Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

An update on my car discoveries October 3, 2008

Filed under: Boston,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 3:15 pm
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So, the other night, I told you about learning more about my car (including how to pump gas).  I actually got linked to by a Boston-related blog, Universal Hub, which is pretty cool.  I think I might start reading them!

And today, I discovered a few more facts.

The top number the instantaneous mpg reading can hit is 99.9 (it only has room for those digits).  And I’ve found that I can hit that number pretty often!  Basically, if I’m coasting (taking my foot off the gas), I can pretty much max out, since I’m using so little gas.  Let this act as a reminder that you should try to coast as much as possible (when it’s safe!) because your momentum can take you pretty far!

I also browsed around GasBuddy some more after my post.  One thing to note is that it sends you to the local site (for me it was BostonGasPrices).  One feature I’m a fan of is the Fuel LogBook.  It lets you keep track of what you’re spending on gas.  And it also tracks your gas mileage, so if you don’t have that fancy feature on your car (like I do), you can still see how you’re doing on gas mileage.  And it’s easier to just enter the information there than set up a spreadsheet to do it.

I also wanted to note that this is in no way a sponsored post.  I realized I’ve now posted twice about GasBuddy…I just wanted to share some things I’ve found!  You can also use MSN’s Gas Prices page to look at local gas prices.  They get their numbers from OPIS, rather than from local price-spotters.  Do you have a favorite place to go to find gas prices?

So far, it looks like my average mileage is 35.8 mpg.  I’m going to keep trying to drive as efficiently as possible!

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Gas gas gas! October 1, 2008

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 10:35 pm
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Today I did something that I’ve never done before.  It may come as a surprise…but today I pumped my own gas.  For the first time.  Ever.

Yes.  It’s true.  Now, I’m not a spoiled or lazy limo rider or something like that.  I got my license in New Jersey, one of the few states where you can’t pump your own gas.  And I rarely drove in high school anyways.  Take four years living in dorms in Cambridge, and two years taking public transportation, and you have a girl who didn’t really need a car.  And whenever I did need gas (borrowing my boyfriend’s car on occasion), the nearby station had full serve (and the cheapest gas in the area), so I didn’t have to pump my gas there, either.

And so today came…I was halfway through my drive to work when I noticed “the light” go on.  You know, the warning light that says that you only have a gallon or two left in your tank.  By the time I got to work, the needle on the gas gauge was nearing the zero line.  I hopped online briefly and took a look at GasBuddy to see what the prices were for gas in the area.  And since the nearest gas station to work was a little pricey, I bought a few gallons to make sure I got home, and rode the rest of the way home feeling a lot safer knowing I wasn’t running on fumes.

The funny/sad part is, I probably could have made it home…or at least known if I could make it home, had I read a little further into my owners manual.  When looking at the manual to see what gas level the warning light signified, I saw something about other information besides speed, miles, etc. on my dashboard.  I figured that was only an option for the “fancier” version of my car.  But nope, it turns out my car has all sorts of information!  While one meter shows the odometer and a few “trip” odometers, the other meter shows, among other things, the time, the outside temperature, instantaneous mpg, average mpg, and, the one that would have helped me out:  miles left on the tank.  Yep, they have an estimate for how much farther I could have gone.  But I didn’t try that out until after I’d gotten some gas.  Well, I guess now I know for future reference.

The mpg information is pretty cool, too.  The instantaneous mpg value fluctuates quite a bit, which makes sense (based on your speed, incline, gear, etc.).  The coolest moment was when I saw the reading go up to 99 mpg.  Yep.  It was pretty cool.  It was only on there for a moment, but I was kind of excited about that.  And I’m glad to report that my average mpg is above 30.  I don’t remember exactly what it’s at, but it’s pretty good.

So, there you have it.  I’ve finally pumped gas.  It’s really not hard at all!  I’ll keep you posted about the gas mileage I’m getting!

 

 
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