Cars and Good Money Management Don’t Mix

By | January 21, 2013

There are certain items in life we all take for granted these days. Things which we would consider essential, previous generations would have regarded as a luxury. Most notable and most expensive among them is the car.

But if you’re struggling with your finances and trying to minimise debt or boost income, think about whether you can manage without a car. If you can – great, because unless you’re a taxi driver cars generally do nothing to boost your wealth.

This isn’t the kind of advice you get from professionals though. These days, everybody wants to find quick and easy ways out of debt, but such a thing doesn’t exist and the kind of help with debt UK companies offer varies enormously in its quality and objectivity.

So keep your feet on the ground and look at the basics you can change. The car is probably the chief money–waster for most of us. However, for many a car is absolutely essential, not least to get us to and from work. So, indirectly, they enable us to earn money. Although this is often the case, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re expensive run and maintain. For most people, the tax and insurance are more or less set. As long as you hunt around for the best possible deals on car insurance and drive a car that is reasonably economical, there’s not a whole lot more you can do to save money to beat your debts.

Or is there? There’s no getting away from the fact that one of the biggest expenditures goes into the fuel tank. But did you know that you can improve your fuel efficiency by over 30% by employing just a few simple techniques that anyone can do?

Firstly, make sure you get the best possible deal on fuel. Make a habit of keeping an eye on fuel prices at different places. Always drive smoothly. The less you accelerate and the more you avoid heavy braking, the better your fuel efficiency will be. In fact, this is the biggest single change you can make. The RAC estimates that people who drive smoothly can save 30% of fuel consumption compared with those with a heavy right foot.

Avoiding using your air conditioning when you can – can also make a big difference. Unfortunately, so does driving with the windows up to reduce drag, so on hot days, the AC can actually be more efficient. Also, make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, avoid using a roof-rack if you can, don’t fill up the fuel tank each time and remove any unnecessary clutter and weight from your vehicle. All these measures can help – but driving steadily is the biggie.

Better yet – do without the vehicle altogether. If you’re willing to sacrifice your car, consider making use of public transport for a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly way to get around. Cars and good finances are usually uneasy bedfellows!