driving http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/292/all en-US 7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coins_stack_in_columns_on_saving_book_and_car.jpg" alt="Coins stack in columns on saving book and car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've ever shopped around for car insurance, there's one thing you may already realize: Calculating rates is not an exact science. This is why you can get relatively different quotes from different insurers. It's also why you should shop around.</p> <p>That said, your rate is also affected by a variety of factors &mdash; some of which you can control, and some of which you can't. You probably already know that factors like your gender, age, and driving record affect your auto insurance rates, so we reached out to a few experts to find out what other, lesser-known factors can affect your premiums. Here are a few.</p> <h2>1. The kind of car you drive</h2> <p>You can probably guess that if you drive a $100,000 sports car, you're going to have very high insurance rates. But there are a lot of other common details about your car that could affect your insurance rates.</p> <p>According to Mark Nicholson, marketing director at auto marketing company Absolute Results Productions Ltd., these include the safety rating of your vehicle, its size and age, and even the likelihood that it might be stolen.</p> <p>&quot;Another factor some providers use is how much horsepower your engine has, because by their logic, it suggests that you're more likely to drive fast and are at greater risk of getting into an accident,&quot; Nicholson says.</p> <p>This is why when you're buying a new car, it's a good idea to call for insurance quotes <em>before </em>you actually make your final purchase decision. If the new car you choose is considerably faster or sportier than the one you're driving now, that'll be reflected in a higher insurance rate.</p> <p>For example, if you're considering a 4x4 SUV, you need to consider that a factor as well.</p> <p>&quot;Even if 90 percent of 4x4 SUVs will never be driven off-road, the insurance company will assume you'll want to take the occasional trek up a mountainside or fly down that dirt path through the woods. That's a higher risk, and you'll pay more for it,&quot; says Chris Burdick of Automoblog.net.</p> <p>Even if you opt for a super-practical family sedan, you still might get stuck with high insurance premiums.</p> <p>&quot;You'd think that the more common the car, the less insurance will be, but that's not always the case,&quot; Burdick says. &quot;For example, if you own a Honda Accord, it's considered to be one of the most stolen cars in the U.S. Same with the Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, Chevy Impala, and Toyota Camry. If you own a car that's stolen frequently, your insurance company will find that to be a higher risk and your insurance rates will go up accordingly.&quot;</p> <p>Bottom line? Talk to your insurance company <em>before</em> you choose a new car to ensure that insurance rates for the vehicle you're considering are in line with what you're willing or able to pay. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-a-claim-will-impact-your-car-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How a Claim Will Impact Your Car Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Poor credit</h2> <p>Yup, they're watching you. In fact, your insurance company probably uses quite a few facts about you &mdash; both basic and personal &mdash; to calculate your car insurance rate. Some of the most common factors that will count against you and raise your rate include being under 25, being male, and having a poor credit score.</p> <p>&quot;We can see a difference in rate of 100 percent or more in premium increase for someone with poor credit,&quot; says Joe Espenschied, agency principal and owner at Insurance Brokers Group. &quot;When we have a quote for someone with a clean driving history &mdash; but a very high insurance premium &mdash; it's due to credit.&quot;</p> <p>At least credit (unlike age and gender) is a factor you can control. But there are other interesting details about your life that could impact your premium, too.</p> <h2>3. Homeowner status</h2> <p>Sophia Borghese, a consultant for Superior Honda in Louisiana, says that being a homeowner can impact your insurance rate, much like your credit score.</p> <p>&quot;Homeowners are lucky. It's thought that they do not have as many financial issues as renters. Because of this, insurance companies trust and reward them by not giving them the burden of high rates,&quot; Borghese says.</p> <h2>4. Marital status</h2> <p>Another personal detail many insurers consider is your marital status. Some insurers see married drivers as being more responsible than single ones. In fact, a 2004 study by the National Institutes of Health and reported on by DMV.org found that singles were twice as likely as married people to get into automobile accidents.</p> <p>&quot;The amount by which your rates drop can vary greatly based on your other circumstances, although men's rates tend to drop more than women's when they get married,&quot; says Steve Pritchard, founder of insurance comparison site Cuuver. &quot;However, those who have a driving history free of accidents, and a clean driving record before getting married, could see their rates reduced by almost half of what they were paying before they tied the knot.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Your career</h2> <p>There's one more personal wild-card that could have an impact on your premium: your job. According to The Zebra's 2018 State of Auto Insurance Report, drivers with full-time jobs will save about $30 on car insurance over those who are unemployed, while active duty military and veterans will get a discount of about $50 over civilians. If you use your vehicle for work, you can also expect to see your rates go up.</p> <h2>6. How and where you drive</h2> <p>We all know that our driving records affect our insurance rates, but there are lots of other components of how and where you drive that can affect premiums as well.</p> <p>The distance of your commute to work can affect your premium. After all, if you're on the road longer, you're considered higher risk. (Which is why you should definitely inform your insurance provider whenever your commute changes.)</p> <p>Where you live and drive is also scored according to cases of vandalism, the number of claims and fraudulent claims in that area, cases of vehicle theft, and the occurrence of damaging weather, such as flooding or hurricanes.</p> <p>But insurance providers are also moving beyond statistics and data about your past behavior to provide insurance based on how you are <em>actually </em>driving day to day. This involves installing what's called a usage-based insurance device into your car, which tracks your driving behavior.</p> <p>&quot;If you practice safe driving habits, don't frequently drive between 12:00 and 2 a.m., or use lots of high-traffic routes, you could qualify for up to a 30 percent decrease in insurance rates,&quot; says Anna Drake, the insurance producer at Insurance Shop LLC. Of course, if your driving habits are less than stellar, this type of policy could also drive your rates upward.</p> <h2>7. And then there's the &quot;secret sauce&quot;</h2> <p>While most insurance companies use some combination of the same or similar factors to calculate your insurance rate, there's no standard calculation.</p> <p>&quot;Each company compiles its own factors to find its own 'secret sauce' or 'ideal insured.' When the individual hits a company's sweet spot, it will reflect in pricing and coverage,&quot; says Janine Fixmer, an independent insurance agent at Agency Insurance LLC.</p> <p>This why it's so important to shop around for the best rate and coverage, and to try to keep a handle on the factors insurance companies consider that you can control &mdash; such as your driving record, credit score, and the type of vehicle you choose to drive. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Things%2520That%2520Affect%2520Your%2520Car%2520Insurance%2520Rates.jpg&amp;description=7%20Things%20That%20Affect%20Your%20Car%20Insurance%20Rates"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Things%20That%20Affect%20Your%20Car%20Insurance%20Rates.jpg" alt="7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tara-struyk">Tara Struyk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates">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/is-pay-as-you-drive-auto-insurance-worth-it">Is Pay-As-You-Drive Auto Insurance Worth It?</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/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</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/what-kind-of-auto-insurance-do-uber-drivers-need">What Kind of Auto Insurance Do Uber Drivers Need?</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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</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/4-hidden-costs-of-a-luxury-car">4 Hidden Costs of a Luxury Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance career credit score driving homeownership marital status premiums vehicles Thu, 10 May 2018 08:30:16 +0000 Tara Struyk 2136558 at http://www.wisebread.com The Biggest Ways You're Wasting Money at the Pump http://www.wisebread.com/the-biggest-ways-youre-wasting-money-at-the-pump <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-biggest-ways-youre-wasting-money-at-the-pump" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pretty_young_woman_refuel_the_car.jpg" alt="Pretty young woman refuel the car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ever feel conflicted at the pump when you need to choose between premium gas and standard grade? Consumers as a whole have been led to believe that items with the &quot;premium&quot; name tag are worth the money &mdash; and can even save us money long-term. However, this is not true when it comes to premium gas.</p> <p>A recent AAA report found that the higher cost of premium gas offers little to no benefit for vehicles that are recommended, but not required, to use the fuel. The same goes for cars that do not recommend nor require the higher octane gasoline. According to the report, over 1.5 million new cars sold last year came with the recommendation to use higher octane gas, but it was not required for car functionality. So, unless your car requires the premium stuff, you're better off skipping it.</p> <p>If you are in the market for a new vehicle, consider choosing a car that does not require premium gas. Driving a car that needs premium fuel will cost you about 20 to 25 percent more at the pump, which translates to about 50 cents a gallon. For a 15-gallon car, that can tack on an additional $7.50 per fill up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-youre-wasting-gas-without-realizing-it?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways You're Wasting Gas Without Realizing It</a>)</p> <p>Here are other ways drivers are wasting money at the pump.</p> <h2>Not shopping around</h2> <p>Many times, drivers will pay more for gas due to poor planning. You are desperate to find the closest gas station before you run on empty, and you don't care if you have to pay more. If this describes you, stop living this way. Not only are you slowly draining your budget, but you put yourself at risk if an emergency were to happen.</p> <p>Once your tank hits the halfway mark, use an app like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas in your area. Plan to stop when you are near that station for another errand. When you find a good deal on gas, fill up the tank.</p> <h2>Not paying the right way</h2> <p>There are really only two options that are beneficial to your finances when it comes to paying for gas. The first option is to pay with cash. Some gas stations will offer a small discount per gallon if you pay with cash over plastic. The other option is to purchase gas with a credit card that offers <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">rewards or cash back for gas</a>. Make sure you're able to pay your credit card bill in full each month to truly benefit from the rewards.</p> <p>Using your debit card at the pump doesn't benefit your bank account, and it can also put you at risk. Skimmers and card fraud are increasingly common at gas stations. If you pay with a credit card, it is easier to stop fraudulent charges, and your personal bank account will not be in limbo as the bank sorts out the mess.</p> <h2>Not keeping your car well maintained</h2> <p>Several small factors can add up to wasted money at the gas pump. For example, poorly inflated tires and dirty air filters can make your vehicle work harder than it needs to. This translates to more gas wasted on the road.</p> <p>Similarly, the heavier your car is, the more gas you will burn. Having a little extra junk in the trunk isn't going to throw off your gas budget, but if you regularly keep heavy equipment or tools in the back of your vehicle, consider lightening the load on days you don't need the items.</p> <h2>Not driving smarter</h2> <p>It seems like common knowledge that a steady driving speed is better for your gas tank than overly accelerating or braking your car. However, each time I drive into Los Angeles, I am amazed by how many drivers accelerate for extended periods of time, brake hard for no reason, or drive over 90 MPH.</p> <p>Driving at a slower, steadier pace will extend your time between gas fuel ups and keep you away from pricey speeding tickets. For longer commutes, plan your trip so you can avoid heavy times of traffic.</p> <p>Using these tips can save you as much as $10 to $20 per fuel up, which adds up quickly. Wouldn't you rather spend that money on something fun than at the pump?</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-biggest-ways-youre-wasting-money-at-the-pump&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Biggest%2520Ways%2520You%2527re%2520Wasting%2520Money%2520at%2520the%2520Pump.jpg&amp;description=The%20Biggest%20Ways%20You're%20Wasting%20Money%20at%20the%20Pump"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Biggest%20Ways%20You%27re%20Wasting%20Money%20at%20the%20Pump.jpg" alt="The Biggest Ways You're Wasting Money at the Pump" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-biggest-ways-youre-wasting-money-at-the-pump">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/8-cheap-ways-to-save-money-on-gas">8 Cheap Ways to Save Money on Gas</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fight-your-speeding-ticket-save-yourself-some-dough">Fight Your Speeding Ticket, Save Yourself Some Dough</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-gas-dont-make-left-hand-turns">Save gas; don&#039;t make left-hand turns.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation cash back driving gas gasoline premium gas price comparisons rewards traffic trip planning Tue, 27 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2117453 at http://www.wisebread.com Your Car Was Recalled. Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/your-car-was-recalled-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/your-car-was-recalled-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car_shaped_note_on_cork_notice_board.jpg" alt="Car shaped Note on cork notice board" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you feel like you hear about car recalls constantly, you're right. In 2016, there were almost 53 million recalls, according to Roadshow by CNET. And although we're only just into 2018, Cars.com reports some 50 million Takata air bag inflaters are currently under recall. With car parts constantly being tested and updated, you're bound to get a recall letter yourself at some point. But what should you do when you are on the recall list? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/bookmark-this-save-money-with-an-easy-to-follow-car-maintenance-checklist?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Bookmark This: Save Money With an Easy to Follow Car Maintenance Checklist</a>)</p> <h2>First, there's no need to panic</h2> <p>You're driving along in your car, maybe getting groceries or picking the kids up from school, when you hear the news on the radio &mdash; XYZ automaker is recalling four million cars. You have that car, and it's only natural that it scares you a little. After all, your car is not only your primary means of transportation, but if something is wrong with it, could your life be in danger? Fortunately, probably not.</p> <p>Most recalls are minor, and have very little impact on the way the vehicle operates. If it's a voluntary recall from the manufacturer, it's likely not a big issue. If the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) gets involved, it could be more serious. And although a recall is only issued when it is a safety hazard, those risks can be very small.</p> <h2>Find out exactly what kind of recall has been issued</h2> <p>As soon as you get the chance, call your local dealership or check the internet and find out what kind of recall has been put in place. It could be something as simple as a software update. Maybe one particular part has broken on some models, and the manufacturer is replacing them all as a precaution (most err on the side of extreme caution rather than risk a lawsuit).</p> <p>You should have also received a letter or email from the manufacturer, and you can verify your issue by typing in your VIN (it's on the driver's side dashboard) to a site like <a href="https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls" target="_blank">NHTSA.gov</a>, <a href="https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchSafetyIssues" target="_blank">Safecar.gov</a>, or <a href="https://www.cars.com/recalls/" target="_blank">Cars.com</a>.</p> <h2>Read what's detailed in the recall notice</h2> <p>The chances are that you'll be notified about the recall in several ways, including local and national news reports, a call from the dealership, email, and a physical letter. The letter and email will highlight several factors about the recall, and will include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>a complete description of the defect or issue.</p> </li> <li> <p>what you should look for to see if your car is already experiencing issues.</p> </li> <li> <p>the dangers the defect presents.</p> </li> <li> <p>what the manufacturer will do to resolve the problem.</p> </li> <li> <p>how long you can expect the repair to take.</p> </li> <li> <p>the name and address of the nearest approved repair facility.</p> </li> <li> <p>contact information should you have additional questions.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Find out if the recall is covered by the warranty or manufacturer</h2> <p>A lot of people assume that the recall is covered. After all, the manufacturer made the mistake, so shouldn't they pay for the repair or replacement? Timing is a big factor in the answer to that question. As DMV.org points out, there is a 10-year window for recalls. That means 10 years from the original purchase date of the new car, not 10 years from the day you bought it. So if you bought it used when it was 11 years old, you're not within the recall window.</p> <p>If you aren't covered, you have to weigh the time and expense of the repair against the seriousness of the issue. For example, if it's a faulty wiper blade motor and it hasn't failed you yet, maybe wait until it starts giving you issues. A recall doesn't mean the part is guaranteed to break.</p> <h2>Make an appointment with an approved garage</h2> <p>If the recall affects only a small percentage of cars, you likely won't have an issue finding an appointment time. In many instances, active recalls are checked when you bring your car in for an oil change or tire rotation, and can often be repaired during that appointment.</p> <p>However, if it's a large recall, or requires a specific part, call ahead and make an appointment for that specific issue to be repaired. This will give the service manager time to order the parts needed to complete the recall. While the majority of recalls can be dealt with quickly, some can have the local garages backed up for months. Hopefully, you can still drive the car safely until then.</p> <h2>If the car is unsafe to drive, make arrangements until it is repaired</h2> <p>Most of the time, the recall isn't going to make the car undrivable or unsafe. However, if the issue poses a serious risk to you and your family, are you really expected to drive it until the repair can happen? In some instances, the waiting list is long. What do you do for transportation?</p> <p>In some cases, the auto manufacturer may offer to pay for a rental vehicle to customers affected by the recall. However, this varies from case to case, and in some instances it's possible you will have to cover the cost of a substitute vehicle while your recalled car is waiting for repairs.</p> <h2>Stay vigilant</h2> <p>Drive the car and see if everything feels the same as it did before you took it in to be repaired. If you have issues, or something else has come up that wasn't there before the recall, contact the repair facility and voice your concerns.</p> <p>Even if everything turns out great, that does not mean you are free and clear forever. There may be other recalls issued during the time you own the car, and you should make a point to check in with the NHTSA periodically to ensure your car is not part of a different recall. Parts fail. Problems happen. Be vigilant.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fyour-car-was-recalled-now-what&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYour%2520Car%2520Was%2520Recalled.%2520Now%2520What_.jpg&amp;description=Your%20Car%20Was%20Recalled.%20Now%20What%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Your%20Car%20Was%20Recalled.%20Now%20What_.jpg" alt="Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?" width="250" height="374" /></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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">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/4-hidden-costs-of-a-luxury-car">4 Hidden Costs of a Luxury 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/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</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/buying-a-rental-car-heres-what-you-need-to-know">Buying a Rental Car? Here&#039;s What You Need to Know</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/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</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/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates">7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto manufacturers driving maintenance recalls rental cars repairs safety vehicles Thu, 22 Feb 2018 09:30:05 +0000 Paul Michael 2105358 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take On a Camping Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_driving_in_car.jpg" alt="Couple driving in car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Camping can be a great way to make a long road trip more affordable and fun. Not only will you get to spend more time in the great outdoors, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by forgoing hotels for at least part of the journey. Boost your savings even further by preparing some of your own meals and bringing along items to keep everyone active and entertained. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-on-a-great-american-road-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Save Money on a Great American Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cooler</h2> <p>One of the best ways to save money on a road trip is to cut down on dining out. Though you might find some reasonably priced eateries along the way, none of them are likely to beat the price of preparing cheap meals for yourself. In order to do this effectively, you'll need a way to keep your perishable groceries cold.</p> <p>Obviously you're not going to be able to pack things like vegetables and meat and expect them to last for the entire journey. But a cooler does allow you to pick things up along the way and keep them fresh for a short time as you go. You can even get coolers that plug into your car's cigarette lighter and act as mini refrigerators. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey?ref=seealso" target="_blank">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</a>)</p> <h2>2. Water filter</h2> <p>You're going to need to stay hydrated on your journey, and buying drinks at gas stations or stores will quickly add up. Despite the initial cost, purchasing a water filter system will save you plenty of dollars in the long-term, as it will allow you to drink water from virtually any source, whether it&rsquo;s a public bathroom tap or even a puddle.</p> <p>There are various products that filter contaminants out of the water so it's safe to drink. These devices range from <a href="http://amzn.to/2h11eu5" target="_blank">portable, lightweight straws</a>, to <a href="http://amzn.to/2gx5uB5" target="_blank">water bottles that incorporate the filter</a> into the design. The best ones filter out over 99 percent of contaminants, including bacteria and parasites, and also strip the water of any bad taste or smell.</p> <h2>3. Basic camping gear</h2> <p>Essentials for sleeping include a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-tents?ref=internal" target="_blank">tent</a>, a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads?ref=internal" target="_blank">sleeping mat</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-sleeping-bags?ref=internal" target="_blank">sleeping bag</a>, and pillow. If you're planning on making camping road trips a regular occurrence then it's worth investing in this equipment, but you could also borrow these items from a friend and not spend a dime.</p> <p>Campsites are usually very reasonably priced and many come with plenty of modern amenities such as showers, electricity, and even Wi-Fi. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camping-for-a-week-is-only-160-at-these-national-parks?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Camping for a Week Is Only $160 at These National Parks</a>)</p> <h2>4. A portable stove</h2> <p>In order to make your own meals, you'll need something to cook them on, and a portable stove is just the thing. They come in all shapes and sizes, but you don't need anything more than a single burner to make a simple, nutritious, and delicious meal in next to no time.</p> <p>You can set up a portable stove absolutely anywhere outdoors, and unlike a campfire, it isn&rsquo;t difficult to set up, and it leaves absolutely no trace once you've finished. Not only will a portable stove save you money on food, but there's no need to visit an expensive coffee chain for your daily caffeine fix. Instead, boil some water and make your own.</p> <p>I personally use the <a href="http://amzn.to/2yJB8nn" target="_blank">MSR Pocket Rocket</a> because it's efficient, powerful, and very compact. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-camping-stoves?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best Camping Stoves</a>)</p> <h2>5. A good rewards credit card</h2> <p>This one can be a real money saver (and moneymaker). Before heading out on a road trip, make sure you have a good rewards credit card that will acquire points for all of your spending during the trip, mainly the money you spend at the pumps and at grocery stores.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">best gas rewards credit cards</a> can earn you cash just for spending on gas. Get one that offers additional bonuses for grocery store stops or dining.</p> <p>Road trips are inherently expensive, so any little bit of money you can save can really help. If you&rsquo;re planning your epic road trip for the spring of next year, apply for a card now and start earning rewards on your purchases as soon as possible. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>6. Games</h2> <p>If you've got a family with young kids, keeping them entertained on the road can be difficult. While you&rsquo;ll certainly want to see some attractions on your trip, you can avoid excess entertainment expenses by taking some engaging games with you.</p> <p>It's good to take a selection of games that will suit everyone's tastes when you've stopped driving for the day, and don't rule out the humble deck of cards. Get a friendly competition going and the kids will soon forget about hitting up the local overpriced arcade.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Essential%2520Money-Saving%2520Items%2520to%2520Take%2520On%2520a%2520Camping%2520Road%2520Trip.jpg&amp;description=6%20Essential%20Money-Saving%20Items%20to%20Take%20On%20a%20Camping%20Road%20Trip"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Essential%20Money-Saving%20Items%20to%20Take%20On%20a%20Camping%20Road%20Trip.jpg" alt="6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take On a Camping Road Trip" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip">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/should-you-go-on-vacation-while-youre-in-debt">Should You Go on Vacation While You&#039;re in 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/the-5-best-instant-tents">The 5 Best Instant Tents</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/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</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/these-15-road-trip-snacks-make-it-all-about-the-journey">These 15 Road Trip Snacks Make It All About the Journey</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-5-best-camping-sleeping-pads">The 5 Best Camping Sleeping Pads</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Travel camping driving long drive road trip road trip essentials saving money travel essentials Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:30:10 +0000 Nick Wharton 2072167 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/brother_and_sister_having_fun_in_water_park.jpg" alt="Brother and sister having fun in water park" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Planning a summer vacation with the kids? While you hammer out the details, you'll need to plan&nbsp;on spending a pretty penny. According to an&nbsp;Allianz Travel Insurance study,&nbsp;the average family planned to spend $1,798 on travel last summer. That's no small chunk of change.</p> <p>Of course, summer travel is even more expensive if you fly your whole family to a faraway destination, or visit an expensive theme park like Disney World. Even if you&nbsp;use <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit card travel rewards</a>&nbsp;to pay for your airfare or hotel, you can expect to spend a bundle.</p> <p>But, what if you could have just as much fun without all those costs? Some of the nation's best water parks offer exceptional value within driving distance of a slew of major cities. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-you-must-do-if-youre-traveling-with-kids" target="_blank">9 Things You Must Do If You're Traveling With Kids</a>)</p> <p>If you want to skip airfare but still take the kids on a fun, warm-weather trip they'll never forget, consider one of these options.</p> <h2>1. Holiday World and Splashin' Safari &mdash;&nbsp;Santa Claus, Indiana</h2> <p><a href="https://www.holidayworld.com/" target="_blank">Holiday World and Splashin' Safari</a>&nbsp;is the ultimate stop for a few days of family fun. The park offers both roller coasters and an expansive water park all for one low price. As a bonus, both parks offer free sunscreen and free fountain drinks all day long.</p> <p>One-day admission to both parks starts at around $26 per person, although prices increase through peak months of July and August. Check out the giant Thunderbird roller coaster or the popular Raven coaster. Or, ride the park's giant water coasters with seating for six. Pitch a tent next door at the popular&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lakerudolph.com/" target="_blank">Lake Rudolph Campground and RV Resort</a>&nbsp;for affordable camping fun and proximity to the parks.</p> <h2>2. Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Texas</h2> <p><a href="http://www.schlitterbahn.com/south-padre-island/resort" target="_blank">Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Water Park</a>&nbsp;offers one of the largest water parks in southern Texas, along with an on-site hotel for ultimate convenience and comfort. Water park-only tickets start at just $51 for adults and $39 for kids. Kids age two and under are free.</p> <p>Once you arrive, you can float the day away in a lazy river dotted with rapids, boogie board in a wave pool, or thrill your way down more than a half-dozen water slides. Schlitterbahn also offers splash pads and small rides for the little ones, along with plenty of spots for shade and rest.</p> <h2>3. Kalahari Resorts &mdash; Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin</h2> <p>Wisconsin Dells is a city known for its many, many water parks and outsized attractions.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kalahariresorts.com/wisconsin" target="_blank">Kalahari Resorts</a>&nbsp;offers one of the broadest selections of both indoor and outdoor water rides. Their indoor water park alone is 125,000 square feet, while the outdoor park features exciting water races, a meandering river, whirlpool spas, water slides that zip and turn, and so much more.</p> <p>With an on-site room booked, you might qualify for free water park passes. If you stay off-site, water park-only passes start at $34, and kids under the age of two are free.</p> <h2>4. Water Country USA &mdash;&nbsp;Williamsburg, Virginia</h2> <p><a href="https://watercountryusa.com/en/williamsburg/" target="_blank">Water Country USA</a>&nbsp;offers extreme value and fun in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. Families can experience a white water rafting adventure together on the Big Daddy Falls, slide through curving chutes on the Colossal Curl, or fly face-first down the Nitro Racer. For the little ones, there are tiny slides, splash zones, and plenty of shade.</p> <p>A one-day water park ticket starts at $60 at the gate, but you can scoop one up for as low as $40 online, depending on the date. You can also buy a combo ticket that includes admission to the adjacent Busch Gardens for $80 online or $120 at the door.</p> <h2>5. Legoland California Resort &mdash;&nbsp;Carlsbad, California</h2> <p>West Coast families can delight in numerous easy-to-reach water parks, including&nbsp;<a href="https://www.legoland.com/california/legoland-water-park/rides-and-attractions/" target="_blank">Legoland California Resort</a>. Here, you can build your own rafts incorporating giant Legos, get blasted by water cannons in the Joker Soaker, ride the Orange Rush through its twists and turns, and master an array of other water coasters built for kids and adults of all ages.</p> <p>You can get two-day admissions to both Legoland and its water park for $89 for kids under 13, and $95 for everyone else.</p> <h2>6. Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee</h2> <p>Families can enjoy mountain scenery and cool down in the waters of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dollywood.com/waterpark" target="_blank">Dollywood's Splash Country Water Park</a>.&nbsp;Race one another down the TailSpin Racer, take the Big Bear Plunge in a family floater made for five, or play with the little ones in their own special park within a park, Little Creek Falls.</p> <p>Driving distance from many places in the South, Dollywood also offers a theme park perfect for family affairs. One-day admission to the theme park starts at $67 for adults and $54 for kids ages four to 11. Water park admission is $49 for adults, $44 for kids.</p> <h2>7. Roaring Springs Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Meridian, Idaho</h2> <p><a href="http://www.roaringsprings.com/" target="_blank">Roaring Springs</a>&nbsp;is a sprawling water park in southern Idaho that offers fun for the whole family. Ride the new Corkscrew Cavern looping water slide, relax in a private cabana, speed down the nearly vertical Cliffhanger, or float in the wave simulator all day long. Of course, there are plenty of dining options available, too, from pizza to salads.</p> <p>Full-day admission for adults is $32, while kids under 48&quot; are $27. Children ages three and under are free.</p> <h2>8. Water-Zoo &mdash;&nbsp;Clinton, Oklahoma</h2> <p>Oklahoma's <a href="http://www.water-zoo.com/" target="_blank">Water-Zoo</a>&nbsp;offers an array of indoor water slides and rides that will delight even the pickiest young traveler. Inside, you'll find more than 300,000 gallons of water, 500 feet of water slides, a wave pool, a lazy and crazy river, and a small slide for little kids, too.</p> <p>Admission is $23.49 for guests under 48&quot;, and $34.99 for everyone else. Children ages three and under are free.</p> <h2>9. Six Flags White Water &mdash;&nbsp;Atlanta, Georgia</h2> <p><a href="https://www.sixflags.com/whitewater" target="_blank">Six Flags of Atlanta</a>&nbsp;offers a water park filled with fun and crazy rides to keep the kids entertained. The Wahoo Racer lets you zip past your family and friends in a six-lane water race. You can also swoosh down the Bahama Bob slide, or ride the waves in the 700,000-gallon Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool. There are nearly two-dozen water attractions for guests of all ages (and sizes) to enjoy.</p> <p>You'll save big here, too. Advance purchase tickets are $40, and children ages two and under are free.</p> <h2>10. Wild Waves Theme &amp; Water Park &mdash;&nbsp;Federal Way, Washington</h2> <p><a href="https://www.wildwaves.com/" target="_blank">Wild Waves</a>&nbsp;offers both roller coasters and water rides in a single, inspiring setting. The water park features eight wet and wacky attractions, including a giant wave pool, relaxing river, warming tubs, and thrilling water coasters for the daredevils in your crew.</p> <p>Summer entrance is surprisingly cheap for families, especially if you prepay online. You can get advance purchase starting at $17 for adults and children. Adult tickets go up to $30 later in the season. Kids ages three and younger are always free.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F10%2520Affordable%2520Water%2520Parks%2520You%2520Can%2520Drive%2520To.jpg&amp;description=10%20Affordable%20Water%20Parks%20You%20Can%20Drive%20To"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/10%20Affordable%20Water%20Parks%20You%20Can%20Drive%20To.jpg" alt="10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">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/beyond-disney-8-affordable-family-destinations-in-the-us">Beyond Disney: 8 Affordable Family Destinations in the US</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/should-you-go-on-vacation-while-youre-in-debt">Should You Go on Vacation While You&#039;re in Debt?</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/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</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/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip">6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take On a Camping Road Trip</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-fun-affordable-train-trips">5 Fun, Affordable Train Trips</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel affordable driving family kids pools road trip summer swimming vacation water parks Thu, 01 Jun 2017 08:30:13 +0000 Holly Johnson 1957456 at http://www.wisebread.com You Can't Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What? http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-507846204.jpg" alt="going from a one-car family to two cars" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having only one car seemed like a great idea, at first. It would save money, and surely you could all work out your schedules so that you could pass the car around, or drop each other off, or whatever.</p> <p>But then she got a new job across town, or you started working a lot of overtime. Maybe the car broke down and no one could get anywhere for three days, or your social schedules didn't overlap so well. Maybe sharing the car was causing so much friction that it was making the entire marriage feel hard.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, sometimes being a one-car family just doesn't work, or doesn't work anymore. Guess what? That's not the end of the world. Sure, it's more expensive to have two cars, but if that's what you need to do, then that's what you need to do. Here are some ideas to help you think through getting a second car and minimizing the impact on your finances.</p> <h2>Check the Problem</h2> <p>Is the car really the problem? And is getting another car the best solution to the problem?</p> <p>If you're fighting a lot and most of your fights are over the car, try to determine whether you're actually fighting over the car. Maybe, instead, one of you feels controlled by the other, or you're taking another frustration out on the car situation. Getting another car will only help if the car is actually the central problem.</p> <p>And if the distance to work is changing, consider whether moving might be a better option. Would you be happier, overall, if you had a shorter commute? Or, is there any way for one of you to use public transit, at least some of the time?</p> <p>Many times, getting a second car is the answer. But make absolutely sure it's the answer for you before you buy.</p> <h2>Consider Your Needs</h2> <p>Okay, so you definitely need a second car. But what kind of car, and how much car, do you need?</p> <p>If your second car is mainly going to be a commuter car, you can probably get something that is smaller and older, and therefore cheaper, than the cost of a new car. Sure, you still want to make sure it is reliable and in good working order, but you may not have to spend as much as you had first thought.</p> <h2>Re-Budget</h2> <p>Before you get a second car, consider all of the costs involved. There's not only the initial purchase of the car (or the down payment and regular monthly payments, if you go that route), but increased costs for maintenance, gas, and insurance, as well as any money you might invest in upgrading your vehicle (rims, speakers, stereo, etc.).</p> <p>Make sure your budget has room for these things before you buy, so you aren't blindsided when they come up. Having your money in order will make you feel more confident about this new decision.</p> <h2>Think of the Children</h2> <p>If you have kids or are planning to have them, consider car seats and their placement before you buy a second car. Will you need both cars to be able to transport the children? Will you want to swap car seats in and out or have separate seats for each car? Do your current seats fit in your new vehicle, with enough room for you to help buckle, unbuckle, etc.?</p> <p>These may seem like silly questions, but they can save you money later. If you buy a vehicle now that will meet your needs not only now but also in the future, you won't have to go through the hassle of selling a car and getting another one if things don't fit later on.</p> <h2>Plan Ahead</h2> <p>Before you go car shopping, decide which one of you will drive the new car and which one will keep using the old one. This may be a choice of personal preference, but there could also be good reasons why one or the other of you should have the new vehicle. Consider gas mileage, distance driven each week, commute time, comfort, and more.</p> <p>While you both should help choose the new car, recognize that some aspects of it will come down to who is going to drive it more and what they need and prefer. This can help in the selection process and may help make the ultimate choice of vehicle more straightforward.</p> <h2>Find Discount Gasoline</h2> <p>When you're driving two cars, you may be surprised at the cost of gasoline. If you can, try to find a discount program in your area. Many people find that they save by buying gas from Costco or Sam's Club, though you have to have a membership to use those stations.</p> <p>Other people get their fuel through a grocery store program. Kroger's is good, and they have stores throughout much of the United States. Albertson's also has one, though their stations are difficult to find in some parts of the country.</p> <p>Finally, most states have discount gas stations &mdash; places where they just charge less. In my area of the country, Sinclair and Valero tend to be cheap. They're usually a little out of the way, but aren't hard to hit if you know where they are and work them into your daily routine. You can save hundreds of dollars a year this way, depending on where you live and how much you drive.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what">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/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</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/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates">7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates</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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</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/could-you-put-away-a-million-dollars-by-driving-a-used-car">Could You Put Away a Million Dollars by Driving a Used Car?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation commuting compromising driving new cars one car family two car family vehicles Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:30:06 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1845596 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used http://www.wisebread.com/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_car_mechanic_82873065.jpg" alt="Man buying car parts that are safe to buy used" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You can save a lot of money buying used car parts instead of new for vehicle repairs. Options range from scavenging parts at junkyards, through buying rebuilt parts that have been reconditioned and tested to meet original performance specifications. eBay, Craigslist, auto repair shops, and junkyards are all places where you can find used parts.</p> <p>Even though used parts are less expensive than new, not all <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-common-car-repair-mistakes-that-can-cost-you" target="_blank">used car parts</a> make sense to install. Some tend to wear significantly with use and age, and may even be unsafe to use as replacements. Which used car parts are worth buying to save some money? These are your best bets.</p> <h2>1. Rims</h2> <p>The chrome rims on my son's 13-year-old car were leaking air due to corrosion and peeling finish. Since it was time to get new tires anyway, I decided to replace the rims with good old steel rims. My shop recommended contacting the local junkyard to find some good steel rims for cheap. If you want fancy alloy rims, sometimes you can find these on wrecked cars for a fraction of the cost of new. Just make sure the used rims are not bent or corroded.</p> <h2>2. Spare Tires</h2> <p>My old car was missing its spare tire, but I didn't want to pay $150 for a new one. The solution to my problem was a $50 spare tire from a junkyard &mdash; this included the &quot;doughnut&quot; spare tire rim and an unused spare tire. The spare tire I found was four years newer than my car, so it was better than the original spare that I was missing.</p> <h2>3. Mirrors</h2> <p>You wouldn't think a broken side mirror would be very expensive to replace, but a heated mirror can cost over $150 if you go with a new one. Rear view mirrors can be expensive to replace too, especially if it has a compass display, lighting, or other special features. Used mirrors are just as good as new ones and can be found for less than half the price.</p> <h2>4. Windows</h2> <p>If you need to replace a cracked or shattered window or sunroof on your car, consider saving some money by finding a used one. Not only can you save on the window glass, but you can find power window motors, hardware, and power window switches with lots of life left for cheap compared with new parts.</p> <h2>5. Power Locks</h2> <p>Eventually power lock solenoids and switches can wear out, leaving you without the convenience of working power locks on your car. When you see the price of replacement power lock parts, you might decide that you can live without them. But don't despair &mdash; check out used power lock parts for a fraction of the cost of new.</p> <h2>6. Transmission</h2> <p>A new transmission can run thousands of dollars. Depending on the age of your car, you might want to lower your repair bill significantly and go with a rebuilt used transmission instead of a new one.</p> <h2>7. Tires</h2> <p>Sometimes it makes sense to buy used tires, especially for an older car that may not make it much longer. Another prime situation for buying a used tire is if your car has older tires and you only need to replace one that has gone flat and cannot be repaired. When buying used tires, be sure to check the code stamped on the side of the tire to determine the date of manufacture. Even if the tires look good, sidewalls get brittle with age and can weaken, increasing the risk of a blowout for tires more than six to 10 years old.</p> <h2>8. Alternator</h2> <p>The wire windings on an alternator can crack and break down as it ages, leaving your car unable to generate enough current to charge the battery and leaving you stranded when your battery finally goes dead. Rebuilt alternators have the old wire winding replaced with new wire, and the voltage regulator is tested and replaced if needed. I have used rebuilt alternators on several occasions to save some money.</p> <h2>9. Interior Parts</h2> <p>Used parts can be a great way to go if you need to replace a car seat, floor mats, steering wheel, or interior trim pieces. Used replacement parts may have some wear and tear, but you can likely find them in similar condition to the rest of your vehicle.</p> <p><em>What used car parts have you used to save money on car repairs?</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/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">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/6-essential-money-saving-items-to-take-on-a-camping-road-trip">6 Essential Money-Saving Items to Take On a Camping Road Trip</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/car-buying-part-2-into-the-devils-domain">Car Buying Part 2 – Into the Devil&#039;s domain.</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/the-5-best-jump-starter-kits">The 5 Best Jump Starter Kits</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/8-things-you-should-always-buy-used">8 Things You Should Always Buy Used</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/these-6-shopping-challenges-will-keep-you-stylish-without-breaking-your-budget">These 6 Shopping Challenges Will Keep You Stylish Without Breaking Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Shopping car parts car repairs driving rebuilt saving money used vehicle Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:31:23 +0000 Dr Penny Pincher 1746426 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_camera_car_38688948.jpg" alt="Woman using travel hacks on summer road trip" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A family road trip can be an amazing bonding experience and memory builder with your kids. It can also be really expensive when you start adding up fuel, lodging, and entertainment costs. But with just a little bit of planning and forethought, you can easily save a big chunk of change and actually end up seeing more sights for less. Here are the secrets you need to know to plan an amazing road trip adventure this summer. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-road-trips?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=seealso&amp;utm_campaign=article">Best Credit Cards to Use on Road Trips</a>)</p> <h2>1. Plan With Roadtrippers</h2> <p>When it comes to planning your summer road trip, be sure to use technology to your advantage and download the&nbsp;<a href="https://roadtrippers.com/" target="_blank">Roadtrippers</a> app (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/roadtrippers-road-trip-planner/id944060491" target="_blank">iOS</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.roadtrippers" target="_blank">Android</a>). Not only will it save you money by helping you find lodging deals, but it'll keep you organized and let you plan your trek one day at a time.</p> <p>Once planned, you can even share your road trip across devices and with friends so they can add itinerary suggestions to make it even more memorable. Perhaps the coolest feature of the app is the ability to help you find quirky roadside attractions as you approach them. After all, any experienced road tripper will tell you that some of the most memorable moments are made when finding fun stops along the way to your final destination.</p> <h2>2. Book Hotels Directly and Save</h2> <p>When planning your summer trip this year, consider calling hotels directly to book your room. Online booking sites like Expedia and Orbitz charge hotels a 10%&ndash;15% fee, so many hotels would rather bypass these sites entirely and book directly with you. But before you call, check the travel sites to see the hotel's current rate. Then when you call, politely ask if the hotel can beat that rate by 10%. In many cases, they'll happy beat their online rate and even throw in some free upgrades like a better room or beverage and food credits.</p> <h2>3. VRBO Last-Minute Savings Trick</h2> <p>Vacation Rentals by Owner, also known as&nbsp;<a href="https://www.vrbo.com/" target="_blank">VRBO</a>, puts travelers in direct contact with homeowners looking to rent out their houses, condos, or apartments. If you shop around carefully, roadtrippers can score some great deals, often cheaper than hotels, which are typically much more accommodating for a larger family.</p> <p>But if a homeowner doesn't rent out a particular weekend, they don't make a penny from their vacation rental. So as a smart roadtripper, use this information to your advantage when making your initial VRBO inquiry. Politely ask about the possibility of a 15% discount on the asking nightly rate, especially when inquiring about a last-minute stay. In many cases, homeowners will jump all over this and happily give you a last-minute discount to avoid their place sitting empty. By &quot;last-minute,&quot; I mean within a week of your arrival, as that's when reality sets in for most homeowners that their place is probably going to sit empty.</p> <h2>4. AAA Premier Membership</h2> <p>There's no arguing the fact that an AAA membership provides great peace of mind when hitting the road for a long trip, especially with a family. Emergency roadside assistance like towing after a breakdown, tire changes, and battery jumpstarts are just a few of their useful services. But when planning a long summer road trip, look into upgrading to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aaa.com/aaa/045/pioneer/membership/premier/comparison.htm" target="_blank">AAA Premier</a> membership for $118 annually, up from $58 for the basic membership. This is because Premier comes with up to 200 miles of towing, $1,500 for meals/lodging in the event of a breakdown, and 100 miles of emergency medical transportation.</p> <p>Last summer, I upgraded to AAA Premier just before embarking on a long road trip across the western U.S. with my parents' RV. Sure enough, the RV broke down 75 miles west of Needles, CA on a 115 degree day in the Mojave Desert. Not only did we get a free 75 mile tow, but all lodging and food was paid for as we waited for a new fuel pump to be delivered and installed. AAA ended up reimbursing us close to $700 for the trip interruption. This year I simply downgraded our membership back to the basic, but I'll definitely upgrade it again before our next long road trip.</p> <p>Also, don't forget about AAA discounts that will save you money on hotels, airfare, rental cars, shopping, and entertainment. By getting in the habit of always inquiring about an AAA discount, you can easily pay for your annual basic membership of $58.</p> <h2>5. GasBuddy App</h2> <p>If you're not arming your smartphone with the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gasbuddy.com/" target="_blank">GasBuddy app</a> (free for&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gasbuddy-find-cheap-gas-prices/id406719683" target="_blank">iOS</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gbis.gbandroid" target="_blank">Android</a>) before you leave home, you're bound to overpay at the pump. Not only does the app help you find the cheapest gas stations along your journey, but you'll even earn points for reporting gas prices that could you score you a free $100 gas card. A good GasBuddy strategy is to access the app when your tank gets about a quarter full and search for upcoming gas stations. By doing it this way, and not waiting until your &quot;get gas&quot; light comes on, you'll be able to take advantage of a larger radius of stations and ensure the lowest price per gallon.</p> <h2>6. Drive Early in the Day</h2> <p>Another trick that I learned on our last family road trip was to hit the road early. This allows you to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and fresher eyes for the driver. If you can start your driving by 6 or 7 a.m., not only will you be able to keep the A/C off and enjoy the cool morning air, but you'll be much less likely to overheat your vehicle leading to potentially costly repairs. Not to mention the better gas mileage that you'll get by having the A/C turned off.</p> <p>Financial benefits aside, the early start typically makes it easier to drive long distances and avoids fatigued eyes as they day winds down. Plus, you'll end up at your next stop much earlier in the day, leaving you ample time to explore your surroundings.</p> <h2>7. Find Free Attractions</h2> <p>Perhaps the best way to save money on your next family road trip is to search for free, or almost free, attractions and activities that everyone will love. The best way to do this is to access&nbsp;<a href="http://www.roadtripradar.com/" target="_blank">RoadTripRadar</a> and tell them where you're headed and how far you're willing to travel off your route to see attractions. You can also pick the types of attractions you're interested in, things like museums, parks, farms, outdoor play areas, hiking trails, and camping &mdash; many of which are completely free of charge. Once you have your route all planned out, you can save it for later use.</p> <p><em>How do you save money when you load up the car and head out on a long road trip?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this Article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg&amp;description=7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Travel%20Hacks%20for%20an%20Affordable%20Summer%20Road%20Trip.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</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-best-websites-for-last-minute-airfare-deals">7 Best Websites for Last-Minute Airfare Deals</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/5-cities-where-airbnb-is-way-cheaper-than-a-hotel">5 Cities Where Airbnb Is Way Cheaper Than a Hotel</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/little-road-trips-here-and-there-little-savings-everywhere">Little Road Trips Here and There: Little Savings Everywhere</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-great-cheap-summer-vacations">8 Great, Cheap Summer Vacations</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Travel AAA driving expedia hotels Orbitz road trips summer vacation tourism travel deals vrbo Wed, 15 Jun 2016 09:30:42 +0000 Kyle James 1728424 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/women_road_trip_21640056.jpg" alt="Women finding smart ways to boost gas mileage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Summer is just around the corner, and if you're one of the lucky ones, you'll be hittin' the road before you know it. Cut a bit of the cost from your road trip(s) by saving on gas with these fuel-efficient tips and tricks.</p> <h2>1. Switch to a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle</h2> <p>It seems like an obvious solution, and it's certainly easier said than done to upgrade your vehicle to a more fuel-efficient model like a fully electric car or hybrid. But if it's time for a new whip, or you want to invest in a ride that will you save you dough in the long term, it's the only way to go. If nothing else, it's at least worth a trip to the dealership to see what it has to offer and <a href="http://www.afdc.energy.gov/calc/">then crunch the numbers</a>.</p> <h2>2. Lighten Your Load Before Long Hauls</h2> <p>Over-packing your car for a road trip &mdash; or, the more likely scenario, hauling around a bunch of junk on a regular basis for no reason at all &mdash; weighs down your vehicle, and that requires it work harder for all that get up-and-go, thus consuming more gas.</p> <p>&quot;Do you go to the garden center, buy several bags of topsoil, then forget to unload your car for a week?&quot; asks auto expert Richard Reina. &quot;Perhaps you have a trunk full of tools, sports equipment, or project supplies which don't need to be there. Think about this: Automotive engineers sweat the details to remove ounces of weight to improve a vehicle's EPA mileage rating. Imagine what happens if you remove several pounds. Make it a habit to only carry what needs to be in the car.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated</h2> <p>Tires low on air don't roll easily, requiring more engine power (and more fuel) to make them rotate &mdash; but tire pressure is one of the easiest checks to perform.</p> <p>&quot;Buy an inexpensive pressure gauge, keep it in your glove box, and make a habit of checking the tires at fill-ups,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Be strict about using the numbers on the vehicle's tire pressure label, usually found in the driver's door jamb. Most vehicles have the same pressure rating for all four tires; but pay attention if your label requires different pressures front and rear.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Avoid Stop-and-Go Traffic</h2> <p>You'll save on gas if you keep your car moving at a steady pace opposed to braking often in traffic. If your morning and afternoon commutes are usually sluggish, try another route. Another reason your vehicle will consume more fuel in stop-and-go traffic is because it'll run longer than if you traveled from A to B quicker. If you have the option, test out different departing times &mdash; maybe leave home/work a little earlier or later, depending on what your schedule (and boss) allows &mdash; to avoid gridlock.</p> <h2>5. Take Your Foot Off the Pedal and Coast for a While</h2> <p>Instead of driving to the absolute last second when you need to stop, take your foot off the pedal well before the light to allow your car to coast to a stop. Make this a habit and you'll start seeing the difference in how often you have to refuel.</p> <h2>6. Turn on Cruise Control to Keep an Even Speed</h2> <p>Personally, I love cruise control. Not so much for the gas-saving factor, but because my feet get tired of always being on the pedal when I'm on long drives &mdash; though the former is as good a reason as any to use it when you hop on the highway.</p> <p>&quot;The best thing you can do to increase your gas mileage is to travel where you can keep an even speed,&quot; say savings expert Paul Moyer. &quot;Most vehicles get the best mileage somewhere between 45 and 55 miles per hour. If you can maintain that speed for long periods of time, you will greatly reduce your gas usage.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Plan Your Errands About Town Efficiently</h2> <p>I'm notoriously forgetful in the morning. I run back in the house at least twice every day to get something I forgot before heading to work. But, I'm much more put together when I'm running weekend errands. I plan out my stops so I can get to one end of town and back without having to cut across roads, make any unnecessary turns, or do the back-and-forth routine. I head north and hit everything on one side of the road, then south to get the rest on the way back. Granted, your errands may not be mapped out so neatly, but there are probably ways you can make your about-town travels more efficient if you tried.</p> <h2>8. Don't Let Your Car Idle if You're Not in It</h2> <p>Even when your car is sitting idle &mdash; like when you're heating it up in the morning when it's cold out &mdash; it's still using gas. If this is your daily practice in the winter, wean yourself off of it. As an alternative, bundle up and let the car heat up gradually as you drive. I know, it's not as cozy-comfortable as getting into a toasty-hot car that's had 20 minutes to sit, but at least your wallet won't feel the burn at the pump. Plus, you'll greatly reduce the chances that your car will get stolen from your own driveway. Do you really want to tell your local law enforcement that embarrassing tale?</p> <h2>9. Take Advantage of the Weather to Heat/Cool the Car Naturally</h2> <p>When it's cold out, park your car in the sun. Vice versa, when it's hot as the dickens, park in the shade. By consciously regulating the temperature inside the car naturally, you may be able to cut down on the times you want to crank up the heat or the A/C&hellip; although the latter isn't as bad as you think it is.</p> <h2>10. Keep the Windows Up When Driving</h2> <p>As I just mentioned, using the A/C isn't the gas-guzzler you might expect it to be. No need to feel wasteful if you require more climate control than Mother Nature is providing.</p> <p>&quot;This tip may run counter to what you were taught: 'Avoid using the A/C unless necessary, because it uses gas!' While this was true 25 years ago, modern electronics have overridden this concern,&quot; Reina says. &quot;Computer controls run the A/C only when needed while still keeping you cool. Automotive aerodynamics have improved so much that driving with windows down actually creates drag. The net effect is that a vehicle gets better mileage if the windows stay up, and the A/C's effect on fuel economy is nil.&quot;</p> <h2>11. Maintain Your Vehicle Regularly to Keep the Engine Running Clean</h2> <p>Of course, the best way to ensure that your car is running clean is to get regular maintenance. Nobody likes to have their car worked on (because what are they going to find wrong with it <em>this time</em>, right?), but if you stay on top of your car's needs, like clean air filters, you'll cut down on costs across the board (not just gas) over the lifetime of the vehicle &mdash; and that's just money in the bank.</p> <h2>Bonus Tip</h2> <p>You can also save on gas purchases and earn cash back when you fill up if you pay with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-gas-rewards-credit-cards?utm_source=wisebread&amp;utm_medium=internal&amp;utm_campaign=travel">gas rewards credit card</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>What are some things you do to boost your gas mileage? I'd love to hear your travel tactics in the comments below.</em>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</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/you-cant-make-it-as-a-one-car-family-now-what">You Can&#039;t Make It as a One-Car Family: Now What?</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/7-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates">7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates</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/8-easy-diy-car-repairs-to-save-big">8 Easy DIY Car Repairs to Save Big</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/4-hidden-costs-of-a-luxury-car">4 Hidden Costs of a Luxury Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation commuting driving efficiency fuels costs gas mileage maintenance road trips vehicles Mon, 13 Jun 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 1728673 at http://www.wisebread.com Is It Still Smart to Buy an Electric Car While Gas Prices Are Low? http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_63756853_SMALL.jpg" alt="Buying an electric car while gas prices are low" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With no end in sight for low gas prices, electric and hybrid cars face a harder value proposition. It can take a decade or more for some <a href="https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/hybridCompare.jsp">hybrids to pay for their higher price</a> tag through fuel savings, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. (I'm looking at you, Toyota Highlander.)</p> <p>So should you bother considering an electric or hybrid vehicle when car shopping? Of course, they are always going to be the better choice for the earth, but not all of us are noble enough (or wealthy enough) to pay more to do the right thing. Here are some alternative car advantages that still might turn your head in the era of cheap gas.</p> <h2>Cost Per Mile Is Still Lower</h2> <p>There are a few hybrids on the market whose fuel savings will still pay for the premium in three years or less &mdash; such as the 2016 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which sells for $1,500 more than the regular Avalon and gets 40 miles to the gallon (compared to the standard version's 26). FuelEconomy.gov estimates that a hybrid Avalon would save you $575 on gas per year at a price of $2.30 per gallon, paying back the difference in two and a half years.</p> <p>Plug-in hybrids and fully electric cars save even more at the pump, and even though you have to pay for the electricity to fuel them, it usually amounts to much less. Bonus if you can plug in your car at work and slurp up free juice all day.</p> <h2>Tax Incentives and Rebates</h2> <p>The federal <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-drive-a-hybrid-or-electric-car-on-the-cheap">tax credit of up to $7,500</a> for new plug-in cars is still available, and various states will kick in as well. For instance, California's <a href="https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/eligible-vehicles">Clean Vehicle Rebate Project</a> pays you up to $6,500 to buy a new zero-emission or plug-in car. A 2016 Kia Soul electric vehicle, which sells for about $30,000, qualifies for a $7,500 tax credit and a $2,500 California rebate, making its effective price only $20,000 &mdash; not much more than a standard Kia Soul sells for.</p> <p>Check with your electric utility about rebates they may offer to offset the cost of charging your vehicle, too. You may also be able to get an incentive to help pay for the cost of installing a charger for an EV or plug-in hybrid, which can <a href="http://www.plugincars.com/quick-guide-buying-your-first-home-ev-charger-126875.html">cost $600&ndash;$700 for the charger</a>, plus more for installation.</p> <h2>Perks</h2> <p>With congested freeways in the LA and Bay Areas, many Californians have purchased plug-in cars mainly for the privilege of driving in the carpool lane even when they drive alone. In addition to California, a number of other states, including Arizona, Florida, and New York, are letting alternative fuel vehicles drive in the <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/energy/state-electric-vehicle-incentives-state-chart.aspx">high-occupancy vehicle lane</a> no matter how many people are in the car. But read the fine print of your state's program before purchasing to make sure your vehicle choice is eligible and that there are still stickers available; California has already maxed out the available exemptions for some vehicle categories.</p> <p>Other perks that states and municipalities are offering include inspection exemptions, free parking at meters, and registration discounts.</p> <h2>Less Maintenance</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pluginamerica.org/why-plug-vehicles">Plug In America</a>, a nonprofit electric car advocate, puts it this way: &quot;There's no engine, transmission, spark plugs, valves, fuel tank, tailpipe, distributor, starter, clutch, muffler, or catalytic converter (in an electric vehicle). So you can expect significantly lower maintenance costs.&quot;</p> <p>EVs don't require oil changes, and of course, you never have to stand at a gas pump in the rain, breathing fumes and hoping you don't spill gasoline on your clothes.</p> <h2>Pleasant to Drive</h2> <p>The silent operation of EVs and hybrids in electric mode make listening to music or an audiobook on the road a dream. Many drivers also enjoy the peppy pickup of an electric engine.</p> <h2>Drawbacks</h2> <p>Let's be honest, though: If owning an electric vehicle or hybrid were perfect, everyone would already own one. For all-electric vehicles, the biggest drawback still holding buyers back is range. Most EVs top out at around 100 miles before needing to charge. A full charge takes at least four hours with the fastest chargers, meaning that most people use them mainly for commuting, and keep a gas-powered car for weekend getaways.</p> <p>Hybrids don't have the range issue, but they do share another worry with EVs: battery replacement. A hybrid battery can <a href="http://www.autotrader.com/car-tech/hybrid-cars-hidden-drawbacks-209417">cost $2,500 or more</a>, and may need to be replaced at the 90,000 to 150,000-mile mark. With that in mind, it's kind of like the premium you pay for a hybrid vehicle is a recurring charge, not a one-time thing. Some carmakers are offering long battery warranties to assuage that worry. Even without a battery warranty, you should take the lower overall maintenance costs of an EV into account when calculating whether an eventual battery replacement makes the car too expensive in the long run.</p> <p><em>Have you considered an electric automobile? What factors swayed your decision?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-still-smart-to-buy-an-electric-car-while-gas-prices-are-low">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/how-long-does-it-take-break-even-with-an-electric-car">How Long Does It Take to Break Even With an Electric 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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-ways-to-boost-your-gas-mileage">11 Smart Ways to Boost Your Gas Mileage</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/7-money-mistakes-everyone-makes-when-buying-their-first-car">7 Money Mistakes Everyone Makes When Buying Their First Car</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation cost per mile driving electric cars environmental fuel economy gas price hybrids maintenance Thu, 09 Jun 2016 09:00:05 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1723184 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Surprising Ways Cheap Oil Impacts Your Wallet http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_getting_gas_000019298644.jpg" alt="Learning ways cheap oil impacts your wallet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to oil prices, there just doesn't seem to be a bottom these days. Crude oil is selling for about $30 a barrel, and that's having a major impact on both the global economy and Americans' pocketbooks.</p> <p>How are low oil prices affecting your finances?</p> <h2>1. You're Saving on Fuel and Energy Costs</h2> <p>It's simple: Low oil prices mean you pay less to fill up your car, or to heat and cool your home. IHS Global Insight predicted that Americans would save more than $100 billion, or $750 per household, due to low oil prices in 2015 &mdash; and savings are expected to continue this year. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-the-high-cost-of-cheap-gas-hurts-you?ref=seealso">This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You</a>)</p> <h2>2. Oil Stocks Have Been Hammered</h2> <p>In case you didn't notice, any stock or mutual fund associated with the oil industry has been getting creamed for quite a while. I bought shares of the iShares Oil and Gas ETF last year, believing they were bottoming out and would go up in value in short order. I was wrong. Shares are down 25% in the last 12 months, and 43% in the last two years. If you have a 401K or IRA with energy stocks, you may have seen your portfolio drop quite a bit over the last year or so.</p> <h2>3. You're Saving Everywhere Else, Too</h2> <p>In America, we're currently in a period of low inflation, and the low price of oil has a lot to do with that. Low oil prices mean it's costing less to ship goods, or for plastics manufacturers to make their products. In fact, low oil prices have a ripple effect on the price of almost everything. As evidence, the consumer price index declined 0.1% in December, after rising just 0.2% in November. The CPI is up just 0.7% in the last year. (On average, it's gone up about 2% annually over the last decade.)</p> <h2>4. Recycling Isn't a Cash Cow Anymore</h2> <p>Petroleum is the key ingredient in plastics, and with oil so cheap, there's less demand for recycled plastics. After all, why buy used when new is cheaper? After decades of effort and investment, localities across the country <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/business/energy-environment/skid-in-oil-prices-pulls-the-recycling-industry-down-with-it.html?_r=0">have seen recycling rates rise</a>, along with revenue to local coffers. For example, in 2015 the city of Washington, DC paid its waste management contractor $1.37M to take its plastics and other recyclable materials off its hands, but as recently as 2011, the city earned $550K for its reusable trash. &quot;A real fear now,&quot; Michael Taylor of the Society of the Plastics Industry told the New York Times, &quot;is that recycling rates might go down. That would be a horrible situation.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Fuel Taxes Could Go Up</h2> <p>Many lawmakers and even some business groups have been urging for an increase in federal and state gas taxes as a way of funding infrastructure improvements. And they say the time may be right for an increase, because a gallon of gasoline is selling for its lowest price in years. (Gas taxes are a harder sell when it's already expensive to fuel up.) President Obama recently proposed a $10 per barrel tax on oil in his latest budget, and Alabama, Alaska, and Indiana are among the states discussing a gas tax hike.</p> <h2>6. You're Traveling and Eating Out More</h2> <p>If you're paying less for gas, there's more money in your pocket. That means it's less of a financial challenge to take the family to a restaurant or on a vacation. The Wall Street Journal reported that spending on food and accommodations last summer was up 8% over 2014. Many tourists sites, including National Parks, saw good upticks in attendance last year and expect solid performances in 2016.</p> <h2>7. Life Is Harder if You Live in West Texas or North Dakota</h2> <p>For several years, places like North Dakota or Midland, TX were enjoying super-low unemployment and a migration of people looking to take advantage of the oil boom. But things aren't nearly as active there now. The state economy grew by only 1% last year, compared to 6% the year prior, according to Kiplinger's. North Dakota's governor recently presented a plan of budget cuts brought on by lower oil revenues. This has also impacted the budgets of other oil-dependent states, including Alaska and Louisiana.</p> <h2>8. The Ruble and Other Currencies Are Down</h2> <p>If you're Russian, or invest in currencies, you may have noticed that the value of a ruble against the euro and dollar has been sliding. Journalists reported in January that Russia was looking to cut 10% off its federal budget, which was originally made with $50 per barrel oil prices in mind.</p> <p>Russia is one of many countries that relies heavily on oil exports to drive their economy, so low prices can have a severe impact on economic growth. Low oil prices have also impacted the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso (both down about 20% in the last two years), and the Norwegian krone (down about 25%.) The one plus side for Americans is that the U.S. dollar has remained strong, and it's now relatively cheap to travel to some of these countries or consume their exports.</p> <p><em>Have you noticed any surprising effects of cheap oil? Lets us know in comments!</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/8-surprising-ways-cheap-oil-impacts-your-wallet">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/5-personal-finance-tasks-that-arent-as-hard-as-you-think">5 Personal Finance Tasks That Aren&#039;t as Hard as You Think</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-easy-ways-to-build-an-emergency-fund-from-0">7 Easy Ways to Build an Emergency Fund From $0</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-saving-money-is-harder-today">Why Saving Money Is Harder Today</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/investment-gains-taxes-increase-the-worst-tax-policy-ever">Investment Gains Taxes Increase - The Worst Tax Policy Ever?</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-industries-that-could-benefit-from-climate-change">8 Industries That Could Benefit From Climate Change</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance currencies driving energy gas prices inflation oil prices taxes Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:30:05 +0000 Tim Lemke 1658152 at http://www.wisebread.com 3 Ways Your Commute Is Killing You — And What to Do About It http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-commute-is-killing-you-and-what-to-do-about-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/3-ways-your-commute-is-killing-you-and-what-to-do-about-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_mad_000082141745.jpg" alt="Woman learning ways her commute is killing her " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many times have you pounded your fist on the dashboard of your car and moaned, &quot;This traffic is killing me!&quot;</p> <p>What if I told you it literally <em>is</em> killing you? Here are all the ways the better part of an hour that you spend driving to work each day is doing you real harm&hellip; and some healthier alternatives that might just save you.</p> <h2>Time in the Car Is Sedentary</h2> <p>People who <a href="http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2812%2900167-5/abstract">commute more than 20 miles a day</a> are more likely to have high blood sugar, high cholesterol, depression, and anxiety, according to a study of Texas road warriors. The authors blamed the health consequences on the fact that long drives leave less time for exercise.</p> <h2>The More You Drive, the More You Weigh</h2> <p>Daily <a href="http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(12)00776-3/abstract">car commuters gained more weight</a> over a four-year period than occasional car commuters, and nearly twice as much as non-car commuters, an Australian study found. Overweight and obesity combined are the <a href="https://www.wvdhhr.org/bph/oehp/obesity/mortality.htm">second-leading cause of preventable death</a> in the United States.</p> <h2>Even on Public Transit, Long Commutes Wear You Out</h2> <p>A survey of <a href="http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=24164">Long Island rail commuters</a> published in the journal Sleep showed that the longer the commute, the less sleep riders got at night. A Swedish study compared folks who drove or <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226527/">took transit to work</a> to those who biked there; the train riders were more likely to feel stressed and exhausted, miss sleep, and call in sick.</p> <p>Unfortunately, most of us can't just call our bosses and explain that commuting is unhealthy and therefore we can't go to work. Well, we can, but we won't get paid. So here are some more practical ideas for avoiding death by commute.</p> <h2>Consider Travel Time When Home and Job Shopping</h2> <p>Since commute time is a serious health issue, it's worthwhile to make it a priority right up there with the quality of schools and the cost of homes when you're deciding where to live. Whenever my family relocates for work, we start our home search with a local transit map. We pinpoint communities where we could walk or bike to a train or, in our current location, ferry. Where we live now, we are lucky enough to be able to get around <a href="http://carfreemom.com/">without owning a car</a>. Both my spouse and I have turned down job offers that would have forced us to drive long distances.</p> <p>When you account for the impact on health, travel time becomes just as relevant as the pay and benefits offered.</p> <h2>Look Into Bike Commuting</h2> <p>People who <a href="http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(15)00159-2/abstract">pedal to work tend to get more exercise</a> overall, because it's not as if they sit around more after work once the trip is done, according to a study of Spanish bike commuters. In my experience, many members of our community are unaware that it's possible to bring your bike along on the bus, train, and ferry, making it quite practical to pedal at least part of a long commute. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-road-bikes">The 5 Best Road Bikes</a>)</p> <h2>Ask for Work Flexibility</h2> <p>Even if you can't avoid driving to work, you may be able to change your work hours slightly so that you drive before or after the peak traffic hours. Other professionals have success requesting one or more work-from-home days per week, which can free up time for a jog.</p> <p><em>How do you get to work in the morning? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-ways-your-commute-is-killing-you-and-what-to-do-about-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-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/10-smart-things-to-do-during-your-commute-even-if-you-drive">10 Smart Things to Do During Your Commute (Even If You Drive!)</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-things-that-affect-your-car-insurance-rates">7 Things That Affect Your Car Insurance Rates</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/the-biggest-ways-youre-wasting-money-at-the-pump">The Biggest Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money at the Pump</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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</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/9-car-parts-that-are-safe-to-buy-used">9 Car Parts That Are Safe to Buy Used</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Cars and Transportation commute drive to work driving Health work commute Fri, 08 Jan 2016 12:00:02 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1634703 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways Being a Safe Driver Will Save You Big Money http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_car_000052861520.jpg" alt="Woman learning how being a safe driver will save her big" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That speeding ticket can cost you &mdash; to the tune of an initial fine of $100 or more. That's bad enough, but then comes the hit to your insurance premium. You can expect the cost of your auto insurance to jump by at least 20% if you're caught driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, according to a study by InsuranceQuotes.com.</p> <p>But if you follow the speed limit, you don't have to worry about this financial hit. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-new-car-costs-the-dealer-is-hiding-from-you">10 New Car Costs the Dealer Is Hiding From You</a>)</p> <p>That's just one of the ways that being a safe driver can save you a load of money. Here's a look at the financial benefits that a safe driving record will bring you.</p> <h2>Lower Insurance Rates and Discounts</h2> <p>A clean driving record &mdash; one free of auto accidents, speeding tickets, or other moving violations &mdash; can dramatically reduce the amount you pay to your auto insurer each month.</p> <p>Insurance Quotes and Quadrant Information Services studied the impact of traffic incidents on insurance rates, and discovered that driving under the influence increased auto insurance premiums by an average of 93%. Reckless driving boosted it upward by an average of 82%. For speeding, the average increase varied, but those drivers going up to 15 miles per hour over the limit generally saw their insurance premiums jump by 21%.</p> <p>Another study by InsuranceQuotes.com, released in early 2015, found that drivers who make one accident claim will see their auto insurance rates jump by an average of 41%. Those who make two claims in a year will see their auto insurance rates increase by 93%.</p> <p>If you're a safe driver, you can actually be rewarded and save money by way of discounts. Allstate offers savings of 22% on policies after three consecutive years without any violations or accidents. After five years without any violations or accidents, drivers can reduce their insurance rates by 35%. Allstate also offers a defensive-driver discount. Under this program, drivers who are 55 or older and who complete six or more hours of defensive-driving courses can save up to 10% on their auto insurance.</p> <p>Don't have Allstate? Geico offers a discount of 26% for drivers who have been accident-free for five years. American Family offers drivers without accidents, violations, or claims a discount of 5% to 10%. Contact your auto insurance provider and see what safe driver discounts are available.</p> <h2>No Speeding Tickets</h2> <p>Getting a speeding ticket isn't much fun. It's costly, too. Last year, NerdWallet took a look at what a speeding ticket can cost drivers in California. According to the site, those drivers who were ticketed for going 15 miles per hour over the speed limit paid an average of $234 when fees and surcharges were taken into account.</p> <p>In 2013, insurer Esurance reported that the average speeding ticket costs drivers throughout the United States $150. That's a lot of money. And it doesn't even take into account how much your insurance rate will jump after a speeding ticket. Speaking of which...</p> <h2>Gas Savings</h2> <p>You might not think that driving the speed limit will save you money at the fuel pump, but it will. According to the Department of Energy's FuelEconomy.gov, aggressive driving &mdash; which includes speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking &mdash; can lower your car's gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% when you're driving in town.</p> <p>By driving the speed limit, and by avoiding rapid acceleration and braking, you can save up to 21 cents per gallon in fuel costs.</p> <h2>Fewer Traffic Accidents</h2> <p>Car accidents are terrifying events. They're also expensive ones.</p> <p>Speeding, not paying attention, or driving under the influence can not only result in terrible injury or death, but tremendous economic impact. According to a 2010 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the overall cost of motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. amounted to nearly $1 trillion. By being more aware, you can save yourself and others the costly financial burden of deductibles, auto and property repairs, rate hikes, and bodily injury.</p> <p>Driving safely and at the speed limit won't completely protect you from car accidents and their costs. But it will help.</p> <p><em>Do your driving habits help or hurt your wallet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-being-a-safe-driver-will-save-you-big-money">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/your-car-was-recalled-now-what">Your Car Was Recalled. Now What?</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-steps-you-must-take-if-youve-been-in-a-car-accident">10 Steps You Must Take If You&#039;ve Been in a Car Accident</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/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</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/4-times-when-bundling-insurance-doesnt-make-sense">4 Times When Bundling Insurance Doesn&#039;t Make Sense</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-what-that-ticket-you-got-will-do-to-your-car-insurance-rate">This Is What That Ticket You Got Will Do to Your Car Insurance Rate</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation auto insurance discounts driving rates safety tickets Tue, 05 Jan 2016 18:00:07 +0000 Dan Rafter 1629243 at http://www.wisebread.com Car Yoga and 9 Other Ways to Beat Long Drives http://www.wisebread.com/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends_in_car_000049523678.jpg" alt="Friends doing car yoga and surviving a long drive" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In case you haven't noticed, America is huge. Tooling across just two or three states can challenge even the most patient soul and driving from coast to coast is a test of sheer physical endurance. Whether you're traveling solo, with friends and family, or with co-workers, make things easier by mastering these 10 ways to survive a long drive.</p> <h2>1. Make Reservations</h2> <p>Know what makes a long day behind the wheel even worse? A long night behind the wheel. Don't assume every city or town you pass through will have lodging vacancies. Conventions, concerts, college sporting events, and county fairs can deplete hotel rooms quickly. Plot your trip, know where you'll be stopping each evening, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-negotiate-a-cheaper-hotel-room">negotiate a great room rate</a>, and make reservations ahead of time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-money-on-a-great-american-road-trip?ref=seealso">10 Ways to Save Money on a Great American Road Trip</a>)</p> <h2>2. Invest in Roadside Assistance</h2> <p>Long drives can be exhausting for cars too. Arrange for AAA coverage or roadside assistance through your insurance carrier before you hit the road. Particularly if you're travelling alone, the peace of mind is well worth the money.</p> <h2>3. Pack Snacks and Water</h2> <p>A good supply of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-delicious-healthy-and-inexpensive-snack-options">healthy and inexpensive snacks</a> keeps everyone energized during those long stretches between stops. And as a rule, two or three days' worth of non-perishable high-protein food and water are must-haves for emergencies &mdash; particularly if you're traveling in remote areas or during winter.</p> <h2>4. Avoid Marathon Days</h2> <p>Set a specific drive time limit each day and avoid &quot;marathon&quot; driving days of 12 or 14 hours. Without compromising your safety, set mileage-based goals along the way, too. For example, stop for lunch after the first 200 miles; plan a coffee break after another 100 miles; stop for the night when you've driven 500 miles. Small goals will add structure to your day and help you stay motivated mile after mile.</p> <h2>5. Don't Be a Stop Cop</h2> <p>Okay, okay&hellip;we get it &mdash; stopping too often eats into your finely-tuned schedule. Get over it. Denying yourself or others regular bathroom breaks, opportunities to stretch, or moments to simply breathe some fresh air turns a long trip into a bladder-busting nightmare.</p> <h2>6. Get Your Game On</h2> <p>Boardless games like trivia, spelling bees, and I Spy are fun ways to pass the time for kids and adults. Remember, safety comes first. Avoid anything that's too competitive and if your game is delivered through a mobile app, make sure playing it is hands-free.</p> <h2>7. Choose Truck Stops Instead of Rest Areas</h2> <p>Rest areas are great places to take quick bathroom break or change a flat. But truck stops offer more services that cater to weary road warriors. Larger bathrooms (some with showers), cafés, and small markets can help restore your mood and your motivation.</p> <h2>8. Move It</h2> <p>If you've made long drives before, you're probably familiar with the medical condition known as <em>Gluteus Notfeelmuch </em>that develops after about four hours of being folded up in a car. Fight it by making a conscious effort to stretch, jump, walk, or strike a few basic yoga poses each time you stop for food or fuel.</p> <h2>9. Skip the Shortcuts</h2> <p>The longer your trip, the more tempting shortcuts become. But in unfamiliar territory shortcuts can easily turn into maddening mazes that guzzle gas and burn daylight. Plan your route and stick to the main roads.</p> <h2>10. Rotate Drivers</h2> <p>If you're traveling with other adults, alternate your time at the wheel every two or three hours. Capitalize on what each driver is best at and determine who prefers driving at night, urban driving, driving through mountains, etc.</p> <p><em>What's the longest road trip you've taken? What methods did you use to survive the drive?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this post? Pin it!&nbsp;</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fcar-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FCar%20Yoga%20and%209%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Beat%20Long%20Drives.jpg&amp;description=Car%20Yoga%20and%209%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Beat%20Long%20Drives" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Car%20Yoga%20and%209%20Other%20Ways%20to%20Beat%20Long%20Drives.jpg" width="250" height="374" alt="" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/car-yoga-and-9-other-ways-to-beat-long-drives">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/7-travel-hacks-for-an-affordable-summer-road-trip">7 Travel Hacks for an Affordable Summer Road Trip</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/pay-your-bills-and-5-other-things-you-must-do-before-you-leave-on-vacation">Pay Your Bills and 5 Other Things You Must Do Before You Leave on Vacation</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-affordable-water-parks-you-can-drive-to">10 Affordable Water Parks You Can Drive To</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/25-ways-to-have-the-best-cheapest-summer-vacation">25 Ways to Have the Best, Cheapest Summer Vacation</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/10-things-to-leave-behind-during-your-midsummer-trip">10 Things to Leave Behind During Your Midsummer Trip</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Travel driving long drives on the road road trips vacation Tue, 21 Jul 2015 21:00:11 +0000 Kentin Waits 1493710 at http://www.wisebread.com Here's How Rich You'd Be If You Stopped Driving http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_piggy_bank_car_000059532196.jpg" alt="Woman learning how rich she&#039;d be if she stopped driving" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cars are useful, but they can also be an unnecessary burden on your budget. My first car was a sky blue 1993 Mercury Sable. It was a boat of a car, but it was lovely and near-mint because I bought it from a senior citizen who only used it for church and the grocery store. I lived in the suburbs, but I would often carpool with coworkers or take the bus to save money. Eventually, I sold my car and moved to a place walking and biking distance from work and school. With the money I saved, I paid for two years of college tuition!</p> <p>Here in Los Angeles, walkable neighborhoods are flourishing, plus bike lanes and new rail routes are opening regularly. I rarely need a car to run basic weekly errands. My household shares one Honda Fit and we invest the money saved by not owning a second car. Here's why you should try it, too.</p> <h2>Here's What a Car Costs You Every Year</h2> <p>Let's break down all the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cars-you-can-drive-almost-forever">costs associated with driving</a>, using average <a href="http://newsroom.aaa.com/2013/04/cost-of-owning-and-operating-vehicle-in-u-s-increases-nearly-two-percent-according-to-aaas-2013-your-driving-costs-study/">numbers crunched by AAA</a>, assuming annual driving of 15,000 miles.</p> <h3>1. Car</h3> <p>Many people <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">lease their cars</a>; but let's assume you buy yours outright. A car actually depreciates in value everyday you drive it &mdash; at an average total of $3,571 per year &mdash; depending on the type of car you have, of course.</p> <h3>2. Gas</h3> <p>Let's assume you don't live in major cities like L.A., Seattle, or NYC, where gas is the most expensive in the nation. In most other places, the average cost totals $2,168 per year.</p> <h3>3. Insurance</h3> <p>Another money-pit, insurance is legally mandatory almost everywhere. Depending on your age and driving history, it can be very pricey. The average cost overall is $1,029 per year.</p> <h3>4. Repairs</h3> <p>Depending on your car's age and whether it's domestic or imported, repairs can also be an unavoidable money drain. On average it can be 4.97 cents per mile, or $745.50 per year.</p> <h3>5. Services Like AAA or OnStar</h3> <p>While having a AAA membership is highly recommended, it is an extra cost of $66&ndash;$126 per year.</p> <p>Total Yearly Cost of Driving = $7,513.50*</p> <p><em>*Counting for depreciation of the average car per year, so that we can calculate a yearly savings. Car prices vary by make, model, and state of purchase, so I recommend subbing in the first value with your own. Here's a </em><a href="http://www.money-zine.com/calculators/auto-loan-calculators/car-depreciation-calculator/"><em>car depreciation calculator</em></a><em>. </em></p> <h2>What if You Invested That $7,513.50? Answer: $$$$</h2> <p>If you thought <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-drinking-expensive-coffee">cutting out $5 lattes</a> was a big investment, this one will make your eyes pop right out of your skull!</p> <p>I calculated a 10 year plan with a <a href="http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/compound-savings-calculator-tool.aspx">compound interest calculator</a>. Let's say you invest the same amount every year for 10 years, with a conservative 6% interest rate. At the end of year two you're looking at $16,408. In five years, you'll have $44,899. In 10 years? $104,983!</p> <p>Honestly? If you got rid of your car, you could buy real estate in just 10 years.</p> <p>Some might argue: &quot;If I ditch my car, I'll spend more on other costs <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-score-free-rides-on-uber-lyft-and-sidecar">like public transit and Uber</a>!&quot; True, but the difference could be negligible. The costs of those extras is generally not enough to compete with saving what you'd spend on a car &mdash; unless you use them with unusually great frequency.</p> <h2>Absolutely Need a Car? Consider Only One Car Per Household</h2> <p>In my household, my husband and I only need one car, as only one of us works outside the home part time. The rest of the week, we work together on our small business. We drive together on business trips. This means better fuel efficiency and ability to use the carpool lane.</p> <p>Try planning a carpool strategy that allows everyone to get to work and come home together. Here's why. You will benefit from cutting your commute related costs nearly in half, but you will get to spend more time together as spouses, family members, or friends.</p> <p>How do you decide whose car to keep? See who has the most of the following:</p> <ul> <li>Newest model;</li> <li>Best fuel MPG;</li> <li>Fewest recent repairs;</li> <li>Lowest insurance rate.</li> </ul> <p>If one car is at least three out of four, that's the one to keep! Alternatively, try these six ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-cut-car-ownership-costs">cut car ownership costs</a>.</p> <p><em>How are you controlling your transportation costs?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-rich-youd-be-if-you-stopped-driving">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/save-gas-dont-make-left-hand-turns">Save gas; don&#039;t make left-hand turns.</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/are-you-wasting-68000-on-gas">Are You Wasting $68,000 on Gas?</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/the-biggest-ways-youre-wasting-money-at-the-pump">The Biggest Ways You&#039;re Wasting Money at the Pump</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/the-benefits-of-a-walkable-neighborhood">The Benefits of a Walkable Neighborhood</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/is-uber-saving-or-costing-you-money">Is Uber Saving or Costing You Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation carpooling compound interest driving gas ridesharing Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:00:15 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1460791 at http://www.wisebread.com