Living in New York  is exciting but also expensive! One expense New Yorkers understand very well is the cost of commuting. Buses, taxi’s, trains and rental cars, all add up and can really take a toll!

There are a few thing that you want to consider as you plan your monthly commute, for example;  how do you decide which metro card you should purchase? Keep reading and we will break down price per swipe to discover which metro card you need for your specific commute.

For the average work week, I use one fare and one transfer each way. With the current fare, that cost me $5.00 a day. With a 5 day work week, that brings to a total of $25.00 on traveling to and from work. But of course there is more to life than work. If I make one or two trips outside of my routine in a week, then it still makes sense to pay per ride, however, as soon as I take the 13th trip, I am no longer getting best value.

Most of us are making 13 trips or more per week, and should make the investment in the $30,  7 day unlimited. Even thought you may not want to make that commitment it is quite easy to go over 13 rides. (Work, plus two other trips with in the week.)

ways to save money, ways to save money on commuting, ways to save money for a trip, best way to save money, tips to save moneyWhen is it time to invest in a monthly unlimited?

Once you are making 48 trips a month, (12 trips a week or more) It’s actually a better investment to purchase the $112 Monthly Metro Card. (remember when this only cost about $94!?) This means that you are getting more for your money using a monthly metro card if you are traveling to and from work, and going out at least twice on the weekends.

Some times it can be a challenge to pay that $112 up front, but I hope this post will encourage you to write it into your budget. Recently I have been paying per ride, but numbers don’t lie, I need to go back to the monthly card.

I encourage you to check with your employer about pre-tax commuter benefits. Also, learn more about pre-tax commuter benefits here:  This federal benefit allows a portion of your paycheck  to go towards transportation. This benefits you because the amount comes out before taxes.

Example: Your gross pay check is $100 and you are contributing $10 to pre-tax commuter benefits. You will only pay taxes on the net of $90 instead of $100. This will reduce the amount of taxes you pay. It works in your favor because you needed to pay for your transportation anyway, so why not budget exactly what you need and pay less taxes on your take home check.

60 trips per month is not a lot. Between commuting to work, and heading into the city on weekends, the average New Yorker can easily hit 60 rides. At 60 rides per month using a monthly metro card, you are only spending $1.87 per ride. That is a fantastic value!

I know it can be tough to pay that $112 up front, but I hope this article gives you the information you need, to make the best decision, for you and for your pockets.

As for me, I am letting go of the $10 cards here and there, signing up with my employer, and I will start using a monthly metro April 1st!

PS, there is talk of a fare hike coming to NY… Stay tuned!

<3 metrocard-machine




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Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.