Got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket? There are plenty of effective ways of getting rid of that, you know. But why fly to Vegas and bet it all on “22” when you can just as easily throw money away by doing something we’re all guilty of anyway: wasting gas. If you’re serious about blowing through your savings account and winding up penniless, here are 5 ways your wasting gas.
Drive like a speed racer and accelerate when you see yellow and red. There’s really no more effective of ensuring your car gets lousy gas mileage than speeding from one place to another and paying no heed to posted speed limits. For the most part, your most efficient gas mileage speeds are between 40 and 60 miles per hour. If you can stay out of this range, you’ll be well on your way to an empty gas tank in no time flat. Look ahead at traffic lights. If you see yellow or red traffic light ahead, its time to immediately remove your foot from the accelerator. No need to blast through an intersection with the risk of getting into an accident and no need to accelerate to a stopping point.
Idle with your air conditioner or heater blasting. No matter what time of year it is, there’s always an opportunity to burn gas quickly. Keeping your car running while you wait to pick up your little ones from school, or while you wait for your better half to be through picking up a quart of ice cream from the grocery store, will get this done. But even better – if you crank your temperature controls, you’ll burn even more gas than you thought possible.
Ignore your cruise control. A lot of people mistakenly assume that cruise control is there to give your feet a break when you’re on long drives. The reality is, when used properly cruise control prevents you from driving too fast and keeps you from slowing down and speeding back up, two actions that can burn some serious petrol. Forgetting all about that handy-dandy cruise control and never putting it to use is another effective way of throwing money away.
Forget routine maintenance. Everyone talks about getting your oil changed every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Who needs it? If you really want to ensure that every time you run your car you’re straining it to the point of minimal fuel efficiency, skip a few oil changes here and there. And if that “check engine” light comes on, do your best to pretend you never saw it. That’s the ticket.
Drive with underinflated tires. You don’t have to physically deflate your tires to accomplish this. All that needs to be done is to not pump air into them every month or so. This is the usual recommended timeframe for checking your tires and pumping them back up again. Driving with tires that have the optimum amount of air decreases drag and keeps your gas consumption down. Neglecting this will put you in the poor house from one too many $4 per gallon gas fill-ups.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to keep your money while saving tank-loads of gas, do the exact opposite of what we’ve laid out here. It’s your money – your choice.