Saving Money at the Gas Pump
Tips for cutting driving costs
Get a Gas Rebate Credit Card
A gas card is a great way to monitor how much you spend on gas and take advantage of gas rebates. There are many cards out there to choose from: Most gas stations offer their own, and major credit cards also offer gas rewards if you don’t want to be limited to a specific gas company. Do your homework before choosing which card is right for you. Some cards offer cash back, while others offer discounts or money toward future purchases. Also, read the fine print as some cards have maximum amounts that can be saved, while others have no limits.
Adjust Your Budget
Your monthly budget may need an adjustment to counter-balance increased gas prices. Check to see how much you have been spending for gas for the last three months. If you are going over what you budgeted for gas, try to find other places in your budget where you can cut back. Maybe instead of going out to dinner twice a week, cut back to just once a week. Or instead of going to the movies, rent a movie and make popcorn at home. Look for any spending areas that can help you reduce your overall expenses.
Plan Your Driving Trips
This is not just for long distances. Sometimes when running errands we drive extra, unnecessary miles. Short trips on a cold engine use gas less efficiently than long steady drives, so plan out your errands and try to consolidate your shorter-distance driving needs into just one or two trips.
For family vacations, do your homework and get directions for the most direct route. Or how about taking a vacation closer by, visiting kid-friendly venues your children will enjoy? If you do go for a long drive, use cruise-control when possible. It prevents you from unknowingly speeding, and keeps the car operating at a consistent pace.
Watch Gas Prices
There are websites that list where gas prices are the cheapest in your area. Of course, it is not wise to travel 20 extra miles to get gas one cent per gallon cheaper. Use your best judgment. (Some helpful sites for finding good gas prices are AAA, Gasbuddy, and Gaspricewatch.)
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