Debt Relief Adds Up a Few Pennies at a Time

Cutting down on gas usage

Consumers wanting a little extra debt relief can start by thinking about their gas tanks. It’s no secret that gas prices can vary widely in today’s fluctuating economy. With heavy mileage, driving a car can strain anyone’s finances. Here are some ways to cut back on gas costs.

Comparison shop

It’s convenient to visit the local gas station, but it may not be cost effective.  Pay attention to prices differences at stations along your daily commute, and use online tools like GasBuddy.com and BillShrink.com that will show you gas prices along your route.  Samir Kothari, founder of BillShrink.com, says, “People need to be aware of the varying gas prices. The difference can be up to 50 cents in savings per gallon.” With a little strategic planning, you can save a considerable amount.

Pay with cash

Last summer some gas stations started charging higher prices for customers who pay with credit cards. The idea is to pass credit-card processing fees along to the customers who benefit from the charges.  Some gas stations, however, are finding other ways around credit-card costs. For example, ARCO restricts payments to cash which allows stations to charge 5 to10 cents less per gallon.

Use warehouse club gas stations

Jason Toews, founder of GasBuddy.com, says, “It depends on local market conditions, but usually [warehouse clubs] sell [gas] cheaply enough so that they’re beating out the competition.” Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s all sell discounted gas. For example, BJ’s in York, Pennsylvania, sells regular unleaded gas for $2.59, while locals sell for around $2.65. Finding debt relief a few pennies at a time adds up, especially if you drive a lot.

Maintain vehicles

You can improve fuel efficiency by properly maintaining your vehicle. Properly maintaining a car doesn’t necessarily involve making expensive repairs. It just means taking everyday care of a vehicle: inflating tires properly, changing the oil in a timely manner, and changing oil filters. Most oil-change stations help customers keep track of their maintenance schedules. Take advantage of free service reminders, like email notices.

Slow down

Studies show that drivers pay on average 24 cents more per gallon for every 5 miles of speed over 60 miles per hour. Hard braking and rapid acceleration can reduce gas mileage by 33% on highways and 5% in town. Of all the ways to cut back on driving costs, changing your driving habits is the simplest.

Get rid of extra baggage

Extra weight can increase fuel consumption considerably. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, gas mileage decreases by up to 2% for every additional 100 pounds. Taking bowling balls, bags of salt, golf clubs and heavy tools out of a trunk can make a difference in the amount of fuel required for travel.

Limit air conditioning use

According to the Alliance to Save Energy, running an air conditioner can decrease fuel efficiency by 25%. To increase fuel efficiency, save money, and find a little extra debt relief, cut down on air-conditioner usage, or at least keep the air conditioner at a lower setting.

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