Common Cents

I spent almost $700 on Uber last month — here's how I plan to quit

This holiday season, I did some reflecting on my spending habits and realized two things: I am an Uber addict and a reckless ride-share user.

In the last 30 days, I spent $516 on Uber, $135 on Lyft, and $40 on yellow cabs. That's $691 dollars I could spend towards rent for my own place, or traveling, or ... basically anything else.

I need help. Clearly.

Rajaa Elidrissi hailing a cab
CNBC | Rashawn Colton
Rajaa Elidrissi hailing a cab

THE PROBLEM

After graduating from college a few months ago, my parents and I mutually decided that I should live at home to save money. Luckily, home is in Queens, New York, and my commute to work in Manhattan is 25 minutes on one subway line.

But taking cabs is just so easy. I rationalized taking so many rides by convincing myself I'm still saving so much money by not paying rent. Obviously, I'm not saving as much as I should be.

It's not just weekday spending. On weekends, I am always the friend who suggests we take an Uber to our next location. If people resist, I offer to foot the bill for everyone just to avoid conflict. Some people say they plan to pay me back later, but they rarely follow through.

Here's one example of my insane Uber-ing:

Google Maps | Uber

When I realized how much I spent on that particular ride, I told myself I'd never take an Uber uptown from Brooklyn or Queens again.

Of course, a few weeks later, I "forgot" my promise to myself.

Photo by: Google Maps | Uber

THE SOLUTION

After adding up 30 days of costs, I knew it was time to make a change. While many people use January as a chance to live without alcohol for 30 days or to start up a gym routine, I will be living without Uber, ride-share apps, or cab services of any kind.

I will delete my credit card info off of the apps, and delete the apps from my phone. And I won't re-download them. (I've been down this road before.)

I will stock up on books in the Kindle app, podcasts in the podcast app, and actually use the $116 unlimited Metrocard I purchase every month. I'm about to get really familiar with the NYC subway system.

I will only travel by car if it is an absolute emergency. (By absolute emergency, I don't mean rushing to a party or a sale at J. Crew; I mean if a friend or family member needs help immediately.)

My goal is to put all the money I normally spend on Uber, around $650 per month, in my savings account. If I can get through January, maybe I can get through 11 more months. That will free up $7,500 a year!

I knew I couldn't be alone in my quest to spend less on cabs, so the CNBC Make It team hit the streets to find out just how much New Yorkers were (or weren't) paying for Uber rides when they could be taking the subway. Find out what they had to say in the video above.

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