How to cut your costs at the gas pump

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Provided by Whitlock Wealth Management

Gas prices fell sharply at the start of the pandemic but have risen steadily in recent months. Economists predict fuel costs will rise as summer approaches, boosted by hot weather and pent-up travel plans. Here are some ways to increase your gas budget even if gas prices increase.

Look for the lowest price.

The highest prices per gallon are usually found at gas stations in very convenient areas, such as just off the freeway. Before refueling, check local fuel prices online or download an app that will alert you to the best deals in your area. If you belong to a warehouse club, take advantage of their fuel saving programs. You can only save pennies per gallon, but those pennies add up over time when you consider your total gas expenses over an entire year.

Maintain your car.

Anything that affects the overall performance of your car can reduce fuel efficiency. Keep your air filter clean, fluids filled, and your tires aligned and properly inflated. A missing or broken gas cap can cause fuel inefficiency. Even choosing the right oil can improve engine performance, which affects your fuel economy.

Take the highway.

Vehicle manufacturers provide different miles per gallon estimates between city and highway miles for a reason. Gasoline engines operate more efficiently at moderately high stable speeds (highway travel). Cruise control on long stretches of highway can help you maintain optimum speed, while speeding and sudden acceleration uses more fuel.

Consider a more fuel efficient vehicle.

If you own a gas guzzling car, it might be time to upgrade. Fuel efficiency has increased dramatically, with electric and hybrid vehicles delivering the most savings at the pump. If you can’t afford the latest model, you might want to consider a smaller car. Lighter cars use less fuel.

Drive less.

One sure-fire way to reduce your gas mileage is to keep your car parked. Plan ahead and eliminate unnecessary trips to the store. If you are going to work, consider carpooling. In some cases, public transportation and carpooling services can be more economical than refueling your car and paying tolls and parking.

Bennett C. Whitlock III, CRPC®, is a private wealth advisor and CEO of Whitlock Wealth Management, a private wealth consulting firm of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. He specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has practiced for 26 years. To contact him, visit whitlockwealth.com, call 877-WHITLOCK or email [email protected] Offices are located at 12848 Harbor Dr, Ste 101, Lake Ridge, VA 22192 and in historic downtown Manassas at 9073 Center Street, Manassas VA 20110.

Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. FINRA and SIPC member.


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