saving money

Social Media For Borrowers, Savings, and the College-Bound

Social media isn’t just about posting pictures of a beer pong tournament anymore. There is a growing industry for online financial services like peer to peer lending sites, which created $5.8 billion in loans last year. College savings and social banking sites are also becoming popular, allowing options for people to both take out a healthy line of credit with established financial institutions such as the Aurora Bank while also pursuing additional loans. The following list accounts for five flourishing social media sites for the financially aware:

Lending Club—This peer to peer lending site works by linking together borrowers and lenders through a social media service. The borrowers pay an origination fee (between 2.25 percent-4.75 percent) and create a listing with details of what loan they are requesting. Lenders can browse the listings and choose loans that want to fund, paying a service fee of 1% of what the borrower pays. The Lending Club generated $20 million in loans in 2011, a record number that is likely the result of the Club’s focus on high credit borrowers. In fact, LC turned down about 90% of their loan applications. Their popularity also stems from their offering better interest rates than banks by about 20-30 percent, if you have a FICO credit score of 660 or better.

Prosper—The direct rival to Lending Club in the peer to peer lending industry, Prosper originally manifested itself as an eBay like auction where borrowers and lenders negotiated rates. It then developed into a business model more in the vein of Lending Club, where investors decide upon an already established rate requested by a borrower. With powerful business alliances like Fidelity Ventures and Benchmark Capital, Prosper demands a 640 credit score and charges borrowers cheaper origination fees of between 0.25 percent to 3 percent.

GreenNote—This crowd-funding social media site helps students raise money for their college tuition. No credit score is required, all you have to do is create a profile and hope to receive some charity. So far 23,000 members have signed up, donating thousands of dollars for college-bound students.

SmartyPig—A social banking site that is free, FDIC-insured and allows users to create personalized savings accounts of specific purchases. Encouraging a “save-then-spend” ethos, this site is geared toward creating actionable financial goals.

GradeFund—Another fundraising platform for the college-bound, GradeFund seeks to uplift students into the financial status they need in order to afford tuition. The site attempts to combine the efforts of family members, friends, philanthropists, corporations, and public agencies.

These five social networks are geared towards various goals, from loans to savings to fundraising, but they all demonstrate the growing influence of social media on financial planning and saving. If you’re looking to take out a loan, you no longer have to rely on just a bank. Now you have the Internet too!

saving money

The Time Value of Money

The time value of money is a critically important concept in finance and economics. Whether you’re a multi-million dollar investor, a master’s degree candidate paying off student loans, or a recent high school graduate thinking about buying a new car, grasping the time value of money concept will be highly beneficial.

The concept of the time value of money is useful when determining the value of a sum of money or asset over time. The time value of money states that, all other things being equal, spending money now instead of in the future is preferable when inflation is positive, while saving money to spend later is preferable when inflation is negative (a rare event in today’s economy).

Here’s an example. Let’s say you have a choice between receiving $1 million today versus $1 million in three years. If you think you can invest that $1 million today — or even leave it in a high yield savings account — and end up with more than $1 million after three years, you would choose to receive that money today. But if you think that you do not have any investment option that could break even after three years, you might be better off in the long run if you choose to wait.

Most investors would likely take a sum of money now as opposed to waiting for three years, since inflation usually positive to reflect economic growth. The whole idea of the time value of money is explicitly related to maintaining present value or increasing future value.


Present vs. future value is nowhere better expressed than with the phenomenon of inflation. Inflation is simply continuous rising prices for goods and services. Put another way, increasing the amount of money without increasing the amount of goods gives consumers and businesses more money to spend on those goods. Essentially through creating more money, the value of each unit of currency decreases, incentivizing people to spend money in the near future instead of hoarding cash.

Saving a sum of money now is simply the decision to have cash despite the risk of inflation. Low inflationary risk favors saving the money now while high inflationary risk favors spending it in now before the value of your money becomes eroded. The inflation risk is the reason why investors who choose to have the sum in the future demand to be paid for the future value of an investment. In finance, this is known as the risk premium, which is why interest is usually paid on all forms of investments.

Lower interest rates leads to higher inflation. Since interest rates can be viewed as a tax on holding currency, lower interest rates make money cheaper, theoretically allowing people to spend more frequently. Essentially, the higher the inflation rate, the quicker the value of a currency erodes. Investors who set money aside for the future demand higher interest rates to compensate them for inflation. In other words, investors who leave a sum alone for future consumption will lose money because each of the dollars in that sum will be “worth” less. Each new dollar introduced into the economy devalues every dollar already in the economy.

Nominal vs. Real Interest Rates

The problem with using inflation to determine interest rates is that current interest rates are actually “nominal” interest rates. Nominal rates are not adjusted for inflation. To find “real” interest rates, they must be adjusted using an inflation rate, such as the one produced by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In the United States, nominal interest rates are set by the Federal Reserve through the Federal Funds Target Rate. Currently, that target rate is set between zero and 0.25 percent, which is the overall nominal interest rate for the economy. To find the real interest rate, the inflation rate must be subtracted from the nominal rate.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual inflation rate for September 2011 was 3.9 percent.  Taking 0.25 percent and subtracting 3.9 percent yields a negative real interest rate of -3.65.

Interest and Savings

Savings is decimated by negative real interest rates. Anyone who keeps money in cash is actually losing value. Holding $1,000 cash for one year will have lose $36.50 by the end of that year. Ordinarily, interest rates would rise to compensate for negative real rates, but currently the Federal Reserve is holding interest rates low to stimulate and stabilize the economy, so that will not happen. With interest rates so depressed, investors will be forced out of treasury and money market investments due to dismal returns.

As you can see, the time value of money is an important concept because it is an important factor in everyone’s daily spending, saving, and investment decisions. Although grandiose interest rate changes and and fiscal changes by the Federal Reserve and Treasury may seem overwhelming, it is important to understand how such policies can affect your personal savings accounts.

saving money

Comparative Cost Analysis of Healthy Cooking vs. Eating Fast Food Regularly

During the worst economic recession in decades, the simple act of putting food on the table can be difficult for working class families, not to mention those near or below the poverty line. When parents are desperate to get their children fed, they don’t always have the luxury of worrying about whether their kids are getting the daily nutrition they need for real health. Sometimes, just providing a kid with calories is all one can do..

cost of fast food vs healthy foodCombine the jobless rate and house foreclosures with rising gas prices and awful weather patterns, and you don’t need an online PhD to realize you have a recipe for disaster. These factors have contributed to rapidly increasing food prices. This is especially true in the produce section, where the cost of growing crops and transporting harvests can make fresh produce a lot more expensive than processed foods. Buying healthy foods can certainly hurt the grocery budget. However, few people ever stop to think just how expensive eating the cheaper and less healthy foods can be in the long run. McDonald’s dollar menu might not seem like such a good deal when you realize it can result in massive healthcare bills.

A study conducted by Andrew McDermott and published in the Family Medicine Journal found the overall cost of fast food was actually greater than that of healthy foods bought in supermarkets. In fact, the cost per calorie of a diet based on fast food was 24 percent higher than that of homemade diet of healthy food. Costs were calculated at three urban grocery stores, showing that it is possible for families to eat healthy for less, even when living in an urban setting.

Because not all foods are affordable, the study looked primarily at the lower-cost foods found in supermarkets. These spanned all of the food groups and included bananas, apples, frozen spinach, frozen peas, skim milk, chicken breasts, beans, cornflakes, and more. The cost of diets based on fast food was calculated using the breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals at a large fast food chain. The fast food diet included fries, burgers, soft drinks, and chicken nuggets.

The study proved that in the short term, it’s more than possible to eat healthy without spending a lot of money. In fact, the participants eating at fast food restaurants actually spent a lot more money than those buying groceries. However, the study didn’t show the high cost of healthcare commonly paid by those who eat fast food on a frequent basis. When this factor is added in, savings for people eating grocery store food skyrocket.

New York Times columnist Mark Bittman says the true cost of eating fast food is typically underestimated. Frequent consumption of junk food can take a serious toll on physical and mental health. In his column, Bittman cites a 2009 study by the Scripps Research Institute in which fast food was proven to trigger “addiction-like neuroaddictive responses.” Even if they consciously know other food is less expensive, frequent consumers of fast food will have a hard time switching over because they are literally addicted.

Just as the long-term consequences of of cigarette use are devastating, so are the long-term costs of eating a convenience diet. People eating at fast food establishments are at greater risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a whole host of other conditions. These problems can be devastating to one’s health and are very expensive to treat. Once the cost of health care is added into the mix, fast food quickly becomes the more expensive option.

Photo credit – ebruli

saving money

How to Cope With the Rising Costs of Energy

Unless you are a polar bear, a cold house is no fun and when the temperature goes down, the thermostat goes up, keeping the home feeling comfortably warm.

However, rising costs are set to plunge even more consumers into what has been dubbed as ‘energy poverty’ this coming winter as they simply do not have the cash to pay for a warm house.

Some measures which those in dire financial difficulties turned to last winter included only heating one room in the house, as well as buying less food so they could spend the money saved on their energy bills.

Others have run up huge bills and have turned to credit to pay off the balance, using resources such as an online loan calculator to find finance they can afford.

compare energy prices
Are you prepared for higher energy prices?

However, none of these are good strategies for dealing with rising energy costs in the longer term. The good news is there are some alternative measures which can be taken to help tackle too-high bills.

First of all, finding out what appliances are gobbling up energy is an essential starting point.

There are devices on the market that can be bought for around $25, which monitor how much energy each appliance uses. Even better, in some states, these devices can be rented for free from local libraries.

Once the device has revealed which appliances are the main culprits for rising bills, it is far easier to come up with a plan to reduce costs.

One easy way to immediately lower the electricity bill is by unplugging items when not in use. The US Department of Energy estimates that around 75% of the electrical energy used by homes is from devices which are turned off, but not unplugged.

As an example, a video left plugged in when not in use will add around $30 each year to the electricity bill. Whilst this may not sound like very much, totting up all the wasted energy simply from electrical items left plugged in can end up with a very significant potential saving.

However, it is not just the increasing bills and the rising costs of energy that causes those in energy poverty real concern. The possibility of the boiler or other essential heating device breaking down often creates real worry when there are no funds available to fix it.

Many households instinctively turn to finance to try and scrape together the funds to pay for the repair or replacement and use a loan calculator to locate a suitable deal.

In some cases of financial hardship, there are alternatives that are far more preferable than getting deeper into unmanageable levels of debt, which is often the case even with the assistance of a loan calculator.

The majority of states operate a number of charitable programs that provide financial and practical assistance to the elderly, infirm and vulnerable, including those who are experiencing serious financial difficulty.

These initiatives are funded by a variety of means, some from businesses in the local community, some via fund-raising and some from the energy companies themselves.

Many of these programs are not widely known, but should come as welcome knowledge to those who fear the colder conditions. There is no need to live like a polar bear, no matter what the temperature outside is.

photo: RyAwesome.

saving money

Don’t get a shock when your next energy bill arrives

Scottish Power customers received a shock recently when the company revealed plans to increase the cost of electricity and gas by an average of 10 and 19 per cent respectively – and this should serve as a timely reminder of the benefits of being proactive in the battle against the rise in energy prices.

Some 2.4million households across Britain will be hit hard by Scottish Power’s price hike and fears are growing that rival firms will announce similar rises over the coming months.

compare energy prices
Compare energy prices to avoid shocks!

Explaining the controversial change in pricing structure, Raymond Jack, Scottish Power’s UK retail director, told the company’s website: “Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have increased significantly since the end of last year and continuing unrest in global energy markets means future prices are volatile.

“We understand times are difficult for many people, and we have done what we can to absorb these additional costs for as long as possible to minimise the impact on our customers.

“The change in prices announced is as a result of sustained increases in the wholesale energy market, with the wholesale costs for an average Dual Fuel customer up 30% since November 2010.

“The rising burden of non-energy costs faced by Britain’s energy suppliers, including the cost of meeting Government environmental and social programmes and the cost of distributing electricity on the national grid, has also placed further upward pressure on energy bills.”

While it may seem all doom and gloom at the moment for energy customers, it’s well worth bearing in mind that help is only a few clicks away.  Compare gas and electricity prices at moneysupermarket and switching suppliers through the price comparison website could result in a saving of as much as £382.

Securing a cheaper deal for gas and electricity, though, is just one part of an on-going process by which you can help yourself and really make a difference to your household bills. Making a few select lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the amount of energy you use and here’s where a little common sense comes into play.

Most of us are guilty of picking up sloppy habits over the years around the house, whether it’s leaving the TV on standby and the lights on or setting off the dishwasher with just a few plates and dishes in it. Well, it’s time to buck up your ideas and hammer home the importance of not being wasteful to the rest of the family as well. There are also a host of energy-saving appliances and accessories that, although expensive to buy, will ultimately pay for themselves and return impressive savings over an extended period of time. Swapping from old-fashioned light bulbs to energy-efficient ones, for example, means they could last for up to 10 times longer and put that little bit extra back into your wallet.

photo: RyAwesome.

saving money

Use Netflix to Save Money on Movies

If you are a movie buff like I am, then you can probably save a ton of money by using Netflix instead of paying for a premium cable subscription. HBO, ShowTime, Cinemax and other channels, are great, but if you are willing to wait at least one season, then most of the good shows will be available with Netflix, either with their streaming video service, or as DVD or Blu-Rays. With all the great content out there, waiting a season is no big deal – just pass the time watching some of the movies you missed on the first go around, watch sporting events, or skip TV altogether and have a family night.

If you want to take the concept a step further, you can even drop cable. Most cities show several HD channels over the airwaves and if you have an HDTV you can get tons of free TV shows. When you combine free over the air HDTV and Netflix streaming and DVD by mail, you can get most of the shows and videos you need. The only downside is that sports are limited on most over the air channels. So if you are a big sports fan, then you may not wish to go that route. If you want to try it out, you can get a free Netflix trial with this Netflix free trial.

Here are some more great options for watching free or TV online: (free or prime),, and network and cable sites like: ABC, A&E, CBS, Discovery Channel, Fox, NBC, and PBS.

You can also watch some TV shows on YouTube, but the quality usually isn’t great and the shows are sometimes broken into several segments, which is annoying, especially because the big ads always pop up and you have to click the “x” each time to get rid of them.

The online websites are starting to show more ads on them, but they are still free for the most part. It won’t be long before cable TV as we know it is gone.

Oh, and if you need to supplement your TV watching experience, you can supplement your movie watching or TV shows, stream TV and movies from Amazon, or sign up for season passes to your favorite sporting leagues – most of the major sporting leagues offer HD quality content which you can stream to your TV for a flat rate for the entire season, or for special PPV events. Depending on your TV habits, you can save a ton of money by cutting the cord!

saving money

Festival of Frugality #280

Saving money is one of the most important parts of a financial plan. If you don’t save money, you can never get ahead in life. It’s as simple as that. I mean, think about it – no one ever got rich by borrowing money. That’s why I love the Festival of Frugality – it’s a gathering of articles devoted to helping people save money. This week we had over 40 entries. What you see here are the best of the best, the articles which will help you save money and improve your financial situation. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for reading!

Masters of Frugality (Tips to Save Money)

Festival of FrugalityKyle James presents Top 10 Recession Busters posted at Kyle, saying, “Here are my Top 10 ways to save money in a tough economy.”

Melissa Batai presents How to Save on Diapers or Get Them For Free posted at Mom’s Plans, saying, “While it is very difficult to get free diapers, there are many ways to lessen how much you pay for diapers.”

No Debt MBA presents CEOs as MBA students – They were on budgets too! posted at No Debt MBA.

Flexo presents Use Technology to Save Gas Money posted at Consumerism Commentary.

BIFS presents Restaurant Menu Tricks to Get More of Your Money posted at Budgeting In the Fun Stuff, saying, “Eating out is one of the first things to go when you try to go frugal, but it’s also something many enjoy and if that’s what makes you happy you should find a way to enjoy it without breaking the bank. Here are some tips.”

Dr. Dean presents Saving Money: While on Vacation! posted at Dr. Dean’s Blog, saying, “Keeping costs down while on vacation is a great way to make things more enjoyable and make the money you do spend last and last.”

FMF presents How to Decide Whether to Drive or Fly posted at Free Money Finance.

The DIY Troupe (The Self-Made Crew)

Control your Cash presents Why pay someone when I can do it myself? posted at Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense, saying, “Sometimes, the smartest way to be frugal is to start writing checks. Here’s why.”

MoneyThinking presents Summer Savings… Through Gardening? posted at Money Thinking.

Tarik presents Anything worthwhile needs 8 hours of continuous work posted at Success starts today, saying, “There are many types of work that may take from a few minutes to a few hours, but valuable work needs time. Time needs to be booked without interruption for long periods. To be able to make progress on all my activities including work, businesses, blog and family, I use several techniques to block and reserve my time and work on my most valuable goals. Here are three tips on how you can create blocks of time that will make every day of your life worthwhile.”

Coupon Magnates (Coupon Clippers)

Jacob A. Irwin presents Are Coupons Right For You? posted at My Money Blog – Personal Finance and Investing, saying, “Coupons are often touted as an effective way to be frugal and save money. However, there are several factors to consider in determining they’re worth your time. I’ve tried to outline several of these in this post.”

The Wise Squirrel presents ROI on Coupons posted at Squirrelers, saying, “Sometimes when using coupons to save money, it’s important to measure how valuable they are by considering the time and effort invested as well.”

Suba presents Reselling groupon or any daily deals vouchers posted at Wealth informatics.

Sustainable PF presents A Green Cycle: Alternative Feminine Hygiene Products posted at Sustainable Personal Finance, saying, “Green feminine hygiene products are not only earth friendly they are part of a frugal lifestyle as well. Read on to learn about this interesting way to save money.”

The Castle Guards (Insurance)

Jeff Rose, CFP presents Why Bundling Your Insurance Policies is a Good Idea posted at Consumer Boomer, saying, “Have you wondered whether bundling your insurance policies can benefit you? Here are a few good reasons to make the switch.”

Odysseas presents 15 Items that Impact the Cost of Homeowners Insurance posted at Wallet Blog, saying, “Hey, I hope you’re having a great weekend! I think you and your readers will really enjoy my submission this week because I explain a number of ways you can try to decrease your homeowners insurance. There are a variety of things you can change, alter or improve in order to reduce your annual premium and save money in the long run.”

Super-Size This! (Investing)

Ken presents 5 Ways to Reduce the Risk Involved with Retirement Savings posted at Spruce Up Your Finances.

My Journey presents How to Retire Wealthy posted at My Journey to Millions, saying, “Since our lives are ever-changing and dynamic, why do we invest as if they were static and unchanging? Rather than investing our money in one big pot, I say we should develop some constant cash flow from other sources (while contributing that 10% into our “just-in-case” fund)!”

The Gilded Couple (Banking)

Tim Chen presents When Should You Get a Prepaid Debit Card? posted at NerdWallet Blog – Credit Card Watch, saying, “In truth, there’s almost no reason to get a prepaid debit card. Even if you have a bad or limited credit history, you have much better options.”

Thanks for participating, everyone! You can enter next week’s Festival of Frugality using the carnival submission form or you can submit your entries here.

saving money

Young Professionals: 3 Spending Mistakes that Can Drain Your Savings Account

Getting your first professional job can be an exciting, new endeavor. Did you just move to a big city with a sprawling metropolis, full of great restaurants, cafes, and bars? Many college graduates like to work in big cities after graduation, and that can greatly increase general costs of living. However, you don’t have to live in the Upper East Side of Manhattan to have difficulty building a savings account. There are certain bad spending habits that young professionals develop early on. I am one of those young professionals, and I can tell you that I wasted a lot of money my first few years of working. Cutting back on small expenses will benefit you in the long run. You won’t have to be the friend who can’t afford an exotic vacation or weekend getaway because you haven’t tucked some money away for later.  Here are 3 spending mistakes you should nip in the bud as soon as possible.

Save Your Bucks with Less Frequent Starbucks Visits

We all love that green Starbucks mermaid. Admit it: you feel fashionable and chic carrying her around on your walk to work while sipping your $2 coffee. Let me add that $2 is the MINIMUM you will spend if you plan on drinking Starbucks on a daily basis. If you want to get fancier and add more to your coffee– frap it up or add a few shots of espresso you can easily spend six or seven dollars a day.  It took me a while to realize how much money I was wasting.  I would get a large latte in the morning for $4, plus one at lunch, kissing $8 goodbye every day. Now, I don’t want to insult your intelligence, but if you work five days a week, that adds up to a hefty $160 dollars a month. You can easily spend $1920 a year on your coffee and muffin alone (ever hear of the Latte Factor?)! I don’t know how you feel about extra money, but $1920 could buy a nice vacation to Europe or South America during even the busiest times of the year! Save money by buying a box of instant coffee for the month, or use that coffee maker your parents gave you as a housewarming gift!

Stop Paying for Daily Parking in Downtown!

So, I started my professional career in a relatively cheap American city: Houston, Texas. However, rates for parking in downtown were RIDICULOUSLY expensive (as they are in most big cities). I save close to $200 a month by using public transportation to downtown. You may be surprised how much easier this can be! You don’t have to sit in traffic every day, and you are automatically decreasing your carbon footprint by opting to use the subway or bus system in your city! If you live in downtown or close to the urban center of your city, use the most efficient form of transportation there is: you very own LEGS. Walk to work! If you still can’t get live without driving to work, talk to your employer about partial reimbursement for parking.

Taking Your Lunch to Work: Good for Your Belly and Your Savings Account

In addition to your daily coffee expenses, your lunch expenses can be even more fatal towards your savings. Take ten or fifteen minutes when you get home to pack your lunch for the following day! Make sure to include a piece of fruit! An apple a day WILL keep the doctor away. Not only will you be cutting your expenses in the short term, but you will be saving yourself from needing a whole new wardrobe in the long run. My daily lunch expenses were costly on my waist line! I gained 20 pounds my first year of working, and in addition to my $10 a day on lunch, I had to spend a few hundred to renew my wardrobe. Not good for my savings or my self-esteem!

saving money

How to Establish a Savings Account for College

The cost of college is slowly creeping higher as the return in pay for a college graduate slowly declines. The average college student will make significantly less than the average college student made as little as ten years ago. This is mostly due to a struggling economy so beginning a college savings account for your child or children can be extremely helpful to their future.

There are different types of savings accounts

Saving for college is essential to avoid taking out large student loans. The type of savings account that will best fit your lifestyle and income varies so there are a few options out there to establish a savings account for college. The most commonly used option, and the only one available across the United States is the 529 Plan. Option number 2 is a savings account through a private bank or college fund company. One of the newest options are called Loyalty programs like Upromise and BabyMint. One other choice is a minors trust fund.

How to make the best choice for your family

Research states that the 529 Plan is the best option for almost any family situation. The money is saved through your state treasury, is tax free until the year funds are withdrawn, and also remains in complete control of the parent(s) who funds the account rather than going into the hands of a not as responsible college student. A private savings account can effect the expected family contribution when your child applies for financial aid.

Loyalty programs are typically created by business or credit card companies to help you build a savings account. Kroger works with Upromise, and every time you buy groceries and use your Kroger Plus card they contribute a small percentage of the cost of certain items to an account. This is basically a hassle free way to help you save up for your child’s future and can be used in tandem with any of the other accounts.

Making tough decisions

If you are having difficulty choosing the correct savings account for your needs, contact a financial planner who specializes in future and family planning accounts to discuss your options thoroughly. You may decide to take a completely different route than the ones discussed above but most generally they will suggest one of those options. After you have made a decision, take your time thoroughly setting up an account with a specialist. Contact your state for a 529 Plan, research banks and private companies for the best interest rates for a private account, or set up an account online to manage Upromise or BabyMint.

saving money

Save Money on Traveling Expenses

With the cost of fuel around the world rising at an ever increasing rate, many people are looking at alternative travel arrangements in an attempt to reduce costs.  But why is the cost of fuel rising at such an alarming rate?

Let’s first take a look at how the price of gasoline is constituted in the US;

  • 13% Tax
  • 8% Marketing and Distribution
  • 14% Refining
  • 65% Crude Oil

As you can see the bulk of the costs emanate from the production of crude oil with just 13% taxation. This is in comparison to the UK for example;

  • 60% Taxation
  • 6% Marketing and Distribution
  • 11% Refining
  • 23% Crude Oil

Ever increasing tensions around a large proportion of the world’s oil providing countries (Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway, Iran, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Nigeria, Mexico and Algeria) help to spur concerns over demand. This is a result of oil markets concern that production will suffer as a result of the ability of oil producing nations to fulfill demand – simple supply and demand in essence.

How can I save Money on Traveling Expenses?

There are a number of areas you can focus on to save fuel costs each with its own benefits and drawbacks;

1. Buy a motorcycle

Pro’s – Motorcycles are cheap to buy and have staggering fuel economy compared to standard SUV’s with a typical smaller motorbike being able to travel around 100-130mpg.

Con’s – You are limited in what (and who) you can transport. Bad weather can restrict your ability to use safely. Safety – many drivers aren’t used to looking out for motorcycle riders.

2. Make use of public transport

Pro’s – Public transport can be very economical if you make use of monthly/yearly bus subscriptions. They can also be a stress free method of transport given someone else is doing the driving!

Con’s – Can be limited in destinations, may not deliver you to the desired location and can also extend journey times considerably.

3. Buy a pushbike

Pro’s – There is a lot to be said for pedal power including the obvious health benefits and zero running costs.

Con’s – Takes some effort to get to your destination via your own steam. You are subjected to the elements and therefore can be tricky when there is bad weather. Unable to transport anything significant, other than yourself.

4. Hybrid/Electric Cars

Pro’s – Great fuel economy and good for the environment in terms of vehicle emissions.

Con’s – Expensive to buy and limited in range (full electric). Hybrid vehicles (combination of fuel and battery) are also very expensive to maintain and service.

We have all been subjected to increased fuel prices to such an extent that people are turning to alternative methods of getting around. Each person and family will need to address their particular needs and see what options could be used for them.

Have I taken action to reduce my fuel Gasoline dependence?

I personally have reduced our car consumption from 2 cars to 1, and have invested in a small motorcycle for the trip to work. This small investment will save our family considerable amounts over the next five years. We continue to retain one car to ensure we can transport the family around and also to accommodate moving bulky items should the need arise. It seems to be that fuel prices are only going to increase; therefore, the sooner you take action to reduce your reliance upon gasoline the sooner you can start making some significant savings.