As you are looking for ways to save more money and cut your budget, the first place to look is your discretionary, or flexible spending. Gas and other transportation expenses are a great place to start saving. Here are a few tips to help you lower your monthly gas expenses so you can save more money for the things that matter.
1. Get the Junk Out of Your Trunk
When you keep a ton of junk in your trunk car, you lower your fuel economy by up to 2% per 100lbs. So take out the golf clubs and dirty clothes and start saving a little more money this year.
2. Shop Around for Gas
Gas stations are constantly competing for your business. Take advantage of it. Shop around gas stations in your area and look for specials on gas prices in your area. Personally, I use a mobile app called GasBuddy on my phone to find the best deals near me.
3. Use a Gas Rewards Credit Card
Consider using a credit card that offers cash back for buying gas at the pump. Some cards I’ve seen offer up to 5% rebates on gas purchases. It’s always smart to read the fine print first, but it may be a way you can save a little money at the pump this year. Also, make sure you pay it back in full each month to avoid paying interest on your purchases. Click here to compare gas rewards credit cards at YoBucko.
4. Turn off the A/C
Air conditioning dramatically reduces fuel economy so use it only when you need it. Consider rolling down the windows or using the “economy” setting on your A/C that circulates unchilled air. Either way, the more you can handle the heat and keep your A/C usage to a minimum, the more money you’ll save in the long run.
5. Stay Tuned Up
Keeping your car tuned up and your oil fresh helps your fuel economy substantially. It also helps you keep your car well maintained and out of the shop. According to the FTC, you can increase fuel economy by up to 4% by keeping your car tuned up and oil changed regularly. Also, it will help you detect any potential problems with your vehicle so you can take care of them before they get too bad.
6. Avoid Idle Time
Idling wastes fuel and costs you money. When you are sitting in the cell phone waiting area at the airport or waiting for your friends to show up next weekend, cut off the engine and save yourself some cash.
7. Don’t Speed
Speeding is fun, but expensive. Take your foot off the pedal and slow down a little. It will add up. The faster you drive, the more money you spend on gas. By reducing your average speed even a little, from 42 to 35, you can increase your fuel economy by up to three miles per gallon. According to Fueleconomy.gov, each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas. Over the course of a year, that adds up to a lot of potential savings. See how much you can save using this fuel economy calculator from the Department of Energy.
8. Use Cruise Control
Use overdrive gears and cruise control when you are driving on the highway. Cruise control . They improve fuel economy when you’re driving on the highway.
9. Keep Your Tires Inflated
You can improve your gas mileage by over 3% percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and also last longer. To find out the proper air pressure for your tires, there is usually a stock found on your driver’s side door jamb or glove box, or you can look in your owner’s manual. Use these numbers rather than the maximum tire pressure listed on your tire’s sidewall.
10. Pick the Right Type of Fuel
Most cars need regular octane fuel. In many cases, using a higher octane gas than manufacturers recommend adds little to no value and actually costs you money. Some cars need high octane fuel, so check your owner’s manual to see see if you need high octane gas before you go to the pump next time.