Last time I was telling you a few ways that I found to save on your gas bill in your home but saving on your gas bill for your car can help you in filling up your cash box also thus adding to your deposit in the bank. After all, every Little bit helps!
The obvious way to save on gasoline costs is not to drive! I know, it’s easier said than done. We’re all spoiled when it comes to our cars but you should ask yourself when you get in your car, “is this trip really necessary”? And if the answer is yes then by all means start that engine, (don’t reve it as that is a gas guzzler also), and hit the road! But you have to admit that every time you step in the car to go somewhere it isn’t a life or death situation and sometimes you should be able to think of another way to go. So next time you put that key in the ignition ask yourself, “could I walk, bicycle, bus, carpool, train or take any other form of transportation”?
If you factor in gas, oil changes, and all of the other maintenance costs and insurance that go into running your car, the cost for many mid-size vehicles can be as much as 20¢-25¢ per mile to operate. Walk or take your bicycle and your saving that money, putting it in your cash box and you’ll be amazed how quickly those quarters add up.
Many people carpool or bus to work once a week and that’s a great way to save also. What is one day a week? And on those days you can actually enjoy the experience of getting to and from work, read a book, look at the scenery, have a nice conversation, relax and leave the driving in the traffic jam to someone else, when you get to where you’re going you won’t be as stressed out as you usually are!
Of course downsizing your car is a great way to save. Smaller cars are much more fuel efficient and many of today’s small cars are almost as roomy as a mid size and of course if you are driving a SUV you’re spending far too much of your hard earned cash on gas!
Something as simple as cleaning out your car can save a lot on the cost of your gas also. If you’re hauling around extra pounds that you don’t need all of the time that of course makes the car heavier thus burning more fuel.
Slowing down your speed saves on the fuel bill as well as checking the pressure in your tires. With under inflated tires you burn more gas to keep the car moving. You should be checking your tires at least once a month.
Check your air filter and if you can’t see light coming through it then it’s time for a new one. A dirty air filter restricts the flow of air that goes to the engine and lessens the performance of the car thus burning more gas.
It has also been said that you should be driving with the big rigs because when everyone else is stopped and burning fuel in a traffic jam the trucks always seem to keep rolling along and as long as you’re rolling along you’re not just sitting there burning fuel for nothing.
Of course turning off your air conditioning during the summer months and rolling down the window if it isn’t an oasis out there will save a lot of gas and…
Last but not least, Stop punching the gas pedal when you pull away from a light or stop sign. This eats up a tremendous amount of gas and chances are you are only speeding up so you can stop and sit at the next light and burn even more gas unnecessarily!!
In case you didn’t know the lights are on timers and I PROMISE YOU that if you go the speed limit you will rarely have to stop at a light. I use to live approximately 10 miles from where I worked and every time I drove to work I went the speed limit and Many is the time I never had to stop once at a light. I not only burned less gas but it took me almost no time to get that 10 miles to work!
Well, with all of these tips you should be able to save a fair amount each month on your gas bill and it if it were me I would be putting that savings right into my cash box so I could watch my bank account grow instead of my bills!
By now you should have noticed that your fuel bill is much higher than it was a year ago or even a few short months ago but if you can lower the price of your fuel bill each month, even a little bit, then you can add your savings to Your Cash Box.
Even with the price of a barrel of oil going down recently the World is not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. In the U.K. unemployment has reached an 11 year high and Germany, the biggest economy in the Euro Zone, has recently declared a recession and where Germany leads the rest of the countries are expected to follow suit. While these countries may be a World away from where you are, Don’t fool yourself into believing that the state of their financial affairs don’t effect you, Wherever you are.
Lowering your fuel bill each month is a step in the right direction for helping you and your financial situation. One tip is to shop around and comparison shop. With the prices rising all of the time it is a highly competitive market and you may find that if you switch fuel providers, where possible, you will make a small change in your daily expenditure thus saving at the end of the month. Sometimes the difference between the cheapest and most expensive provider can be as much as $100.00 or more per year.
Comparison shopping and switching providers is very easy these days because you can do it Online, thus saving running up your phone bill to save on your fuel bill!
Make sure when comparison shopping that you ask a few simple but important questions so that you can make an informed decision Before switching.
Find out if there are any hidden charges that you have not been made aware of up front and if the prices include tax and most importantly find out if you are eligible for any discounts, offers or incentives.
A few more very simple fuel saving tips are:
- Turn your room thermostat down by a few degrees
- Make sure drapes and furniture are not directly in front of the radiator
- Only wash and dry full loads on the energy saving setting
- Dry your clothes outside when weather permits
- Make sure that your pots and pans correctly fit the ring on your stove so that the flames only heat the bottom of the pots and pans and not the sides
- Use lids on the pots and pans to cook foods more quickly
- Only boil as much water as you actually need
- Turn the hot water heater down
- And remember that an ordinary shower uses much less water than a bath but a power shower uses as much or more than a bath!
Some of these tips will not only help you save financially but make you more energy efficient also…a Double Bonus.
In My Plan, when I see that I have spent a little less on my fuel bill this month, whether it be ¢50 or $50.00, (I wish!), than I did last month, I Promptly Pay Myself the difference and Not the Fuel Provider by adding the savings to My Cash Box for eventual deposit.
A wise person once said: take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves…works with Dollars, Euros, Rubles, Leks, Dinars, Laris, Pesos, Florins or whatever other currency you may be using!
A couple of days before I turned the ripe old age of 8 and was contemplating my birthday. I started reflecting on my life so far. I was thinking of my accomplishments so far and looking towards the future and what I wanted to accomplish…when all of a sudden it hit me and hit me like a brick!!
I had Never managed to save “one penny” in my entire life! I can not tell you what a failure I felt like! Going into my 8th year of life penniless, broke, nothing to show for all of my years of hard work!
I knew then and there that I had to come up with a plan and come up with one soon as I did not want to be in the same situation a year from then. Yep! When I turned 9 I wanted to be a “woman of means”!
So I started then and there formulating a plan as to how I was going to do that. I knew that people that had money also had bank accounts. I also knew that if you had no money you had no bank account so I then had my end goal.
By that time next year, when I turned 9, I needed my own bank account to validate myself to me and the World that I was “worth” something.
I had been to the bank many times with my mother, always looking around as I was waiting for her to do her banking business and I had seen that I could have my very own bank account with my name on it if I had $25.00 cash to open an account.
But how was I going to get $25.00 in one year since I had not been able to save even “one penny” in almost 8?
I knew I would have to work hard…harder and save more, (more? since I hadn’t saved a “penny” in all of my almost 8 years, saving more shouldn’t be too hard!!!), but how?
Well I thought about this for the next 2 days leading up to my birthday and finally the big day arrived. I didn’t really feel much like celebrating, seeing I was such a “looser” in the financial World but Mommy got me up anyway and told me Happy Birthday and to get up and come into the living room because she and Daddy had “lots of presents” for me.
Dragging myself out of bed, (I think this was the first time I had suffered depression!), I went to the living room and sure enough there were “lots of presents” for me to open.
Back in those days you didn’t get cell phones, video games and very expensive brand clothes and shoes so in today’s market “lots of presents” didn’t cost a tremendous amount…at least not when you came from a blue collar worker family, but life was “good” anyway!
Of course I got a pretty new dress and black patten leather “Mary Jane’s”, a few toys, (like a top or whatever the latest craze was at the time), and then came the last present of the day and the answer to all of my prayers!
It was a very odd shaped present and not at all wrapped pretty like the others…all neat and perfect, so needless to say I was very curious.
When I ripped off the paper there staring me in the face was a big, green and blue frog, fat with huge eyes! I couldn’t understand at that moment why anyone would give me this. It looked like some knick knack that you would display in the living room he was so cute, but soon I realized the reason.
As I turned him around to inspect his back I saw it had a small slit near the back of his neck…I had received my very 1st piggy froggy bank!
I was so thrilled. Now I would have someplace safe to save all of that money that I had never saved before! And then the most miraculous thing happened. Mommy and Daddy both got out their wallets and cleaned themselves out of change and put it into my froggy.
At the ripe old age of 8 I had a savings and became a “woman of means”!
What a Glorious Birthday that was!
After that my plan fell into place very easily. Since I had not even saved “a penny” since I had been alive I was going to start saving pennies and nothing except pennies would go into my froggy, (except the change that my parents had so generously donated to my cause)!
To make a long story short, (too late for that now!), I did all types of extra jobs and everyone paid me in pennies, since my story was well known around the neighborhood, and on my 9th birthday my Mommy took me down to the bank and I was able to open my very own bank account with not $25.00 but $32.24!
I was truly a “woman of means” now and have never been without a bank account since!
Now forward to today.
Saving my pennies is still one of the basics of My Plan for saving money. I will Never give anyone a penny, it will always go into my froggy and I have extended that to include all change.
As I grew a little older I had to revise my plan. Remember last post I said you may need to “tweak” your plan every so often to meet your growing needs. Obviously as you grow older your goals get larger than pennies, but once the basic plan is set in motion “tweaking” your plan is fairly simple as long as you keep it realistic.
I now have “The Cash Box”, (another tweak in my plan as my froggy could only hold so much), and I save every bit of change that I can get my hands on. (All of the store personnel always know not to ask me if I have the change when I buy something as they know it’s a waste of their and my breath asking and me saying “no”), and every year, on my birthday, I go down to the bank and make my yearly deposit of change.
You would be AMAZED at just how much change passes through your hands in a year! I am able to make a nice, tidy deposit every year just because I keep that little bit of change that I get, (I never miss that odd 12¢ or 72¢ etc. during the year), and it gives me a very nice pay off in the end!
So in closing, my first easy, simple, painless way to save money is to save all of your change in your froggy or Cash Box, (don’t go out and spend money to buy a Cash Box…that defeats the purpose, spending money foolishly, anything will do, an old shoe box, a jar etc. it will Still be Your Cash Box), and NEVER break into your Cash Box, (once the change finds it’s way in there then just pretend it isn’t there), and make a nice, tidy deposit at the end of the year…you’ll be amazed how good it makes you feel to know that YOU Can save money and see the reward in the end!
And for those of you that find you just can’t keep your hands off of your Cash Box…”tweak” your plan. Deposit the money into a savings account monthly…or even weekly, with your statements every month you will see your money growing and you won’t be able to get your hands on it so easily!
By the way…my froggy? I named him…
You have to realize that my parents were no way wealthy. They were strictly hard working blue collar workers with very limited education but they got by every month ok..pretty well in fact.
I never wanted for anything when it came to a roof over my head, good meals, clothes, plenty of toys etc. and I am the same way today. Not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just a regular Jane like most people out here trying to get by with No degrees in financial planning, just some old fashioned common “¢ents”, but I figure when I can get by every month and Not go in a hole financially, can buy little extra’s here and there during the month or if my microwave breaks down, (it just did a couple of days ago), I am able to go out and replace it that day because I have managed to put away a bit of savings over the years, then I’m doing ok.
I am Never going to be rich…unless I win the lottery, (which is pretty unlikely), or marry a billionaire, (which is much more unlikely), but that’s ok. I figure that with the financial crisis around the World today if I can afford that “microwave” then I’m doing ok…For Me!
Personally I think when you are planning for your financial future you should not aim unrealistically high. If I were starting to make a plan today then my end result would not be that I would be a millionaire in 5 years! You have to be realistic and work with what you have to work with and start out slow. By doing this and by setting a Realistic goal then most of the time you will make it. If you set your goals too high and don’t make it, (which most people won’t), then when you don’t succeed in reaching your goal you will find yourself depressed and likely give up all together thinking, “what’s the use?” (If you do set your goals extremely high and Do make it then, THAT’S GREAT & CONGRATULATIONS! from the bottom of my heart)!
That’s not to say you won’t have set backs along the way…because chances are you will, (trust me I’ve had my share and am sure I will have more in the future), but if/when you do, you just have to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going forward.
Any time you have a set back it can be just a temporary glitch or maybe there is a little something wrong with “Your Plan” and you may need to “tweak” it once in a while to get yourself back on track and going towards your goal.
Realistic plans can be reached and next time I’ll tell you the story of how I got started on a plan many years ago, reached my goal and still use the same basic concept as a part of my plan to this day!
You’ve heard it all of your life: “The First Step Is Always The Hardest One”, and I have always found this to be true.
You set your mind to do something and then you keep putting it off until “tomorrow”…but many times “tomorrow” Never comes.
There are a few reasons why this happens.
One: taking that first step in the direction in which you wish to go. It’s new and scary territory. You’ve never walked that road before. It’s uncomfortable to have to feel your way down a road which you’ve never traveled before.
Two: many times when people make up their minds to do something they don’t have the foggiest idea about how to start achieving their goals so obviously they don’t have any idea as to how to achieve the desired end result.
I have found that once you make up your mind to do something it always helps if you sit down and think out a viable plan with not only how you are going to achieve the end result but how to get started on working to the hopefully successful end result.
Take your time with forming a plan. Weigh different options. If the first couple of options don’t sound right then keep thinking until you think you have a plan that you think Will work. Don’t start a project with a plan that in the back of your mind won’t work…because chances are it won’t!
You may have to combine a few different ideas and plans until you come up with something that seems viable to You.
Don’t worry if this planning takes a while. You’re not going anywhere and if you do die tomorrow then you would never live to see if your plan worked anyway.
Three: always remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day and you achieving your goals won’t happen in a day either. Be Patient! If it’s worth doing then it’s worth waiting for also.
Having giving you these tips, know that they work with almost anything you are trying to do.
For instance, in these hard financial times most people are having trouble making ends meet each month and many don’t. There are many people these days that are going farther in the hole each and every month and soon they dig a hole so deep that it appears that there is no way out.
But there is always a way out…if you have a good, solid, viable plan and you Stick With It, then you may find that you can not only dig your way out but maybe able to have a Little extra treat each month and eventually even a little bit of money in the bank too!
If this is something that may interest you then you need to make a viable plan that you think will work for You. Not anyone else, but You!
A wise man once said “a penny saved is a penny earned” and I couldn’t agree more.
This sounds like a viable plan that would work for Me, so I am going to go and try to think of a few easy, simple ways that I should be able to do to save a few “pennies” each month by cutting down on some of my unnecessary spending and get back to you with a few ideas that seem viable to Me.
Maybe they’ll help you and maybe they won’t but it’s worth a try isn’t it to get yourself started on the road Up the financial ladder instead of digging deeper Down into a hole?