- Start by saving money in the first place by taking advantage of deals and discounts. Many gas station have their own rewards programs that knock off a few cents per gallon, and some go even further. I am a big fan of Super America because they offer 3 cents off per gallon every day and an additional 3 cents per gallon if you use a SA gift card. Starting by saving 6 cents per gallon is a good way to get that money back.
- Keep your car in tip top shape. Use every gallon to its fullest by ensuring that your tires are inflated properly, your engine is in tune and running properly, and your air filter is clean.
- Lastly, change your driving habits. If you are only filling up a few gallons every time you go out to run errands you are most likely costing yourself money. There is not only a chance that the gas prices will go up between outings, but you are driving out of your way to fill up in all likelihood. There are other habits that are wasting gas that you may not realize like coming to a complete stop at a red light which is about to turn green; accelerating from a slow speed takes a lot less gas than starting from a stopped position. Also, accelerating too fast when you don't need to and not using your cruise control will also waste teeny tiny drops of sweet, sweet fuel.
First of all, most repairs are not as hard as you may think. If I still can't convince you, I would implore you to do as much research as you can to choose a reputable mechanic. When I was a young kid just starting off on my own I headed to the first mechanic I saw; the bill was $1,000. Not knowing any better I headed back to the same mechanic the next time; the bill was $1,000. One more time I went back there and the bill was - you guessed it - $1,000. The third time was the charm that made me open my eyes and see that these guys were a bunch of scam artists. A couple years later they were the center of one of those undercover news exposes uncovering scams.
If you do choose to do your own repairs you will be saving yourself, literally, hundreds of dollars per repair. I live in the Minnesota Metro area where labor by itself is $99 per hour. I know that it is lower in some areas and I would assume that it is much higher in others. Ultimately, using your time instead of theirs is saving you a nice chunk of change to be spent elsewhere.
4. Interest and Payments
5. But You Said I Could get that Money Back
- Wrap your car - a lot of companies will pay you to be mobile advertising depending on your daily commute.
- Become an Uber driver - No experience necessary and a lot of people are making a nice chunk of change off of this relatively new idea.
- Don't like people? Start a delivery service - you are still driving around, but your human interaction time is considerably shorter.
- Do you trust people? - Renting out your car, or even a spare car could be a fairly lucrative endeavor. Just make sure your insurance covers boneheads.
- Do people trust you? - Kids are big business and you can make a nice little chunk of change being a personal driving to shuttle kids to and from school and other activities. Just make sure that you can pass a background check.
- Become a driving instructor - unless you inexplicably bought a car with brakes on the passenger side I would consider this job at your own risk.
- Make instructional YouTube videos - if you know your way around your car you could make some decent money from ad revenue.
- Work for the man - You could always become a delivery driver for a pizza, Chinese, or Newspaper company.