Did you know: Good Driving Habits Can Lead to Better Gas Mileage And More Dollars In Your Bank Account?
There are several things you can do while not only driving, but also with keeping up on car maintenance that can impact your gas budget. And with increasing gas prices lately, anywhere you can find a few extra dollars to save, may be worth changing some old habits.
Roll Down Your Windows and Turn Down Your AC
With summer heat starting to climb for many of us, take the opportunity on “free” air conditioning and roll down your windows while driving. By rolling down the windows, you help release the hot heat that has been inside your car all day, but while driving, will also keep your car cool with constant airflow. When you use your AC, you use more gas to cool down your vehicle, especially the higher the temperature increase. But what if you do want to use your AC? I get it, open windows means tasseled hair and lots of knots if you have long hair, and some people don’t care for the wind in their face. If you can, try rolling down your windows to allow your car to cool down first. This way your AC doesn’t work over time in trying to get rid of all that hot air right from the start, and then try to maintain a cool temperature.
Same Goes for your Heater
I know no one wants to think of winter and cold right since we finally got out of that season, but the same idea could go for your heater. During the colder months, when you turn your heater on, turn it to the lower settings and let your car gradually warm up, vs. having it on full blast on the warmest setting. You’ll create better fuel efficiencies by letting your car progressively get warm, as opposed to trying to warm it up in the first few minutes you get in the car. If you have access to one, try parking in a garage to not only keep the snow off, but also allow your car to be in a warmer climate so not as much energy and gas is used to warm it up to your preferred temperature.
Go the Speed Limit
You can save some money by letting your foot up off of the gas pedal and go the speed limit. Even going 5 -10 mph over the speed limit can decrease your fuel efficiencies. According to AAA’s fuel savings tips, it can save you a few miles per gallon. Not to mention, you can be saving on the speeding ticket you will more than likely avoid by going the speed limit.
Use Cruise Control
When you are able to, especially on the highway, use cruise control. It avoids the constant acceleration/deceleration and keeps your car at a continuous speed. By having to increase your speed constantly, you are spending more gas trying to get to that higher speed, than if you were to stay at the same constant speed.
Keep Tires Inflated
Make sure your tires are at the correct tire pressure. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if your tires are inflated at the correct pressure, you could improve your vehicle’s gas milage on average by 0.6%. Not only will it help with gas prices, but keeping your tires inflated correctly, can help with the lifespan of the tires.
Reduce Excess Weight and Cargo
When you travel with additional weight, you create more of a drag, which in turn can burn more fuel. If you’re able, always make sure to unpack your car of heavy or unnecessary items when not need for the trip, or end destination. Also, I agree they are a space saver for vacation, but don’t forget to remove your car’s roof top carrier when it is not being used. These are not ideal for aerodynamics as they increase wind resistance on your vehicle, resulting in lower fuel economy.
Don’t be a Racecar Driver
Accelerating like your Mario Andretti when the stop light turns from red to green may sound like a good time if you have the need for speed, but it also drinks up your gas much more quickly than if you gradually increased your speed. Same goes for decelerating. Rather than go full speed up until the last minute to your planned turn or stop vs. gradually coasting, can also make you go through gas quicker speed. And my guess, it’s not the kind of speed that is all that appealing to your bank account.
The Day of the Week Matters
Many sources and reviews say that you should avoid filling up your tank, if at all possible, on the weekends. Typically, more people are traveling (leisurely) on the weekends so more traffic out and about calls for more consumers to be pulling up the pumps. Which means gas companies are going to take advantage of this and drive the gas prices up. Also, try to avoid Mondays or Fridays as well. They tend to be higher since they bookend the weekend and again, those gas companies are going to try and capitalize you being out on the road. Aim to fill up mid-week to see a better number at the pump.
Have you ever noticed how the price increases around holidays? Again, it’s the gas companies’ way to make an extra buck or two by knowing more people will be out traveling to see loved ones, or go on vacation. Being aware of this ahead of time may encourage you to get gas a few days before an upcoming holiday to hopefully avoid that increase.
Take a look at your budget, and see how much you are spending on gas each month. Then try implementing these tips and see how much you can save at the pump this year. If you need help with budgeting, schedule a meeting today with our Financial Coach, Lindsey Curry and see where else she can find you extra dollars in your budget.
HOW BETTER DRIVING HABITS CAN ADD EXTRA DOLLARS IN YOUR BANK ACCOUNT
June 23, 2022
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