$91.04$153.99$75.07$38.64$148.66

Source: ABS, Opal, Finder

How to make the most of your transport savings:

Add the funds to a high-interest savings account. Rates as high as 2.25% p.a. are currently available.

Put the money towards your home loan. Paying an extra $100 per month into your loan would save you $20,000 in interest over a 30 year period (assuming the average mortgage is $386,000 with an interest rate of 3%).

Consider micro investing. This allows you to invest small amounts of money to help build up a profitable fund. There are dozens of micro investing apps to choose from, making this a suitable option for anyone looking for a cheap and convenient way to start building an investment portfolio.

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