3 practical driving tips to save you money on gas

How far away do you live from your job? Maybe 10 minutes? 30? An hour? If you fall into one of these categories — or if you merely drive a lot — these tips will liberate you from spending precious minutes and dollars at the gas pump.

I’ve collected my own data to compile this list, but I assure that you will come up with the same money saving results if you follow these tips. Make note that the more aware you are as a driver, the better results you will reap from this information

I’ve put these things into practice for years with my own driving and saved hundreds of dollars on gas money.

Have a steady foot

You may not have heard of a steady foot, but how about a lead foot?

A lead foot is not ideal for gas mileage because the throttle is linear. What does that mean? Simply put, the harder you press the gas pedal, the more fuel is sent to the engine and burned up.

You’re never going to see that fuel again.

Being too aggressive with the throttle will only serve to use up your gas as quickly as possible. Instead, be light with the pedal. Never put it all the way to the floor — and if you really want to save gas — don’t even go past halfway.

You might be thinking, “I wish there were some gauge or instrument that helped me out with this”.

Well good news, there is! It’s called the tachometer and it’s the second large gauge next to the speed. Here it is pictured below. Left side with the numbers 1 through 8.

Also called the RPM’s(revolutions per minute x 1000), this gauge basically measures how hard the engine is working. The higher the number displayed on the tachometer, the more fuel is being used to move the car forward.

 

So it’s easy to see how lower RPM’s makes for less fuel consumption. To keep the RPM’s low, work on having an easier application of the throttle — or as I put it before — have a steady foot.

My rule is to always keep the RPM’s below 2000 (or 2). Although I speed up quite slower than everybody around me, I am saving a ton of gas in the long run by doing this every time I start.

Prepare for the hills

For the majority of us, our daily driving doesn’t consist completely of flat road. To be more realistic, we have to throw in some hills, dips, and slopes.

So how do we prepare for this kind of terrain?

Think back to when you were a kid riding your bike down a hill. You could fly down that thing with no effort whatsoever, all the while gaining speed.

Well, it’s the same way in a car. All of th

e energy used to turn the engine is converted to kinetic energy from the wheels while no fuel is being used.

So when you see a hill coming, slowly begin to accelerate enough to compensate for the hill. Don’t exceed 2000 RPM’s, and upon reaching the hill adjust back to nor

mal cruising RPM’s (try to keep these as low as possible — I aim for 1250). Your goal is to have the speed decrease back to whatever your cruising speed was before the hill.

Note: I would not use cruise control unless you are on flat roads. The car’s computer does not anticipate terrain, and therefore cannot adequately prepare for it.

Of course, this will all differ with the size of every hill but if you drive the same route every day you’ll become accustomed to each part of the journey. After you reach the top, you can use the downhill slope to gain speed without using any gas.

Basically, you want to ride it like a rollercoaster while using the gas pedal as little as possible.

Don’t use the brakes so much

On today’s roads, everyone is constantly driving bumper to bumper.

Not only is this dangerous but it wastes a ton of gas as well.

Be the smart driver on the road. Allow for plenty of room between yourself and the guy in front of you. Why?

How many times have you been approaching a stop light and start braking 15 ft before you reach the light? You come to a screeching stop at the line and let out a huge breath of air once you realize you made it. But then 3 seconds later the light turns green and you start going again. There’s a big problem with this.

Your car uses a whole lot more energy to get going from a standstill. So by stopping and starting constantly, you’re essentially throwing away gas.

Instead — as you approach a red light — start coasting so that inertia will begin to slow you down. It will take much longer for you to get to the light, and it’s liable to turn green while you coast towards it. This way you don’t waste the unnecessary gas by starting your car from a stop. Do this continually and it will save you a significant amount of gas money.

 

There are a ton of ways to save money on gas, but these are the most effective in my experience. Put these into use and start using that gas budget on more fun things!

10 money saving tips that will change your life

Sometimes, it can be difficult for anyone to handle their money in a responsible manner. Here are some tips to help you on your journey to frugality.

 

 

        1. Due to modern marketing, new and exciting products are constantly battling for our attention. Whenever you feel the urge to purchase a non-necessity, give yourself a couple of days before you buy it. Often times, the impulse will have passed and you’ll be glad to still have the money.
        2. Whenever you’re about to buy something, think about how many hours wages it cost. If the amount of work you put in outweighs the value of the item you’re purchasing, forget it
          .
        3. Be aware of where your money is going. These days everyone is signed up to dozens of subscriptions that charge you monthly. Make sure you are will to be paying for these. Look at your bank statement every once in a while and actually find out where your money goes.
        4. Every payday, take half of what you have left over after paying bills and put it into a savings account. It won’t seem like much at first, but over some time it will grow into a substantial amount.
        5. Only eat out at a restaurant once or twice a week(depending on how much you make). The cost of those meals add up quickly so by cooking your own food more often, you can save this money for other necessities. When you do eat out, get water with your meal and instantly save $2-4.\
        6. This one doesn’t go for everyone. I am not a coffee drinker so I don’t need to worry about this at all. But the majority of my family (and everyone else in America) drinks coffee on the daily. The problem is coffee at star bucks or your other favorite place costs a fortune after you’ve been there a few times. Try buying the coffee beans and making your coffee at home. Not only will you save a ton of time, but your bank account will feel some relief as well.
        7. Use a credit card for everything! It might sound weird but hear me out. Making every purchase with a credit card will help you build credit. As long as you pay it off every month, it won’t really be different from a debit card, except you will earn $100’s in reward cash throughout the year.
        8.  Make a spreadsheet to track everything you spend. Rent, groceries, utilities, misc. At the end of the day or after a night out, enter your expenses real fast before you crash. This way, you will never be surprised when your bank account balance is at 40 cents. (hopefully, you have a plan to get out of that one). There are even some apps that do essentially the same thing and save you time that you’re not logging onto the computer.
        9. Buy things at the end of the month. How many times have you approached the end of the month with an intense worry that you won’t be able to pay the bills? You think “Man, I shouldn’t have spent $500 on that memory foam mattress”. To avoid this, wait until the end of the month before you buy anything extra that you want. This will teach you to be more responsible with the money you make. Plus, getting the necessities paid for first makes you feel more deserving of whatever you want to spend your extra money on.
        10. Final tip: Do not constantly chase everything you want. Look at your parents and/or grandparents. They didn’t start out with a house full of appliances, electronics, and adornment. Learn to accumulate things over time and take your spending step by step. Build your financial future like you would build a house. One day at a time.

 

Which one of these tips will you use to improve your financial life? What are some other tips you have tried that work well?

5 tips to fall asleep on a plane

Falling asleep on a plane

Traveling out of the country is one of the most exciting things that 66 million Americans do every year. Unfortunately, traveling abroad often times requires long and excruciating plane rides.  They are hours of boredom during a time that you planned on living it up with beach days and lattes. The best way to pass the time though is just to sleep through it.

And thus we have our problem.

If you’ve ever tried to sleep on a plane before, you know the struggle. The turbulence makes you feel like someone is shaking you endlessly, and altitude changes can feel like a punch to the stomach.

But there are ways to overcome these difficulties. Here are 5 of my favorites!

Get a window seat

Window seats are always nice because you can enjoy the great view while flying. But they also have some somnolent advantages.

Place your pillow between you and the side of the plane and rest up against the window. This way you won’t need to sit upright the entire time, which we all know is a difficult position to sleep in.

Sleeping during a daytime flight can be especially difficult because all the open windows will bring a ton of light into the cabin. Having a window seat allows you to control the light intensity in your immediate proximity. If everyone around you has their windows open, a simple sleep mask will solve that problem.

A bonus to the window seat is that it will help with motion sickness!

Don’t look at your phone

As if there aren’t enough distractions while flying, we like to look at our phones in the middle of trying to sleep. If you want good quality sleep, stow away any electronic devices. The blue light emitted from phones and tablets, similar to sunlight, reduce melatonin levels — making it much more difficult to sleep.

On many international flights, there are TV’s on the back of every seat for in-flight entertainment. They are actually very tempting because they’ve got many of the newest movies and some really fun games on there. But the same goes for these. Don’t mess with them unless you’re not trying to sleep.

 

Stretch before boarding

I tried this one out for myself on a recent trip to Europe. Before I left for the airport, I stretched profusely until I felt really loose. After getting off the 9-hour flight, I felt just about good enough to do it again!

I also took measures during the flight to reduce any pain afterward. Sitting without twisting my body too much, keeping my legs straight with a slight bend at the knee,  relaxing my arms by my side, and leaning my seat back all helped to decrease any uncomfortability.

On the way back, I didn’t stretch at all — and I certainly felt the difference. Aches in my back and legs were bothering me during and a few hours after the flight.

Sleep on the pullout tray

This is another alternative to sleeping while sitting straight up. While it might be tough for some to bend down enough to rest on the pullout tray, if you’re short then it will work. You can bring a pillow to put on it, or simply flip around your neck pillow and use it that way. It’s very similar to laying your head on a desk when you sleep in class.

By the way, I’m not advocating sleeping in class, nor am I saying that I’ve ever done it.

But it’s a lot like that.

I also tried this one on my recent trip and it seems that simply getting horizontal after sitting vertically for so long will help you doze off easier.

 

Listen to soothing music

once you get up in the air, you’ll quickly notice that the sound of the engine stays very loud and annoying. It’s tough to sleep with that constant noise unless for some reason it soothes you. This was the case for my friend who enjoyed the white noise type buzzing sound of the engine. Myself and many others I’ve spoken to do not find it soothing and would rather pop in headphones to drown it out. If you’re trying to sleep, listen to something with a soft slow beat. This will mix with the engine sound in the background to create a soothing white noise.

Don’t forget, these aren’t the only things you can do. Many people have personal preferences when it comes to getting comfortable on a plane. For example, I like to wear a hoodie and tie the hood closed around my head.

I may look weird but I don’t care because I’m asleep.

Don’t ignore the troubles that come along with an extensive plane ride. Take these tips into account and make your travel as comfortable as possible.

Also, let me know how these work for you and if there is a good one I left out!