Owning a car is convenient – and sometimes downright necessary – but the expenses related to car ownership can be a major challenge for many people. When money is tight, there are steps you can take to reduce how much you pour into the transportation part of your budget.
For starters, make sure to take excellent care of your car. Unexpected repairs can do a number on your budget, and can sometimes be prohibitively expensive, leaving you without a vehicle. Make sure yours lasts as long as possible by keeping up with maintenance tasks and following the manufacturer’s suggestions as closely as possible. Use the proper type of fuel (if the manual says to use regular, there is no need to use premium, so skip the unnecessary expense).
You should also keep your tires inflated properly. This can help you prevent an accident and optimize your gas mileage. Replace your air filter regularly; a dirty filter also reduces fuel efficiency. Another way to improve gas mileage is by driving gently; aggressive accelerations burn more gas. Finally, remember to keep your trunk cleaned out – extra weight from the artificial Christmas tree you got on clearance last year or the 50-pound bag of dog food you picked up two weeks ago can cost you fuel efficiency.
Know the gas prices in your area to make sure you are getting the best deal on gas. Of course, the best way to save money on gas is not to use any at all. Try public transportation or carpooling.
Assess Your Car Insurance
If you have had the same insurance provider for years without giving the competition a second thought, think again. Rates vary widely; shop around to make sure you are getting the best deal. If you have been paying for collision insurance that isn’t required by law, drop it. While you’re at it, raise your deductible – this can save you a significant amount on your premium. Do make sure you have enough emergency cash on hand to cover your deductible should something happen. If that isn’t possible, a title loan company like Embassy Loans can always provide quick funds to help you out.
Minimize Transportation Costs on Vacation
Driving is usually much less expensive than flying, and can be more fun. Stock up on ideas for entertaining the kids, and hit the road. It’s best to avoid renting a car unless you absolutely have to, as car rentals tend to be pricey. Adventurous souls may enjoy bus tours. These can be quite fun and relatively inexpensive. Plus, this is a highly environmentally friendly way to travel. Incidentally, a vehicle title loan is a great way to come up with that vacation money.
Finally, don’t forget the most obvious way to save money on transportation (when practical): lace up your tennis shoes and start walking. Transportation expenses are a necessary evil, but by making smart choices, these expenses can be minimized, freeing up money for other bills or pursuits. Your car will be your collateral if you ever need to take out a title loan, so keep it in top-notch shape.