Carpooling is a cost-saving strategy that many try to make work as they navigate to and from their places of employment. While reducing your overall fuel expenses is certainly fab, carpooling also provides those who aren’t driving with two large blocks of daily downtime during the week. Follow these strategies for a more productive carpooling experience.

Language Lessons

If you’ve been wondering how to learn a language with minimal financial outlay, audio files for foreign language education are a great place to start.

Document Review

Sometimes, there just isn’t enough time to get all of the reading done prior to a critical meeting. That’s where having file space in a messenger bag or carrying a space-saving tablet device comes in handy. For example, the Kindle Fire that my husband and I own allows us to email documents directly to our device via a unique email address. If there’s a story pitch or document in need of editorial input, I can do this from the road. Other tablets have document storage and retrieval options as well.

Entertainment

Tablet devices also allow for watching your favorite entertainment programming on the road. If you’re carpooling, chances are you’ll be without Wi-Fi during the ride. Downloading your desired movie or TV show in advance will ensure you have time to view in peace, either before or after your work day. This is particularly helpful if you enjoy a show that the rest of your family does not, and you’d rather not enjoy it at the expense of time with your children or spouse.

Receipt Wrangling

If your job requires you to wine and dine clients during your lunch hour or run for supplies, then processing work receipts is a necessary part of the reimbursement process. The problem? Many work centers fail to provide adequate time during the day to complete the paperwork. The solution — use your lap as a desk and complete the expense report during your daily ride, you can use tools like Shoeboxed..

Social Media Promotion

Are you a regularly employed, part-time freelancer finding your way to a full-time independent career through a blog or book of your own? Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it requires an enormous amount of self-promotion. If you’ve got an Android or iPhone and two large blocks of daily downtime due to carpooling, then you’ve got a chance to make a name for yourself, my friend. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and more can all be accessed with your cell phone’s data plan, leaving you available to your family when you do finally arrive home.

As you can see, carpooling doesn’t have to be a major time suck. There are ways to be productive while you’re saving money on fuel.

Bonus tip — it’s important to choose wisely when selecting your carpooling group. Unreliable and inconsiderate individuals will do nothing but sabotage your best money-saving efforts and have you running all over town to accommodate their errands while your schedule suffers. Trust me; I’ve been there. If you’re new to your current job, the best you can really do here is watch and wait. That really is your best indicator of which people will be willing to do their part to make sure the arrangement works.

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