Gas prices are at record highs, recently surpassing $90 dollars per barrel. For money savers,
this news is negative from two perspectives. The first way of interpreting this news is that we
have an inflation problem. It takes more dollars to buy the same amount of gas. As inflation
rises, also will home prices. This means you want to save money for your down payment as soon
as possible and then actually buy your house which will be a great hedge against inflation. The
second way to interpret this news is that prices at the pump will continue to remain high
eating into your savings. You can easily save a large amount of money each month by cutting
your gas expenditures. Saving money on gasoline expenditures is the focus of this article.
Why Not Move Closer To Work?
Two years ago, I made one of the best decisions of my life, moving close to work. I used to
commute over one hour each day and this was taking its toll on me many ways. I was losing valuable
time that I could be spending earning more money, racking up large gas bills, and also putting
wear and tear on my car which ended up costing me in maintenance fees (such as new tires).
Sure nobody likes moving. It's a huge hassle and can even cost you in the short term by hiring
movers and also in terms of time commitment. (If possible, avoid hiring movers and do it yourself
or with friends. Treat your friends to a free dinner for their help.) If you plan on staying
at your current job for a while, I highly recommend making the move, it will change your life.
After you are all settled in, you will instantly have more time to spend earning money and will
save on gas. Moreover, you will have better health if you start walking or biking to work a few
days each week. Moving close to work can save you thousands each year in reduced gas costs.
Use Your Bike For Health and Savings
Many people are biking to work these days. Even if they don't bike the whole way, they bike to
the bus and then take the bus the rest of the way. The best way to save money on gas is to not
use any gas at all (or drastically lower your expenses on gas). Biking is one way to easily
achieve this goal of spending no money on gas. Also, this is a great way to improve your health
and earning power, which are directly correlated.
Get Rid of That Sports Car
Ok, this is a difficult one. In fact, I'm giving advice here that I am definitely not
taking myself. Rules are meant to be broken and savings are not everything. You want to enjoy
yourself while you are saving money and that's why I have a sports car which I absolutely refuse
to sell. At the same time as a rational guy I must include this tip in the guide because it has
a lot of leverage. There is a lot of leverage here for two reasons. First, sports cars consume a
lot more gasoline than fuel efficient cars. You get instant gas savings by downgrading your engine
and performance. The second saver here is that sports cars cost more than fuel efficient cars, both
in terms of purchase price and also maintenance costs. If you play it smart, when you sell your
sports car you can pocket a positive cash gain (which you will use to save for your down payment)
and also save on recurring costs of gas and maintenance. While this one has a ton of leverage
and would probably allow me to buy a house a year sooner, I refuse to do it. I must say, however,
that I have done a very responsible and money saving thing in
off my car loan which is saving me thousands of dollars in interest
payments. As a rule of thumb, the smart saver never wants outstanding credit card or car loan
debt because the interest payments reduce your savings and also the amount of money you can
borrow for your upcoming home loan.
Find Gas Deals But Don't Compromise on Gas Quality
A great way to save on gas is to find discount gas stations such as
Costco Gas. As with other
things in life, you can pay more or less for the exact same thing depending on where you shop.
Shopping at discount gas stations will allow you to save money for the exact same gas that you
would purchase at full price gas stations. One important point here is that you don't want to
compromise on gas quality, as measured through octane rating. Use the octane gas that is
recommended in the user's manual for your car. You don't want to save by buying the wrong grade
gas but then pay it back later with car and engine damage which can be very expensive. Talk to
friends and understand where they get gas to compare prices and find the best deal. Just
remember not to drive too far for that bargain because the extra miles can quickly eat up your
Find A Carpool Buddy To Save Money
This one is a no brainer. If you can find a carpool buddy who has the same schedule as you
(and you live very close to one another), definitely take advantage of this situation.
The best way to save on gas is to totally eliminate the cost. By carpooling, you totally
eliminate the cost of gas for the person not driving. If you work in a large office, it is
often very easy to find a carpool partner. In smaller offices, you will have more of a challenge
but definitely worth investigating this option.
Hedge Yourself Against High Gas Prices With Stocks
This is a more advanced tactic, but one way to "save" money on gas is to invest in
the stocks of large oil companies. As oil prices rise, you will lose out on savings but your
stocks will appreciate in value which helps hedge you against this loss in savings. If gas prices
go down, so will your stocks but then you will save money at the pump. The purpose of stocks here
is to make your life a bit more predictable by factoring out the volatility of gas prices to
some extent. This is again a more advanced savings strategy and is probably not the best strategy
for the majority of savers. If you do decide to pursue this strategy, you will want to meet with
an investment professional and also allocate a very small portion of your savings to the oil
While these are the practical tips that have saved me the most money in my savings quest, there
are many more ways to save money on gas. Wiki How
has an amazingly detailed article on saving money on gas. There are many ways to reduce gas
expenditures and I think this is a really good and interesting read.