Doing the little stuff can often save you big, whether it's as the grocery store or the gas pump. Today, we'll tackle the second of those.
As gas prices continue to rise across the country, your pocketbook can seem to be pinched, even more so if you have debt. But here are some ways to cut down on what you pay, so you can put that money on other things (like a debt snowball).
Pay with cash
This point doesn't receive a lot of attention, but it's true: Some places give you a better price per gallon (maybe five to 10 cents or more) if you pay with cash, because they have to pay a merchant fee when you pull out your credit card. Just like they are passing on the cost when using a card, they might pass on the savings when using actual money.
Carpool to work
Think about this for a second. If you can trim even one day's worth of driving by riding with someone else to work, that's saving 20% off your gasoline bill for the work week. If you can do it twice, that's 40%! That really adds up, and it reduces the wear and tear on your car. It's also a good chance to socialize with a coworker or two.
Most of us pass by more than one gas station on our daily commute, so make a note of who is charging what. If a place close to home charges more than one near your job and you are running low, don't wait until you're on fumes and pick the closest place to fill up. Get your gas at the cheaper place the next time you go by. Be diligent and have a plan—it will show up in your wallet.
Replace your car
This is the most extreme example, and only works occasionally, but it's something to look at. If you are driving a beat-up car that will sell for $2,000, and you can sell it to buy a car of equal value that gets better mileage, that's a good trade. Don't use this as a rationalization to buy a new car, though. This is strictly a beater-for-beater trade. Why buy a $15,000 car with payments to save $10 a week on fuel?
Get more gas-saving tips from Dave fans at MyTotalMoneyMakeover.com.