If you are like me, you are probably loving the lower gas prices we have experienced in the last two or three months. Honestly, I did not expect I would ever see gas drop below $2 a gallon again in my lifetime. When I have been accustomed to paying $40 to $50 to fill up, struggling to get $20 worth of gas in my vehicle is a pretty cool feeling.
If you don’t drive that much then perhaps the lower gas prices haven’t affected you too much, but if you are like me and have a fairly significant commute each day, the lower gas prices are really significant.
So the question is, what are you doing with the money you are saving by having the lower gas prices? If you don’t have a plan, that extra money is probably just slipping away a little here and a little there.
Lower prices not here to stay
I don’t know when it will happen, but I can be fairly confident in saying that two dollar gas will probably not be here to stay. I will enjoy it as long as possible, but eventually gas prices are certain to rise. Hopefully, it will be a while before we see four dollars a gallon again, but no doubt it will come.
So when the inevitable happens and gas prices rise, will you be prepared? Or have you found other ways to spend that extra money so that when gas prices rise will you be hurting financially?
Continue to plan as if gas prices were higher
What if instead you were to continue to budget as if gas prices were still near four dollars a gallon?
When gas prices do rise back up to more normal levels you will be prepared because you are already budgeting that amount.
Until that happens you could take that extra savings and:
- Pay extra on some of that debt you have
- Start a car replacement fund so that the next time you need to buy a vehicle you can pay with cash
- Beef up your emergency savings. If you have none today, use this money to get started. If you currently have 3 months of savings see if you can get that up to 4 to 6 months of savings.
- Start a vacation fund so you can pay cash for your vacation this summer and not have the bills follow you home.
- Start a Roth IRA.
- Give a little extra to your church or a favorite charity.
- Save for some needed home repairs
- And lastly but just as importantly, enjoy some of the money. Buy something you have been wanting for a while.
The key is whatever you do, be intentional about it. If you do much driving, these lower gas prices have been a real boon for your monthly budget. Use that extra money to make a difference either for yourself or for others, or use some for your enjoyment. Just don’t allow this blessing to fritter away a few dollars at a time.