A Financial Education Event
 

Saving Money at the Pump Right Now!

The good news for Joshua, the youngest Kay Kid – he inherited the ‘Burb!
The bad news for Joshua, he inherited the ‘Burb!

With gas prices rapidly approaching $5/gallon here in sunny southern cali, he may have to park that beast, before he ever gets a chance to drive it.

But there are ways to save at the pump, if you are strategic. Here are my tips:

Plan AAA’s Fuel Cost Calculator helps you plot out the most efficient route. You can also put in the year, make and model of your car and it will compute what you’ll spend on gas.
Prices – Get the app or go to sites such as www.gaspricewatch.com  , www.fuelmeup.com , or www.gasbuddy.com  and find the cheapest price for gas both at home and enroute. Find the app called Gas Buddy or AAA”s Trip’Tik Mobile iPhone.
Pace Your Driving – Jackrabbit starts and constant speeding up and slowing down cost precious gas mileage miles. Instead, pace yourself.  Jackrabbit stops are as bad as the starts (or so I constantly tell my husband)!
Pushing It Up! — Will only speed up your fuel consumption. According to the Department of Energy (DOA) it takes a lot of energy for your vehicle to push the air out of the way as you speed down the road. Driving the speed limit of 65 versus 75 can save as much as 15% on fuel consumption because of the energy needed for higher speeds.
Puhleeze Give Me Some Air — At speeds of 40 mph or greater, it costs more to leave the windows open (due to drag) than it does to run the air. In a place like Palmdale, CA where the summer temps reach 110 degrees that’s good news!
Pitch the Junk! — Take your golf clubs, soccer chairs, Salvation Army book donations and all the other JUNK out of your TRUNK. Otherwise, you’re paying more to haul it.
Pressure and Maintain – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that one-in-four cars have under inflated tires by 8 pounds per square inch. By getting the right amount of air in your tires and taking a few minutes to change the air filter, you can increase your gas mileage by 3.3%! A tuned engine can save an average of 4% more and detected problems, like a bad oxygen sensor can help your mileage by 40%!
Pool it — Car pool whenever possible, and let everyone pitch in with their dough!
• Premium, Schmium — According to AAA, only 5% of vehicles in the US require the premium gas–it does not help your vehicle for you to pay more for it. Buy the regular stuff and have no worries.
Peak no More! – Plan trips, if possible, during off peak times to avoid traffic jams.
Pay up! — Make teens pay for gas when they aren’t driving for sanctioned raod time (such as school, work, running your errands, etc). It’s amazing how much less miles they will put on the car!

Happy Driving, Joshua!

Love Mama,
aka America’s Family Financial Expert (R)

Savvy Saver Quiz – part 4 – Transportation

 

Transportation

 When I was a teen, I always wanted a little roadster. It only took 30 years of clipping coupons, but I (finally) got mine after years of driving mini vans and suburbans. But  even though my “baby” is small, it loves to guzzle the gas, so I have to be careful. How well do do when it comes to saving on transportation?

Q.  How many individual trips do you make to the grocery store, department store, discount store, electronic store, the mall, or other shopping venues each week? (Count each individual trip as one and count combined trips as one.)

a) 0-3

b) 4-6

c) 7-9

d) 10 or more

 Q.  If the speed limit is 65 mph, how fast do you normally drive?

a) 60 mph to 65 mph – I’m a cautious driver

b) 66 mph to 70 mph – I push it just a little

c) 71 mph to 75 mph – I like to keep up with traffic

d) 75 mph or more – I like to live in the fast lane, baby!

 Q.  How often do you have the air pressure checked in your tires?

a) at least every other week

b) once a month or once every two months

c) once every three to six months

d) Am I suppose to check the air?

 Q.  How often, per week, do you carpool to work, to the kids school or to other events with friends (meetings, out of town trips, shopping, etc.)?

a)  5 or more – I regularly carpool

b)  3 to 4 – I try to make the driving count

c)  1 to 2 – I’m a taxi mom

d)  never – I like to drive!

 

Q.  How often do you shop around for the best price on gas (using an app like TripTik or gasbuddy or going to www.gaspricewatch.com)  before you fill up?

a) every time – Gas is too expensive to pay top price!

b) frequently – I pay attention to who has the best prices

c) occasionally – When I can remember

d) never – Who has the time?

Welcome to the scoring section of the Transportation category – Give yourself the following points: every “A” answer = 4 points, every “B” answer – 3 points, every “C” answer – 2 points and every “D” answer – 1 point

 16-20 points  Thrifty Taylor – Well done, you’re a SUPER SMART DRIVER! When it comes to making sure you get the most bang for your driving buck, you are routinely aware of gas prices, make sure your tire pressure is accurate, carpool to work or school and check out sites like www.gaspricewatch.com or www.gasbuddy.com to get the best prices! You’re not only saving on fuel costs, you’re saving our environment with your conscientious ways—well done! 

 11-15 points:  Low Cost Logan – Good Job, you’re a SMART DRIVER! – You are doing a good job at keeping driving costs down by combining trips on errands. You probably have also figured out that you don’t have to go to five different stores when you can come to your local Walmart Superstore and get everything you need in one place, this saves time and money. There is slight room to improve, but you are in a nice place when it comes to wisely using transportation dollars.

 6-10 points:  Moderate Morgan – Nice Work, you are a DRIVER! – You might be good at combining errands to save on time and expense and you might shop around for the best gas prices when you have the time. However, there’s always room to improve. By minimizing your trips to a lot of different stores, trying to carpool when you can, making sure your vehicle is well maintained and driving the speed limit, you can save more and become a smart driver!

 5 points:  Extravagant Emerson – You must love to DRIVE! – If you don’t drive for a living, you might just live to drive! Transportation may be an expensive area because you may be a “taxi mom” whether you like it or not! By slowing down your speed, becoming more strategic in trip planning and checking the air pressure in your tires, you could cut fuel costs by 25% or more!  Since gas prices may be on the rise again, now is a good time to make some modifications to your transportation habits to set yourself up to be a one who drives and saves! 

Let me know how you save on transportation!

Ellie Kay

America’s Family Financial Expert (R)