What nearly running out of gas taught me about finances

I will admit that I’m not a car guy. I take care of minor maintenance; gas, washer fluid, bulbs, etc. I rarely wash my car and take it to get oil changes and tune-ups a little too infrequently to be honest.

nearly-emptySo fast forward to earlier this week, the car had been running rough for a few weeks AND it was time to fill up (based on the warning light). We’re freshly back from vacation and now the things I put off (which I planned to do before we left) are more than overdue to be resolved.

I finally drug myself into the “kwik” place to get my oil changed. I expected them to find something since I hadn’t done as good by my car as I should, but I got away with only an oil change and a new air filter. I didn’t get gas though; I was too tired and figured I could get it the next morning.

Next morning, on the move I had no time for gas again and said to myself, “I’ll get some this evening”. Well, evening came and I was on the road to head to the gas station… then the warning light goes off. At that moment I had several choices that needed to be made that would determine my future and the likelihood of making it to where I needed to go–to the gas station.

After a short prayer for no traffic I made the following decisions:
1. I’m going to the gas station near my house
2. I’m letting down my windows and shutting off the A/C (I need to check myth busters to see if that actually works). Did I mention it was over 100 degrees?
3. I’m not putting myself in this position anymore. The inconvenience of walking miles to the gas station is far more than the inconvenience of stopping by the station with half a tank of gas on a busy day.

In my drive to make it to the station, this lesson came to mind…

I was willing to go through a little discomfort to make it to my destination.
What is debt freedom worth to you? Giving up eating out for a while? Taking an extra job (or two)? Selling some stuff? Riding the bus? To get to the position of financial empowerment, many will face discomfort. When I speak to groups I often say, “If you are hurting anyway, hurt while working toward something.” Why just hurt and struggle to pay bills?

I passed up other convenience stores (options) to get to the store I knew was open.
This was actually a risky thing that I did; I went to what was comfortable. I ‘knew’ the station not too far from my home was never busy (I was afraid I’d have to wait in line somewhere else), and I was just unsure the other signs I saw from the freeway were for stations that were potentially closed, full, or whatever.

In times of stress, we go back to what’s comfortable, this happens in many areas of life. I suggest you pass up those comfortable options; credit cleaning services, payday loans, lottery, and the like, and try a proven process to win. We just happen to know that process.

I constantly monitored my gas gauge (to know where I stood).
Do you really know where you stand financially? Based on statistics, most reading this post do not. How can you improve or strengthen something without knowing where it presently stands? Just knowing where you stand will help you develop a plan for where you want to go. We can help you with that, and have resources to support you.

I got into this position by being lazy (I was just too tired to do it then I kept putting it off), which didn’t change the situation; it only made it more critical to take care of.
Your financial situation is not going to fix itself; you have to take charge of it. You need to have a “Sick and Tired” moment and move to make the changes needed to be financially empowered. Watch your spending, save for rainy days, budget. Plan for birthdays, Christmas and travel and commit to making these things cash-only expenses.

I hope this little story helped you. Drop by our free resources page to help you figure out where you stand financially, set up a rainy day fund, budget, save for purchases, and more.

Be Blessed, Be Free!


  1. Well put! Finances definitely put us in uncomfortable situations when we do not take time on the front end to manage them well. I am so grateful for you and Sis. Bonita’s ministry, because it has really helped me to be more accountable to the blessings God gives me. I am still not where I need to be, but I am definitely NOT going to walk to a gas station in 100+ Texas heat….metaphorically or in real life either. I’m getting my life in order, one penny at a time. Thank you!

  2. Antoinyce E.

    I really enjoyed this article – very profound, in fact! I loved the analogy and, quite frankly, it comes at a very timely moment in my life. I think I’ve gotten to the “sick and tired” place and the place where – where I want to be is worth more to me than the comforts and “pleasures” of the now (which are really not pleasurable anyway if they land me in financial bondage – just preaching to myself :)) You are really a blessing, and I am grateful for the tips and tools I’m able to glean from you all! This article is being printed and added to my library!!


  3. Bradley Vinson

    Thank you Doc for the comment. We have walked in the heat financially and the ‘coolness’ of financial empowerment is definitely better! One step (penny) at a time, you’ll get there.

  4. Bradley Vinson

    Wow, the “sick and tired” moment, it’s empowering in it’s own way. Preach it Antoinyce! We’re glad to be of service, and happy this little story helped (I sat at the station and recorded my thoughts for this post before I got out and pumped my gas, it just popped in my head, ‘this is a great example of handling finances’). Check out the forms area for a little kick start and let us know if you have any questions.

  5. Lateefa

    What a great read and a great analogy. It’s funny because that situation (running out of gas) is one of my fears, so it definitely peeked my interests. You could also take it a step further…by continually running on low fuel or fumes, as some of us do, we actually damage certain components of our vehicles. Just think what we are doing long-term to our financial well-being by continuing to ‘coast’ through life without periodic tune-ups and regular maintenance. Thanks for the encouragement and guidance. I think its time to visit the mechanic.

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