What to do When the Gas Bill Equals the Car Payment

December 31, 2007

A couple of days ago, I heard that the price of gas is expected to rise substantially in the near future. If you live in California, you may expect $4 a gallon or more. If you live in Hawaii, where the fuel has to be shipped in, you are probably paying that already, and wondering how it can possibly go any higher.

Unless you live within a mile of your job and shopping, you probably need to drive on a regular basis. If you live in a big city, the commute can really blow your gas budget.

While I cannot promise to save you enough to put your firstborn through college, I may be able to remind you of a few ideas that will keep a few bucks from being poured into your tank.

1. Carpool. Whenever possible, share a ride. Take turns driving kids to school, soccer practice or even going to work. Not only will it save your budget, it will also reduce pollution a smidgen.

2. Walk. If at all possible, take a walk. Americans in general are spoiled by transportation. For some, it is unheard of to even walk a couple of blocks to visit a friend. Take the time. Not only will you save gas, you may find yourself healthier in the process.

3. Ride a Bike. Recently, I have seen more people riding bikes to work and school. It may mean you have to start out a little earlier, but you will get used to it. In some countries, like Japan, where over population is a problem, you cannot simply go out and purchase a vehicle. You must prove you have a place to park your car before you can own one. Thus, many people ride bikes everywhere they go.

4. Plan the Route. A lot of people waste gas by not planning ahead. They often find themselves going from one end of town to the other, and back again. Instead, plan your route, so you can run all your errands in the most expedient manner and save gas as well.

How will you reduce your gas bill?



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4 Responses to What to do When the Gas Bill Equals the Car Payment

  • Tina

    I am very fortunate. I work from home-most of the time. However, I have a teenager that will have a license next year 🙁

  • Cheapster Bob

    I am the opposite. I cringe when I see the kids walking to school. There are websites with predator lists on them. Type in your address and you will be amazed at how many child rapists live within five miles of you.

    I never let my child play out in front of the house by herself let alone walk unprotected on a city street.

  • kitty

    Telecommuting when possible is another good option. ITA about Americans not walking. In my condo complex, the parents drive their kids to the school bus pick-up place which is a 5 minute walk from the farthest unit, 1 minute walk from the closest. I am always amazed to see all these cars parked on a curb.

    Another suggestion is to buy a small size car rather than an SUV.

  • Cheapster Bob

    A lot of your suggestions are easier said then done.

    1. Carpooling: Most people want their car handy in case of emergencies. No one wants to be stuck at work asking for a ride if something bad happens. Also, most people do their errands on the way to or back from work.

    2. Walk: Back in the day this was viable but in the present you run the risk of being raped or mugged. At the least possibly run down by some drunk or meth head. If you live in a more peaceful rural area it is too far to walk to get anywhere significant.

    3. Ride a bike: Same as above. More then once a year we have people in the paper getting run over while riding a bike on the road. Road rage beatings are also possible due to angry drivers blowing their horn behind you.

    Your last bit of advice was the best which is to plan your route every day and do as much as you can along the way.

    I have another solution. Let the oil bubble burst and let prices go down to 50 dollars a barrel which is still too high.

    The oil scam has to cease or the economy is doomed.