## Ten ways to profit from a gasoline windfall

### Ways to use the extra money resulting from decreasing gas prices.

Have you noticed the price of gasoline is on the decline? According to gasbuddy.com, the average price of gasoline in the U.S. on December 22, 2013 was \$3.24 per gallon. The price had fallen to \$2.37 on December 22, 2014. This amounts to a savings of \$ 0.84 per gallon. What are your plans for this windfall?

The first step is to calculate the total monthly amount of your savings. How many gallons of gas do you buy monthly? Take this number and multiply it by \$0.84 to find the amount saved. For example, let’s say you purchase 50 gallons of gasoline per month. Multiply 50 X .84 and you are spending \$42 less than you were last December. This amount will fluctuate as the price of fuel changes. Gasbuddy.com lists the current price of gasoline on a national and regional level as well as historical prices.

This windfall may evaporate like smoke from an exhaust pipe unless you devise a plan for it. Here are ten thought starters for you to try.

• Start an emergency fund. Save money each month to assist you when emergencies arise
• Invest in a retirement account
• Invest in a college savings plan
• Increase amount paid on credit card bill
• Increase amount paid on a car loan or mortgage
• Increase amount paid toward student loans
• Catch up on bills that are in arrears
• Make a donation to your favorite charity
• Invest in energy efficient light bulbs and caulking to seal air leaks
• Invest in regular car maintenance

Michigan State University Extension educators believe that consumers should take advantage of the declining gas prices and devise a plan for the extra funds to help secure their financial future. For information on savings, debt, and other money management topics, please visits MIMoneyHealth.org.