Gas Saving Tips: Personal Finance Basics

If you’re like me, you hate spending money on gas. Especially the time when, for no good reason, it goes up five or ten cents overnight. Many of my clients seeking personal financial help are looking for advice on how to save money in certain areas. For now, I’ll focus on how to manage money in relation to fuel economy. Keep in mind that it is vitally important that you have a good quality budget in order to have a predetermined spending goal for gasoline. You can Google various budgeting tools or go to our resource link for a detailed budgeting spreadsheet. Here are three very useful tips.

Drive sensibly – My grandmother’s Lincoln Town Car has a mileage commitment. It’s amazing the change in gauge when I accelerate quickly (imagining it’s not a city car, but pretending it’s a Ferrari) instead of taking it easy. Studies have shown that rapid acceleration, speeding and hard braking can reduce fuel economy by 33% on the highway and 5% when driving in the city. So take a lesson from my grandma if she wants to learn how to manage money better, drive safely and drive slower. Fewer accidents, save fuel.

Use cruise control – In addition to the cruiser’s ability to let you relax your legs on long trips, it also helps you avoid speeding, which uses more gas. Also, it limits how often you slow down, causing you to speed up more often to get back up to speed. Not only will cruising save you gas, but because you use it as a method of managing money, you’ll avoid those expensive speeding tickets.

Buy low consumption vehicles – There are many benefits with this. Smaller, more fuel efficient cars are also less expensive. When I show my clients how to manage money and be more frugal, their choice of car often plays a role. They save cash on purchase and smaller vehicles run much better on gas. When I purchased a 2008 Honda Civic, it qualified for Canada’s Green Car Rebate Program. I received $1000 back from the government.

So I know how much you’d like to look rich and successful and have people everywhere looking at your big SUV, but it’s bad for the environment and bad for your wallet. In most of my money-management lessons with my clients who are thinking about buying a new vehicle, I tell them to choose cars that run better on gas. Not only will they have more money to save for their future after buying the car, but they’ll also save a lot of cash on their gas. Look online or check out our budget spreadsheet to find out which car you can afford and which vehicle will save you the most money.

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