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What are You Doing with your Gas Money?

What are You Doing with your Gas Money?

I started thinking recently about how lovely it has been to enjoy the lower price at the pump over these past few months as fuel prices are currently hovering around the same we enjoyed in 2005 and earlier. It certainly has been a welcome reprieve in a world full of price increases sneaking in all around me! However, I got to thinking, what am I doing with the extra fuel cash?? I ran a quick check of my personal fuel expenses for my family and I realized that the prices really dropped around August-September 2015 and since then, my family has enjoyed an average decrease in fuel expense of 52%! Cha-ching, cha-ching, that is some serious crude oil joy!

Fast forward to the end of March 2016 and I suddenly realized that I have been pocketing the difference of my savings over the past 7 months with no real intention in mind. Personally speaking, I would like to take the money I have saved over the past 7 months and going forward and start chipping away at a future expense or past debt. Wouldn’t that money saved due to lower prices at the pump be a nice contribution to a future car replacement fund? Just a few more years and I will have a daughter who will be begging me to buy her a car. I could be capturing this sweet savings in a Capital One 360 Automatic Savings Account and use it when the time is right for the next down payment.

So I must ask you, what are you doing with your gas money? I look up and down my suburban street and see my friends and neighbors commuting to work… a half hour per day, and hour per day, some upwards of 2 hours per day in commute time! Even if you don’t track your personal finances on some financial software such as Quicken, you can use my calculation and consider that you have saved around 52% over the past 7 months on your family fuel bill. So I encourage you to calculate how many times per month you fill up currently and how much a typical fill is at $2 per gallon. Take that monthly fuel price total and multiply it by 1.52 and you will have how much you were spending to travel the same miles this time last year. Now calculate your savings. Go ahead now, think of a plan of what you want to do with the extra money and let me know what you are up to! What are you going to change with your budget to mindfully pay it forward?

Even more exciting is thinking about how the price of fuel is impacting small business owners! I thought of our clients who are dependent upon transportation as a means of doing business and delivering products. I checked the numbers on one of our clients in the landscaping industry and was excited to see that our landscaper friend had spent 38% less in fuel while growing sales by 11%! Wow, that gets me excited! A savvy small business owner could now accurately take the difference in cash available and dump it back into the business by way of improving sales and marketing efforts, perhaps an additional employee, who knows, maybe you could afford a regular and fabulous bookkeeping service like Reconciled Solutions!

Whichever choice is right for your business is up for grabs. But this gain is ours to enjoy and to consciously choose which opportunity is right for you and your budget. So I encourage you to share your ideas with us as well as to act quickly! We never know what tomorrow will bring.

Angie Noll