Gas doesn’t have to break the bank

Everyone has a monthly budget, right? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Everyone has an amount of money they can afford to spend in a month. Some have the number written down, while others have not only that number written down, but also divided meticulously into categories with sub-amounts pegged to each category. And then there’s the third category, those folks that have an idea what they can spend, but don’t really track it because they don’t care, or it doesn’t concern them. We all have likely moved in and out of this third group at various points in our lives, vacillating between being super responsible and embarrassingly irresponsible. And while we all have our own costs to deal with, there is one that none of us can escape and likely nobody likes to pay – gas.

For those of you that drive a lot, and don’t have the most petrol efficient ride, monthly gas can get up into the $500 range. That’s $6,000 per year … on gas! A tough pill to swallow, and while prices are still low, comparatively speaking, gas swings are normal so don’t think the good times are permanently here to stay. To prepare for the lean years and reduce what you pay at the pump in the short-term, we’re going to review some tested methods.

It’s all in the trunk

For some of us, this is as true as the sky is blue. It’s easy to use your trunk as a storage place. Nobody really sees it, it’s safe, and you can easily forget about it. Yet, once we’re talking golf club weight related items, you might be nearing the extra 50 to 75-pound range simply sitting idly in your trunk. Every time you hit the gas, those items need to be carried along, and that takes power and fuel. Get that junk out of the trunk and watch your monthly petrol bill drop.

Racks off

The rack on the roof might look cool, and heck, you might even use it once a month, but then again, that’s only once a month. Honestly, who uses that rack all that much. It’s a classic purchase of something you thought you’d get a ton of use out of, but you’re only snowboarding every other weekend for 3 months, not every Saturday for 52 straight weeks. Purchase an easily removable rack and save yourself some cash.

Combo up on your trips

We all know those folks (we’re talking to you, especially) who might hit the supermarket one day, the bank the next, the cleaners on Wednesday, a haircut on Thursday, etc, etc. Multiple trips are things we all manage, but that doesn’t mean you need to accomplish just one per day. For example, Saturday mornings can be cleaners, supermarket and the car wash, all in one morning. Cars burn more gas during multiple start and stop times. The less of that you do, the less fuel you’re wasting daily.

Tire lights aren’t your friend

And lastly, since 2007 all cars have what’s known as tire-pressure monitoring systems. These do just what it sounds like – alert you as to when the tire pressure is low. The problem is tire lights don’t have our best interests at heart because they only pop off when a tire is 25% lower than the recommended pressure. That’s a hefty percentage, and if we wait until a tire is 25% below then you can be sure lots of gas has been expended ensuring that deflated tire keeps rolling.

Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure frequently. This isn’t a massive undertaking, simply a quick check every now and again at the gas station and you’re set.

Honestly, try implementing these four tips and then thank us later once you finally have more money in your pocket/purse. Just don’t spend it all on dumb stuff.

And if you have an extended warranty from Patriot, we will come to fill up your tank if you ever run out!

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