Ideas to Offset High Gas Prices

Ideas to Offset High Gas Prices

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I dread going to the gas station. Given the fluctuating gas prices, I’ve had to make a number of adjustments to offset the rising costs. Here are some ideas to help manage and hopefully offset some of the pain that you are feeling at the pump.

Readjust your budget (or create a budget)

A budget is the first step of any financial plan. A budget isn’t restrictive. It just ensures that every dollar has a home, because you tell it where to go. Therefore, if you haven’t created a budget, then this is a great place to start. If you already have a budget, now is the time to revisit it to identify any additional areas of cost reduction to make room for the increased gas cost.  

One of my favorite methods to identify areas to eliminate spending is to ask myself about the value I’m getting for the things that I spend money on. This helps me to focus my spending on the things that bring value and joy to my life, which makes it easier to eliminate other spending. Once you begin to eliminate spending that you no longer need, or don’t value as much, then you can make room in your budget for the higher cost of gas.

Increase your income

An option to offset the higher gas prices is to explore ways to increase your income. Here are a few examples to earn additional income.

  1. Ask for a pay increase. There are so many ‘Help Wanted’ signs available, and with such a high demand for labor, now is an amazing time to ask for a pay increase at your current job. Document your contributions to the company, let them know how much you value your career, and present your case for why the salary increase is warranted.
  2. Start a business to generate additional income. Who knows? This could turn into your corporate exit strategy! 
  3. Sell items you no longer need. Check out OfferUp, buy-sell groups on Facebook, and consignment shops are great ways to sell items in great condition that you no longer need. The other amazing benefit is that it reduces waste going into landfills and frees up space in your home. Mystery shopping is another great way to earn extra income at your own pace.

Fill up at the station with the lowest gas prices

Previously, I used to purchase gas when it was convenient, but now I fill up where gas is the least expensive. An app like GasBuddy can help you find out where the lowest gas prices are. Initially, after going out of my way for a couple of months to get gas at the lowest price, I decided to shift some of my purchases so I can consolidate my errands and trips closer to the location of the inexpensive gas, so I don’t have to drive around multiple parts of town.  

Leverage in-store cash back

Another way to save money at the pump is to leverage fuel perks at your local grocery store. Some grocery stores allow you to earn fuel perks at the gas station when you purchase gift cards, groceries, or gas. Then, you reduce the cost of gas when you redeem the perks. This helps you to get paid for spending money you would have spent anyway and still contribute towards saving on gas.

Another strategy is to use an app like GetUpside to save at the pump. This app allows you to earn cash back at participating retailers when you get gas.

There is also an app called Fluz that you can use to purchase gift cards in advance and then earn cash back on the gift cards that you buy at cost. For example, if you buy a gift card at a retailer that sells gas (or any participating retailer), then you would get cash back on the gift card purchase that would allow you to put more money into your pocket.

Leverage Credit Card Perks

If you have a cash-back credit card or rewards credit card (beware of the fees associated with them, and try to find a no-fee or low-fee card), then this can be an amazing opportunity to earn cash back towards gift cards that you can use for spending or even earn cash back into your account. Essentially, you are getting paid for the shopping you are already doing. I recommend using this strategy only if you have the discipline to use a credit card and will not carry a revolving balance. Otherwise, any savings you would experience by leveraging cash back and perks will be eroded by the higher credit card interest rate.

Adjust your driving

I noticed that my gas lasted longer when I drove with my car on cruise control. I noticed when I drove with my car on cruise control (and less quick acceleration from lights), that I drove in a way that was easier on my tank.

I hope this post has helped you to find ways that you can save on gas. Please leave a comment to let me know how this has helped you, or other tips that have helped you to save money on gas.

About the author

Aisha Taylor is a single mother of twins who helps corporate moms create the financial foundations to support turning their idea to income so they can exit their full-time job, walk in purpose, and spend more time with their children. Aisha has been featured in Black Enterprise, Jet Magazine, ESSENCE, Go Banking Rates, and The Detroit Free Press. To connect with Aisha, visit www.myideatoincome.com or email [email protected]

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