Cut your spending by $500 a month

In today's tight economy, who doesn't want to free up some cash? Trim the fat but not the fun from your budget - here's how.

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Get to work cheaper
Monthly savings up to: $320*

A suburban driver commuting to the city might shell out $575 a month for gas, parking, and car upkeep, assuming a 30-mile roundtrip. These downshifts can help:

Grab a tax break. Sign up for your company's transportation reimbursement account, which lets you pay up to $230 in monthly parking fees with pretax dollars. (You can set aside the same amount for mass-transit costs.) Savings: about $80 a month.

Drive with a buddy. Carpool to work with a colleague. No one suitable you know nearby? Get matched up at carpoolworld.com or erideshare.com.

Go from four wheels to two. Buy a good commuter bike ($500) and cycle to work as the weather permits. Do that six months a year and you'll save $250 a month.

NEXT: Step off the gas
Last updated August 17 2009: 9:37 AM ET
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Note: Assumes 28% tax bracket; carpooling 10 months a year; cycling costs include bike, helmet, air pump, $25-a-month maintenance.
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