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Planning trips can help save money at the pump

By By Michelle Blaylock, Mom’s Corner
It’s all over the news. It’s the topic of conversation everywhere you go. Yep, rising prices at the pump. The price of gas is incredible. I remember when my grandmother about had a fit when gas reached $1 a gallon. I wonder what she would think about our prices now!
Since there is very little we can do about the rising prices, the next option is to try to conserve money elsewhere. Well, the first logical thing to do is not use anymore gas than necessary.
Although I do still transport my children back and forth to school, I try to run any errands at the same time. I also plan my routes so I don’t have to backtrack anymore than necessary.
It’s also important to get the best gas mileage out of your vehicle as possible.
The website wikihow.com offers suggestions such as: keeping your vehicle properly tuned up, checking the air in your tires weekly, removing unnecessary racks, driving at a consistent speed, and accelerating slowly as opposed to “gunning” it.
This may also be a good time to look over your budget and see if there is anywhere else you might be able to “trim” it a bit.
Is it time to refinance your mortgage? I don’t mean borrow more, but could you refinance the balance and get lower payments or a lower interest rate? If you choose to do this, make sure you look into all the finance charges first.
Do you have a membership somewhere that you aren’t using or could do without? Do you have credit cards? Have you paid your bills on time? If so, call them and see if you can get the interest rate lowered or better yet just pay them off and get rid of them.
Do you really get a chance to read the magazine you subscribe to? If not, consider canceling it.
How about looking at your utilities? Do you cool and heat the house while you’re at work? Try adjusting the thermostat just a few degrees before you leave for the day or purchase a programmable thermostat so you don’t have to remember.
How often is a light or TV left on when no one is using it? I know that is a constant problem in our house.
Do you have cable? Do you need the package you have or could you downgrade and save a bit of money? Have you reviewed your telephone and cell phone packages? Could you change to a plan with less minutes and save money or are you going over every month and would save money if you changed to a plan with more minutes?
There are many other ways to save money. I haven’t even mentioned things like groceries and household cleaners. I think I’ll save that one for next week.
If you have a question, comment or suggestion for Mom’s Corner, please e-mail it to: moms-corner@juno.com.

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