SOURCE: Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.

February 26, 2015 08:30 ET

How to Get Extra Miles Out of Gas Savings

Saving at the Pump Could Help Canadians Slay Debt

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - February 26, 2015) - The gas station -- once a place of financial pain and misery -- has undergone a transformation in recent months. Instead of wincing at the pumps, Canadians are rejoicing. Despite gas prices slowly creeping upwards, Canadians are saving an average of $20 each time they fill up, and the gas pump has transformed into a slot machine that pays out every time.
 
But what are Canadians doing with the extra money? GfK Canada released some numbers showing that the dollars are staying at the gas station. They found that only 20 per cent are putting the extra money in their savings account.

"A significant number (of Canadian drivers) are indulging before they leave the gas station," says Stephen Popiel, VP at GfK Canada. "(Canadian drivers) are buying more gas, and even purchasing high-margin coffee, snacks, and confectionaries from the station stores."

Jeff Schwartz, executive director at Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, thinks Canadians can be doing much more with the extra money.

"We need to think beyond the instant gratification of a coffee and a muffin at the gas station," says Schwartz. "Here's an idea -- lump that extra money onto your credit card payments and you could potentially save thousands."

Using the credit card debt calculator at Consolidated Credit's newly redesigned website, Schwartz found that the simple savings at the pumps could have a tremendous impact on credit card repayment. 

The average Canadian has $2,627 in credit card debt. At four refills per month, Canadians could be saving approximately $80. If they add that amount to their monthly minimum payments, they will pay off the balance 16 years sooner and save over $3,200 in interest payments:

     
   Minimum payments  Min. Payments + $80
Avg. credit card debt  $2,627.00  $2,627.00
Time to pay off balance  18 years and 9 months  2 years and 5 months
Interest paid  $3,859.18  $587.56
Total paid  $6,486.18  $3,214.56
Amount saved  -  $3,271.62
Time saved  -  16 years and 4 months

*Minimum payments calculated at 2.5% of the outstanding balance; APR 19%

"It just goes to show that every little bit helps," says Schwartz. "Not many people saw these gas prices coming -- so really, the savings are like a bonus. Pay it forward and say good-bye to your credit card debt."

Consolidated Credit recommends that you make an estimation of your monthly gas savings, and create a pre-authorized monthly payment to your credit card with that amount plus your minimum payment. 

That way, your savings won't get lost in the candy aisle.

About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

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Contact Information

  • For more information or to request an interview with Jeffrey Schwartz, please contact:
    Jacob MacDonald
    Public Relations Coordinator
    Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.
    T: 416-915-7283 ext.1041
    C: 647-390-5253
    F: 416-915-5200
    E: jmacdonald@consolidatedcredit.ca