After I spent $700 on Uber in a month, I aimed for $0 in January—here's how I did

Rajaa Elidrissi
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After I spent over $700 on ride-sharing apps and cabs in December, I swore I would only take public transportation for the month of January.

Here's how I did.

The first week and a half of January went well. I had books and podcasts, and I left myself plenty of time to catch the trains from my dad's apartment in Queens to work or my friends' apartments.

On January 9th, I found myself super tempted when I saw this walking down the subway steps.

Rajaa Elidrissi

Passengers told me they'd been waiting for two hours already but hadn't seen a train. I decided to wait a half hour and see if anything would change.

Nothing did.

At that point, I knew I was going to be hours late to work, so I considered it an emergency and hailed a cab outside of the station. Unfortunately, the cab could only take me so far. Because of an accident near the bridge I had to travel over to get into Manhattan, and another accident in the tunnel, there was no other option: I had to walk to work. Lots of other people were doing the same.

The trek took about two hours. And the cab from the train station to the bridge had still cost me $30.

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I went cab-free from the 9th to the 21st, the day of the Women's March in New York. Train lines were crazy, there were tons of people and I couldn't even hail an empty cab. I pulled out my phone and downloaded Lyft again. The trip home cost me another $30.

I was annoyed about breaking my own rules, but there were only 10 days left in the month. By that time in December, I had already spent about $600. In all of January, I spent only $60.

For the past few months, I was stressed out about saving money to purchase a plane ticket to visit my mother this summer, who lives in Morocco. Once I finally decreased my ride-share usage, it was as if money magically appeared in my bank account.

I found a round-trip ticket for $600 and didn't have to use my credit card — I had the cash on hand. It felt really great to be able to make that purchase.

And, since that was my only expected large purchase for the next few months, I can finally start focusing on saving for the rest of 2017.

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