Monday’s Money Saving Tip: Driving on a Budget
I thought I would share some tips we have used to help keep our budget low when it comes to driving.
First of all, you know my thoughts on CARS and making the best purchase to keep your car payment low (actually ZERO). If not, click here.
Here are some other ways we try and spend less in regards to driving:
1. Avoid Toll (if possible): I absolutely hate this one and Ryan and I disagree about this when we’re driving to and from places, but it really does help. Sometimes we’ll take toll on our way to our destination (if we’re in a hurry) and avoid it on the way home…or vice versa. Half the roads around us (and being built) are toll, so this is becoming difficult, but we take the side roads or learn which exits cost a lot.
2. Find where gas is cheapest: Take a look at the prices to and from work and around town. Find where the deals are. Many grocery stores will take money off per gallon if you sign up for their rewards program. We use a Walmart gift card for $.10 off per gallon. We just load a card with $60 (for each of us) and use that for the month. There are definitely months we have to reload for more gas, depending on how much we’re traveling, but we’re pretty sure to spend $60 a month. We usually fill up $20 at a time just to keep track of how many times we fill up, but it doesn’t really matter.
3. Drive the speed limit: Speeding uses more gas (slowing down more and your car has to run harder). Plus you have more of a chance of wrecking and paying for repairs. You really don’t get there much sooner anyway! For every 5 mph you drive slower, you can reduce fuel consumption by 7%! All around, this is probably the best money saving tip (less jerky driving and less fuel used).
4. Coast to a red light/Easy on the brakes: The more you use your brakes, the more gas you use. And more wear and tear on your car.
5. Do not tail someone: Ugh, someone was doing this to me the other day when I was driving the speed limit, and I so badly wanted to slam on my breaks and make them run into me. So beware, you could be tailing a crazy person who actually did slam on their brakes. If you hit someone from behind, you are automatically at fault and there goes your $$$$.
6. Pull into a parking space to where you can pull forward when you leave. By not reversing, you save around 10% of gas!!!
7. Turn off your A/C if you can. If you’re trying to save gas while you inch your way to a gas station, turning off your A/C can save about 10% if you do.
8. Roll up your windows if you’re going over 40 miles per hour. You waste gas if you have your windows down and are going over 40 mph (your car has to work harder).
9. Check your air filters: A clean air filter can save up to 10% of gas.
10. Make sure your car is in alignment: Your engine has to work harder and it’s wear and tear on your car that you can avoid (tires are $$$).
11. Air up your tires: Avoid flat tires or fuel loss from deflated tires. I go to Discount Tire (where we bought our tires) and they check my tires and fill it up for FREE! One reason to get your tires there. If they didn’t do it, you would probably see me on the side of the road.
12. Don’t be stupid: Avoiding irresponsible mistakes while driving can reduce your money spent in so many ways (insurance, accidents, injuries to others, medical bills, gas, etc…).
Fun Fact: I have never been pulled over in my life. I attribute that to luck and being a rule follower. When I see a police car behind me, my heart literally sinks into my stomach! I’m pretty sure the first time I get pulled over, I will start crying…and not to get out of the ticket, but because I am truly scared of getting in trouble.