If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

If you do stuff, stuff gets done.......

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Money management- how we buy Gas

    When I watch news stories with money experts helping people with their budgets or debt, it seems the people usually have all their bills in a grocery sack or 2 that is full.  I just cringe and can't imagine how they ever keep up with so many accounts.
When I was working on my homekeeping notebook and looking at sites with printables and forms to keep up with your money, I realized our spending is more simple than most. 
So, how we do things might help somebody, so I will share.


We use cash for most local spending but we don't like having to go inside the gas station twice when buying gas with cash. We tried using our credit card for gas but it seemed when looking at our credit card statement, those gas purchases were just so much. 

My husband likes to buy gas at Walmart, it is convenient to us and they give a discount at the pump when you purchase with a Walmart credit card (no thank you) or with a Walmart gift card. 
Gas prices change often but we tried to budget an amount to spend on a Walmart gift card to use just for gas. At first we were buying a $250 card every month but that was too much as after doing this for just about 4 months, we still had a full card in December and did not buy one that month. The January one was $200 and so far, we think it will be just about right.
If there was an emergency and we needed more gas than we had prepaid for, that would be OK, as we have a credit card and emergency funds too. 


My husband pumps the gas and he keeps up with the card and balance. Some families who choose to do it this way might need their own card. It might be a great way to budget your teen's gas. 

Financial people would say we should not tie up our money like this with no interest but for us, it works and keeps our gas expense at an amount that fits our budget.

15 comments:

  1. Hmm, never though of that. Pretty good idea!

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  2. That's a great idea! Especially when you take into consideration so many people hacking into business computers and stealing card numbers... not to mention that most investments that "tie up money" aren't paying that much these days neither...

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  3. Wal-Mart has gas???? I do not think even the Sam's Clubs around here have gas. I thought for a brief moment about getting a cc and using it for food and gas only. Then I realized it would be 'another' account to keep track of. I think your way would be good for younger families too. My son's school use to sell scrip and I loved it. Really helped this single mom (back then) stay within budget. You have me thinking this would be great for us and dining out. Get one gift card to use, set amount, when gone, no more dining out for the month. We could seriously be millionaires by Christmas. LOL. Not really;-)
    blessings, jill

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    1. Most all big Walmarts in the south sell gas. All the Sams do too and it is even cheaper at Sams than Walmart.
      Years ago when Walmart was my best grocery store, I would just put my grocery cash on a Walmart card at the first of the month.

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  4. Weird - the Walmart stores here don't have gas stations! Anyway, we pay all cash for our gas. I don't drive around a lot so don't use a lot of gas, but my hubby travels to work almost 60 miles day, 6-7 days/week! Gas is $3.27/gal. here right now.

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    1. Wow, that is a long commute. Bless his heart! That would make for lots of gas and wear on your vehicle.

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  5. Years ago we got two gas credit cards. As we explored ways to get out of debt we determined those cards (which had the smaller balances) would be our first targets to pay off. I hit upon the idea of writing down purchases in our checkbook as though we'd paid cash. That helped us keep the balances stable and we were able to pay them off. When the cards were paid off we decided the habit was a good one and we still do that to this day when we make a gas purchase with the credit cards. It worked so well that we began to do the same with our main credit card. Gas is a necessity but most purchases on our credit card weren't...so that meant we had to really examine WHY we were using the card to purchase an item and we had to have ready cash to pay for any purchase at the end of the month. It worked beautifully for us.

    It is possible to buy prepaid gas cards or store cards at most gas stations so budgeting for a card purchase and using it through the month would be possible.

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    1. Terri, I think the whole trick is to keep up with what you are doing and need to do. For many, a credit card just makes it seem like you can spend whatever you want, but your record keeping really would keep things in check

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  6. Such a great idea! We've been looking for a way to keep on budget for gas and this sounds like just the thing. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Good idea! Looks like we are fellow Oklahomians!

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  8. I am absolutely IN LOVE with that picture in your header. I love the apron, I love the clock, I love your twinkly eyes, I love the handmade stocking and your mother's smile. What a treasure!

    Thanks for linking up! I enjoyed your post. Oddly enough- I've never heard of a Walmart selling gas! (They don't do it in our area! YET!) GREAT idea.

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  9. Here in NW PA we have Country Fair that sells gas. While I prefer to use cash at my local Giant Eagle, Country Fair has a gift card that you can purchase and get 5¢ off a gallon of gas. I have a friend that uses her credit card to purchase the gift card for gas. As soon as she purchases the gift card, she goes right out to pump gas in her car. Saves money there. She also gets cash back on her credit card purchase for the gift card. She then makes sure that the credit card is paid in full each month so that she doesn't have to pay interest. Did you follow me on that one? LOL. Sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. I get my gas at Giant Eagle because I can earn fuel perks from getting my groceries there. For every $50 spent you can earn 10¢ in fuel perks. I also get my prescriptions there and those purchases go toward my fuel perks. I spend around $60 a month on average, sometimes more on meds so by the time you add that to the few groceries that I get there, it adds up.

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  10. I like the way you do your gasoline. We use three different gasoline stations. One is outside of our local Tops supermarket and when we buy groceries we get points off. My points expire this coming Saturday so I will have to tank up. Since I will not be buying as much as I did last year at that store, my second choice is a station that has my checking account linked to their card. When I buy gas, it automatically comes out of the checking account. I get a 5% discount this way. Third choice is BJ's warehouse club which has great prices but is a hike for me. If I am there and need gas, I tank up.

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  11. That is a great solution! I just dropped by your blog from Cheapchick's page so I know this isn't a recent post but I wanted to thank you for this idea. Like Precious, we shop and buy gas at Tops, so purchasing a Tops card would save money. Sometimes you earn points buying gift cards at Tops, so buying their gift card saves money and helps budget for gas. Just a great idea!

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  12. Great topic! I didn't realize Walmart sold gas either! Haha, but I live in Ohio. I shop at Kroger and get fuel points toward 10 cents off a gallon. Sometimes they will run a special that you get 4x fuel points when you purchase giftcards (purchase $100 in giftcards = 400 points = $0.40 off a gallon). So I stock up on giftcards to stores I shop at regularly. Since we are planning to remodel the kitchen in the future I'll purchase $250 in Home Depot giftcards and get 1000 points = $1 off a gallon. Then I wait for gas to drop, my tank to get low and our gas cans to be used up and fill up the full 35 gallons of gas at $1 off a gallon. I usually average $70 for 35 gallons of gas which lasts us 2 weeks on average (2 cars, he drives to a 9-5; I run errands and have odd jobs 3-5 days a week). We have a detached garage in which to store the full gas cans safely.
    I love reading everyone's strategies!

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Jeff and Rhonda

Jeff and Rhonda