Home > Cutting Spending > Driving my gas costs into the ground!

Driving my gas costs into the ground!

Gas Costs
The IRS recently increased the business mileage reimbursement rate to 56.5 cents/mile.  A few months back, I showed that the marginal cost for driving my vehicle is more like 30.88 cents/mile.  Although this is cheaper than the IRS average, it’s still not great.
It got me thinking about my cost of driving, and how much I’m still spending on my car.  As you can see by my fuel costs over the past few years, I’ve made some progress but I’ve got a long way to go.
Continuous Improvement
To decrease costs, I’d either have to invest in a more fuel efficient vehicle (which wouldn’t be cost effective until my Subaru dies), or decrease my mileage.  So I guess I need to figure out how to stop driving so much!
I got my current job in March 2011, and the crazy commuting started.  Driving 60 miles/day.  At it’s peak, I was wasting $300/mo just on gas!  Although my records aren’t great from that time period, I estimate that I was driving a little over 20,000 mi/yr!
Now I’ve dropped it down to right around 9,000 mi/yr since I primarily take the train to work, but I’m not satisfied.  The average American in my age bracket drives about 15,000 mi/yr, so I’m doing alright, but I’d like to go lower.
Since I’m still spending about $100/mo on fuel, I’ve realized that there’s still gas I can cut from my budget.
Visiting friends in other states seems like a worthwhile investment, but maybe I can do it a little smarter.  Maybe I can take the train more (if available), or consolidate suburb trips so I see multiple friends while I’m out there.
I know the slope is trending downwards, but it’s still frustrating to see gas charges every month.  I wonder if I could purchase 0 gas in the month of February (since I already blew it in January).
Any suggestions on how to kick the driving habit while still being able to hang out with far away friends?
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  1. Sweta
    January 9, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Before you get gas maybe you could look up prices on gasbuddy.com and then go fill up at the nearest and cheapest station.

    When it comes to visiting friends who live far away, maybe you could see if they might be interested in meeting up at a location that is central to both of you.

    • January 10, 2013 at 6:12 AM

      Thanks fro the idea. I do actually use gasbuddy.com. It’s surprising how gas stations have such different prices! I’d estimate I save about $100-$200/yr just by checking for the best price!

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