|With some analysts predicting gas prices to peak at as much as $2.50 per gallon or more, those of us on a budget will have to find ways to meet the higher cost of fuel or cut back on our gas consumption. |
Five weeks ago I was able to pay $1.77 per gallon at a local station; the price has now jumped to $2.19 per gallon and climbing. So now when I fill up my 13-gallon gas tank I’m paying $5.46 more. Filling up twice a week, or about 10 times a month on average, will cost me $54.60 more each month.
Fortunately, I have some wiggle room in my personal budget to meet this increase. For those who don’t have that flexibility, here are some tips to help you survive the pumped up prices awaiting you at your neighborhood gas station:
Maintain Your Vehicle
Keeping your tires properly inflated,your engine tuned, and checking your oil regularly are a few small ways that will help you save on fuel consumption and costs. Under-inflated or over-inflated tires can cause poor handling. You’ll also have to replace your tires more frequently. A well-tuned engine, along with regularly scheduled oil changes, will help your vehicle work properly and more efficiently, using less fuel.
Combine Frequent Short Trips
Instead of making several short trips for shopping, doctor’s visits, and other errands, combine these short trips into one larger trip. Arrange your route so that you can go from point A to point C without having to back track to get to point B without wasting time and fuel.
Carpool and Use Other Modes of Transportation
Two or more can travel cheaper if they “pool” their resources. Take turns with neighbors on trips to the grocery store and for other errands, including activities with the kids. Hop on a bicycle or walk if you’re within a mile or so of your destination. You’ll cut down on fuel use and get some exercise too!
Monitor Your Driving Habits
Watch those jackrabbit starts and don’t be a lead foot. Drive at moderate speeds - you use more fuel per mile when you drive faster than 55 mph. Limit your use of the air conditioning to when you are out on the highway.
Search Online for Lowest Prices
Finding the lowest possible price in your area can help to lower your fuel bills, especially if you fill up often, but don’t go crazy driving all over the place to save a few pennies. Search sites like
About the Author
© 2005, http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com
Author: James H. Dimmitt
James is editor of “To Your Credit” a FREE weekly newsletter focusing on managing your personal finances and credit. Subscribe and get a FREE copy of your credit report when you visit: http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com
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