Nobody needs to tell me that people are driving more these days due to the cheaper gas prices. Traffic was so bad today that I could barely get out of the parking lot at the grocery store. And that's become a fairly common occurrence, even in my normally uncongested area.
But instead of using lower gas prices as an excuse to needlessly drive more - as most Americans tend to do when gas prices fall -- here's the smart money thing to do:
If you could do that when gas prices were high, what's to stop you from doing it now when gas prices are low? Just carry on with that practice of driving less, so that you're still using fewer gallons of gasoline.
Except now, you pocket that as savings.
This is a painless way to save money because you already had to cut back on your driving due to the high cost of filling up at the gas pump.
This savings method helps you avoid lifestyle creep, and can pay big dividends over the long haul, in particular.
It's what is meant by living within your means and keeping your needs simple. These are the small, consistent changes in our approach to money and living that are the ticket to financial well-being and independence.
Wherever you can, ratchet down your lifestyle so that you're adding to your savings rather than letting your expenses rise to meet your income. You'll be amazed at how quickly your savings can add up, and how good that will make you feel.
It's just like giving yourself a raise. And that's always a good thing.