May is an exciting month. The weather is finally getting warmer, and flowers are beginning to bloom.
It’s a great time to get outside! Which is apt because not only is May Mental Health Awareness Month, but on Friday, May 19th, you can choose to participate in National Bike to Work Day!
It’s no secret that exercise is a mood-booster, and biking is no exception. Studies show that individuals who regularly bike to work report feeling less stressed and more productive throughout the day. And that’s something we all need.
If you’re not into biking every single day (which is understandable), you can still choose to walk to the bus or train station. This adds a little physical activity to your day, which is always a good thing. Plus, you get to sit back, relax, and let someone else do the driving.
Not only is traveling by public transportation 10 times safer per mile than traveling by car, but one study found that individuals who use public transportation reported feeling less stress and more relaxed compared to those who had to slog through traffic in their personal vehicle.
Financial security has an extremely positive impact on mental wellness. Which is why you’ll be happy to know that a person (or household) can save nearly $10,000 by opting to take public transportation vs. driving their car every day.
Why? According to APTA (American Public Transport Association), the average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation. 93% of this goes toward buying, maintaining, and operating your car. That’s your second largest expenditure after housing!
Would you like to know how to save even more money?
With the stroke of a pen, your employer can allow you to set aside up to $300 from your paycheck each month, pre-tax, to take public transportation to and from work.
At first you might think, “How does setting aside $300 of my own money help anything?” Well, when we say pre-tax, what we mean is no-tax. Pre-tax dollars are essentially money you are paid that is allotted for a specific purpose (approved by the IRS).
In this case, the IRS says they’ll allow you to skip out on paying taxes on that part of your pay if you use that money to take public transport to work.
The IRS considers all the following to be forms of public transportation:
- Light rail
- Commuter trains
- Streetcars and trolleys
- Cable cars
- Vanpool services
- Ferries and water taxis
- Monorails and tramways
Most people can save $700 a year on their tax bill (plus the $10,000 you may already be saving by not driving that car!).
Now, if your employer has never heard about this perk. We can help. We’ll be happy to tell them how the average employer can save up to $24,000 a month on taxes (if they have 50 participating employees). The more participating employees, the higher the savings! Because if you aren’t paying taxes on that allocated income, neither are they!
If your employer is interested in helping you bike to work, we can help with that too! Though there is no current way to save money on taxes by taking your bike, you still save by not driving your car. Your employer can support those who bike by giving them a safe place to park and lock their bikes on premises.
Schedule a meeting with us today to learn more.