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Avoiding Pain at the Pump!

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Hello Savvy Consumers! It’s been awhile since I last wrote you, and I’ve been diligently working to find new ways you can help shrink you budget and save money.  This is no easy task as prices on just about everything seem to be rising.  

 

As I pulled my car into the local gas station this week, I gasped at the cost of a gallon of regular fuel -- $3.19.  Talk about sticker shock! It’s hard to believe that just ten years ago, I paid about $1.15 per gallon. 

 

If you’re like most Americans, the cost of fuel is taking a big bite out of your monthly budget. Unless you live in a city without public transportation, you likely drive everywhere you have to go – work, the grocery store, shuttling the kids to school and extracurricular activities. You may wonder how you can possibly reduce the cost of your fuel expenses with all of your daily driving requirements.  There are some easy things you can do to help keep your costs at a minimum.  Here are five tips that have helped me to reign in my spending at the gas pump.

 

·         Ease Up on the Gas - Fuel efficiency decreases rapidly at speeds above 60mph. The faster you drive, the more gas you use per mile:  each 5mph you drive over 60 is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas!    Lighten up on the accelerator for heavy savings on gas bills.  Observing the speed limit is safer, too!

·         Stay Current on Vehicle Maintenance – The right levels of fluid, such as coolant and automatic transmission fluid, ensures that your car can run efficiently.  This will help you keep repairs to a minimum and may also save you money at the pump.  It's also true that keeping car fluids at appropriate levels could save you the expense of having to replace car parts more often than necessary because there's more strain on those parts when fluid levels are extremely low. 

·         Keep a Regular Route – If you drive to work every day, spend a little time to figure out the smartest route to your destination.  Did you know that you can burn gallons of gas on rush-hour highways that seem more like parking lots?  Choose a route with less traveled side roads, and you won’t waste gas in stop-and-go traffic.  You'll keep moving and end up saving on gas money even though you may travel a few miles further. 

·         Avoid Filling Your Tank on the Highway – Whether you're taking a long trip or a short hop, make sure your tank is filled before you get on the highway.  Gas prices are typically about 6-cents more per gallon at EZ-off/EZ-on service stations. 

·         Curb your travel – Traveling is quite an expense.  If you’re having trouble making ends meet, postpone unnecessary travel until you can comfortably afford expenses like gasoline, food and accommodations.  It’s tempting to get behind the wheel for a road trip, but a few days of travel can blow your budget. Find local activities and attractions for your family to enjoy instead of a long distance excursion.

Like most consumers, I’m always on the lookout for ways to save money.  If you have any great budgeting tips that have worked for you, please send them to me at Clarky@thedebtdiva.com!  Your suggestions could be featured on the CareOne Credit Counseling website under Tip Jar!

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  • Good luck trying to get USA drivers off their addicted super speed behavior on the road. Or their habit of leaving cars idling thinking it does use too much gas. Or driving around a parking lot looking for that super close magical parking slot. Or parking backwards taking three times as long to park, again, using more gas than needed. With 5% of the world's vehicles we use a staggering 23% of fuel supplies. Why? Our cars, our habits and our entitlement feeling we deserve "te best." Is it not at the pump that we should feel the pain, it should be as we drive. We need to calculate how expensive each mile is as we drive. Well, here are some numers: for each mile above 60 in the speedometer, you gain about 1 SECOND PER MILE but pay 3 to 6 % MORE in gasoline. By 70 mph you gain about 10 SECONDS PER MILE but you are using up to 38% more depending on your vehicle. More if you are constantly changing lanes and passing all cars on the road. Yeah, I know most people just give lip to fuel economy but they are wasting up to $800 bucks a year on wasted gasoline. That is a bunch and the main reason why we use 23% of the global fuel source.... Any other resons?

  • If you take a critical look at absolutely every penny you spend - a really detailed examination - you might realize that your money is going to a number of places that it doesn't need to go.

  • Do you ever feel like no one considered increasing the percent of wage increase but forgot to mention that to the cost of living?! Seriously.

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