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10 Tips to Help You Save on Gas

10 Tips to Help You Save on Gas


    With the continuing international conflicts in the Middle East, gas prices have been rising. This has resulted in much frustration among car drivers, especially since costs are already high at the pump. I am among those who feel the pinch of gas price increases, as I have to fill up my car on average once per week during the winter due to my commutes to the ski slopes.

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    (Hey, it’s my way of embracing winter.)

    Fortunately for me, the rest of the year is really not so bad. I don’t have to venture too far since I work out of home and have to fill up my car only about once or twice per month. But. of course, I recognize that many people out there still need to do daily commutes in their cars. Today I’ll briefly outline what I do to try and keep my gas costs as low as possible.

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    Possible Gas Savings for Your Car

    1. Don’t speed. Speeding uses more gas. Use cruise control on highways to limit how fast you drive, which saves even more.
    2. Don’t idle your engine. I still see many cars out there stopped at a driveway or parking lot waiting with the engine on. When drivers idle, gas is being wasted. Many municipalities have actually banned idling for environmental reasons.
    3. Avoid rush hours. Getting stuck in rush hour traffic is much like idling, so avoid driving during these hours whenever possible. See if you can commute before or after rush hours.
    4. Keep tires properly inflated. Under-inflated tires will also use excess gas. It’s recommended that you check tire pressure once per month–  and maybe even more during the winter when tires tend to lose more air in colder temperatures.
    5. Keep the engine maintained. In addition to tires, keep your engine well maintained with regular oil changes and other recommended service. Engines that are not properly maintained use more gas.
    6. Combine errands. I try to combine different errands so that I don’t have to get into my car for just one single thing. I’ll try to do my grocery shopping, banking and trips to the post office all on one single outing rather than take three separate drives.
    7. Take public transit. If I have to go downtown for whatever reason, I’ll try to take public transit instead of the car. Driving downtown is a hassle since it’s often stop-and-go traffic and the possibility of being stuck during rush hours is very real. Don’t forget that parking charges are often horrendous too.
    8. Get a fuel efficient car. Okay, I’m going to be a bit guilty on this since my Mustang is not exactly the most fuel efficient vehicle — but at least I have the 6-cylinder version rather than the overpowered 8-cylinder GT model. That one really gobbles up gas.
    9. Walk. For closer destinations, I’ll even walk instead of getting into my car. It’s also healthier.

    A Tip for Home Gas Users…

    When it comes to thermostats and showers, turn down the thermostat when not at home and take shorter hot showers. Wash your laundry in cold water whenever possible.

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    Conclusion

    Long gone are the days when just putting in $5 of gas can get you around in a car for a night. We all have to deal with higher gas prices in some way or another. Each little bit of savings is a success — and little successes do add up. Hopefully, these tips will help you get some gas savings this year.

    What do you do to save on gas? Let me know in the comments below.

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    (Photo credit: Rising Gas Prices via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on April 3, 2019

    How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

    How to Nix Your Credit Card Debt in Less Than 3 Years

    Debt is never a fun thing to be in. But, there are many actions that you can take that will help you rid yourself of the burden of debt once and for all.

    By coming up with a set plan, eliminating your debt can feel much easier than constantly thinking about it.

    This post will provide some tips on how you can do this to help you nix your credit card debt in less than 3 years.

    Hint: there are ways that are easier than you think.

    1. Consider Consolidating Multiple Credit Cards If Possible

    This may not be applicable to you, but if you have multiple cards – it is something to consider. Keeping up with multiple bills is time consuming.

    It will depend on the balance you have on each. Consolidate ones you can but do not do it to the point that you get too close to the maximum limit. Also, it is ideal to pick the card with the lower interest rate.

    Consider if there are any fees or alternatively, rewards, with transferring a balance to another card. Watch out for fees. Note that some cards offer rewards for transferring a balance to them. This is extra cash that can help go towards paying off your debt.

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    Having one or two cards can make nixing your debt much simpler than keeping up with the balance of a bunch of cards. Keeping track of paying the minimum towards a bunch of cards is time consuming. Spend the time to consolidate instead to make the overall process simpler going forward.

    My tip: Have one main credit card. Have a second one that you use for necessities – such as groceries or gas – that offers rewards for those purchases (a lot of cards do) and set the second one on auto-pay. You should be able to pay off a smaller amount on auto-pay if it is a necessity. If you think you cannot, then you may need to cut down a lot on expenses.

    Why do I suggest doing this? Having one thing set to auto-pay is one less thing to think about. One less thing to waste time on. Same idea with consolidating to one main card. Tracking down too many is a hassle.

    2. Try to Pay the Full Balance You Spent Each Month at the Very Least

    You need to pay off the amount you are spending each month when that bill comes in. This is the amount you spent THAT month.

    Do not let the debt keep accruing while you work on paying any unpaid debt that has accrued. It will become a never-ending battle. Try as best as you can to be current on paying for each month’s expenses when that month’s bill comes out.

    If this is a strain, consider why. You may need to cut expenses. Or you may need to consider other cards. Or look at where this money is going.

    3. Pay Extra When You Can – Every Small Amount Counts

    This cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking at a lot of credit card debt, it can look daunting, but each extra amount that you can put towards the debt will really add up – no matter how small it is.

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    It does not just reduce the principal amount that you have left to pay off, but it reduces the amount that is collecting interest. You will always save money with that reduced interest.

    4. Create a Plan on How to Pay Extra

    Back to the main point, having this plan is giving you one less thing to think about.

    This plan should be a plan that works for you. If it does not work for you, your spending habits, and your views on debt, then it will not be an effective plan.

    For instance, if a set plan of an extra $50 (or another amount that you know you can afford) works for you, then do that. Set that aside every month and pay that extra amount. Treat it like a bill. Choose an amount that works for you and pay it like clockwork as though it was a bill you had to pay each month.

    Little amounts will not nix it entirely, but they will help tackle it and having a set plan can make it less of a chore. Creating a new plan of how much to put towards it each month is an unnecessary added stress.

    5. Cut out Costs for Services You Do Not Use

    If you are signed up for subscriptions that you do not use because of some free trial or for some other reason, cut it out. Your overall financial position will look better.

    In turn, that will make cutting your credit card debt easier. Look at your statements to find these expenses. If you do not use them, you may forget you are paying some unnecessary amount each month. Cutting it out can really add up in savings that you can put towards other needed expenses.

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    6. Get Aggressive About It

    Consider these points:

    Depending on the interest and the level of debt, you may need to give up a few indulgences. For example, instead of ordering delivery or going out to eat, cook at home. Everything adds up.

    Other things may be more of a sacrifice. It may be a trip you wanted to go on, or a daily latte habit you’ve picked up. In these instances, consider how important it is to you and if it’s worth the sacrifice. And if it is a costly expense, think whether you can wait to indulge.

    Cutting an extravagant expense can really help make a dent in your overall debt. Try not to add to debt when you are trying to pay it off. It will be a never-ending battle. Make it less of a battle with these tips and it will feel easier.

    Bottom line: Do what you can to make this process easier for you. Implement steps that do this. It takes time now, but will help overall. Also, keep track of your spending and paying down of your debts. Which is the next point.

    7. Reevaluate Your Progress at Set Intervals

    Doing a regular check-in can help you see your efforts pay off or maybe indicate that you need to give this a bit more effort. If you check every 3-6 months, it will not feel so much like a chore or feel so daunting.

    By doing this, you will be able to better understand your progress and perhaps readjust your plan. Bonus: if you see it pay off, it will feel great to do this check-in. You will get there.

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    Finally (and most importantly)…

    8. Keep Trying

    Do not get discouraged. Pushing it off will make it worse. Just keep trying.

    Once your debt becomes lower, each monthly payment will reduce the balance more. Why? You are paying less towards interest. It will be a snowball effect eventually and it will become much easier to manage. Just get to that point. And know once you do, it will feel easier and motivating.

    Start Knocking out Your Debt Today

    The best way to eliminate debt is to get started right away. Begin by implementing the above steps and watch your debt just melt away. Try out some of the above strategies and see what works best for you. Soon you’ll be on your way to a debt free life.

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    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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