Financial Advisor

Category Archives: General


But I Can’t Afford to Drive to Work! Gasoline prices are soaring through the roof and I don’t even want to begin to think about the cost of heating my home with oil this winter. (On that subject, it just might be cheaper to move south!) Anyway, so many of us have been trying to find ways to get more miles to the gallon. I wish I had the magic answer, but I do not. There are many gimmicks and alternative ways to save on gas mileage on the internet. Which work and which do not work would take some major research, but just to get you started here are a few items that have become increasingly popular via the search engines. There are hydrogen operated cars that run on water, there are fuel chips that increase your gas mileage, there are hybrids that run on electricity and there is even talk about building cars that run on solar energy. Basically, there is a lot out there to think about, but what about the tips that we already know that work? How about getting back to the basics of saving gas and increasing your gas mileage? Here are some suggestions to help improve your gas mileage without the cost of rebuilding an engine or buying a new car. Avoid single purpose trips. Plan ahead the shortest route to do all errands. The less driving back and forth the more you will save on gas. Cruise as much as possible. Coasting uses less gas. Maintain a highway speed of about 55% to increase your gas mileage by up to 20%. According to http://fueleconomy.gov you decrease your gas mileage by up to 10% for EACH increment of 5 miles over the speed of 60. Gently ease onto the gas peddle. My driving instructor always taught us to pretend there was a raw egg under the gas peddle. Reduce jerky starts and stops to increase your miles to the gallon. Reduce air conditioning use. Try to open the windows around town as much as possible. If you need the a/c, turn it down as low (warm) as you can go to increase your gas mileage. Cruise control is a great way to reduce your gas consumption BUT if the highway is hilly it will actually use more gas. Cruise control uses more gasoline going up hill and uses more brake going down hill. Read more…


It seems everyone is checking their budget for areas to cut and in these expensive times solutions for saving a dollar might be found anywhere. While at first it might seem that childcare is a fixed expense, there are ways to save even here. If your full-time day care is breaking the bank consider cutting back on the hours of formal child-care you use. In some cases you may have signed a contract with your provider. But if not or if the contract allows for some flexibility, consider adjusting your work schedule to maximize time when you or your partner can be with your children yourselves. If one of you can go in to work late and the other can take-off early you can minimize the hours of care needed. Even a small adjustment of an hour or so each day can add up. Another way to cut down the hours of formal care is to use some informal child-care for part of the week. Consider teaming up with a stay-at-home-mom friend who might be looking for some ways to supplement her family’s income. Perhaps you know a mom who would take your child one or more days a week for cash or even in exchange for skills and services you can provide. A local family member may be willing to help out for a limited number of hours as well. Check into YMCA, summer camps, or after-school programs for lower cost options as well. Date-night may well become a thing of the past as families try to cut back on entertainment in an effort to balance spending with income. But instead of canceling the date, cancel the babysitter and find some friends who will swap child-care. One weekend you drop your kids at the neighbor’s and head out (or head home for take-out, Netflix, or some quiet time) and the next week you watch the neighbor’s kids and they get a break. It’s helpful to choose a family with children of similar ages and of course, parents you trust and with whom you have values and standards in common. Such exchanges or “babysitting co-ops” can be quite formal with points earned and exchanged among a group of families, or as simple as two families sharing a need for a cheap night out. Another lower cost option for child-care needs is a “mother’s-helper.” Typically a young pre-teen, perhaps 10-14, offers Read more…