MMI offers tips on how to save money at the pump
SUGAR LAND, Texas, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Hurricane Isaac hits the Gulf of Mexico closing five refineries, according to the Federal Energy Information Administration, U.S. gasoline prices have shot up by an average of five cents per gallon - with one-day surges of as much as 14 cents in some states. Seven years ago today, Hurricane Katrina caused the average price of regular gas to quickly spike to what was then a record high.
With finances already tight from high summer energy prices, and with the holidays just ahead, it is necessary to make wise choices concerning gas usage. The financial experts at Money Management International offer the following suggestions to help you get the most out of your fill up:
Search for the best price. Gas prices can vary from one area of town to another. Visit www.gaspricewatch.com to compare gas prices in your neighborhood. Many drivers don't realize that all gas companies share the same refineries in order to comply with federal regulations, so it makes more sense to purchase the cheaper option rather than staying loyal to a particular brand.
Be smart at the pump. According to AAA, gas is gas. Don't be fooled by the words "premium" or "superior" grades, as neither of these types offer you better mileage or more power. Check your car's owner's manual and if it does not require premium grade gas, then regular unleaded will do.
Drive sensibly. Excessive speed and a lot of accelerating and breaking can waste gas. According to CNN Money, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent when driving at highway speeds and by 5 percent when cruising around town.
Consolidate Trips. To cut down on driving, find a location where you can take care of grocery shopping, dry cleaning, banking and other daily errands all in one.
Routinely maintain your vehicle. Get your vehicle checked out to make sure all systems are running smoothly, that spark plugs and sensors are replaced on time, and tire pressure is where it should be. If any of these things are not maintained, your vehicle will use more gas because it has to work harder.
Look into alternatives. Research other methods of transportation, including carpooling, traveling by bus or bicycling. If you own more than one vehicle, drive the more energy-conserving vehicle as often as possible.
Even though there doesn't seem to be an end in sight to the price increases, there are still things you can do to save money. For more information on how to make wise financial choices, register for the free financial webinar – how to make your money count.
About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. To learn more, visit MoneyManagement.org or call 800.531.0511.
SOURCE Money Management International