(TORONTO, ON) – Gas stations are filling up gas tanks, but emptying bank accounts. Gas prices across the country increased over the Easter weekend and are forecasted to remain higher than normal through the summer.
According to TomorrowsGasPriceToday.com, Canadians are paying around 15 cents a litre more for gas this year than the same time last year. In major cities throughout Canada, drivers are seeing gas prices ranging from $1.20 to more than $1.50 a litre.
Canada’s geography makes driving long distances a necessity. A study by Natural Resources Canada states the average Canadian drives over 15,000km a year. A large portion of this is due to commuting for work. Statistics Canada states that over 11 million Canadians drive to work each day with an average commuting time of around 25 minutes.
Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc., says the increase in prices can put a strain on people struggling with debts.
“Buying gas is a burden to those in debt. That extra $5-$10 a day it costs to get to and from work can be the difference between having enough money to pay your bills, and defaulting on payments.” – Schwartz
Luckily, there are ways to save money on gas:
· Driving Sensibly – Using cruise control, driving the speed limit, and limiting your braking can all make your vehicle more fuel efficient. Drivers can improve gas mileage by 33% on the highway and 5% in town by driving more conservatively.
· Inflate your tires – A partially deflated tire will impact your fuel performance. For every 1 psi that your tires are under-inflated, your fuel economy can drop by 0.3%.
· Don’t idle – Idling can burn up to two litres of gas an hour. What a waste!
· Lighten your vehicle – Carrying around an extra 100lbs in your trunk could decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 2%.
· Leave your car at home – It’s summer time and Canadians love to be outside this time of year. What better way to conserve and reduce costs than by leaving your vehicle at home?
Source: U.S. Department of Energy
“Just like a million rocks make a mountain, a million small expenses can make a mountain of debt. By cutting back on fuel costs, you can remove those rocks one by one, until your mountain of debt disappears” – Schwartz
Cars take up a big portion of the budgets of Canadians. With car payments, maintenance and gas, these expenses can quickly add up. Cutting car costs is a good method to stay financially healthy. To learn more about the commuting habits of Canadians, visit Statistics Canada.
For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
Eric Spence, Public Relations Coordinator, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. (B) 416.915.7283 ext. 1041 (C) 416.731.5588 or [email protected].