Implement frugal fuel and travel tweaks to manage add-on costs

Carla Oberholzer, DebtSafe Debt Adviser and PRO.

The Automobile Association (AA) highlights that a hefty fuel hike may be on the way. Taking the latest, unaudited month-end fuel price data into account: Petrol is set for a massive increase of 73 cents a litre, and diesel will increase by 39 cents per litre. In addition to the expected adjustments, the General Fuel Levy and Road Accident Fund Levies will also come into effect this month. The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy is expected to make the official announcement on the 7th of April.

According to Carla Oberholzer, debt adviser at DebtSafe: “South African consumers are facing an ongoing financial battle and a fuel hike add-on is, unfortunately, pouring fuel over their current financial fire.”

But, Oberholzer says that although your current financial situation deems unfavourable, you can add thrifty travel and fuel tweaks to your daily routine or lifestyle and effectively manage add-on costs. To mention but a few, here are ideas to get your ‘fuel frugal behaviour’ going:

  • If you have to drive a 20 KM+ distance to get to work, joining a lift club/ a carpool or ‘rideshare’ can be a suitable option to consider to lower your monthly fuel expenditures.
  • Don’t drive to different shopping centres to buy your groceries. Choose one outlet or one mall closest to home – you will save those extra miles on your car, and fuel usage will be less.
  • Start using your rewards systems (if you have any), for example, when you have to fuel up your car. It can help you to save money in the long run.
  • Make use of a convenient phone app like fillapp to alert you when to fill up your tank.
  • If you use diesel – be aware that diesel is not regulated. Consider the Pitstops app and do your homework in advance to know exactly which fuel station near you offers a better price on diesel.
  • Remember to check your tyre pressures regularly (at least once every two weeks) – to improve fuel efficiency.

Added costs to your already stretched budget can be challenging to deal with. But, implementing frugal fuel tweaks into your everyday routine can indeed help you manage and deal with the upcoming financial pinch.