According to the community spending guidelines, transportation should count for 20% or less of a person’s monthly budget. If you’re looking to cut costs this summer, your gas tank is a great place to start. While the exact price of gasoline is always in flux, most people are looking for solutions to save on gasoline. Try these tips to save on gasoline and use that cash towards eliminating credit card debt.
Save on Gasoline
- Drive Less. The first and most obvious solution to save on gasoline is to reduce the amount you drive. This will help you save on gas and limit wear and tear on your vehicle. When you do have to drive, try to bundle errands together so you don’t use your car for five separate trips when one trip will suffice. Also, if you live in an area where you can get around via bike or on foot, utilize these alternatives. And don’t forget about public transportation! Riding the train or bus every day considerably reduces how often you have to visit the pump.
- Use of the Internet. Websites like GasBuddy compare prices of gas stations in your location so you can always find the lowest price. They also have some great tools and a weekly drawing for people who send in gas prices.
- Carpool to Work. This is another method to save on gasoline that will offer big savings. Even if you have to drive every other day, you are still reducing your gas consumption and car maintenance by a considerable amount which leads to money back in your pocket.
- AC vs. Open Windows. If you are driving on the highway in hot weather, use your air conditioner instead of rolling down your windows. The added drag of the open windows decreases fuel efficiency more than using an air conditioner.
- Get points on your credit card. Use your credit card to pay for your gas and earn reward points. Make sure you stay within the budget, though. You probably don’t want to open a new card just for the reward points- you may end up in more trouble with how to get out of credit card debt.
- Don’t Speed. Most cars reach optimum efficiency and use the least amount of gas between 50 and 55 miles per hour. Going over this limit will decrease your efficiency and increase your fuel usage.
- Route Selection. Plan your routes with the amount of gas you will use in mind. Use Google maps to find the direct route to your destination, or if you have a few stops, make sure they are close in proximity. Also, choose roads with fewer stop signs and traffic lights so that you won’t need to stop and accelerate as much.
- Cruise Control. While on the highway, use cruise control, which keeps your car running at a constant speed rather than speeding up and slowing down. The changes in speed cause you to burn more fuel.
As for what to do with the money you saved? Check out this infographic on what to do with money saved on gas.