How to Save at the Pump and Fund your Retirement
One of the easiest, and most internally satisfying ways to save money is through reducing your impact on the planet. And one of the best ways to do that is to reduce your commute and how much gas you use.
The average transportation costs in the U.S. per 2 person household are $11,345!
This past year I relocated for a new job, and in the process went from commuting 25 miles per day to only 4. I have since starting biking to work and even gone from two cars to one. This was a conscious decision. Not only did I hate the time wasted in traffic and the stress, but I hated the expense of it. In the process, I went from filling my tank once a week to just once a month!
This conscious decision allowed me to realize an annual savings of $1,170 at today’s prices. Now, I figure to spend under $400 a year on fuel. Let’s see what compound interest could do for my retirement with that kind of savings (assuming we give the oil companies the benefit of the doubt and gas prices only increase 5% annually and you’re able to make the historical stock market average of 10% per year on your investment):
$1,170 per year x 40 years (at a 10% compound interest and 5% inflation) = $2,707,166.36
That is not a misprint. Reducing my commute could result in nearly $3 million saved and completely fund my retirement. And this is only one example of how you can cut your time and expense on the road. Are you excited yet?
Here is a list of ways that you can cut your fuel expenses:
1. Reduce the commute. Move closer to work. Not only will you save money, you’ll save time and reduce stress.
2. Plan your meals and get groceries once per week. I have a number of friends who don’t plan and end up going to the market 3 times per week or more as needed. With 5 minutes of planning a week, you can keep it to 1 trip or less.
3. Eat at home. Off the the last point, if you actually plan your meals and cook at home, you don’t need to be going out 4 or 5 times per week to eat. Not only will you save significant amounts on the food, but you will at the pump as well.
4. Get a bicycle. Great exercise aside, there’s no pollution, and little expense beyond the initial purchase. Here are some tips on how to choose a commuter bike.
5. Walk. If you’re close enough, why wouldn’t you? Rather, why not get a place close enough to work where you can walk?
6. Get an electric scooter. So maybe arriving at work drenched in sweat from biking is not for you – then get an electric scooter. The economics of a scooter are phenomenal, compared to a car or truck.
7. Public Transportation. If you’re in a metro area, hopping on the bus will also allow productivity time while riding in.
8. Carpool. Split the cost of commuting and build long lasting positive work relationships in the process.
9. Change your driving habits. If and when you do drive, drive in a way that cuts down fuel usage. You can follow these 30 gas saving tips.
10. Trade in the gas guzzler. Isn’t it about time? Gas is not going to get cheaper, you might as well adjust, sell, and make a few dollars before demand for your gas guzzler completely disappears. If you’re in a 2 car household, consider going down to a 1 car household (which will save you a ton of money on insurance, upkeep, and purchase expense). If none of the tips on this list apply to you, then start looking for a fuel efficient car – ideally one that can get 40-plus miles per gallon, or one of the cheapest electric vehicles, which will blow those efficiency numbers away.
What tips do you have on saving money at the pump?