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Money Management

Save a Few Bucks at the Gas Pump

Don’t bleed yourself dry to fill up.

As someone with a desk job I’ve been doing from home, I obviously have not done that much driving in the past year. As such, I’ve naturally saved a few bucks on gas expenses, which has been appreciated. But of course, not everyone has the luxury of staying home; many folks still have to go into work, or have jobs that require long vehicle trips. While gas prices have been on the decline in the past year, you should still endeavor to save every last penny you can, because when you’re filling up every week, those pennies add up.

For one thing, while it is a smidge inconvenient, you should always pay cash for your gas instead of using a credit or debit card. I know, nobody carries cash anymore, but if you’re going to make an exception for anything, let it be this. Most gas stations will charge you less if you pay with cash, as opposed to the little convenience fee they add on if you pay with a card at the pump. Plus, paying with cash means you’re not putting your cards at risk of getting captured by skimmers.

If a card’s the only choice, you should use a credit card that has dedicated gas rewards. Whether it’s a particular kind of card or reward system offered by your bank, or a specialized card from a chain of stations you frequent, those rewards can help you recoup the expenses from frequent fill-ups.

When you get gas for your car, make sure you get the right kind. If you’re driving a plain-old hatch back, you don’t need to get the super turbo supreme gas or whatever it’s called. And if you can, try to fill up your car before major events influence the price of gas. Car clubs like AAA keep an eye on gas price developments, so they can let you know when there’s about to be a big shake-up.

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