gas prices http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1258/all en-US 7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_new_car_000023883579.jpg" alt="Woman making money mistakes everyone makes with their first car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's easy to make money mistakes anytime you buy a car &mdash; but your first car is especially risky. Here are some expensive first-time car buying mistakes and how to avoid them.</p> <h2>1. Buying the Wrong Kind of Car</h2> <p>When shopping for your first car, it's easy to overlook how you're going to actually use it in the long term. You might think about picking up friends to go out, but overlook routine chores such as hauling groceries home. Your car needs can change rapidly. You don't want a two-seater if your family could grow to three or more within a couple short years. The best way to save money on car expenses is to drive the same car for many years, so choose wisely!</p> <h2>2. Buying a Car With Poor Fuel Economy</h2> <p>If you are buying your first car, you probably aren't used to experiencing pain at the pump, and consequently you may not consider the cost of keeping gas in a pick-up truck. With the current low gas prices, you may not feel that fuel economy is a major consideration &mdash; but don't fall for this expensive mistake. If you choose a car that gets half the fuel economy, you'll pay twice as much for gas &mdash; no matter what happens to the price of gas. And just because gas prices are low today doesn't mean they'll stay low forever. If you buy a fuel hog and gas prices go up, it could seriously impact the resale value of your vehicle down the road.</p> <h2>3. Surprise Maintenance Required</h2> <p>Used cars are much less expensive to buy than new, and are a great choice for a first car. But sometimes a used vehicle can have expensive problems that are not obvious until after you have driven off in it. Never buy a vehicle with a check engine light on unless you understand what maintenance is required to resolve the issue. The problems indicated by a check engine light can cost only a few dollars to repair &mdash; such as replacing the gas cap &mdash; or thousands. The only way to know is to get the car checked out by a mechanic who can read the diagnostic codes, investigate the trouble, and provide an estimate for repairs.</p> <p>Even if the check engine light is not on, I recommend having any used vehicle checked over by a mechanic before you buy it. Getting a vehicle inspection can be a bit inconvenient and costs around $50, but you could save thousands by avoiding a car with expensive maintenance needs. You can also use the inspection report as a bargaining tool to get a better price. Do you really want to risk buying a used car without knowing what could be wrong with it?</p> <h2>4. Buying to Impress</h2> <p>Start your car search by thinking of the things you need a car to do. It needs to be reliable, get you to where you are going, and hold the things you need to haul. That's pretty much it. There are all kinds of options and upgrades available, but these do not change the basic functionality of a car.</p> <p>It is easy to think that a nice car will impress people and make your life better, but any reliable car provides the same basic utility. Try to approach buying a car as you would buying a tool, and don't let emotion overcome your judgment about what a car can do for you.</p> <h2>5. Thinking of a Vehicle as an Investment</h2> <p>Just because cars are expensive doesn't mean they are an investment. Almost any car you buy will drop significantly in value after only a few years. Dealers may encourage you to buy a more expensive car so it will have better resale value later. It is true that certain options such as automatic transmission and all-wheel drive improve resale value, but other options that add thousands of dollars to you car cost may bring only a few hundred dollars of resale value years later. Buying a car is an expense, not an investment. Try to minimize how much you need to spend to obtain safe, reliable transportation.</p> <h2>6. Not Negotiating on Price</h2> <p>Price negotiation can be a new concept for first-time car buyers. Car prices are not like prices for other items for sale &mdash; the sticker price is only a suggestion, and the seller is almost always ready to sell it for less. If you pay full asking price for a car, you are likely paying hundreds, or even thousands, more than you need to pay. With a few minutes of research on the Internet, you can arm yourself with the information you need to confidently negotiate a lower price. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/speed-past-car-debt-with-this-simple-timing-trick">Speed Past Car Debt With This Simple Timing Trick</a>)</p> <h2>7. Getting Tricked Into Dealer Financing</h2> <p>At the end of the car buying process, there is one more chance to make a costly mistake &mdash; dealer financing. The dealer may try to convince first-time car buyers that it will be difficult for them to get financing at all. After taking down some information and working some magic, they will appear with a financing offer and say that you were lucky to qualify. Just sign and the car is yours &mdash; along with its big monthly payments. The problem is that the interest rate from the dealer may be substantially higher than the rate you could get elsewhere. Avoid this trap by getting prequalified for financing at an online lender, credit union, or bank before you go car shopping. This way, you will know how much you can borrow and find a good interest rate before you fall in love with the car.</p> <p><em>What mistakes did you make when buying your first car?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dr-penny-pincher">Dr. Penny Pincher</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/speed-past-car-debt-with-this-simple-timing-trick">Speed Past Car Debt With This Simple Timing Trick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/to-change-the-bulb-just-remove-the-bumper-wait-what">To change the bulb, just remove the bumper. Wait, what? - UPDATED.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation financing fuel economy gas prices maintenance Mistakes negotiating new cars Tue, 02 Feb 2016 10:00:09 +0000 Dr. Penny Pincher 1647337 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000079647883_Large.jpg" alt="the cost of cheap gas is actually hurting her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I first started driving in the mid-1990s, gas prices generally hovered around $1.25 a gallon, and I could fill up my Chevy Cavalier with just $20 &mdash; and receive change back.</p> <p>In the last few years, it seemed as though the $20 fill-up was a thing of the past. That's why the last several months have been pretty exciting for drivers, as gas prices have once again dipped below $2.00 a gallon and stayed there. And why shouldn't we be excited? Low fuel prices means cheaper goods and services, as well as fat wallets.</p> <p>But that's not the whole story. While cheap gas certainly does help to stimulate our economy and improve household budgets, there is a dark side to the cheap gas. The low prices can often mask high costs elsewhere in the economy or the future. Here are four reasons why cheap gas costs more than you think.</p> <h2>1. Buying More Car Than You Need</h2> <p>Human beings have a hard time recognizing that things change, even when we have recent experience that tells us otherwise. This is called the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-common-logic-traps-you-may-be-falling-for">forever changeless assumption</a>, and it's the reason why drivers flock to large gas-guzzlers when the price at the pump is low, and then race out to buy hybrids when prices spike. The rise of fuel-efficient Japanese cars in the '70s and early '80s, followed by the ubiquity of SUVs in the '90s, then the rise of the hybrid in the 2000s, has lead us to this point.</p> <p>The problem is something that automotive auctioneer and Yahoo Auto contributor Steven Lang refers to as &quot;the 1% solution.&quot; Drivers will buy a vehicle because they are trying to solve a problem that only plagues them 1% of the time. For instance, when gas prices are low, a car buyer might focus on the need to haul the entire extended family and buy a three-row minivan, even though the family only makes family visits once a year. When gas prices go up, worries about the price at the pump make car buyers chase fuel economy and ignore the higher sticker price on the efficient car.</p> <p>You might be thinking that this issue is relatively rare. Except for the Richie Rich types, not many people buy cars every couple of years, and the majority of drivers keep their gas-guzzling vans during periods of expensive fill-ups or keep their hybrids even when a gallon of gas is cheaper than a gallon of milk.</p> <p>But America's fleet of cars is older now than it has ever been with a remarkable average age of 11.5 years. Though the cars produced in the past 12 years are durable, they will eventually need to be replaced. Americans were already buying cars at record rates in 2015, and the trend is expected to continue.</p> <p>That's not to say that you'll jump from driving a Honda Fit to a Ford F-350 just because gas is cheap. According to Steven Lang, &quot;Car buyers tend to take two steps to the right when gas prices are low. If they would normally look at a sub-compact, they'll buy a sedan instead.&quot;</p> <p>The problem with the 1% solution is not just the sticker price, which tends to be higher on larger vehicles. Everything from the cost of regular maintenance to the price of tires goes up with larger cars. And there is no guarantee that cheap gas will remain forever changeless &mdash; and good luck unloading your gas-guzzler when the price of oil spikes again.</p> <h2>2. Wear and Tear on Your Vehicle</h2> <p>There is some debate as to whether consumers are likely to drive more when gas prices are low. One study has shown that Millennials in particular are <a href="http://jalopnik.com/cheaper-gas-is-making-millennials-drive-a-ton-1701419095">likely to drive more</a> when the cost of gas is low, while the Energy Information Administration (EIA) claims that <a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=19191">gasoline is an inelastic resource</a>, which means demand does not change when prices fluctuate.</p> <p>However, AAA calculates that 46.6 million Americans <a href="http://newsroom.aaa.com/2015/11/46-9-million-americans-to-travel-for-thanksgiving-according-to-aaa/">traveled for Thanksgiving 2015</a>, which is the highest number of travelers for that holiday since 2007. The low cost of gas certainly played a factor for many travelers.</p> <p>But driving more &mdash; even if it's just additional, special occasion driving &mdash; does put wear and tear on your car. Calculating the exact cost of wear and tear is difficult, but AAA found the average cost per mile in 2014 to be <a href="http://exchange.aaa.com/automobiles-travel/automobiles/driving-costs/#.Vp_km1MrJ-1">44.9 cents per mile</a> for a small sedan driven about 15,000 miles per year. (This cost does include the price of gas.)</p> <h2>3. Traffic Fatalities</h2> <p>Driving your car more is not just potentially costly for your vehicle. It also increases the statistical likelihood that you will get into a wreck. According to sociologist Guangqing Chi of South Dakota State University, a 20-cent decline in gas prices in Minnesota correlated with an additional <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/01/06/375308884/the-downside-of-cheaper-gas-more-accident-fatalities">15 traffic-related deaths</a> per year. He surmises that a $2 drop in gas prices could translate to an additional 9,000 traffic fatalities per year nationally.</p> <p>There are a number of reasons for this. Cheaper gas means drivers often take more trips &mdash; both long road trips and regular errands &mdash; rather than staying home or combining local trips to save gas. In addition, the fluctuating cost of gasoline has a larger effect on young drivers. When gas prices are low, there are more young and inexperienced drivers on the road since they can afford a tank of gas &mdash; and those are the drivers who are at the greatest risk of being in a car accident.</p> <h2>4. Environmental Concerns</h2> <p>We all know that driving is not great for the environment. Not only do the emissions of <a href="http://homeguides.sfgate.com/am-harming-environment-driving-78514.html">hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide</a> from each and every tailpipe contribute to ground-level ozone and global warming (not to mention the human health implications of carbon monoxide), but the production of fuel creates a significant amount of similar emissions, accounting for 19% of the emissions produced during the life cycle of the average car.</p> <p>This is problematic both because cheap gas can potentially encourage more driving, and because low prices at the pump make society as a whole less interested in fuel efficiency. According to Michael Sivak, research professor at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, &quot;Fuel economy for new cars, light trucks, and sport utility vehicles rose fairly steadily from 20.1 miles per gallon in October 2007 to 25.8 MPG in August 2014&hellip; [but] since then, fuel economy of the new-car fleet has reversed course, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/business/energy-environment/cheap-gas-is-a-thrill-but-a-costly-one.html?_r=0">dropping to 25 MPG in November [2015]</a>.&quot;</p> <p>Even environmentally-conscious consumers are less likely to make decisions in the best interest of the earth when gas is cheap. Without the immediate pain of costly fill-ups, it can be difficult for drivers to remember that every trip they make contributes to the deterioration of the environment.</p> <h3>Striking a Balance</h3> <p>Cheap gas is not as cheap as it may seem, since our behavior adjusts to low prices in ways that can be very costly. It's a good idea to think of gasoline as an expensive and precious resource, even when a gallon costs less than a bottle of water, since that will help you to remember the hidden costs.</p> <p><em>Do you buy cheap gas? Share your opinion on this trend in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving">Here&#039;s How Rich You&#039;d Be If You Stopped Driving</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-gas-free-ebook">Save money on gas + free ebook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fill-your-tank">Fill your tank</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/running-the-numbers-on-the-bigger-car-what-s-your-cost-and-is-it-worth-it">Running the numbers on the bigger car: what’s your cost and is it worth it?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation car costs cheap gas gas gas mileage gas prices new car Thu, 28 Jan 2016 18:00:04 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1646414 at http://www.wisebread.com America Is On a Roll: 5 Economic Predictions for 2016 http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/child_business_career_000022805836.jpg" alt="Child making economic predictions for America for 2016" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The past year was a good year for the American economy, and many positive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-back-4-economic-predictions-for-2015">economic predictions</a> came true. Signs seem to indicate that 2016 will be another good one, as the U.S. will continue to outperform its peers, with GDP growth ranging from 2.1% to 4%, according to data from the International Monetary Fund.</p> <p>Here is an updated look at the economic outlook for the U.S. in 2016 &mdash; including several reasons why our nation is on a roll.</p> <h2>1. Oil Continues to Be Cheap</h2> <p>Gasoline is one of the cheaper buys of 2015 that will likely continue to be affordable throughout 2016. As many economists lower their forecasts for average oil prices next year, U.S. consumers will continue to have more room in their monthly budgets.</p> <p>The U.S. Energy Information Administration currently predicts an average retail price (including taxes) of <a href="http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/">$2.06 per gallon</a> for regular grade gasoline and of $2.52 per gallon for diesel fuel for January, 2016. Lower gas prices also have a positive trickle-down effect on several industries, including the airline and retail sectors. Expect several stocks in those sectors to do well.</p> <h2>2. American Debt Is Smaller</h2> <p>The current average U.S. household credit card debt is down from the high levels of the 2007&ndash;2009 recession. For example, the average debt per U.S. household was $7,421 in 2014, down from $8,832 in 2008.</p> <p>These lower debt levels allow the average consumer to bridge a cash crunch when needed. With more consumers reaching a FICO score of 800 (19.9%) and fewer ones scoring below 550, there is strong evidence that Americans are getting better at handling debt.</p> <h2>3. Millennials Are Buying Homes</h2> <p>Improving credit scores are allowing more Americans to have access to financing.</p> <p>Pundits love to focus on stereotypes when talking about the Millennial generation. But many are missing out on the fact that Millennials are dominating the housing market in several U.S. cities.</p> <p>During the first half of 2015, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/the-cities-where-millennials-are-taking-over-the-housing-market">60% of home buyers</a> using a mortgage in Des Moines, Iowa were ages 25 to 34. Other cities where Millennials have the highest share of mortgages are Provo, Utah (49%), Baton Rouge, Louisiana (47%), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (47%), and Grand Rapids, Michigan (46%).</p> <p>While 70% of Millennial college graduates are borrowing to pay for their education, they are still able to purchase homes due to two reasons:</p> <p>First, recipients of a four-year degree make an <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/millennials_report.pdf">estimated $570,000 more</a> in lifetime earnings than those who only have a high school diploma, and even recipients of a two-year degree make an estimated $170,000 more. Second, having at least a four-year degree increases the probability of homeownership, no matter the size of your student debt. For example, the probability of homeownership for recipients of bachelor's degrees and master's degrees are <a href="http://www.zillow.com/blog/student-debt-effect-homeownership-182547/">61% and 66%</a>, respectively.</p> <p>As more Millennials are taking out more mortgages, they appear to be very responsible with their monthly payments. The percentage of the U.S. population with delinquency of at least 90 days <a href="http://www.fico.com/en/blogs/risk-compliance/us-credit-quality-continues-climb-will-level/">dropped from 6.4%</a> in April 2014 to 5.1% in April 2015. This can also partly explain the improving FICO score levels.</p> <p>Millennial home purchasing is a sign of improving economic conditions, and starts off a chain reaction of positive effects. For example, a home may need renovations, so a homeowner hires a contractor &mdash; or a kitchen needs more energy efficient appliances, so a buyer visits an electronics store. As Millennials spend, the broader economy benefits.</p> <h2>4. Wages Continue to Increase</h2> <p>In 2015, several American cities enjoyed <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-american-cities-with-the-highest-minimum-wage">higher minimum wages</a>, and there will be many more in 2016.</p> <p>Here are some cities and states with scheduled minimum wage bumps for next year:</p> <ul> <li>Berkeley, California: $12.53 per hour in October 1, 2016 (currently $11.00 per hour)</li> <li>Connecticut: $9.60 per hour in January 1, 2016 (currently $9.15 per hour)</li> <li>District of Columbia: $11.50 per hour in July 1, 2015 (currently $10.50 per hour)</li> <li>Honolulu, Hawaii: $8.50 per hour in January 1, 2016 (currently $7.75 per hour)</li> <li>San Francisco, California: $13.00 per hour in July 1, 2016 (currently $12.25 per hour)</li> <li>Vermont: $9.60 per hour in January 1, 2016 (currently $9.15 per hour)</li> </ul> <p>In Vermont, a full-time worker making the minimum wage would make $19,032 in 2015 and $19,968 in 2016, assuming no overtime and excluding other income, such as tips. That has the strong potential of improving the living conditions of workers who depend on the minimum wage to make a living.</p> <h2>5. U.S. Interest Rates Will (Finally!) Go Up</h2> <p>2015 was supposed to be the year that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates.</p> <p>However, as Yogi Berra once said, &quot;It ain't over, 'til it's over.&quot; Consumer prices <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/cpi.pdf">increased in October 2015</a> after two straight months of declines. Add the appreciation of the U.S. dollar against other currencies and a jobless rate that is consistent with full employment to a moderate inflation increase, and you get a very likely chance that the U.S. Federal Reserve could finally increase interest rates this December 16, 2015.</p> <p>In the event that Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, decides to hold on off to an interest rate hike, there's a slim chance that she will delay liftoff beyond early 2016.</p> <p><em>Do you expect 2016 to be better for the economy &mdash; and your pocketbook?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sobering-facts-about-credit-card-debt">5 Sobering Facts About Credit Card Debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-credit-where-credit-is-due-edition">Best of Personal Finance: Credit Where Credit Is Due Edition</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/funding-your-401k-when-youre-in-debt">Funding your 401(k) when you&#039;re in debt</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth This Year</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-mistakes-to-stop-making-by-50">5 Money Mistakes to Stop Making by 50</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance debt gas prices housing market interest rates minimum wage u.s. economy Tue, 15 Dec 2015 14:00:03 +0000 Damian Davila 1619181 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_gas_tank_000023830503.jpg" alt="Learning how to get a hybrid or electric car on the cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've considered switching from a conventional gasoline vehicle to an electric or hybrid car, you'll be happy to know that you can expect to save money in the long run. The purchase price may be higher upfront as compared to a traditional gas model, but we've found a number of ways to help you get a green car on the cheap. Consider these options.</p> <h2>1. Buy It Used</h2> <p>Whether you decide to buy new or used, it's important to look for the best deals in your area before you ever step foot into a dealership. By purchasing a used hybrid vehicle, you won't have to sacrifice any of the features you want and can also save some significant money in the process. And since it can take many years for a new hybrid car to pay off in value, a used vehicle makes even more sense from a financial perspective. Make sure to research tips on buying a <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/tips-for-used-hybrid-car-shopping.html">used hybrid or electric car</a> for additional ways to save.</p> <h2>2. Research Before You Buy</h2> <p>Green cars aren't always more expensive upfront than comparable gas models. By doing your research and choosing the right model, you can save thousands of dollars on your purchase. You can easily compare the cost of a hybrid versus a non-hybrid from the same manufacturer to determine if buying a new or used hybrid can save you money.</p> <p>When you are comparing various options, make sure to consider more than just the base price. You'll also want to compare things like the mileage, range, charge, charging times, battery life, battery replacement and maintenance costs, power, specs, and your personal driving comfort so that you can get the best vehicle for your needs and lifestyle. The more features you add to your new car, the higher the price tag will be.</p> <h2>3. Watch the Gas Prices</h2> <p>Did you know that <a href="http://time.com/money/3529146/cheap-gas-prices-hybrid-electric-car/">cheaper gas prices</a> also translate to cheaper prices on hybrids and electric cars? Cutting back on gas is one of the major benefits of having a hybrid or electric car, but when gas prices drop, that benefit is suddenly less valuable. And as gas prices drop further, you can expect the price of hybrid and electric cars to continue falling as well.</p> <p>Use this as a bargaining tool when purchasing a new or used electric or hybrid vehicle. If you have a plug-in hybrid vehicle, then make sure to keep the battery fully charged so that it will use as much electricity possible, which will save you money at the pump.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso2">Best Credit Cards with Gas Rewards</a></p> <h2>4. Take Advantage of Available Incentives</h2> <p>Keep in mind that once you purchase a hybrid or electric car, you may be eligible for <a href="http://driveclean.ca.gov/pev/Costs/Vehicles.php">special incentives</a>, which will result in you saving more money. In fact, you may be eligible for as much as $7,500 in federal tax credits and another $2,500 in state incentives just for making the switch to a more environmentally friendly vehicle.</p> <h2>5. Lease It</h2> <p>Electric cars depreciate in value very quickly, as is the case with traditional gas models. Leasing the vehicle &mdash; rather than buying it &mdash; is a great solution if you aren't planning on keeping the car for the long-term, because you won't have to worry about the large initial depreciation hit. There are some great lease deals available and the low monthly payments can save you even more in the end.</p> <h2>6. Sign Up for Zipcar's Plan (In Select Cities)</h2> <p>If you aren't sure that an electric or hybrid vehicle is right for you, then consider signing up for <a href="http://www.zipcar.com/press/releases/zipcar-pilots-electric-vehicle-program-in-chicago">Zipcar's car-share pod</a>. The Electric Vehicle Pod is available to members by the hour, which will result in only a fraction of the cost of owning an electric vehicle. You can use the service the same as you would a normal Zipcar; simply rent the electric car when you need it, for as long as you need it, and return it when you are done. This is especially ideal for city-dwellers who don't drive on a daily basis. Check the site to see if it's available in your area.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other ways to get a hybrid or electric vehicle on the cheap? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-reasons-why-you-should-never-buy-a-new-car">3 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy a New Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you">8 Common Car Repair Mistakes That Can Cost You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living electric cars gas prices going green hybrids ride sharing vehicles Mon, 12 Oct 2015 15:00:26 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1571535 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Surprising Ways Spring Is Gonna Cost You http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bike-commuter-city-hipster-iStock_000021384980Small.jpg" alt="bike commuter" title="bike commuter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you live in a colder part of the country, you probably can't wait for this winter to end. The New York City area, for example, has experienced its second-coldest February in history. But before the warmer months hit, it's important to understand how the change in seasons will impact your finances. While winter brings its own financial burdens, spring and summer can empty your pocketbook, as well.</p> <p>Here's how to stay within your budget as the temperatures warm up.</p> <h2>1. Go Green With Transportation</h2> <p>You'll probably drive more when it gets warmer, and may even take long road trips. You can expect gas prices to rise as demand increases and fuel companies switch from winter to summer fuel blends. Gas prices will remain low by recent standards, but it might help to consider walking or biking to work, or using public transit.</p> <h2>2. Register Early for Summer Camp</h2> <p>Summer can be a challenge for working parents, as the kids are out of school and need someone to look after them during the day.This means that many families explore summer camps and other activities. A week of summer camp will set you back an average of $304, according to the American Camp Association, with some for-profit camps costing more than $500 weekly. It helps to register in the winter to take advantage of early bird registration deals, and you may get a discount by signing up for multiple weeks at the same location. There may also be discounts for families with multiple children at the same camp.</p> <h2>3. Start Saving for New Family Additions</h2> <p>If you or your partner are not pregnant already, you can probably disregard this one. But statistics show that more children are born during the spring and summer months than other times of the year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that August is the <a href="http://www.livescience.com/32728-baby-month-is-almost-here-.html">top month for new babies</a>. New arrivals aren't cheap, and you can definitely expect to spend some money in the months leading up to the delivery. Now is the time to start banking as much cash as you can.</p> <h2>4. Travel Within Your Means</h2> <p>With an improving economy, the American Automobile Association expects more people to take trips this summer. According to American Express, an average <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2014/07/07/the-real-cost-of-summer-vacation-dont-get-buried-in-taxes/">vacation will set you back $1,145</a> per person, or $4,580 for a family of four. The good news is that gas prices are lower than in years past, and a strong dollar means that it's cheaper to travel overseas.</p> <h2>5. Budget Home Expenses</h2> <p>When it's cold and snowy outside, there's no lawn to mow (and you're probably postponing the construction of that backyard patio until the thaw). Warmer weather is when you whip out the lawnmower and make the call to that contractor. It's also when you might make any repairs necessitated by the snow, ice, and wind of winter. Various sources suggest that a homeowner will spend about 1% of their home's value on maintenance each year. Much of this expense will happen during the spring and summer, so be sure to budget accordingly. Consider saving a few bucks here and there by watering your lawn less and attempting landscaping projects yourself.</p> <h2>6. Be Patient With Investments</h2> <p>There's an old saying that investors should &quot;sell in May and stay away&quot; until October. This is not perfect advice, but there is evidence to suggest that the <a href="https://www.fidelity.com/learning-center/trading-investing/technical-analysis/sell-in-may-and-go-away">stock market's slowest months</a> are in the spring and summer. Since 1950, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has averaged negative returns during the months of May, June, August, and September. It has seen positive returns during all other months.</p> <h2>7. It's the Thought That Counts for Mom and Dad</h2> <p>Undoubtedly, people spend more money on gifts around Christmas than any other time of year. But the holidays of spring and summer can also add to your expenses. Americans were expected to spend $162.94 on Mother's Day in 2014 and $113.80 on Father's Day, according to the National Retail Federation. If you want to save money on these holidays, consider some thoughtful, but less expensive gift options, such as a great home-cooked meal.</p> <h2>8. Skip the Theater</h2> <p>The summer months are when Hollywood's <a href="http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2014">biggest blockbusters</a> hit the theaters, and many of us go, even if it's just to sit in an air conditioned environment for a while. Six of last year's top grossing movies at the box office were released during the spring and summer. Going to the movies is not cheap; the average cost of a movie ticket is $8.17, and many recent top films have extra charges for 3D or IMAX screenings. Want to save a few bucks? Get a Netflix account or go to RedBox and watch movies at home.</p> <h2>9. Don't Buy a Car</h2> <p>Generally speaking, the best time to buy a car is the end of the year when sellers are looking to meet their sales quotas. And you might get some good prices on older models in the fall when new models come in. Though you won't see as many deep discounts in the summer, you can still do okay at the end of months or quarters.</p> <h2>10. Take Advantage of the Real Estate Market</h2> <p>No one wants to move in the winter time, so there's more competition for homes during warmer months. This places upward pressure on home prices. In 2014, the <a href="http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2015/embargoes/ehs-02-23/ehs-01-2015-single-family-only-2015-02-23.pdf">median price for homes sold</a> in the U.S. between May and August was about $220,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's about $20,000 more than the median price of other months. On the positive side, this is good news if you are selling your home, and buyers are more likely to see a larger selection of homes for sale.</p> <p><em>What does spring do to your budget?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-spring-is-gonna-cost-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-the-50-rule-can-save-you-money">4 Ways the 50% Rule Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-peer-pressure-from-destroying-your-finances">How to Keep Peer Pressure From Destroying Your Finances</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/try-these-6-money-saving-challenges-now">Try These 6 Money-Saving Challenges Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting: A Simple How-To Guide</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting General Tips gas prices saving money summer budgeting Mon, 16 Mar 2015 12:00:08 +0000 Tim Lemke 1338574 at http://www.wisebread.com Gas Prices Begin a Rebound: 5 Things to Know Now Before You Buy Your Next Car http://www.wisebread.com/gas-prices-begin-a-rebound-5-things-to-know-now-before-you-buy-your-next-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/gas-prices-begin-a-rebound-5-things-to-know-now-before-you-buy-your-next-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000051470404_XXXLarge.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Five years ago, I traded in a nimble 500 horsepower sports car for a hulking half-ton pickup truck. That's quite a change in daily driving habits, no doubt. But I remember my biggest shock: that first visit to the gas station. It cost over $100 to fill up the truck, twice what I was used to. I felt a little twinge of dread in the gut.</p> <p>It was really just psychological; the truck's gas tank was twice as big as the sports car's &mdash; they both got about the same gas mileage. But that pain in the pump stuck with me as gas prices rose for the next couple of years to about $4 a gallon.</p> <p>We've all enjoyed the break in the cost of a gallon of gas over the last half year. But lately, those pump prices have begun to rebound a bit. The AAA reports the <a href="http://www.fuelgaugereport.com/">national average</a> for a gallon of regular gas is up nearly 30 cents from a month ago, to $2.29. Though that's still more than $1 cheaper than the average of a year ago.</p> <p>A lot of folks believe the pump price jump is just beginning. A national survey by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) says most Americans believe we're going to see at least a <a href="http://www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/150215_gasprices_pressrelease.pdf">50% price increase</a> in the next two years &mdash; to well over $3 per gallon &mdash; and an 80% hike in the next five years &mdash; back to near $4. Some experts are saying we're heading to <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2015/01/19/gas-oil-five-dollar-gallon/21865975/">$5 per gallon</a> before too long. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards for Gas Rewards</a>)</p> <p>If we really think the good times of gas prices are numbered, how does that impact our next vehicle purchase? Here are five takeaways.</p> <h2>1. 28 MPG or Better</h2> <p>On average, the consumers surveyed said they would be looking for the gas mileage of their next vehicle to around 30 MPG, compared to the 25 MPG rating of what they're driving now. That's a solid step to savings. Based on the poll's price expectations, driving an 18 MPG gas guzzler would cost you nearly $5,000 more on gas over the next five years than driving a 28 MPG vehicle. Most of us keep a vehicle for an average of at least five years, and with where we think prices are headed, driving an 18 MPG vehicle would see your current $178 average monthly gas costs nearly double in five years to $325 per month. Maybe our motto should be &quot;28 MPG or better.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Shop Smart &mdash; It's Not All Gravy</h2> <p>A hybrid vehicle can generally cost you a <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/hybrid/before-buy.html">20% premium</a> over an identical conventional gasoline engine model. Electric or part-time electric models are usually even more expensive. The break-even point a couple of years ago was about four years, however these days it can take closer to eight years to recoup your investment. But as gas prices go higher, that investment break-even point will shrink once again.&nbsp;</p> <h2>3. Green Cars Are Going for Less Green</h2> <p>While some consumers with short memories and unbridled optimism are buying trucks, SUVs, and other gas guzzlers while fuel prices are low, dealers are discounting the currently out-of-favor fuel-efficient vehicles, plug-ins, and hybrids. <a href="http://www.hybridcars.com/why-now-is-a-good-time-to-buy-a-hybrid-or-plug-in-car/">Discounts on green cars</a> are running 15% or better, and you're banking as much as 40-50 MPG.</p> <h2>4. Get the Credit You Deserve</h2> <p>Some advanced hybrid and electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf are eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit, with additional credits available in some states.</p> <h2>5. Savings Are Not Just on New Cars</h2> <p>Cheap gas is also impacting the used vehicle market. The National Auto Dealer Association says used mid-sized and full-sized pickups and SUV prices are up as much as 5%, while midsize and compact cars are discounted that much, or more.</p> <p>There's not a straight-up &quot;final answer&quot; on whether to go green on your next vehicle purchase. But fuel-efficient and fuel-alternative cars are getting cooler. With the introduction of the BMW i3 and the continued brisk sales of the upscale Tesla, going green has never been more popular. And keeping an eye on the MSRP and the MPG is a good way to boost your ROI.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hal-m-bundrick-cfp">Hal M. Bundrick CFP</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gas-prices-begin-a-rebound-5-things-to-know-now-before-you-buy-your-next-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dropping-the-price-of-gas-to-250-a-gallon-in-a-week">Dropping the Price of Gas to $2.50 a Gallon in a Week</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-gas-free-ebook">Save money on gas + free ebook</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Financial News car buying gas prices Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:58:45 +0000 Hal M. Bundrick CFP 1309178 at http://www.wisebread.com Should Your Next Car Be Electric? http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-your-next-car-be-electric" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-electric-3754923-small.jpg" alt="electric car" title="electric car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="191" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With the national average cost of a gallon of gasoline currently hovering around $3.58 (or even $4+ in some areas), filling up your car may seem like a nightmare. Car fuel is one of the most volatile categories under most families' budgets, because prices fluctuate due to a variety of factors, from Middle East tensions to oil spills or refinery fires. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-simple-ways-to-cut-your-car-expenses" target="_blank">5 Simple Ways to Cut Your Car Expenses</a>)</p> <p>Luckily, there is an increasingly popular alternative to driving environmentally unfriendly, gas-powered cars&nbsp;&mdash; electric cars. Forbes reports that at least <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2012/12/06/electric-car-sales-hit-another-record/" target="_blank">47,500 electric cars were sold in 2012</a> and, although these sales only account for 0.4% of overall car sales in the U.S., electric cars are gaining popularity among American consumers. Whereas a few years ago, SUVs were all the rage, we are seeing a societal shift towards smaller, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-acetone-dramatically-increase-your-gas-mileage" target="_blank">more fuel-efficient cars</a>, and those vehicles powered by electricity are leading the way.</p> <p>But are electric cars right for everyone?</p> <h2>Cost</h2> <p>One of the biggest factors people take into consideration when shopping for a new car is the cost. With electric cars, you're saving money right off the bat, thanks to <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml" target="_blank">federal electric car tax credits</a>, which can reduce the initial cost of the car by $7,500. You also get to eliminate the cost of gas from your budget (unless you drive a gas/electric hybrid), which leads to long-term energy savings.</p> <p>There are some downsides to the electric car, however. The purchase prices for these vehicles are much higher than similar model, gas-powered cars. For example, the hybrid <a href="http://www.chevrolet.com/volt-electric-car.html" target="_blank">2013 Chevy Volt</a> starts around $31,000, the <a href="http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/" target="_blank">100% electric Nissan Leaf</a> is &quot;as low as $21,300&quot; (<em>after</em> federal tax savings and without all the fancy add-ons), and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/trim/electric/" target="_blank">2013 electric Ford Focus</a> starts at $39,200. Even with the fuel savings, it might take <a href="http://driveelectricillinois.org/calculator.cfm" target="_blank">several years to break even</a>.</p> <p>These high costs make electric cars unaffordable for many low and middle-income households, and even though they're electricity based, there are still more costs involved. For instance, you will probably need to install a charging station in your garage (factor in $1,000 to $5,000), and don't forget regular battery maintenance or replacement costs. All of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs" target="_blank">these costs start to add up</a>, and even without the added car accessories, the final price tag for an electric car is too high for many drivers.</p> <h2>Efficiency</h2> <p>One of the greatest advantages of electric cars is their energy efficiency. A new term was created for electric cars to determine their fuel efficiency&nbsp;&mdash; miles per gallon of gasoline equivalent (MPGe). <a href="http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/evsbs.shtml" target="_blank">Most electric cars get over 100 MPGe</a>, even larger vehicles like SUVs and station wagons.</p> <p>The downside here is that electric cars can generally go only 250 miles on a fully charged battery. The infrastructure for public charging stations is scarce in the U.S., so long road trips are out of the question, and if you run out of electricity while on the road, you can't simply go to the nearest gas station and fuel up. This makes electric cars more of an inconvenience for their drivers, but they can still be valuable investments if driven locally and charged regularly.</p> <h2>Environmental Factors</h2> <p>There are few, if any, comparative disadvantages to electric cars where the environment is concerned. Whereas the EPA estimates that <a href="http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420f11041.pdf" target="_blank">gasoline emits 8,887 grams of CO2 per gallon</a> (PDF), electric cars have close to zero emissions. Regardless of your views on what causes global warming and how serious a problem it is, the fact remains that electric cars pollute the air much less than their gas-powered counterparts, and, as the driver of an electric car, you can vastly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-easy-ways-to-be-nicer-to-the-environment-and-your-wallet" target="_blank">reduce your impact</a> on the environment.</p> <h2>Final Word</h2> <p>Multiple factors ought to be taken into consideration when buying a car, particularly when you're deciding between a gas or electric car. Although electric cars are more costly upfront, the long-term fuel savings could make it worth your while. And, as technology continues to develop and more car companies produce electric cars to meet the steadily growing demand for them, the cost will likely drop in the coming years.</p> <p><em>Have you bought or are you planning to buy an electric car? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-kehoe">Kelly Kehoe</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">6 Ways to Drive a Hybrid or Electric Car on the Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gas-prices-begin-a-rebound-5-things-to-know-now-before-you-buy-your-next-car">Gas Prices Begin a Rebound: 5 Things to Know Now Before You Buy Your Next Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-this-the-best-search-engine-ever-for-new-used-cars">Is This the Best Search Engine Ever for New &amp; Used Cars?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Green Living Technology car buying electric cars environmentally friendly gas prices Mon, 20 May 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Kelly Kehoe 974060 at http://www.wisebread.com Take These Costs Off Your Worry List in 2011 http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/take-these-costs-off-your-worry-list-in-2011 <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/take-these-costs-off-your-worry-list-in-2011-tom-harnish" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/take-these-costs-off-your...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/take-these-costs-off-your-worry-list-in-2011" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000011193166XSmall.jpg" alt="Worried couple" title="Worried couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us spend a lot of time and money worrying about things that really aren't problems. For example, violence and oddballs fill our screens because news today is more about attracting eyeballs to advertisers than informing viewers. &quot;If it bleeds, it leads&quot; has been the driving philosophy of the evening news, if not in fact, then in principle. As a result, we're left with the impression that all sorts of terrible things will happen if we're foolish enough to venture out of the house, use our cell phones, get vaccinations, or live near power lines. But that's not reality.</p> <p>In fact, the rate of violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, and assault) has continuously declined since 1980. That's true of property crimes (burglary, larceny, and car theft) too. And there's conclusive evidence that cell phones don't cause brain cancer, vaccines don't cause autism, and high-tension power lines won't make you crazy. Sure there are people who get a lot of airtime claiming they know more than everyone else, but that doesn't make them right.</p> <p>Likewise, as business owners with real problems like cash flow, you may be focusing your worries on cutting costs that don't really affect your bottom line. Here are 3 costs you can take off your worry list.</p> <h3>The Price of Gas</h3> <p>We worry a lot about gas prices and car mileage, too. But fuel costs are less than 20% of the cost of operating your car. The difference in fuel cost for an SUV that gets 20 miles per gallon and an economy car that gets 30 miles per gallon (assuming you drive 10,000 miles a year and fuel costs $2.50 a gallon) is about $35 a month. That's probably half of your cable and Internet subscription.</p> <p>Or look at fuel costs another way: If you typically need to put 15 gallons in your car to fill it up, and you have a choice of pulling in to a station that charges $2.50 per gallon or waiting in a line for gas that costs $2.40 per gallon, which will you choose? Think about it for a minute. The difference is a buck and a half. And that doesn't include the cost of the gas you consumed while you were waiting or the value of your time. Assuming the same 10,000 miles a year and the higher fuel consumption rate (20 miles per gallon), you'll put 15 gallons in about 30 times. So in a year you'd only save $45 (or about $30 a year if you have an economy car) if you wait in line for the lower price.</p> <p>Is that really worth worrying about? If you run a company and spend that same time and thought to make a few more sales, you'd cover those small cost differences and a lot more.</p> <h3>Computer Electricity Costs</h3> <p>Do you worry about office electricity costs, for computers in particular? There has been a lot of ink (or pixels) used to warn us about the electricity they waste when they aren't being used. After all, there are about 100 million personal computers used in the United States, and about half are left on all the time. That means that 75% of the time those computers are sitting there doing nothing but using energy and costing money while they tirelessly ask themselves, &quot;Did someone press a key, did someone press a key, did someone press a key, is there any new email, did someone press key, did someone press a key?&quot;</p> <p>Well, that <em>would</em> be a waste, except computer makers thought about it. They built low-energy and sleep modes into your computer, and your computer spins down your hard drive when it's not being used. According to Apple specifications, a Mac Mini, for example, uses about 1.5 watts when it's asleep. An idle HP inkjet printer uses even less, about .4 watts, the same as your iPod charger. So they cost you about $1.50 a year and 50&cent; a year, respectively, if you never turn them off (assuming a U.S. average 10&cent; per kilowatt hour). That's compared to about $60 a year that it costs to actually use the computer and an LCD monitor eight hours a day every day &mdash; about half what your dishwasher costs if you run it once a day.</p> <h3>Vampire Power</h3> <p>While we're on the topic of energy, have you seen the scare headlines about how appliances &ldquo;leak&rdquo; power? Televisions, cable boxes, answering machines, cordless phones, fax machines, video games, and even rechargeable electric toothbrushes do draw power all the time. But vampire power usage isn't very much per device. A cellphone charger uses barely a watt when it's plugged in but not connected to a cell phone. Your electric toothbrush uses less than a watt when you aren't brushing. What about that old TV that uses 10 watts of standby power even when it's off? (Modern TVs all use less than a watt.) Even that sucker is only costing you about a buck a month. In any event, the problem will go away soon as old TVs are junked and more countries require vampire power usage of no more than one watt on new devices.</p> <p>All told, standby power accounts for only 5% of your energy use. Instead, if you want to worry about something, worry about your heating, cooling, and lighting costs.</p> <p>Now stop worrying and get back to work.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tom-harnish">Tom Harnish</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/take-these-costs-off-your-worry-list-in-2011">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-smart-ways-to-get-a-small-business-loan">10+ Smart Ways to Get a Small Business Loan</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-got-over-the-hump-and-sold-my-blog-for-3-million">How I Got Over the Hump and Sold My Blog for $3 Million</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-being-an-entrepreneur-isnt-sexy">When Being an Entrepreneur Isn&#039;t Sexy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-small-business-mentors-you-can-access-for-nearly-free">6 Small Business Mentors You Can Access for Nearly Free!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entrepreneurship Small Business Resource Center crime gas prices reduce electricity small business Sat, 25 Dec 2010 16:00:41 +0000 Tom Harnish 397690 at http://www.wisebread.com 2010 Predictions from Wall Street and Main Street: Who's Smarter? http://www.wisebread.com/2010-predictions-from-wall-street-and-main-street-whos-smarter <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/2010-predictions-from-wall-street-and-main-street-whos-smarter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/New Years Eve.JPG" alt="New Year&#039;s Eve" title="Time&#039;s Square on New Year&#039;s Eve" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="142" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's that time of year again: everybody who's anybody sits in front of a camera and gives predictions on the year ahead. But just how smart are these &quot;experts&quot;? We do more than give them air time; we go back and see just how smart they are by comparing previous-year predictions with what actually happened.</p> <p>Every December for the last five years <a href="http://moneytalksnews.com">Money Talks News</a> has hooked up with David Wyss, the chief economist for giant research firm <a href="http://www.standardandpoors.com">Standard &amp; Poors</a>. We sit him down in a studio and ask him what changes he expects for the coming year in three critical consumer categories: stocks, housing and oil.</p> <p>But then we do something else: we go out, hit the streets and ask the same questions of the first three people we can find willing to talk to us on camera. The idea behind this little experiment is to see if the high-priced experts on Wall Street are really any smarter than a random stranger on the sidewalk. You might be surprised at the results. Watch the following 90-second story and see how Main Street compared to Wall Street with predictions for 2009 and who got it right. Then we&rsquo;ll get to the predictions for 2010.</p> <h3>How Smart Were They? Predictions from 2009</h3> <div class="video">&nbsp;</div> <p><embed width="480" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" src="http://blip.tv/play/kjqBuvhOAg%2Em4v" allowscriptaccess="always" height="300"></embed></p> <p>The first (maybe not so) surprising thing we learned from that story is that when it came to predicting what would happen in 2009, random strangers on the sidewalk gave pretty much identical answers as one of the most experienced economists on Wall Street. And as far as accuracy? Both David Wyss and our people on the street did a decent job of predicting how the year would go for stocks, housing and oil prices, but none hit the nail on the head.</p> <p>Consider this part of David Wyss&rsquo;s comment on stocks:</p> <blockquote><p>We're close to a bottom now, and I think we've probably hit the worse point already.</p></blockquote> <p>When he said that in mid-December of 2008, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 8,700, and that&rsquo;s pretty much where it finished the year. But was it the worse point? Hardly. Several months after he made this prediction the Dow bottomed at 6,440 so it fell an additional 26%. From there it bounced back, however, to end the year at 10,428 for a calendar-year gain of about 19%. That makes his prediction of 10-15% gains look pretty good. But had he said not to invest at all until the market bottom in March, we could be up 62%.</p> <p>Of course, nobody can accurately predict a market bottom no matter how smart they are. But it&rsquo;s interesting to note that Wall Street predictions were no more clairvoyant than yours when it came to predicting the direction of stocks last year. Ditto for our other categories. Wyss&rsquo;s predictions weren&rsquo;t far off, but then neither were sidewalk amateurs. Oil was around $75/barrel when I got my predictions on tape in mid-December. It ended the year closer to $80, which makes Wall Street&rsquo;s and Main Street&rsquo;s prediction of $90 not that far off the mark. Ditto with housing: both professional and amateur guesses of a 10% decline were pretty close to the 8% drop we actually experienced. But 2009 is now behind us: what&rsquo;s in store for this year? Here&rsquo;s the story we shot in mid-December 2009 with predictions for 2010.</p> <h3>How Smart Are They? Predictions for 2010</h3> <div class="video">&nbsp;</div> <p><embed width="480" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" src="http://blip.tv/play/kjqBu6ggAg%2Em4v" allowscriptaccess="always" height="300"></embed></p> <p>This year Wall Street and Main Street gave different answers. Our Wall Street economist was much more optimistic. Wyss said stocks would rise 12%, and our woman on the street said down 10%. On oil, both Wall Street and Main Street are looking for an increase: Wall Street says $80 per barrel (about where it is right now) and Main Street says between $85 and $90. On housing, our expert was kind of vague, saying only that we might have a bit more decline ahead, but for the year we&rsquo;d be up. Our more pessimistic man on the street said down another 10%.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ll be continuing our tradition by comparing predictions to reality at this time next year &mdash; stay tuned. But I&rsquo;ll leave you with a tidbit of knowledge gained from 10 years as a stock broker, 20 as a money reporter, and 30 as an investor: The only thing accurately predictable is that our world is unpredictable. That&rsquo;s why I keep some money in the market and some on the sidelines at all times. I own some oil stocks because they&rsquo;re likely to go up if oil does, offsetting some of the pain of higher gas prices. I regard my home as simply the place where I live, not an investment. And I try to live like I&rsquo;m going to die tomorrow, but invest like I&rsquo;m going to live forever. I also keep my debt to a minimum. That's why I just published <a href="http://moneytalksnews.com/store">Life or Debt 2010</a>. Check it out!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stacy-johnson">Stacy Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/2010-predictions-from-wall-street-and-main-street-whos-smarter">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-sobering-facts-about-the-stock-market">6 Sobering Facts About the Stock Market</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/learn-how-to-invest-with-these-5-stock-market-games">Learn How to Invest With These 5 Stock Market Games</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-deliciously-profitable-food-and-beverage-stocks">10 Deliciously Profitable Food and Beverage Stocks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-stocks-to-invest-in-during-the-holidays">10 Stocks to Invest in During the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-9-best-performing-mutual-funds-of-the-2000s">The 9 Best Performing Mutual Funds of the 2000s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Investment gas prices housing stock market Sun, 10 Jan 2010 22:00:02 +0000 Stacy Johnson 4481 at http://www.wisebread.com What will you do when gas drops below $1.50 a gallon? http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2718963080_ee27f67027.jpg" alt="Gas is so cheap" title="Gas is so cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several months ago, <a href="/what-will-you-do-when-gas-hits-4-per-gallon">I wrote an article </a> asking what you would do when gas prices skyrocketed. Now, the price of gasoline is in freefall. It’s already dipped below $2/gallon in some parts of my state, and I’ve heard it has already gone as low $1.67 in some parts of the country. The question is, will this change anything for you?</p> <p>When I arrived in the states, a gallon of gas was just over $1. So, the difference between filling a 12-gallon tank or a 25-gallon tank once a week was clearly no big deal for most people.</p> <p>Coming from the UK, I was surprised at how many massive vehicles were on the roads here: Hummers; Suburbans; F-150s; Escalades. The list of low MPG tankers with huge fuel tanks staggered me. But hey, in America it’s everyone’s right to drive whatever they want. Hybrid technology was laughed at and electric cars were dinky little toys that could never be taken seriously. </p> <p>Fast-forward to the middle of 2008 and gasoline jumps over the $4/gallon mark. The 25- gallon tank now costs $100 to fill. Car dealerships can’t sell SUVs and trucks without offering enormous discounts and free gas for a year. Drivers are on waiting lists for Hybrid cars. People are embracing ride-share and public transportation (they’re even starting to walk more and ride bicycles). A new word called “hyper-miling” became all the rage. The signs were all pointing to the end of an era; SUVs and trucks would now only be bought as a necessity, not a fashion statement. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_1_12.png" alt="gas chart" title="gas chart" width="500" height="241" /></p> <p>But as you all know, the economy encountered a small hiccup in September. Did I say hiccup? I’m sorry, I meant heart attack. A big one. And as our stocks and 401Ks plummeted, so did the price of gasoline; a very thin silver lining in a big, bad, dark cloud. For the first time in years, gasoline is once again becoming <a href="/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">one of the cheapest liquids we can buy</a> . You can see drivers smiling as they fill up the tank. Truck owners no longer have that eye-twitch as they pull into a gas station. But what will this mean long-term?</p> <p>Will the dip in gas prices affect you? Are you no longer considering a Hybrid vehicle, or are you at least putting off the purchase for a few more years? Are you driving more? Is the morning commute now made in your own car rather than a bus or train? </p> <p>Personally, I am staying on the same path. That old saying of “once bitten, twice shy” seems quite apt right now. Too many people that I know bought gas-guzzling SUVs and trucks only to see their weekly gas expenses quadruple over the last eight years. And just because we’re experiencing a delightful dip in prices, it doesn’t mean the energy problem has vanished. </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u17/2659581587_484b033660.jpg" alt="the future?" title="the future?" width="500" height="333" /></p> <p>Fossil fuels are limited. Oil is becoming more expensive to extract and refine. We need to look to a future that does not need gasoline like a junkie needs his next fix. I will continue to hyper-mile and drive only when I need to. I will never buy a gas-guzzling truck or SUV. And our next family car will almost certainly have Hybrid technology and get great MPG. This is no time to forget the troubles of the last few years. We may have been given a little time to catch our breath, but we cannot afford to be seduced by the lull in gas prices. Sooner or later (and probably sooner) they will rise again. Be prepared. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-more-gas-by-safely-following-trucks">Save More Gas by Safely Following Trucks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-yourself-from-gasoline-thieves-4">How To Protect Yourself From Gasoline Thieves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Frugal Living Cars and Transportation Consumer Affairs fuel gas prices gasoline Hybrid oil SUV truck Tue, 11 Nov 2008 18:15:04 +0000 Paul Michael 2578 at http://www.wisebread.com One Way to Combat High Prices - Just Run Out of Gas http://www.wisebread.com/one-way-to-combat-high-prices-just-run-out-of-gas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/one-way-to-combat-high-prices-just-run-out-of-gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/outofgas.jpg" alt="Running on empty" title="Running on empty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="200" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A story recently appearing in the <a href="http://www.ajc.com/services/content/metro/stories/2008/06/05/gas_taxpayers.html?cxtype=rss&amp;cxsvc=7&amp;cxcat=13" target="_blank">Atlanta Journal Constitution</a> told of a growing trend in the metro Atlanta area - people running out of gas.  This is probably to be expected considering how high prices have become, but the number has me wondering if motorists have a different motive - free gas!</p> <h2>Free Gas in the Emergency Lane</h2> <p>HERO (Highway Emergency Response Operator) units patrol Atlanta&#39;s many miles of interstate looking for stranded motorists to offer assistance.  When they happen upon a motorist who has run out of gas they typically add a gallon or two of gasoline, enough to get them off the interstate and to the nearest gas station.  Of course, this gasoline is provided at tax payer&#39;s expense, and that expense has gone up along with recent spike in gas prices.  HERO operators are now going through more gasoline in the course of a day, and spending much more per gallon than they were a year ago.  This is significantly increasing the cost to provide the emergency fuel service.</p> <h2>A Costly Diversion</h2> <p><strong>This recent increase in the number of out-of-gas incidents has another costly side-effect</strong>.  As dispatchers send more and more units to respond to fuel requests, response to more serious emergencies has suffered.  All of this could be avoided if drivers accepted the responsibility of monitoring their fuel gauges and filling up before hitting crowded interstates.  I&#39;m also curious why HERO units don&#39;t charge drivers for the gasoline to recoup some of the costs of providing this service.  If motorists were charged a dollar or two more than the retail price of a gallon of gas, they may think twice before running on fumes in an effort to save a buck.  Instead of HERO units collecting payments, drivers could be issued the equivalent of a ticket which they would have to mail in within 30 days to avoid further collection attempts.  </p> <p><strong>I wouldn&#39;t be surprised if a tax increase is forthcoming to offset these additional costs</strong>.  I&#39;m all for public services, but at some point providing those services becomes cost prohibitive.  Getting stalled motorists back on the road is a public safety issue, as cars stuck in the emergency lane block access for emergency vehicles, and present a potential collision obstacle for passing motorists.  Instead of raising taxes on all motorists, make those who benefit from the HERO emergency fuel service pay for it.  After all, the City of Atlanta probably doesn&#39;t pay for new tires for those with a flat, or replace radiators in cars that have overheated.  </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-white">Jason White</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-way-to-combat-high-prices-just-run-out-of-gas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gas-prices-begin-a-rebound-5-things-to-know-now-before-you-buy-your-next-car">Gas Prices Begin a Rebound: 5 Things to Know Now Before You Buy Your Next Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-gas-free-ebook">Save money on gas + free ebook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-your-next-car-be-electric">Should Your Next Car Be Electric?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation gas prices Sat, 07 Jun 2008 19:35:00 +0000 Jason White 2153 at http://www.wisebread.com How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car. http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2467025428_c6d66a3c02.jpg" alt="gas money" title="gas money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There have been several great articles written by my fellow Wisebread writers on <a href="/gas-efficient-driving">gas efficient driving</a> , <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">slowing down </a> and <a href="/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">hypermiling</a> . I think the sign of a good blog is that we take our own advice, and in the case of gasoline, I’ll take all the help I can get. But even I was shocked at the amazing results I got.</p> <p>Before I took the advice, the best I got out of my 2006 VW Passat was 31.8 mpg. And I was happy with that. As you can see from the image below, the top mpg for my vehicle is 28mpg highway, and a paltry 19mpg city. So, I felt good about myself.</p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/Picture_1_6.png" alt="vw passat" title="vw passat" width="457" height="344" /></p> <p>But as it turned out, I had a lot of bad driving habits. For a start, I was guilty of a lead foot, slamming it down as soon as the lights turned green. I would drive at the speed limit or just above, which meant doing 70mph when I was allowed. And I would often drive a little too close to the car in front. Not dangerously so, but enough to make me have to stop more quickly at a red light.</p> <p>With all of this going on, I was still a pretty good driver. Getting my 31.8 mpg was nice to see (I have one of those mpg monitors in my display, which is very handy). But, I wanted to see if I could squeeze a little more out of my car using the tips from <a href="/how-to-save-0-54-per-gallon-on-gas">Lynn</a> and <a href="/maximize-your-cars-efficiency-with-hypermiling">David</a> .</p> <p><strong>Here’s what I did:</strong></p> <p>First, I slowed down. I found 55-60mph was all I needed to do. Sure, it sometimes added a little more time to my journey, but only a few minutes. On my morning commute, I set off a little earlier.</p> <p>I left much more space between my car and the car in front. This allowed my to coast more, and I did a lot less braking. Sometimes I would find myself never stopping, but merely slowing and speeding up. And remember, when you stop at a light you’re getting a big fat ZERO mpg.</p> <p>I stopped treating traffic lights like the beginning of a Nascar race. Instead, when the light turned green I pulled away slow and steady. Sometimes I’d hear honking horns but I just ignored them. So what? </p> <p>I used my cruise control. This is one of those hypermiling tips that is killer. Unlike the accelerator peddle, the cruise control + and – settings are much more accurate and controllable. I could accelerate by 1/2mph or 1mph, and slow down in the same way. This is very gas efficient. </p> <p>That was it. I started a few months ago, and this week I hit 45mpg on a trip that I used to get 29mpg on. The proof is below. It’s not the best quality, it was taken on my cell phone, but it’s not tampered with in any way. Scout’s honor. </p> <p><img src="http://healthcarehacks.com/files/fruganomics/u17/52008_082.jpg" alt="pauls car" title="pauls car" width="375" height="500" /></p> <p>What does that mean monetarily? Well, my car has an 18.5gallon tank. It costs around $65 to fill it up (and who knows how much more that will increase to…scary thought).</p> <p>Using my old method of driving, the most mileage I can get from that tank (if I’m only taking highway journeys) is 588 miles. That’s 31.8 x 18.5. Now, with my new method of driving I can get 832 miles from that one tank of gas. That’s 244 extra miles, or about 5 gallons of fuel. That’s a bunch! And I’m filling my car up every two weeks, which means Wisebread has saved me up to $40 each month. And by the way, I don&#39;t do a lot of city driving, but when I do I still get 34mpg. That&#39;s almost double the estimate for my vehicle.  </p> <p>It just goes to show…it pays to listen to your friends sometimes. Thanks Lynn and David. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon">What will you do when gas drops below $1.50 a gallon?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Life Hacks Cars and Transportation General Tips fuel economy gas mileage gas prices gasoline mpg save money Fri, 23 May 2008 17:25:47 +0000 Paul Michael 2121 at http://www.wisebread.com Shaw's Market Saves You Money On Gas http://www.wisebread.com/shaws-market-saves-you-money-on-gas <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/shaws-market-saves-you-money-on-gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Pumping Gas.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="186" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Good news for those of us who shop for food and gas in the Northeast and Canada.</p> <p>Shaw&rsquo;s Market and Irving Oil are teaming up to save you money. In a recurring promotion for both retailers, Shaw&rsquo;s Market will give you a coupon worth ten cents off every gallon of gas that you purchase at a participating Irving BlueCanoe, or Mainway Stations. The more groceries that you may need, the more you could potentially save.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s how it works: for every $50.00 you spend on groceries, Shaw&rsquo;s will give you a coupon worth ten cents off every gallon of gas at participating stations. If you spend $100.00, you&rsquo;ll get twenty cents off, and $200.00 gets you forty cents off., and so on.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll need a Shaw&rsquo;s reward card, which is free and entitles you to weekly discounts on food. You will also need the card at the time that you redeem your gas coupon.</p> <p>The discount applies to every gallon of gas you put into your car. And best of all, you can combine coupons, up to the cost of a gallon of gas. So, if you manage to collect $4.00 in coupons, your gas is essentially free. That is, of course, at least until the price of gas hits $5.00.</p> <p>Currently they have a double rewards promotion whereby you get double the discount. So rather than ten cents, you get twenty for very $50.00 spent.</p> <p>The promotion is going until May 22nd, and the coupons can be redeemed anytime between now and June 5th, 2008.</p> <p>For more information about the promotion, as well as locations of participating stores and gas stations, check out the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.shaws.com/save/promotions/index.html">Shaw&rsquo;s Rewards</a> website.</p> <p>Bear in mind, even though time is running out on the deal, Shaw&rsquo;s and Irving have held this promotion several times in the past year and it stands to reason that they will do it again before too long.</p> <p>And saving ten to forty cents (or even more!) a gallon is pretty significant, especially when you consider what gas prices are today.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fred-lee">Fred Lee</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/shaws-market-saves-you-money-on-gas">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-sleek-marketing-ploys-aimed-at-getting-more-of-your-grocery-money">5 Sleek Marketing Ploys Aimed at Getting More of Your Grocery Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/safeway-savings-rally-how-i-got-9-bags-of-groceries-for-13">Safeway Savings Rally - How I got 9 bags of groceries for $13</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/big-savings-and-free-shipping-through-monday-at-ann-taylor-loft">Big Savings and Free Shipping Through Monday at Ann Taylor Loft!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/secret-discount-codes-just-in-time-for-mothers-day-lets-go-shopping">SECRET DISCOUNT CODES just in time for Mother&#039;s Day - let&#039;s go shopping!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/xm-satellite-radio-car-combo-for-under-6-and-free-shipping">XM satellite radio/car combo for under $6 and free shipping!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Deals gas prices groceries savings Mon, 19 May 2008 17:22:16 +0000 Fred Lee 2102 at http://www.wisebread.com The Toyota I-Unit; would you drive it? http://www.wisebread.com/the-toyota-i-unit-would-you-drive-it <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/iunit.jpg" alt="iunit" title="iunit" width="287" height="383" /> </p> <p>We&#39;ve been talking a lot about gas prices recently. That&#39;s no surprise considering we&#39;re paying almost three times more for gas than we were six years ago. The problems of oil refinery shortages, devaluation of the dollar and higher costs of extracting oil will not go away. So, what do we do?</p> <p>Well, a few years ago Toyota launched something called the I-Unit at an Expo 2005 in Japan. At the time, I&#39;m sure it was considered about as silly an idea as the Segway. But not any more. After all, most of us drive alone most of the time. We&#39;re always complaining about gas prices. We hate wasting money (especially if &quot;we&quot; are readers of this site). So, is the I-Unit really such a silly idea?</p> <p><strong>Personal Mobility - a concept, or impending reality?</strong></p> <p>The I-Unit is a cross between a motorcycle and an open-wheeled racer. Based on a leaf design, it uses some state-of-the-art technology to morph from an upright shape at low-speed to a lower, sleeker shape at top-speed (although I&#39;ve searched everywhere and cannot find out what these speeds actually are). Here&#39;s a video that explains a little more...</p> <p><embed src="http://www.metacafe.com/fplayer/651280/toyota_one_person_unit.swf" width="400" height="345" wmode="transparent" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed><br /><font size = 1><a href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/651280/toyota_one_person_unit/">Toyota One Person Unit</a> - <a href='http://www.metacafe.com/'>Free videos are just a click away</a></font> <p>One of the most impressive features of the I-Unit, other than saving money, space and energy, is the built-in safety. I-Units can communicate with each other, and have accident-avoidance capability. Meaning however drunk or out of control one driver is, he can&#39;t pile into another I-Unit driver. </p> <p>So, the big question still remains. Would you drive it? I aimed that question at myself and unfortunately, I said no...for now. Until I can be sure that it&#39;s safe on the road against a huge SUV, or significantly better with gas mileage without compromising speed, then I&#39;d have to wait. At least until more folks had adopted them and they were a more common feature on the roadways.</p> <p>I will be watching Toyota&#39;s I-Unit closely. It&#39;s been two years since the launch of the concept vehicle at EXPO 2005, and I&#39;m sure these cars are more in need in the big cities than ever before. It looks like all those funky, tiny cars in futuristic movies weren&#39;t so far from the mark after all.</p> <p><em>Photo by <a href="http://flickr.com/photos/kamome/">Kamome</a></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-toyota-i-unit-would-you-drive-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-gas-free-ebook">Save money on gas + free ebook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-wisebread-helped-me-get-45mpg-out-of-my-28mpg-car">How Wisebread helped me get 45mpg out of my 28mpg car.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/america-is-on-a-roll-5-economic-predictions-for-2016">America Is On a Roll: 5 Economic Predictions for 2016</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budget-busters">Budget Busters</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance automotive Cars gas mileage gas prices I-Unit Personal transportation save money Toyota Sat, 16 Jun 2007 05:02:47 +0000 Paul Michael 743 at http://www.wisebread.com Running the numbers on the bigger car: what’s your cost and is it worth it? http://www.wisebread.com/running-the-numbers-on-the-bigger-car-what-s-your-cost-and-is-it-worth-it <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/car_keys_with_cash_0.jpg" alt="Car Keys with Cash" title="Car Keys with Cash" width="446" height="297" align="top" /></span></font></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">I got to ride in a new car, complete with satellite radio and new car smell, yesterday. Prompted by high gas prices, my friend traded in her SUV for a mid-size sedan. Equipped with capabilities to haul camping gear, bicycles, and perhaps kayaks, the vehicle was nonetheless deemed unsuitable for a jaunt to the mountains (hard to handle on those endlessly curving roads) or to the water park (the interior might get wet). </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> </span></font></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Until just recently, people (my friends included) most likely have thought I was either not so bright or way too broke for anything besides my straight-drive Toyota Corolla. I have continually found this befuddling as many of my friends lived through the gas crisis of the 70s (you may have studied it in history class but if you haven’t, please know that gas was rationed right here in the United States of America) and seem at least vaguely aware of global warming. I’d like to claim a purely environment platform but here’s my rationale: I hate to spend money when I don’t have to. </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> </span></font></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Okay, let’s do the math: <span> </span></span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> </span></font></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Ford Explorer </span></font></span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Cost: $26,105</span></font></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Monthly Payment: $525.58 (60-month, 7.7% loan, calculate it yourself using the PMT-Payment function in Excel or go to <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/">www.bankrate.com</a>)</span></font></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Fuel cost per month: $195.75 (estimate per <a href="http://www.edmunds.com/">www.edmunds.com</a>) </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> </span></font></span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Toyota</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> Corolla</span></font></span></p> <ul> <li><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Cost: $15,350</span></font></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Monthly Payment: $309.04</span></font></span></li> <li><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Fuel cost per month: $96.67</span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> </span></font></span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">The monthly difference ($315.62) is called the utility cost and you need to decide whether the increased pleasure is worth the expense. But know that if you buy the Corolla, invest the difference in the stock market (and earn 10% annually), then at the end of five years, you will be $24,644.36 richer (I used the FV-Future Value function in Excel). </span><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana"> </span> </font></span><span style="font-family: Verdana"><font size="3"><br /> <p style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana">Hmm… you could even pay cash for your next car. </span></p> <p></font></span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/running-the-numbers-on-the-bigger-car-what-s-your-cost-and-is-it-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-gas-free-ebook">Save money on gas + free ebook</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-bear-repeating-driving-slower-saves-you-money">It Bears Repeating - Driving Slower Saves Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-your-new-tires-really-6-year-old-ticking-time-bombs">Are your new tires really 6-year old ticking time-bombs?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation bank loans Cars financial calculations gas gas prices SUVs Mon, 21 May 2007 19:17:25 +0000 Julie Rains 668 at http://www.wisebread.com