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Archive for November, 2012

Need to Save Money on Gas?

November 13th, 2012 at 09:15 am

Gas prices have gotten out of control. I remember when gas was $.89 a gallon. I do not believe we will ever see gas under a dollar again in our lifetime. However, all the complaining in the world will not make these ridiculous gas prices go down. Therefore, in order to survive it is important that we come up with practical ways to reduce how much we end up paying at the pump. Here are a few helpful tips to ease your financial pain at the pump.

Carpool.
Carpooling is a great way to save money on gas. If there are a number of people in the carpool it can save even more money. One way to manage the carpool is to rotate cars and drivers. For example, if there are four carpoolers, one week one person drives and everyone pitches in for gas money. The following weeks the rotating continues. The goal is to have each person drive their vehicle every four weeks.

Use Public Transportation.
Depending on your commute, gas can easily cost you $150-$500 a month. Gas for cars has become the new mortgage. One option is to use public transportation. Yes it may be an inconvenience, but it can actually save you money. The cost of public transportation varies from city to city. However, I can think of three advantages for using public transportation. You will have less car maintenance because of less drive time. Generally, the monthly bus pass will cost less than the monthly price of gas. Using public transportation gives you an opportunity to have time to do work, read, think, people watch, and avoid stress from commuting.

Drive Slower.
Gas and oil burns quicker at higher speeds. Is your foot causing you to make extra trips to the gas pump? Some people do not mind paying the price for living life in the fast lane. However, the faster we drive, the more natural resources are consumed. Also, you can get a speeding ticket, and then have a higher insurance premium, plus the cost of the ticket. Be sure to drive the speed limit.

Maintain your vehicle.
Maintaining your car might sound like a no-brainer, but how many of us are actually doing it? Here are some basic tips to maintain your vehicle: a) Keep your tires properly inflated in order to get more miles to the gallon. b) Combine your errands into one trip in order to reduce wear and tear. c) Remove excess junk out of your trunk so that you get further down the road. d) Get regular oil changes and tune ups as recommended by the manufacturer.


It is so important to be proactive with solutions to cut gas cost. Saving on gas is a lifestyle decision that will refuel your bank account. What have you done specifically to save money on gas for your car?

Is Your Pet Causing You Debt?

November 5th, 2012 at 09:21 am

I do not own a pet, but I have friends that do. I happen to know that pet lovers “love them some pets.” Matter of fact, many consider their pets children. I even have a friend that rushes home from work to see her dog, not her children. Some people have more affection for their dog than their spouse. But that’s another article. Nevertheless, debt is a problem in many households today. Debt is causing problems in relationships, making people lose sleep, and even causing physical health problems. With the cost of everything going up and stretching our dollars, we have to analyze everything to cut back and save. So my question to you: is your pet causing you debt?

A $3,000 Dog?
A friend of mine spent $3,000 to purchase her dog. Then she had to turn around and put it in training school for a couple of months. Of course when they went on their numerous vacations annually they had to pay for a dog-sitter. I am aware that a dog is supposed to be a man’s best friend, but it appears without a budget for your pet they can also put you in poverty! If you are not in the habit of tracking your money or living on a spending plan, you probably have no idea how much your lovable pet is costing you.

Americans spend $38.4 billion on pets.
The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) says that 63 percent of American households own at least one pet. It doesn’t matter what kind of pet you own, their care and maintenance will cost you something. For example, the average dog or cat lives around 6-15 years, so over that time-frame how much will you have invested in your pet? Many pet owners feel like money is not a consideration – it’s their pet for goodness-sake! However, if you want to get out of debt, the cost should definitely be considered.

Estimate of pet costs.
The numbers below are an average cost estimate for dogs and cats.

• Food - $240/year
• Dental care - $250-400/year
• Boarding or pet sitter - $15 to $100 per day
• Neutering - $142/dog and $99/cat
• Veterinarian visits - $211/dog or $179/cat
• Canine cataract surgery - $2,000-$3,000
• Cancer treatment - $5,000 or more
• Diabetes maintenance - $600-$1,000 a year


There is absolutely nothing wrong with owning a pet if you can afford it. But what if you can’t afford it? It really does come down to choices and priorities. For instance, if you spend around $1,000 a year on your pet, and they live for 10 years that is $10,000 a year. Do you currently have $10,000 in your retirement, emergency fund or 401K?

Again, it’s just a question. Is your pet causing you debt?