October 21, 2017

Effective Ways to Cut Down Your Monthly Car Costs

Cheap transportation such as buses, trams, and trains are available in major areas, many still prefer to buy their own car, whether for business or convenience, or both. True enough, having your own car has its own share of benefits. You can go anywhere, anytime, without having to worry about being late to work or meetings.

However, having your own car doesn’t come cheap. The monthly car costs alone can account for a sizeable chunk in your monthly budget. The good thing is, there are ways to cut down your monthly car costs. Learn how in this article:

Refinance to reduce your monthly repayments

Your existing car loan may have high interest rates, increasing your monthly loan payments. If this is the case, consider refinancing to reduce your payments. You may want to get a loan for a longer term for lower monthly repayments. Take note that no matter what the term is, refinancing your auto loan to take advantage of a lower interest rate can affect the actual cost of your vehicle.

Look for a vehicle that’s energy-efficient

When buying a car, it is also important to think about transportation costs in the future. Having said that, you may want to consider purchasing an energy-efficient car. The upfront price may be much higher compared to other models, but you can get lower transportation costs every month in the long term.

Keep your car in tip-top shape, and your car insurance updated

We need to make healthy food choices and exercise regularly to maintain the right weight and keep illnesses at bay. The same holds true for your car. It is important that your car is in good working condition at all times. Also, re-evaluate your auto insurance policy when you’re about to renew it, as personal circumstances may affect your car coverage.

Take the public transit

Reduce your monthly car costs by taking the bus or train whenever possible. It’s cheap transportation that’s also convenient. You don’t have to worry about parking or spend money on gas and other car-related costs. Going car-less one or two times per week will also be beneficial to the environment.

Consider ride sharing

Aside from public transit, you can try ride sharing or carpooling. Check if you have a neighbor who works in the same part of the town, or a colleague who lives near your house. Another option is to check carpooling sites that can connect you to drivers and other carpoolers.

Got other ways on cheap transportation and how to reduce monthly car costs? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Top 10 Best Value Hatchbacks in Australia

As transport costs continuously increase, more and more Australians are looking for cheap transportation options. Many prefer taking the bus or train, while others opt to buy their own cars for convenience. In Australia, there are a lot of best budget hatchbacks to choose from. In this article, take a look at the different hatchback models available:

1. Volkswagen Golf

This offers a range of updates. For instance, there are new wheel designs available, plus its bumpers and lights were slightly reshaped. From 92kW in the 1.4-litre engine, VW Golf now has a 110kW in the 1.5-litre engine for the base versions.

2. Holden Astra Sedan

This smaller model comes with a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, while the hatch has a 1.6-litre turbo. You can expect lower prices than the Astra R hatch’s as sedan isn’t exactly a popular model as a hatchback.

3. Mazda CX-5

With the CX-5, consumers can expect reduced cabin noise, compared to reviews from the CX-9. It offers the same engines, though there are improvements in outputs and efficiency. Base versions may be offered for less than $30,000.

4. Toyota C-HR

This is a five-door Coupe-High Rider that can be at par with models such as Mazda CX-3 or the Mitsubishi ASX. With its adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency standard, it is predicted that the starting price will reach $25,000.

5. Kia Rio

This is another five-door hatchback that comes with a 1.4-litre engine as well as a bigger, better-looking interior. Other versions also come with a six-speed automatic and a four-cog auto.

6. Hyundai small SUV

This may be a small model in the Hyundai family but it is said to be bigger than Mazda CX-3, and it is based on the i30 platform. It also comes with new styles, more powerful engines, as well as a set of safety features.

7. Honda Civic hatch

Versions comes with 1.8-litre engines as well as the turbo 1.5-litre. Other features include a pair of exhausts at the big rear diffuser. It also offers an underbody aero kit.

8. Ford EcoSport

The starting price of the current model reaches a bit over $21,000. The EcoSport comes with a tyre repair kit and overhauled interior that makes it an attractive choice for young consumers.

9. Jeep Compass

Its exterior styling is based on the Grand Cherokee while the interior is similar to that of the modern Jeep. Versions include a two- and all-wheel drive.

10. Subaru XV

At about $28,000, the Subaru XV carries similar specifications of the new small sedan. It also matches the annual services of the sedan, as replacement to the six-month intervals.

Do you have other ideas on best value hatchbacks and cheap transportation? Share your insights or reviews in the comments section.

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Top 5 Cheap Ways to Get to Work

Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 10 million Australians commuted to work in 2012, and 7.4 million of these commutes happened in capital cities. Many Australians allot a chunk of their monthly budget on transportation. It can be expensive when you add everything up, that’s why people look for cheap transportation to get to work to save some cash. They’re not just into cheap transportation. They’re also looking for a way to reach the office in the easiest way possible. So what are the cheap transportation options available? Here are the top alternatives:

1. Public transport

Buses, trains, as well as ferries remain a popular choice among many Australians who want quick and cheap transportation to get to work. Public transport varies depending on what state you’re in since each State Government operates its own system.

2. Cycling

Riding a bike is another form of cheap transportation to get to work. It’s obviously cheaper than taking public transport. Cycling enables you to avoid morning traffic jams and at the same time, it’s a great workout. It’s also an ideal choice for those who love the outdoors.

3. Walking

If you think cycling is already cheap transportation, try walking. This is an excellent way to get to work especially if your office is located just a few hundred meters or even a kilometer from your home. It’s a great form of exercise, plus it allows people to socialise and know more about the community.

4. Motorcycles and scooters

These compact transport alternatives take up little space compared to vehicles. These can also access tight spaces that cars can’t. You’ll spend less money to run these, plus you can lower your impact to the environment as these emit lower levels of greenhouse gases and pollution.

5. Car

Obviously, this is one of the preferred transport options. While this may not be considered cheap transportation if you look at the rest of options on this list, driving your own car is a convenient way to get to work, and if you are a responsible driver, you can save some cash by not paying penalties and fines as a result of violations. You can also consider using a model that’s energy-efficient, so you can save money on fuel and at the same time, reduce carbon footprint.

Got other ideas on cheap transportation? Share your tips in the comments section.

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Why Using Public Transport can Save You Money

Travelling with your own car is convenient, but it can be expensive. You’ll pay for gas, maintenance costs, and parking. These can add up and leave a hole in your pocket every month. That’s why many people opt for cheap transportation. That can mean using the public transport such as trains, buses, trams, light rail, as well as ferries depending on which territory or state you live in. These are great alternatives to driving your own car to work or when running errands. Using the public transport also reduces stress levels and traffic congestion.  It likewise decreases air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. More importantly, it can save you money. Here are the reasons why:

  1. Based on a city-by-city analysis of commuting costs, the yearly cost of owning a car in Melbourne or Sydney reaches an average of $12,600. On the other hand, using public transport costs only about $1850 a year. That’s about $10,700 cost savings annually.
  2. Switching to public transport means you no longer have to pay for car-related expenses such as gas, repair and maintenance, insurance, as well as parking fees.
  3. When you travel during off-peak hours, you can further save money. For Instance, you can travel in Melbourne for free before 7AM on weekdays. In Sydney, you can save about 30% if you travel outside peak hours on weekdays which are from 7AM-9AM and 4PM-6:30PM. In Queensland, you can get a 20% discount if you travel from 8:30AM-3:30PM, and after 7PM until 3AM the next day during weekdays.
  4. Save money on cheap transportation by using your concessions card or seniors card. Eligibility requirements vary per state so make sure to check first if you’re eligible.
  5. If you’re travelling within the Melbourne CBD, you can go around free of charge with the Free Tram Zone. It covers various blocks in the central grid of the state.
  6. If you’re a Victorian Senior’s Card holder, you can travel anywhere across Victoria on weekends free of charge. This also applies to those who receive a pension, carer’s payment or disability support. Those who are in Western Australia and South Australia can also use the public transport on weekends for free, as long as they are valid recipients of carer, aged or disability support pension.
  7. Smart cards offer several benefits to frequent users. Make sure to take advantage of their weekly travel rewards as well as transfer discounts.

Got other ideas on cheap transportation? Share your tips in the comments section. 

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Reasons Why You should Start Carpooling

In general, transportation accounts for a big part of your weekly budget. If you have a car, you need to pay not only for fuel but also parking and maintenance expenses. Even if you use cheap transportation such as buses and trains, it still costs money when you add everything up.

If you’re looking for a way to save money on transportation, you may want to consider carpooling. It’s a great money-saver.  It saves you a lot of time, too! There can be a lot of reasons why you should start carpooling, but here are several reasons to take into account:

It’s a great time-saver

Parents have a lot of things to do on a daily basis, and one of them is taking the kids to school and picking them up after. With carpooling, you can save a significant amount of time which can be allotted to other tasks for the day.

It’s environment-friendly

Imagine the number of vehicles that will be off the streets if most people will opt for carpooling. If there are fewer cars on the road, there will be less carbon dioxide emissions. This means the carbon footprint will be significantly reduced.

It opens opportunities to make friends

Carpooling can serve as a venue for kids to know other kids and be friends with them. It’s more likely to make friends this way instead of kids going to school alone.

It saves you money

Since you no longer use your car as often as you should, you can save a lot on fuel and running costs. That’s cheap transportation! Aside from that, you can cut costs on maintenance since your car will not be subject to wear and tear compared to when you use it on a regular basis.

It serves as a back-up plan

There are days when you’re stuck in traffic or held up at the office for some urgent tasks. Carpooling can serve as your back-up plan in times like these. If you’re part of a carpooling group, you can ask someone to pick up your kids from school.

It reduces your stress level

When you drive your kids to school, you also have to rush to get things done every morning. But if you trade off carpool days with other parents, you can have one or two days when you don’t have to rush in getting yourself ready. You can focus on your kids and lower your stress level in the morning.

Got other reasons why people should start carpooling? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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How to Save Money on Car Parking

In most cases, transportation accounts for a big part of your weekly budget. Even if you’re taking cheap transportation such as the bus or train, it costs money. If you have your own car, you may have higher transportation costs. One of the expenses is car parking. Of course, you need to pay the parking fee to use the area or facility. There are several simple ways to save money on car parking. Keep these tips in mind:

Be a member of big car parks

If you’re serious about saving money on car parking, check the websites of the big car parks in your city and register as a member. There are a lot of car parks that offer perks and big discounts to their members.

Always read the signs

Even if you park your car at a specific car park all the time, it pays to read the signs before parking. They may have increased their fees without you knowing it. If you realise that the fee increase is just too much, turn around and find another car park.

Take advantage of parking perks from shops

Many establishments have collaborations with car parks, giving their customers discounted parking fee. Some even offer free parking when you buy something from their store. Check if the shopping mall or supermarket you frequently visit offers car parking perks.

Book in advance

When you need to park at the airport, make sure to pre-book not only to save money but also to save time in driving around and looking for a vacant slot. All you need to do is to choose your arrival and departure dates and times. You will then get detailed instructions on how to reach your reserved slot.

Park outside the airport grounds

If you’re going to the airport, consider parking off-site. Prices vary but in general, you’ll get big savings when you opt for off-site parking most of the time compared to parking on airport grounds. Also, it’s much faster to get to the plane when you park off-site since this is usually not as congested as the car park at the airport.

These are some of the things that you can do to save money on car parking. Keep these tips in mind so you can lower your transportation costs every week.

Got other ideas on cheap transportation and how to save money on car parking? Share your tips in the comments section.

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Top 8 Most Fuel-efficient Cars in Australia

While cheap transportation in the form of buses and trains are available, having your own car in Australia offers a different level of convenience to travel to and from the office, school or other destinations.  Of course, it can be expensive, especially if you add fuel costs and other car-related expenses. But don’t worry. With so many car models and brands available in the market nowadays, there are several fuel-efficient cars that will help you save money.

Here are the top eight most fuel-efficient cars that you may want to consider:

1. Mitsubishi i-MiEV

With an average fuel consumption rating of 2.1L/100km, Mitsubishi i-MiEV takes the lead in fuel efficiency. Its fuel consumption rating in the city is 1.86L/100km, while it posts 2.37L/100km when on the highway. Of course, it has a Green Vehicle Guide Star Rating of 5.

2. Nissan LEAF

This fully electric model has an average rating of 2.37L/100km. It has an EPA rating of 2.2L/100km in the city and 2.55L/100km when driving on the highway. It also has a rating of 5 from the Green Vehicle Guide.

3. Holden Volt

This four-cylinder car has an energy consumption of 135Wh/km with Plug-in Electric/Petrol 95RON. It also got a rating of 5 from the Green Vehicle Guide.

4. Porsche Panamera S

This is a six-cylinder car that has an energy consumption of 162Wh/km and fuel consumption of 3.1L/100km. The Green Vehicle Guide gave this car a 5-star rating.

5. Audi 66kW A1

This model has a four-cylinder engine with fuel consumption of 3.8L/100km and a Green Vehicle Guide Star Rating of 4.5.

6. MINI R56 Cooper D

This four-cylinder car has a fuel consumption of 3.8L/100km. It has a 4.5 star rating.

7. Toyota Prius Hybrid

This model made it to the list with its 3.9L/100km fuel consumption on a four-cylinder engine, and 5 stars from the Green Vehicle Guide.

8. Fiat Cabrio D/L

With a fuel consumption of 3.9L/100km and a 1.4L engine, this model offers lighter fuel costs. There’s either a six-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. It also got a 5-star rating.

There are other car models that offer fuel efficiency. Make sure to shop around and check various car reviews first so you can narrow down your selection and choose what meets your needs.

Do you have other ideas on fuel-efficient cars and cheap transportation? Share your insights in the comments section.

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How to Save Money on Transportation when Traveling

Most Australians spend a lot of time and money on transport. Whether it’s to go to work or school, or run day-to-day errands, you will most likely need some mode of transport. Driving your own car is preferred by many Australians since it’s convenient and comfortable. But for those who don’t have their own vehicles, public transportation is the way to go. While catching a taxi from the airport after a long overseas trip may be a good idea, you can opt to travel via bus or train which is both convenient and can save you money.

Here are some simple tips to save money on transportation while traveling:

Consider your options

If time permits, slow down so you can save money. How? If you need to go somewhere and flying is the quickest way to reach it, check if there’s a bus or train available that can take you there. Of course, this form of cheap transportation will take more time compared to flying, but just downgrading your mode of transportation can greatly save you money. Also, check the map and see if your destination is within walking distance. A 30-minute walk to the supermarket is good not only for your wallet but also for your health.

Save money on travel smart cards

If you’re traveling within Australia, you can take advantage of cheap transportation by using travel smart cards. Almost every capital city in the country utilises a form of smart card. To save money, the key is to know the basic rules that come with every kind of travel smart card. Here are the main cities and their corresponding smart cards: Sydney – Opal, Brisbane – Translink, Melbourne – Myki, Perth – Transperth, Canberra – Action, Adelaide – Adelaide Metro, and Hobart – Metro.

Travel during off-peak hours

Save money on cheap transportation by traveling typically between 7AM and 9AM, and 4PM and 6PM. Bear in mind, though, that the off-peak hours may differ between cities so make sure to check their off-peak rules.

Check the event transport calendar

You can travel for free in some scheduled events so regularly check the event transport calendar. You can also directly reach out to the event coordinator to ask if they offer free travel for a specific event.

Take a walk or ride a bike

If your destination is just a short distance away from where you are, consider walking or biking instead of driving or riding a bus or taxi. You can obviously save money and at the same time, walking or biking regularly will do wonders to your health.

Got other tips on cheap transportation in Australia? Share your ideas on how to save money on transportation in the comments section.

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Why Working from Home Can Be More Productive and Save You Money on Transport

Working at the office is a typical setup among many employees in Australia, but there is a growing segment of individuals that opt of work from home. It has become very popular among budding entrepreneurs who want to save on overhead and administrative costs, young individuals, as well as those who already have their own families. Also, this employment alternative is growing since there are a lot of jobs that can be done outside an office setting. These include web development, graphic design, writing, data entry, social media management, and digital marketing.

Obviously, it comes with plenty of benefits. In this article, let’s explore the reasons why some people prefer to work from home:

It saves you money on transportation

Saving money on transportation is probably the best money-saving advantage of working from home. You no longer have to deal with day-to-day car expenses such as gas and parking. Even if you use cheap transportation such as buses and/or subway, you can save on daily fare which, when you add up, is a lot of money.

It saves you time

Many spend quite a lot of time traveling to work, whether by car or cheap transportation. When you work from home, it’s just a matter of steps from your bedroom to your workspace at home. This enables you to save a lot of time commuting and have more time working or doing other important stuff at home.

It offers flexibility

Working in an office requires you to work at specific times, say from 9AM-5PM. If you work from home, you can work whenever you want, be it early in the morning or late at night. This flexibility in working hours attracts many people in the sense that they can choose when to work and manage non-work-related things at home anytime such as taking care of the kids or doing household chores.

It reduces stress

Employees deal with stress from different sources on a daily basis, whether it’s from commuting, the office-based environment, or their colleagues who are difficult to deal with. Working from home does not have these kinds of stress. You can be more productive by working uninterrupted and in solitude.

Working from home is an employment option that offers a lot of benefits. Not only will you be more productive, you can also save money on transport. You can likewise choose your own time to work, enabling you to create a work-life balance that may be quite hard to achieve when working eight hours a day at the office.

Do you have other tips on cheap transportation and how to save money on transport in Australia? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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How Becoming a Cyclist can Save You Money on Transport

One of the day-to-day expenses of most people in Australia  is transportation. Whether with own car or public transport, it can cost a lot of money when accumulated for the entire week or month. Unless your office, school or the supermarket is within walking distance from your home, there is a need to always allot money for transportation.

If you’re money-conscious, there are ways to save money on transport. One of these is cycling. How can becoming a cyclist save you money? Here are some things to take into account:

  • Compared to a car, a bike is way cheaper – more people can actually afford it. Since it’s cheaper, more people can afford it, increasing mobility to a lot of groups that may not be financially capable to buy a car.
  • You don’t need to buy fuel. Just imagine the total fuel costs you need to handle on a weekly basis.
  • There are no parking costs. Add all parking expenses for the entire month and you’ll realise how much you’re saving just by opting to use a bike for transport.

Using a bike is indeed a form of cheap transportation. You can save a lot of money on transport. But there’s more to cycling than just saving money. For one thing, you can save time when commuting especially during rush hours. It is also beneficial for your health and fitness as it strengthens and tones your muscles. You also have control on how strenuous cycling can be.

Another great benefit of becoming a cyclist is its positive impact to the environment. There’s no noise pollution and gas emissions that vehicles typically have. Also, compared to cars and other vehicles, a bike does less damage to surfaces of roads.

Cycling also has social benefits to offer. A neighbourhood with more cyclists can provide safer roads to children in the community. And if there are more bikes than cars, you can enjoy traffic that’s slower and less dangerous for both you and pedestrians. It likewise allows cyclists to have more interactions with other people. This can develop camaraderie and a sense of security and belongingness.

Without costs such as on fuel and parking, becoming a cyclist can really save you money on transport. And as if this is not enough reason to switch to bikes, you’ll get a lot more benefits socially and to the environment.

Got other tips on cheap transportation and how cycling can save you money on transport in Australia? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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