Money Management: Living on Less - Page 7

Transportation tips

  • Learn how to maintain your car. Change oil, air filters and oil filters when recommended. Using your own labor can cut costs considerably.
  • Keep your car in good condition. It is safer and less expensive to operate a well-maintained automobile.
  • Take advantage of auto repair classes held in your community. A major portion of auto maintenance/repair costs is in the labor. Using your own skills can trim these costs.
  • Read and follow the instructions in your car owner's manual. The recommendations can keep your car operating more efficiently for more miles.
  • Try to get along with fewer cars. Automobiles are expensive to own when you include the cost of insurance, taxes and maintenance.
  • Form car pools for going to work, meetings, children's activities and even shopping trips. The average family spends 18 percent of their income on transportation.
  • Walk more, drive less. It saves money and can improve your health.
  • Use self-service gas pumps. Remember to check oil and water levels to keep from having unnecessary repair bills in the future.
  • Protect against salt damage and rust by keeping your car clean. This will extend the life of your car.
  • Get to know which gas stations in your community sell good-quality gas at the lowest rates. Then gas up when you are in the area rather than making a special trip to save a few cents per gallon.
  • Save on fuel with good driving habits (such as slowing down gradually rather than braking at the last minute).
  • Use school and public transportation whenever possible.
  • Organize your errands to eliminate unnecessary trips.
  • Consider carrying just liability coverage on any automobile that no longer has much dollar value. The ongoing cost of collision and comprehensive coverage may not make sense given what you would be paid if you had a claim.
  • Save money by washing and waxing your own car.