When you were growing up, your Mom and Dad most likely passed along some Pearls of Wisdom to help you grow financially. They told you to save early and often, budget your money, spend wisely and don’t waste money! All are great advice. Did you ever stop and think that times and technology, they are a changing, so some of those Pearls of Wisdom must grow and change right along with technology. Here is my list of 7 myths or misconceptions that are a little out of date, and just might be costing you money!
- Always use premium grade fuel – With premium gasoline prices at the pump already ranging from $3.00 to over $4.00 a gallon, premium gasoline takes a bite out of your wallet, every time you fill your tank. A lot of drivers today, believe that because their owner’s manual recommends premium grade gas, they’ll get better fuel economy with it. Do they get it? In a word, no. Paying extra for premium grade gas in most cars, might be a waste of your hard-earned money. The owners manuals for a lot of the newer cars these days “recommends” but doesn’t “require” premium grade gas. The truth is, that most cars will run great on regular grade gasoline, and you will save a significant amount of money using regular grade instead of premium. You see, technology comes to the rescue. Modern engines have dozens of sensors that monitor oxygen levels and fuel mixture s etc. that adjust spark plug timing according to operating condition of your car, like gasoline octane. Running regular grade gas in some engines, may result in an imperceptible reduction of the engine’s peak horsepower, but very little or no reduction in the fuel economy the car returns. Always check your owner’s manual and of course if the car runs poorly, then run premium, but most likely, it won’t and you will save a bundle at the gas pump.
- Changing your Car’s Air Cleaner Regularly improves mileage and engine performance -If you take your car to a quick oil change shop, and they bring you the air filter and recommend you change it because it’s dirty. Understand that modern engines, have computers on-board, and sensors that feed info to the computers, that can adjust for a dirty air filter. Consumer Reports says that the engine power may decrease slightly as the air filter becomes clogged, but a lack of performance, or an increase in fuel consumption, will be negligible. I am not saying, to never change your air filter, the car needs oxygen to run. I am saying, just because it’s not shiny, white and clean, doesn’t mean you have to change it every time you change the oil. Ask them if they will use their compressed air, and blow it out as clean as they can, and tell them that you will replace it later.
- Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles! -That little sticker they put on your windshield, may be costing you money, and putting unnecessary used oil into the environment. You see, experts are now saying that with recent advances in oil quality and engine technology that includes on board computers, you just don’t have to change the oil in your car as often!. The experts are saying to wait at least 5,000 miles and as much as 7,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes. It is important to consult your owner’s manual for the grade and rating of the oil you use, and the oil change frequency.
How about some tips from inside the house?
- Use Bed Sheets with a high thread count! – Here are some things to consider. More isn’t always better. Sheets with a lower thread count can be washed and dried more quickly, which saves money in water, electricity and detergent expense. Experts also say that lighter sheets allow your skin to breathe, and that is better for you. Lower count sheets, take up less space to store when folded, and don’t necessarily feel softer, the only way to tell is to feel them next to your skin. Your clothes drier is, by far, the most expensive appliance in your house to operate! Remember that it costs more to convert electricity to heat, than it does to convert electricity to light and motion. Electric heaters and the clothes drier are the most expensive appliances in the home to operate.
- Ceiling Fans keep rooms cooler! – When you are in the room, running a ceiling fan is a great alternative to, or a supplement for, an air conditioner. Leaving a ceiling fan on in a vacant room, is actually a waste of money! They are great for cooling people, but don’t cool rooms. They cool people by creating wind chill, which make the cool air passing across your body make you feel cooler. While we are on the topic, running fans backward in the winter really is only a benefit, if you have high ceilings, because it can push heated air downward. The problem is, moving air creates wind chill, that makes you feel cooler, so a ceiling fan might be wasting your money. It costs somewhere between $30 and $40 per year to operate a large ceiling fan continuously.
- Bottled Water is Healthier than Tap – It has been shown in recent years, that most brands of bottled water actually comes from the tap! Look on the label and you will see that most come from City or Municipal Water supplies, in other words, from the tap. The Bottled Water Industry has done a great job convincing us that bottled water tastes better and is healthier to drink. Actually bottled water, has less regulatory oversight than water companies and Cities that provide water for their citizens do. Tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and Bottled water is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
- Cable and Satellite Services provide better service than using Rabbit Ears – Most people can save in excess of $75 to $100 a month if they ditched the cable service. What could $1,000 to $1,200 a year buy for you and your family? A vacation, enhanced savings plan, smaller credit card interest expense? If you are keeping your cable service because you think picture quality is better, then think again! There are dozens of High Definition channels available to a roof mounted High Definition Antenna, that dish and cable doesn’t even broadcast! Picture quality from a high quality roof mounted, HDTV Antenna, that has been properly installed, can equal and possibly exceed that of Dish or cable TV Service. The reason is that HDTV service, through the air, is less compressed than cable or dish. What that means is, the signals are compressed electronically, when they leave the cable or dish broadcaster. They travel through the cable or dish satellites and are uncompressed at your converter box, just before these signals hit your TV. That process of compressing, and then decompressing the signal, can create poorer quality reception, than you get from a roof mounted High Definition antenna receiving decompressed signals direct from the broadcasting stations.
This list is provided here, to suggest to you, that there are ways to live a little lighter, and a little greener, that can put some serious money in your pocket. As you adjust your lifestyle and reinvent yourselves, you can help yourself, your family and the environment!