Ok, maybe “happiness” is a little strong. However, my new carpool certainly makes my budget a little happier! My commute is 40-45 minutes each way, and that 1 1/2 hours a day at $4-a-gallon gas prices added up to $10 a trip and $200 a month. Fortunately, another colleague lives in my little town, so now we carpool. I thought I might not like carpooling because I had used that down time in the car to catch up on NPR, but after a month, I’m thoroughly pleased.
One of the great perks of being a professor is that you can set your own schedule. I’ve decided to work from home Friday mornings, so my friend and I only carpool Monday — Thursday. We each drive twice and then drive ourselves on Fridays. All in all, I only have to drive 12 times a month rather than 20, so that saves me $80 a month in gas!
- See above. . .the biggest perk is that $80 a month.
- Not having to drive every day.
- One less car on the road four days a week.
- Getting to know an interesting colleague in a completely different discipline.
- Small-town gossip.
- Cutting down the mileage on my high-mileage vehicle.
- Having a carpool keeps me more accountable to get out of bed on time.
- Working regular hours on campus is good for my career.
- I can’t just decide to stay late or leave early.
- I don’t have that “alone time” in the car.
As you can see, the perks certainly outweigh the drawbacks, including some unexpected ones! I seem to be less inclined to hit the “snooze” button on the alarm when I know that someone else is depending on me getting to work on time. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know my colleague and her perspective on things. Since she’s an accounting professor, I hear about issues that my fellow literature profs never raise.
If you have the chance to carpool, I’d highly recommend it. Of course, we’re out in rural Ohio, so there’s no HOV lane. However, if you’re in a major city, that’s another great reason to carpool. Carpooling is a nice frugal move in these high-price times! Anyone else starting to carpool?