There is no secret in the fact the gas prices are climbing higher every day. Seems like just overnight, pump prices are rising 10 cents at a time and consumers are starting to worry how much further up they will go. Can you even imagine pay $5-6 for a gallon of gas? While prices have not yet hit that high, financial experts are warning consumers to be prepared for the worst.
A recent analyst of the ‘what ifs’ was featured on MSN and within the article, the author pointed out that in the event gas prices actually rose to $10 a gallon, it could costs an astonishing $310 to fill up a Chevy Suburban. Some people in smaller locations may not even be paying that much on their monthly mortgage!
So what can you do to prepare for the shockwave of rising fuel costs, especially with the nicer weather on the way? Here are a few tips to help see you through the present crisis and prepare you for dealing with the worst late:
Combine and Conquer
There are many of us who think nothing of jumping in the car every time we need something. However, it is a better savings strategy to start tallying up your errands and then make one big run for the entire week. This requires a skill of organization and you can start by establishing a family errand board (a cheap dry-erase board on the fridge works great). Each member of the family who has a need for something can jot down what it is on the board including grocery items, supplies for school, and necessary appointments to be made. Parents can then work out a schedule for combining as many trips in one day as possible. There may be some occasions – kids drop offs – that do not fit into that schedule but the rest of the family errands about town can become a habit of family operation.
Technology allows you to go any place you want and if you are Internet-willing you can perform a multitude of task through the web. Shopping, bill paying, and banking are just three of the trips you can cut out of your driving schedule. It is not only convenient and saves you gas and time, there is a lot of competitive incentives being offered online including free shipping and online-only deals that make it a worthwhile experience.
Cut Out On-The-Town Nights
Families can start to focus on the fun and entertainment to be found at home. You can take some of the money you are saving on fuel costs and invest in improving your home to make it more fun-friendly where everyone would rather stay at home than go out. Create a wish list with your family of some reasonable changes you could make (think flat-screen tv for movie night, volleyball set for the yard) and find creative ways to save up the cash to buy them (think yard sales and eBay).
CoPilot Your CoWorkers
Commuting will certainly be an expensive hassle so there is no time like the present to take the lead on establishing car pools with your fellow colleagues. There is likely at least one other person in your vicinity willing to share driving duties. If you can find and fit five people into your pool, you’d only have to drive one day a week. If there is mass transit available on your commuting route, defiantly take the time to compare the cost of gas over the cost of monthly transit passes. Think of all the productivity time you’ll have when you are not behind the wheel five days a week.
Consider Vehicle Alternatives
If you are driving a gas-guzzling SUV or other vehicle that sucks up the gas, you may need to consider upgrading at least one of your vehicles for a hybrid or other alternative, fuel efficient vehicle to be used for the work commute and the regular family running around. There are often good incentives being offered by dealerships who are trying to push the alternative vehicles so if you are in a financial position of being able to secure an affordable auto loan, it may be the best way to save long-term.