How to commute on a budget

MANILA, Philippines – Commuting in Manila doesn’t only tend to be stressful because of heavy traffic, it can also be costly if you don’t know how to manage your expenses well or if you don’t exert a little effort to strategize on the road.

Here’s how to save a little cash while commuting around the metro:

Avoid rush hours

Think about it: how many hours do we actually spend commuting? An extra 30 minutes of sleep may not be worth that extra hour or two traveling.

Leaving earlier in the morning reduces the stress on both your body and your budget. For one, you have lesser competition when it comes to booking a ride or getting a seat on the train. Next, you get to beat the surge price of rush hours.

And for nights? It may be time to pick a hobby. Why not get into jogging or some other exercise. Not only do you get to skip the traffic, but you might also start hitting your health goals. That’s hitting two birds with one stone!

Share a ride

Got extra time to spare on your trip? Why not carpool with a friend or share a ride with a stranger?

Not only do you get to save when someone is sharing the bill with you but, by not commuting alone, at least you could get into a good conversation that could help your travel time fly by.

Take advantage of points and special features

Sometimes walking or taking the public transportation just won’t cut it if we’re going to a wedding or a dinner date, for example.

In cases where we need to stay neat and fresh, we would, of course, opt for a more convenient way to commute like taking a Grab. While the fares can go up from time to time, there are promo codes that you could use if you’re traveling during off peak hours or on certain days.

However, if you prefer to travel on your own time, using services like GrabPay Credits is for you. You get three times more points which you can use for discounts versus when you use cash.

If you’re worried about going beyond your budget, you don’t have to because it doesn’t work like a credit card. You can set a budget and cash in to your app through a Grab driver, credit/debit/prepaid cards, or 7-11’s bills payment, and monitor your expenses with the transaction history in your app.

You can also use your GrabPay Credits to buy prepaid load for all networks at 5% off. 

How about you? How do you manage your commuting expenses? –

[Editor's note: This article is written with Grab Philippines.] 


Grab is Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform with services in Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. Grab solves critical transportation challenges to make transport freedom a reality for 620 million people in Southeast Asia. Grab’s core product platform includes commuting solutions for drivers and passengers with an emphasis on convenience, safety and reliability, as well as its proprietary mobile payments platform, GrabPay.

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