Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Gas Mileage Today vs 6 Months Ago

For awhile now I have been using FuelClinic to track my actual gas mileage.* I find it kind of fun to keep track on how my vehicle has been doing. I definitely notice the difference when I travel across the state or go up to my cabin in the woods. On one hand, I spend a lot more money in gas since I can pretty much make it on two tanks of gas a month if I only do in-town driving. On the other hand, my calculated mileage actually goes down, because those long trips, while they require an extra tank of gas, are all highway miles which equals better mileage.

Another interesting fact is that since I have been using FuelClinic, I have used 92.67 gallons of gas in the 87 days I've been tracking it. That means I use just over a gallon a day. That seemed really low to me, until I realized that I am averaging about 27.46 mpg. So if someone were to ask me if I used a gallon a day, I would think that sounded low, but if they asked me if I drove about 30 miles per day on average in any given month, I would say that was about right. Funny how that works out, isn't it? Honestly I feel like I drive a bit less than 30 miles a day, but I know that there are weekends where I am driving considerably more, so on average that makes sense.

Back when gas was very expensive, I found a new route to go to work. It was a shorter trip and was only 30 mph rather than my 55-70 mph highway route. Except for when they closed it for a bit of construction, it has been my main route ever since. On one hand I know that even though I drive at reduced speeds and less mileage, I may not be saving money simply because there are more stop signs along the way. Yet, on the other hand, this route is actually quite pretty. You drive through some lovely stretches with big mature trees and glimpses of nice, well kept yards. I find it far more peaceful and attractive to the eye than the highway has ever been. Plus, this route never inspires roadrage like the highway did.

As gas prices went down, I saw a a number of bloggers asking if it would change people's driving habits. Well, I have definitely seen a difference in my driving habits, but I don't blame it on gas prices...

My driving has increased this month, but it isn't because of low gas prices. Truthfully, because my gas all goes on a credit card, I don't feel the difference in lower prices until the day the credit card bill is due anyway. My driving has increased just due to a busy life. I am driving from one job to another, driving to the post office to mail eBay and Amazon items, going to my home improvement stores to pick up items to fix the house. I've even done a little bit of Christmas shopping in there, although 89% of that has been done online.

Speaking of gas prices, I budget $150.00 per month for gas. Here's how I have done:

June - $144.59
July - $82.26
August - $113.89
September - $123.79
October - $138.88
November - $131.78
December - $31.34

Notice any difference there?? The December drop (which is actually gas purchased in November) is due to a few factors: 1) no driving out of town, so only two fill ups, 2) lower gas prices so cost per fill up was lower and 3) a ten dollar promotional credit on my card.

Now that is a holiday gift I can enjoy!

Photo by: Glynnis Ritchie

*Note: This is not a sponsored post. The service is free. I just like it so am passing on the information.


Doc Miles said...

Dawn, I found this post via Google Alerts for "FuelClinic" - I want to tell you how happy it makes me that my website is helping you track your fuel spending - hopefully helping you save a little as well. I enjoyed looking around your blog, and wish you all the best in your monthly goal! - Doc

Dawn said...

Hi Doc Miles! Thanks for the great site! I've been having a lot of fun with it and it has really helped me get a handle on my mileage. I understand what's going on in my buggy better than I ever have.

pfincome said...

Interesting - I may need to check out "FuelClinic". I actually enjoy filling up now on gas. I dreaded months ago but now it is fun.

Doc Miles said...

I hope you don't mind, I wrote a post about your blog today at my blog. If I got something wrong, let me know. - Doc

Dawn said...

pfincome - Check it out! It is free and pretty darn easy to use. Of course, like my friend Tracey commented in another post, I've become really fond of charts and graphs since my personal finance transformation! This is right up my alley.

Doc - Of course I don't mind! I can't wait to check it out.