I was looking through one of the old Quick Polls on the Savings & Loans website the other day about household budgeting.
The question was ‘What is having the biggest impact on your household budget: interest rates, food costs, health insurance premiums or petrol prices?’ 51% of people surveyed said that petrol prices were having the biggest impact on their budget. And it’s not hard to see why.
Petrol is regularly over $1.40 a litre and we’re all feeling it. While public transport is a great way of getting around, it doesn’t suit all of us, particularly if you don’t live on a bus route or you work odd hours.
It doesn’t look like there’s any relief in sight, either. We need to come to terms with the price of petrol and try to work out ways of cutting down on how much fuel we’re using. Car pooling is a great way of doing this. Or maybe you might want to consider driving a smaller car? If you want to compare how much fuel you car uses compared to other models, the Federal Government’s Green Car Guide ranks every car sold in Australiain terms of fuel consumption and environmental friendliness.
I’m not looking to give anyone a free plug, but I’ve just bought a Smart Car and I’ve noticed a considerable difference in my fuel bill. Going to work by myself every day didn’t really justify using a big family sedan. I understand that buying a new car is a big commitment and Smarts aren’t for everyone, but it is an example of the steps we can take to help ourselves.
And I know this might sound like a sales pitch (trust me, that’s not what I’m looking to do) but a lot of financial institutions (like Savings & Loans) reward their customers for buying fuel-efficient cars. Maybe it’s time Australians started looking beyond bigger cars that chew through the petrol and looked towards more fuel-efficient models?
Which brings me on to another point. Using less petrol doesn’t just save us money, but it helps us the environment, too. We should all be looking for ways to help the environment and lessen our impact. Maybe cutting down the damage we’re doing to the environment is an upside to the higher price of fuel?
I’d love to hear ways that you’re cutting down on the amount of petrol you’re using.