With many options for keeping track of your fuel use, there shouldn’t be a reason not to. Some of the popular methods are the use of personalized spreadsheets, downloadable forms, tracking applications, and websites. There are also already so many reasons to keep a record of your fuel spending such as tax, calculating MPG, budgeting, keeping track of miles driven, etc.
Reasons to Record
Taxes – You may already be a receipt saver for all your other purchases so why not add this into your procedure. If you’re not this would be a great way to start and allow you to put it on your taxes for a bigger refund. Youll be surprised to know that fuel used for a job is refundable and/or tax-deductible depending on your situation.
Calculating mpg – You may have bought a car that you don’t completely know the MPG of. A quick google is a common remedy for this situation, but every vehicle is different and your cargo isn’t calculated in general calculations. Maybe you suspect that you’re not getting the same mpg that you looked up. Calculating your MPg will allow you to give you a more definitive answer and could, if not performing to your standards, be an early red flag that your vehicle requires maintenance.
Budgeting – This day and age budgeting is becoming more and more meaningful. In most budgets transportation is one of the main staples in planning your expenses. Knowing more accurately how much you spend on gas and how often you can help build or adjust a current budget.
Tracking Miles – All vehicles wear down over time and miles are driven is often correlated with the price of the vehicle and times frames for maintenance records. Tracking your miles better will allow you to have a better understanding of how long you drive and will assist in building a maintenance schedule.
Key Factors for Records
Make & Model – This factor is optional but highly suggest if you have or use multiple vehicles.
Date – Time frame when the vehicle was refueled. Keeping track of the date will give you a better understanding of the length of time between refueling.
Odometer Reading – Can be replaced with miles traveled since last fill up. It allows you to track the distance you have traveled between refueling.
Gallons Bought – This number can vary between makes and models and tank sizes. Always recommended to fill your tank to full to get a more accurate MPG estimate.
Cost – Price of the entire fill up. Additionally, you can make note of the price of gas for your records.
Driving Condition – Also known as stop & go (city) and highway, driving conditions can affect you how much fuel you use. This is an optional factor that is normally guessed and is not used in the actual calculation of your MPG.
To calculate the mpg steps below will be provided with fabricated numbers.
Step 1: Take the current odometer reading and subtract the previous reading from each other to get miles driven. This can be skipped if miles were recorded instead.
Ex. 24320.0 – 24007.5 = 312.5 miles
Step 2: Divide the miles traveled by the current gallons purchased.
Ex. 312.5 / 9.3 = 33.6 MPG
The results are 33.6 MPG from the calculation. Now that you have the tools, it’s time to start tracking fuel costs and decide how you can change it to help your budgeting. To make this easier, use your mobile phone with an app like google docs, then you will have access to it from anywhere and you won’t forget to make an addition. Each time you fill up you can do this calculation for your own records or make use of our MPG calculator and be able to record the numbers without having to calculate it yourself.