These days you don't need a monster truck to burn money on gas. Fuel prices have gone up so much in recent months that even filling up a hybrid car can make it hard to juggle other bills.
Gas prices increased five cents a gallon last week to $2.74 a gallon for the national gas price average. That is eight cents more than it was this time last year, according to data from AAA. And it’s probably going to get even more expensive in the coming months.
To help fill up our tanks — as well as our wallets — below are 4 great tips we can use to help pay for gas or even get our next round for free.
Tip One: Gift Cards for Gas
While we typically buy gift cards as presents for loved ones, grabbing one for ourselves can help us out the next time we have to fill up our tanks.
Many stores such as Walmart offer discounts when you use their gift cards at the pump. Some sites even sell discounted gift cards for gas. For example, you could buy a gift card worth $50 for $40.
Gift cards are great since you don't have to worry about clipping a coupon and they often don't expire like most other offers. If you find a Walmart discounted gift card, you can even stack your savings by combining both discounts. Also, if you have a bit of money left over on your gift card, you can buy a snack while refueling. Just make sure you pick a gift card for a gas station that is close to your home or job so you don't have to travel far to save on gas.
Tip Two: Grocery Rewards Program
While we may think we can only use our supermarket rewards cards when shopping for groceries, these cards can actually be used to save on gas too.
Safeway, for instance, allows its customers to use their membership cards to earn rewards and later redeem them for gas. Other stores will offer savings on fuel in the hope that you shop with them more often.
Tip Three: Free Gas Vouchers
Churches are always looking for ways to help support their communities. If you find yourself in a tough spot and unable to pay for gas expenses, contact your local church, your local Health and Human Services Department or Salvation Army, and explain your need. They might be able to give you a free gas voucher to provide temporary assistance. Please keep in mind that funding may be limited and can vary by location.
Tip Four: Get Immediate Access to Your Earnings to Pay for Gas
Many of us can’t wait until payday to pay for stuff like gas when we need it the most.
Amanda, an Earnin member from Michigan shared how hard it can be to pay for expenses while waiting for her paycheck. “I'm a single mother who works 34 miles away from home. I drive a minivan, many times in between paychecks I don't have enough gas to get to work,” she explained.
So, what does she do to get by? Amanda uses Earnin to cash out her hard earned money instead of waiting two weeks for her paycheck. “I do a cash out with this app and immediately have funds in my account. I'm able to get fuel and food for my daughter and I,” she said.
At Earnin, we know how hard our community members work for their paycheck. We believe people should get paid immediately for the hours that they worked, especially if they need to pay for gas in order to get to work.
Bonus tip: Use Lightning Speed so money will post to your account faster than it takes to fill up your tank, even on weekends and holidays.