Saving Money On Gas

There are a lot of myths floating around about how to save money on gas. I found a great article at Green Car Reports that spells it all out.

The first thing they mention is to monitor your driving style. It is best to accelerate gently and smoothly and to allow your car to drift and stop its own momentum if possible. Accelerating quickly and jamming on the breaks are sure ways to impact your gas consumption. Quoted from the article, “The energy required to push a car through air resistance rises almost exponentially above about 45 mph–so going from 60 to 75 mph costs you a lot more than the “same” 15-mph increase from 45 to 60 mph.”

Another interesting fact is that new cars get better gas mileage than cars 10 years earlier. Corporate average fuel-economy regulations must increase year after year and should reach 54.5 mpg by 2025. You should feel great that every new car you buy will have a better gas milage than your last and will have more standard features and more likely will be safer.

Electric cars seems to be the topic of discussion these days in regards to gas mileage. It turns out that plugin cars are much cheaper to run per mile. The average per kilowatt-hour is around 12 cents – that is pretty cheap.

It is reassuring that electric cars are becoming more prevalent/mainstream and fuel-economy regulations continue to drive automakers to build cars that are more fuel efficient than the last. As energy sources continue to become more scarce and as fuel costs will likely increase, this will help offset costs as cars will be able to run longer without needing to refuel.


How To Save Money While At College

Bruce HeenSaving money while at college can be a hard thing to do especially if you are a new student.

I came across an article at Daily Finance that talked about five simple and easy tips to help you save a bit of money while studying at college. The first tip is to set up a checking account. A lot of college towns offer “free, no minimum balance checking accounts.” Most banks also offer free online banking, which can help a student track his or her expenses from their computer or smartphone. This will enable you to always know how much money you have. A checking account and online banking will also give you a great indication of where you are spending most of your money and where you need to cut back.

The second tip is to get a part time job. Most students might feel they have enough on their plate with a heavy course load, but if you feel extra ambitious a part time job can help you save a lot of money. According to the article, “most studies show that students who work for 20 hours or less per week don’t suffer any ill effects on their grades; in fact, a recent article in “Inside Higher Ed” reports that students with part-time jobs are likely to be even more engaged in “educationally purposeful activities.””

The third tip is to be weary of people at colleges offering you the chance to sign up for a credit card. The prospect of having a credit card might be nice, but it could also be very detrimental. You should do your research first and don’t give in to any perks you may receive from a person soliciting on your college campus.

The fourth tip is to be in control of what you are eating and how much you are consuming. Meal plans can be costly and unnecessary. Many colleges offer flex plans that charge you based on what you eat so you won’t spend as much and won’t nearly over eat and pack on costly pounds.

The fifth tip is to stay away from high textbook prices. Textbooks can be very costly especially if they are new. There are many websites that offer used or the option to rent textbooks.

These are just a few tips that can help you cut back on expenses and save money while studying at college.

Coupons Can Save You A Great Deal Of Money

Bruce HeenI came across a recent article on Examiner that talked about people who become obsessed with saving money at the grocery store. A person who develops this obsession usually cuts costs by finding coupons for local grocery stores in Sunday circulars.

Mary Potter Kenyon is what some might call an ‘extreme couponer.’ She will spend days collecting hundreds if not thousands of coupons that she uses at the grocery store. The amount of money that she saves is crazy and can really help off set her expenses. Think about if you had a $300 dollar weekly grocery bill for a family of five. What if you could cut that to only $150 dollars or less? If you have the time and patients, using coupons can help you reach that goal and you might surprise yourself by how much you can really save. Mary recently put out a book that talks about her obsession and provides insights into how you could save money too.

The channel TLC has a television show called “Extreme Couponing” that depicts people and families who participate in these massive shopping sprees with the help of coupons. In some of these extreme cases, people will spend as much as a thousand dollars but will only end up paying $50 dollars because they apply coupons to the purchases. For some of these people it seems like it is thrilling to see how much they are able to save compared to what they would have spent without the coupons. A lot of these people also stockpile abundant amounts of food in their homes and continue to watch their piles grow.

Using coupons can be a great resource for those who are looking to save some extra money at the grocery store. Taking the time to see what you need and if you can apply savings can really help cut down on your monthly expenses.


Saving Money When Grocery Shopping

Bruce HeenAn article on talks about budgeting your money wisely when shopping at the grocery store. Shopping for food definitely can add up, especially if you aren’t a conscience shopper and you buy things you don’t actually need. According to the article, “Americans spend approximately $150 per week on food—that’s 18 percent of the average American salary—most of which is dropped at the grocery store.”

In this article, there are five simple tips that you can do in order to help improve the amount of money spent while shopping at the supermarket.

The first step is to use coupons. Local sunday papers have exorbitant amounts of coupons that you can simply cut out and use. The hardest part of the process is taking the time to read each one to see what will best apply for your needs. There is a day that grocery stores normally double the value of their coupons as well. On this day it would be the most wise to shop because you will then receive twice the savings. There are also loyalty programs or shopper cards that most grocery stores offer as well. This will also help you save on your purchases.

The second tip is to create a shopping list before you go to the grocery store. A list creates order and gives you a visual guide for things that you actually need. It will help you from spending more than you allotted.

The third tip is to go to farmers markets for produce. Grocery stores charge more and the quality isn’t as good and fresh than if you were to by it from a local farm or vendor.

The fourth tip is to buy generic foods. Generic foods are priced more accordingly and more often than not are same in quality but are just package differently.

The fifth option is to shop at non traditional food stores. For instance, a Walmart or Target is technically a food store, but they do offer some products, which can be better priced than your average grocery store.

Budgeting Your Money Without A Regular Income

Bruce HeenA recent article in Lifehacker talks about the best ways to optimize your money if you don’t have a steady stream coming in on a month to month basis. When budgeting money, people normally consider two very important things, how much money is coming in and how much can be allocated for certain things. What if you don’t have a regular paycheck coming in? In the Lifehacker article they explain, “those with unpredictable incomes must work “backward”—starting with the amount of money you’ll spend to figure out how much you need. If your income is unstable, then it is your expenditures that must be stable, predictable, and repeatable.”

Looking at your baseline, you will first need to consider your food costs. Groceries should be your number one priority. You should try and only include groceries in your budget and limit or stay away completely from restaurants and fast food establishments. Being frugal with your money is essential so cutting out any unnecessary costs will help you out. Included in your baseline will be your rent or mortgage expense along with any homeownwers insurance as well as property taxes. The area in which you live could also impact your utilities. If you need heating or cooling, you will have to consider these utilities as well, along with phone and internet if needed. Nowadays, most people can get by without signing up for a phone service because cell phones are becoming the go to way to contact people. So cutting out a phone service could be another consideration that will help you cut down on your expenses. Another major expense is health insurance. This should of course be included in your expense category and should be considered greatly. For some people, health insurance could be a major contributing factor as to why they go bankrupt.

These are just a few expenses that one should be mindful of when considering budgeting with an irregular income. Having these all layed out will put things into perspective and will help you make better choices with your money.