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How To Save Money Day To Day (Spending Less)


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Try to figure out the cheapest way for you to get around.

If you own or lease an automobile

  • Can you do without a car? Heaven forbid in America. But do you really need one? Is good public transportation available? Are there local programs to drive you to and from medical appointments?
  • If you need buy or lease a vehicle:
    • Get a fix on what the car really costs: add up all of your expenses, including car payments, maintenance charges, gasoline, and automobile insurance. Take into account all expenses when looking at alternatives.
    • Could you trade-down for a vehicle that's less expensive to operate and maintain? Would it be less expensive to buy a new car? For example, a new car with higher monthly payments that is under warranty could in fact be a better deal than an older one for which you constantly pay for repairs. On the other hand, the insurance on the new car is probably higher.
    • A buying service provides prenegotiated prices on new cars from participating dealers. For instance, offsite link. Alternatively, a negotiating serfvice will get you bids on the model you want with the options you want in the area you specify. For instance, offsite link
  • Improve fuel economy by:
    • Eliminating junk in your trunk.  Every 100 pounds of extra weight in your car reduces your fuel economy by 2%.
    • Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure as shown in your owner's manual or on th edoor jamb. Low tire pressure can reduce fuel economy by 3%.
  • When purchasing gas:
    • Look for less expensive gas at offsite link(which also has an app for your mobile device)
    • Do not fill up on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  Gas prices typically rise over the weekend
    • If you use a credit card from the gas company, you can earn a rebate.
    • Tighten your gas cap until you hear a click which means that the gas line is sealed. A tight seal helps avoid loss due to evaporation and other factors.
  • When you travel by car:
    • You can map the most fuel efficient route by using the Autmobile Club of America's Fuel Cost Calculator. See: offsite link
    • According to AAA, a tuned engine can save you 4% in gas. Properly inflated tires can save you 3.3%
    • Per USA Today, for every five miles per hour you drive over 60 miles per hour, you add about 24 cents a gallon to the price of gas.
    • According to Kiplinger's Personal Finance, inflating your tires to the maximum pressure recommended by the tire manufacturer can improve your mileage by as much as 10 percent. The only trade-offs are a slightly harsher ride and a bit more noise.
    • EZ pass reduces idling time and usually gets you a discount at the booth. You are not required to buy your pass from your home state. Check surrounding state's Web sites to wee which has the cheapest plan for you. You can find each state's program through: offsite link
  • To learn about reducing your automobile insurance bill, see Buying Automobile Insurance.

Public Transportation

Many counties or cities offer reduced rate public transportation passes because of age, health or frequency of use. If you use public transportation, check to see if you qualify.

There may also be free transportation available • particularly to and from medical appointments. To learn more, see Transportation.

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