Surely, America is a car-driven economy. Without our most reliable automobiles, where would we be? We may never be the same again. Come to think of it, Henry Ford’s vision of a “horseless carriage” for every American seems to have come true. Although it’s not far-fetched, the Ford Motors Corp. founder would be happy seeing all the pollution and all the mess cars in today’s America have produced.
Now, you might be looking for a way to save some precious dollars as a car owner. Well, it’s no secret cars can devour a huge chunk of your budget. In fact, if you’re driving a Bentley with its 6.0-liter V12 gas tank, you’re in for one unpleasant surprise. But no worries. If you’re really serious about saving, some not-so-common methods could save the day. But that’s only if you’re willing.
1. Watch your fuel expense
Now, if you want to save, you need to stay as lean as possible when it comes to expenses. You may not like your financial planner. And yet his advice of writing your expenses offers one good start when it comes to minimizing gaping holes in your budget.
Tracking how much you’ve spent on fuel expense is not only an exercise in discipline, but it’s also a big boost in your goal to save some. There are a host of financial gurus that would lecture you on the merits of keeping a constant watch on your expense. And they’re right. This practice allows you to stick to a pre-set budget, not to mention reveal issues in your spending habits.
In a sense, you can take a page from fuel management programs. These systems are deployed to maximize fuel for an army of high-rolling vehicles like trains and trucks. And these are so efficient they aim not to waste a single drop of fuel. Now that kind of dedication is tops. It should go a long way when you apply it to your driving, limited as it may be.
There’s also another benefit for keeping track of your fuel. And it could be a lifesaver too. When you do that, you can calculate how much you spend per ride. In technical terms, this is called your cost per mile. That way, you can put a price on each planned ride and prioritize those that matter more.
Of course, keeping a close eye on your car’s gas tank can help you know if someone else is using your vehicle without your explicit permission.
2. Lower those insurance rates
Everybody knows how much your car insurance can be a hefty monthly expense. While you don’t have to do away with it, you should consider lowering it to save some. Yes, you might think there’s no way you can do that. But you can actually lower your insurance rates with a little patience.
One example is when you improve your credit score. Yup, that’s right. When insurance companies see your improved score, they can lower your insurance fees. Then again, this need not be a complicated matter. Some simple steps can actually get you there.
Some insurance companies also lower your rate when you drive less. So this means it’s a win-win situation. You consume less fuel and get to have lower insurance costs.
That’s not all, though. You can also enroll in a defensive driving class. That can actually give your deductible a boost in lowering your monthly insurance fees in the process.
3. Sell your car
Yes, you heard us right. If you’re driving a big-brand car, chances are it offers many luxuries not available in commonly-used cars. We’re talking about Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Acura, just to name a few. These premium brands can surely make a head turn.
But there’s a catch. These premium cars demand far greater costs. For one, you need to get cars like these bigger insurance and worse, for a handful of models, special fuel. If that’s not enough, these cars are high-maintenance. You would have to pay more to get them running.
Just think about it. A Toyota Camry will have but $1,000-plus yearly insurance. But a Porsche 911 will command hefty yearly insurance, about $3000. If you’re in this predicament, you should know what to do.
Sell your car. And in lieu of it, you should buy a less pricey model. The name of the game is toning your expense several notches down. And live happily ever after.
In the end, what matters most is that you get those precious dollars back in your wallet. A little math should go a long way. In doing so, you would have available cash, something you can spend on far more important things in life than travel.