Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Does Cruise Control Save Gas And Money?

This is a rejoinder to my earlier article about saving money of gas. This article is written by John Frainee on the Christian PF. As I was reading it, it sounds doable. I often do cruise control on my way to and from work along Commonwealth Avenue. As you know that road is too wide and has slopes of more than 5 kilometers going down.

I would like to post this here for our benefit. Here goes.

I’ve been called by some a “grandpa” on the road. They mean to say that most grandpas are old men, and that most old men drive slowly. Well, I’m not sure that’s a logical argument, but I admit that I do drive slower than most.
Today I’d like to make the case that “driving slowly” (aka, going the speed limit) and using cruise control can actually save you money.
How Using Cruise Control Saves You Money
1. Cruise control helps you avoid the need for acceleration.
Whenever you accelerate, you’re using gas. When you’re using gas, you’re losing money. Turning on cruise control will help you avoid the craving to hit the gas when your favorite dubstep song hits the radio.
2. Cruise control will help you maintain a constanteconomical speed.
According to the US Department of Energy, gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph:
        You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional   $0.28 per gallon for gas.
Yikes. That’s quite an increase in price to get to your destination a bit faster. If you’re the kind of person who complains
3. Cruise control, set at the speed limit, will help you avoid tickets.
I’ve never received a ticket (I guess “grandpas” don’t get tickets, ha). But for those of you who have, I’ve heard it isn’t a pleasant experience.
Tickets are expensive. Many states are over $100 per ticket. It’s not uncommon to see a $300 ticket. Ouch. That’ll put a dent in your 7 Baby Steps.
4. Cruise control results in less maintenance costs.
Taking corners fast is damaging to tires and overall hard on your vehicle. Cruise control gives you a constant speed and helps you avoid accelerations that give your engine more work to do.
When To Use Cruise Control
The natural answer is as much as possible. Here are a few places I use cruise control:
The Highway or Freeway
On long stretches of road cruise control comes in handy. Typically you want to go the same speed on the freeway and don’t have to worry about speeding up or slowing down (unless you live in Los Angeles).
Low Traffic Areas
There is a certain amount of hesitation factor when it comes to turning off your cruise control. Make sure that if you turn on your cruise control you also have the ability to turn it off quickly in the event you have to change speeds. The last thing you want to do is rear-end someone because you forgot which button to push.
On my Honda, there are three ways to turn off cruise control:
1.    I can push the master cruise control button.
2.    I can push the accelerate and decelerate buttons simultaneously.
3.    I can tap my brakes.
Now, I’m not one to make decisions quickly. If you give me several different ways to do one task I freeze up. This is exactly what happens when I have to choose a method to end my cruise control session. Therefore, I realized that I had to decide beforehand which method I would use to quickly bring the vehicle out of cruise control. Now I push the master cruise control button.
You can generally avoid this panic by using cruise control in very low traffic areas. Ensure you keep good distance between you and the car in front of you, and you’ll be just fine.
How Do You Save Money on the Road?
Using cruise control is just one idea that can save you money. Do you have any other vehicle tips you could share in the comments section below that save you money?
I used to see my brother-in-law driving too slow on Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. I keep on wondering why? Then I found out that he was using cruise control to save on gas. This may sound unbelievable but I tried it and it helps me save on gas.
To your debt-free life,

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Save Money on Gas Tip

I have learned something new last week. Gas is a big part of my expense since I use my car (Corolla GLi) in all my travels. I am thankful for that car, a 1994 model, which I faithfully keep on top condition, thanks to my friend Chief Ruel of Exalta Car shop in Banawe, Quezon City.

Now back to my discovery. Usually when I fill my car with gas, I just let the gas attendant fill it up the way the used to do. They press on the "automatic" mode and let the pump to its work.
I learned that when they do that, the gas pumps the gasoline and the "air" together so I get less gasoline in effect.

My dear friend, Adel, shared with me that I can save money on my gasoline expenses by asking the gas attendant  to fill my car using the "pure" way or "Puro" in tagalog. The next time I went to my gas station, I asked the attendant to fill it pure. I noticed that they press the pump slowly and taking their time doing it.

What they are doing was making sure that no air or less air is mixed to the gasoline. To better imagine what I am saying, when I fill my car with a P1,000 gasoline, the "automatic" way takes less that 2 minutes. But when I request to fill my car the "pure" way, it takes them some 5 minutes to fill the same amount of gasoline.

As a result, I save money with more mileage added to my car somewhere in the vicinity of 20 kilometers.

Why not try it yourself and see how much you can save. Surely the savings will help you reduce your debts.

Here's to our debt-free life,


Photo credit:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

To Love It Or Love It Not

I would like to post this very good article on the love of money by Dave Ramsey. He says that our view of money is important if we plan to get out of debt. How we spend our money is directly related to our perspective of money. So here goes "Love It Or Love It Not" by Dave Ramsey:

A lot of people love Benjamin Franklin.
Oh, come on. Admit it. You're probably pretty fond of Benjamin Franklin, too. He's the guy on the front of the $100 bill, and you're not going to say you don't love $100 bills, are you?
If we're honest, most of us love money. Actually, we love money we don't have. How else can you explain our addiction to credit cards? Our culture loves money so much that we have television shows dedicated to showing off people's million-dollar houses and garages full of luxury cars!
Every day, we see thousands of ads that promote the dollar as the end-all-be-all ticket to a happy life. But we know better than that...don't we?
Wait a minute, you say. Doesn't Dave Ramsey talk about building wealth all the time? He sure does. But Dave is talking about a healthy view of money. The foundation of Dave's ideas of wealth building are that you get out of debt and build wealth so you can help your family and others … and leave a legacy after you're gone.
It's also okay to want to make a lot of money and to enjoy spending it! But what's the end goal? Is it to own stuff, or is it to help others and to change your family tree?
A lot of us have an unhealthy view of money. The Bible says that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." It's that type of "love" that drives us to buy stuff with money we don't have to impress people we don't like.
For some people, the "love" of money is more like an obsession or an addiction. It can drive a wedge between spouses and teach kids that stuff is more important than anything else. It can lead to divorce and broken families. When we talk about changing your family tree, that's not what we have in mind!
Think of money as a tool. You can use it to help yourself and others, or you can use it to tear all of that down. You can use it to save for your kids' college fund, help your church or favorite charity, or you can use it to buy a bunch of stuff that will be collecting dust two years from now.
A healthy love of money will drive you to get gazelle intense about working through the Baby Steps and getting out of debt. It will motivate you to make better decisions with your money—decisions that involve only spending on needs, not wants. You will view life through a new lens, a lens that puts your future and the well-being of your loved ones first. Don't let money and stuff run your life.
There's no need to obsess over Benjamin Franklin. Plenty of other people will do that. With Valentine's Day just a few days away, remember who and what is important in your life, and keep that in perspective this year.
Thousands of other people are on their way to making better decisions with money this year. With hundreds of Financial Peace University classes starting across the country, now’s the perfect time to join them on the road to Financial Peace!
A healthy perspective of money will help you spend it wisely and sets you up to a debt-free life.
To your debt-free life,

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Battle Against Unbearable Debt

How can one win over unbearable debt? This is a big question I keep asking myself when I hear our overseas workers' financial struggles. Even before leaving for work abroad, they are already in deep debt but there's this nagging hope that their problem will soon be over.

Guess what? After working for 3 years, most come back with nothing and the worst part is they are still in debt.

Benjamin Pimentel's article on How overseas Filipinos can win the battle against unbearable utang (debt) clearly explains the reason why many of our OFWs end up deeper in debt compared to their goal  of eliminating debt, which is the very reason why they leave to work overseas.

I would like to cite a portion of his article that I believe is the key to getting out of this unbearable debt:

"OFWs should and must undergo financial literacy to protect and harness their money which is more often lost and squandered," he said.
Let's affirm a key premise here: Overseas Filipinos perform a vital role by sending money back home to help their families. But there¿s also a growing need for families to find better ways to manage funds coming from abroad.
And we're not talking about totally avoiding debt. In many cases, as I've noted, debt is necessary to meet a need.
But there's such a thing as smart debt and dumb debt. Worse, there is unbearable utang - debt that becomes so overwhelming that overseas Filipinos end up wearing themselves out as they find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle.
Charito Basa, an OFW advocate based in Europe, listed four general principles for overseas Filipinos and their families (which actually applies to everyone in this time of crisis):
Have a budget and stick it to it no matter what
There'll be special requests from family and friends that will tempt migrants to deviate from their budget," she says. Be firm. People will eventually understand that they are doing it for the good of everyone."
Save first, before spending (not the other way around)
Set aside a fixed amount for savings. Charito recommends at least 10 percent of one's income. She and Tony Ranque point to the tested formula for sound personal finance management: Income minus Savings equals Expenses.
Saving a portion of your income is a must, not an option," Tony says. If you cannot develop the habit of savings which is founded on discipline, force yourself to save by getting pension plans and other types of pre-need plans."
Have insurance (health, education, retirement, pensions)
When done through reputable companies, insurance plans can guarantee that needs are attended professionally and that funds are available when most needed," says Charito.
Stay away from "get-rich-quick" schemes
This rule also applies to everyone.
My experience tells me that most of our OFWs are not financially literate. This, I believe, is the main reason why they end up poorer that when they first left for work abroad. They just can't find time to educate themselves in money matters because they are too busy running after the money.
The painful reality is when their contract is finished, in a few months, they're broke again or you see them lining up to apply for work abroad again.
So, how can our OFW win over this unbearable debt? Maybe you have a better suggestion we can all use. 
To our debt-free life,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Use That Card Wisely

I have two kinds of card:  a credit card and a debit card. Both are from the same bank. I use my debit card for the following:
1, Grocery purchases
2. Shopping (on purpose) like when we bought a new gas stove the other day
3. Medicine purchases
4. Books and school supplies
On the other hand, I use my credit card for the following:
1, Representation Expenses (chargeable to my company)
2. Gasoline, when I have no cash on hand and I need to load
3. Planned eat-out with family and also friends (on purpose to get credit but paid immediately)

From my experience, I get into trouble when I use my credit card on unplanned purchases. Come pay time, I miss it since I have no budget for it.

I came across this article that suggests of 3 ways to use a credit card. A great help indeed.

The best option for me is to plan and budget and really stick to it. Doing so helps you get out of DEBT!

To our debt-free life,