Welcome to The Weekly B.E.T.™ (Budget Enhancing Tip) from your friends at Prosperity Training, Inc. Every Wednesday we’ll post The Weekly B.E.T.™, fulfilling in part, our commitment to help you reduce expenses and put more hard earned money back in your pocket. Our #1 goal is to help you achieve the continuous improvement of your personal monetary affairs.


I have been noticing a ton of TV, radio and print ads by car companies touting how much I will save by buying the new high MPG vehicle and I began to think I ought to buy one. Then I did some math!

There’s no doubt you’ll save at the gas pump. You’ll use less gas. However, that’s only part of the equation.

Let’s say you have a ‘gas guzzler’ that gets 16MPG. It’s a five year old 4×4 that’s in very good condition with 75,000 miles on it. You have done a very good job maintaining it and it has been garaged kept. It has 4 wheel drive, is very good in snow can haul a ton of cargo and you can trailer your boat/whatever. You are going to try to sell it or trade it in for $10,000 (best case scenario) it’s paid off and you are choosing a new Chevy Cruz that gets 35MPG (city/highway best case). It has a 4 cyl engine with a manual transmission — for best MPG. It’s a compact car that doesn’t haul very much, is a little cramped and can’t tow anything, essentially its main attraction is the 35MPG and how much you’ll save. Let’s do the math…

Chevy Cruz costs $22,000 – $10,000 trade/down payment = $12,000 balance financed for 5 years at 6% makes a monthly payment of $232.

Let’s say you drive 1250 miles per month and the cost of gas is $4.00/gal.  1250/35mpg = 36 gallons x $4.00/per gal. Your monthly gas out of pocket is $144.00 + the monthly $232.00 monthly payment = $376.00 per month overall out of pocket.

You own the gas guzzler you drive 1250 miles per month and the cost of gas is $4.00. 1250/16mpg = 78 gallons x $4.00= $312 per month out of pocket.

$376 – $312= $64.00. You are actually SAVING $64/month or $768.00/yr and $3840 over the 5 years!

Chevy Cruz is a nice tiny compact car,1.4 liter 4 cylinder  that caries little has a cramped feeling and can’t tow or haul anything.

The Gas Guzzler is a big safer 4×4 (good in snow and bad weather) V8 carry-all with lots of room and can haul a lot of stuff/big load and can tow a trailer or boat or what not

The above assumes a big down payment and 6% interest — best case scenario for monthly payment and MPG (combined highway/city). Right now dealers are not discounting these or offering 0% financing.

A Chevy Traverse  comperable to your gas guzzler with a V6 front wheel drive gets 17 city 24 highway (it’s not a 4×4) and costs about $34,000!

Do the math!  It’ll cost you a fortune and doesn’t deliver the same (4×4) performance. You’ll never come out ahead on this one.

The bottom line here is you’ll be marketed to heavily to buy a new fuel efficient compact car/mid-size crossover — whatever and you’ll think you will save on fuel costs and feel really good until you do the math!!

Old or new, ALL motor vehicles require maintenance. A well maintained vehicle needs: Oil changes, tires, shocks, breaks, mufflers/exhaust,transmission service, filters. fluids, car washes, etc, etc. There’s no little or difference here.

Take that old gas guzzler and clean it out, detail the interior,  get the new car smell air freshener. Wash and wax the outside.Fix any dings and/or rust. All of this will help you feel better about your old car and rejoice at how much extra money you have in your pocket every month!!

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