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Archive for the ‘Cars and Auto Insurance’ Category

The Benefits of a Car Sharing Program

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On May 13, 2011 No Comments

Shared Car Post pictureCar Share Program – A Great Way to Save Money and Help the Environment

One of the most expensive purchases you will make in your life, second only to your home, is your car. As a society, we rely on cars to transport us to various locations: work, school and to run errands. With the ever-increasing prices of gas and car insurance – not to mention maintenance, owning a car can become a burden rather than a convenience.

 Enter the car share program – a revolutionary idea in a time where the program is most welcome.

The gist of a car share program is you purchase a membership to the program. Usually there is an application fee and an annual fee. Some programs, depending on how much you plan to use the service, will also charge a monthly fee. Monthly fees are typically charged to drivers who use the programs frequently. Occasional drivers will only pay an annual fee along with the initial application fee. One website where you can find out about this in depth is www.zipcar.com.

In addition to paying annual fees, you will also have to pay usage fees. The usage fee depends on the length of time that you plan to use the car. You can pay hourly or daily, and some programs include mileage as part of the price. Zipcar offers 180 free miles a day with the car and rates starting as low as $7 an hour to use a car.

If the rates are not enough to tempt you, it gets better. You will not have to maintain car insurance or pay for gas. Gas cards are available in the cards to fill up as necessary, never costing you a cent. If you get into an accident with your Zipcar, you may be responsible for paying the damage fee (usually $500) to cover the deductible on the company’s insurance policy.

Zipcar is not the only car share program available; there are many in existence with new car share programs opening every day. If you do an internet search of car share programs in your area, you will likely find one that is close or one that will be coming soon. Most car share programs will list areas of operation on their websites, so be sure to research the website.

In addition to being cost effective, the benefits to the environment are enormous. With fewer cars running on the road, less pollution is going into the air. Gas conservation is higher and emissions are lower. Some areas offer hybrids, meaning that the environment will benefit more in those areas.

The benefits of using a car share program are almost endless. Gone are the days of maintaining your vehicles, paying hefty car insurance rates and filling up your tank. The environment will benefit from the use of fewer cars on the road as well, so look into the possibility of using a car share program next time you are in the market for a car.

Frugally yours, Mary

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What’s a Great Way to Save Money & Help the Environment

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On April 8, 2011 No Comments

Answer:  Car Share Program –

One of the most expensive purchases you will make in your life, second only to your home, is your car. As a society, we rely on cars to transport us to various locations: work, school and to run errands. With the ever-increasing prices of gas and car insurance – not to mention maintenance, owning a car can become a burden rather than a convenience.

Enter the car share program – a revolutionary idea in a time where the program is most welcome.

The gist of a car share program is you purchase a membership to the program. Usually there is an application fee and an annual fee. Some programs, depending on how much you plan to use the service, will also charge a monthly fee. Monthly fees are typically charged to drivers who use the programs frequently. Occasional drivers will only pay an annual fee along with the initial application fee. One website where you can find out about this in depth is www.zipcar.com.

In addition to paying annual fees, you will also have to pay usage fees. The usage fee depends on the length of time that you plan to use the car. You can pay hourly or daily, and some programs include mileage as part of the price. Zipcar offers 180 free miles a day with the car and rates starting as low as $7 an hour to use a car.

If the rates are not enough to tempt you, it gets better. You will not have to maintain car insurance or pay for gas. Gas cards are available in the cards to fill up as necessary, never costing you a cent. If you get into an accident with your Zipcar, you may be responsible for paying the damage fee (usually $500) to cover the deductible on the company’s insurance policy.

Zipcar is not the only car share program available; there are many in existence with new car share programs opening every day. If you do an internet search of car share programs in your area, you will likely find one that is close or one that will be coming soon. Most car share programs will list areas of operation on their websites, so be sure to research the website.

In addition to being cost effective, the benefits to the environment are enormous. With fewer cars running on the road, less pollution is going into the air. Gas conservation is higher and emissions are lower. Some areas offer hybrids, meaning that the environment will benefit more in those areas.

The benefits of using a car share program are almost endless. Gone are the days of maintaining your vehicles, paying hefty car insurance rates and filling up your tank. The environment will benefit from the use of fewer cars on the road as well, so look into the possibility of using a car share program next time you are in the market for a car.

P.S. We’ve been members for years and love Zipcar.  When problems arise (and they will), they have always been responsive. 

Frugally yours, Mary

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Saving for a New Car

Brought to you by: The Frugal Buzz On January 5, 2011 No Comments

Are you in the market for a new car? Maybe you have had your old car so long that it’s time for an upgrade. If you see a new car in your future, learn how you can start saving now.  Timing is on your side; most industry experts agree that the best time to buy a new car is in December when dealers need to clear inventory.

Saving is hard for most people without a strategy in place. It is easy to say that you want to save money each month, but not always easy to put into practice. When saving money for big ticket items like cars, the challenge can seem like an overwhelming task you can’t pull off.

If you see a new car in your future, set a savings goal based on your budget and time frame and and list the specific things you’ll do to reach your goal.  Break your savings goal down to mini-goals you can track weekly or monthly.

Here are some relatively painless ways to get started paying for your new car now:

*Create a separate bank account – This is a first step even before the first penny has hit the bottom of the account. Now you have some place to put monies that are specifically for buying your new car.

* Bank your bonuses and raises – Many places of work pay their employees a bonus around the holidays or throughout the year for performance appraisals. Instead of adding that money to your current income, place it in a separate account so that it can grow for you.

* Pay yourself – Research how much it will cost to buy your dream car (Edmunds.com is a great resource site). Figure out a likely monthly payment and send that to yourself. You are the bank, so any money comes to you. Place it in a separate interest bearing account to accumulate.

* Automatic debit – Set up a draft each month around pay day. Instead of using every last dime, have it automatically deducted from your account before you have a chance to spend it. Talk to your human resources representative. They can help you to sign up for direct deposit and how to transfer some money to a separate a checking or savings account. Since you don’t see it each month, you are less likely to miss it, especially when you have a goal in mind.  Decline all credit or debit cards and/or checks or leave them tucked away at home.  Make it a ‘no withdrawal’ account.

* Keep your car in mint condition – Your existing car can be used for a trade-in. But, no dealership will want to buy it if the tires are balled or the upholstery is torn. Some good advice I got early on – always get regular tune ups and change the oil regularly.  Getting regular maintenance will not only help to ensure that your car runs properly, but you can get a good trade-in offer to use towards your new car.

* Bag your lunch – Instead of spending five dollars here or ten dollars there on food at work, bring your lunch and lower your food budget while increasing your car fund.  Don’t underestimate how much you could save.  If you saved just $10.00/week – that’s $520.00 over the course of a year.

* Save your change – Place any loose change that you have in your pockets in a jar at night. Before you know it you will have a jar full of coins that you can put towards your car fund.  If you are saving for a car, use a BIG jar.

Frugally yours, Mary

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