Gas for your vehicle is one of the primary areas people overspend, so today I am going to pull back the curtain and share with you some simple ways I've been helping my clients save on gas costs.
The simple process on how to conquer your gas budget and keep your tank full is a strategy usually reserved for my clients, so today you're in for a real treat! Break out the calculator, pen and paper (or word processor) and follow along with me; also, feel free to write down your answers as you walk through this process step-by-step to save on gas costs.
Step 1: Write down each of your routines. Do you drive to work regularly, attend church on weekends or go to the gym? Your routines don't have to consist of places you go every day, just those you go to routinely. Step 2: Define how many days a week you drive each routine. Simply go through the list you built in step one and write down the number of days you typically drive to those routines.
Step 3: Calculate the round trip mileage of each routine. Open up Google Maps to calculate the roundtrip mileage of each routine. Step 4: Multiply each routine's mileage from step 3 by the weekly frequency from step 2. Simply multiply the number of days you drive that routine with the roundtrip mileage of each. Step 5: Take each of the results from step 4 and multiply each by 4. Take each routine's total from step four and multiply them by four to encompass the total for the length of a typical month. Step 6: Total all the results of step 5. Take all of the totals and add them together so you can have the approximate number of miles you drive every month. Hold onto this number because we're going to come back to it.
Step 7: Consider upcoming events and trips. Open up your calendar and think through upcoming events and trips you will be making. Repeat step three for all coming month's special events and add the result to step six's results. Add the combined totals from step six together and move on to step eight. This process can be a little intense, but we're well on our way to cutting gas costs.
Step 8: Find your vehicle's MPG from www.mpgbuddy.com. You can locate your vehicle's MPG per this website. When the majority of your mileage is highway miles, go ahead and use that estimate. If city, use the other recommended total; if both, use the combined MPG estimate.
Step 9: Divide your MPG into the total mileage from step six and step seven. Once you've got that MPG number, divide your total from step seven to determine how many gallons of gas you'll need.
Step 10: Multiply the number of gallons from step nine by the current price of gas. Find the current cost of gas in your area and use this total to multiply by the number of gallons determined in step nine.
Step 11: Think through how much miscellaneous driving you do. Are your trips standard grocery shopping or are your job and normal responsibilities more random in nature? That's okay, getting a rough estimate will help with cutting gas costs. Step 12: Based on step 11, add between $50 and $100 to the total from step ten. This is necessary to account for the extra fluff or miscellaneous driving not predicted in previous steps. Now, you have a gas estimate that is more than what you may put in your tank every week but this process helps you get a more accurate expectation to the cost of your gas bill each month. Since you have written it all down, here is another tip. Save your work! When you've factored in your routine driving with special events and miscellaneous gas costs, you have a better handle on your bill and will be better prepared for the coming month.
I hope you found this information helpful. Look, gas costs can pile up, so don't be side-swiped with unforeseen gas costs that will eat into your budget; instead, calculate the costs in order to find more money to fund your dreams.
Question: Are your gas costs out of control? Were the strategies above helpful in determining a realistic gas budget that will help you stay on track? Feel free to share your findings. If you need help, reach out to me today!
Are you looking for ways to cut expenses beyond your monthly gas costs? Perhaps you've considered cutting cable? Well, be sure to check out my Cable Cutting Academy to learn how to save on your cable bill. Come join my FREE Facebook community, The “Strong Together Money Community.” to stay informed and encouraged on your financial journey. Also, feel free to check out my free e-book to help you save even more.