Sunday, February 17, 2008

Gassing Up

Everyone knows of a gas station in their area where they can save a couple cents on a gallon of gas. Have you ever wondered if it is worth going out of your way to fill up at these cheaper stations? We have determined it is not.

I live close to a Costco that offers its members reduced gas prices of about 5 cents per gallon of gas. Every time I drive by this particular Costco there are lines of cars waiting (idling) to fill up on these unbeatable prices. It’s counterproductive to sit in your car with the engine on for the sake of saving money on gas.

I have no doubts that many of these same people waiting in lines at this particular Costco pumps, drove more than 5 miles out of their way just to fill up there. Remember that 5 miles out of your way in one direction means 5 more miles back. If you get around 25 miles/gallon and gas is at $3.00/gallon, you just spent $1.20 in order to save approximately 75 cents on your gas.

Wear and Tear
Cars do not last forever and as minimal as it sounds, every mile your are going out of your way to save on gas, you are in turn taking time off your cars lifespan. For each stoplight you hit, or turn you make, you are putting stress on your car. Have you ever heard the saying, "For every cigarette you smoke, you take a minute off your life?" Well, this is the same concept. The price tag placed on wear and tear maintenance on your car will by far out price the savings you hoped for when filling up.

Time is valuable, and if your life is anything like ours, free time seems rare. Don’t waste your time in lines at the pumps or driving miles out of your way in traffic to get there. Find a station that is on your route and close to you.

Common Sense

Common sense says it's best to fill up at a gas station on your route. Stop worrying about saving a couple cents here or there, and do what is most convenient for you. I always fill up at the same station on my way home from work, try to get into a similar routine and find comfort that gas prices are high and there’s nothing you can do about it, so stop fighting it. Americans have this strange obsession with gas prices and will go to extreme lengths to save a few dollars. However, the value of their dollar fades when these same people are splurging on things like DVDs they won't watch or books they won’t read. A dollar is worth the same no matter what your spending or saving it on, the faster you understand this, the easier it will be to make wiser financial decisions in all areas of your life and not just on gas. $

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