Everyone is looking for ways to reduce "gas pains" from high fuel costs. There are some easy things you can do to put yourself on the road to gas economy.
• Light on the Pedal-Ease on the accelerator when you start from a red light. Your car will run leaner and won't use as much gas. On the highway, run about five miles under the posted speed limit to save.
• Crank the A/C-It used to be true that not using the air-conditioning (A/C) in warmer months would save on fuel economy. That's not true anymore. With the aerodynamics of today's vehicles, by turning off the A/C the resistance created by the wind causes more drag on the vehicle when the windows are rolled down.
• Use the Right Fuel-Never use a higher octane gasoline than your engine needs. It's like trying to put 16 ounces of fluid into a 12 ounce glass. Use the right octane and you can save about a dime or more per gallon at each fill-up.
• Keep Up the Pressure-Make sure you have the correct pressure in each of your tires. With too little air in the tires, the friction that it takes to roll the car is much greater, thus reducing fuel economy.
• Keep It Clean-Keep your engine clean of debris by changing its oil and fuel filter.
• Get It In Gear-Most modern transmissions are electronically operated by controllers. Transmission fluid that's broken down may keep your car from going into its highest gear. Have the transmission fluid changed in the 36,000 to 50,000 mile range.
• Stir It Up-There are lots of different gadgets on the market that claim to increase fuel economy. In all of our testing, we have virtually found no improvement in anything, with one exception. It is a device called Tornado that's put into the air intake, closest to the throttle plate, and stimulates the air to get it really turbulent. That causes a good fuel atomization within the engine itself that caused an increase in fuel economy in the applications we tested by an average of one to two miles per gallon.
With gas prices over $2 and approaching the $3 mark, if you can save one or two miles per gallon every time you fill up, that can translate to about $300 or $400 of savings per year under normal driving conditions. I think everybody's interested in that.
Here's a really simple way... to have your banking handled with no muss, no fuss... on the internet.
Traditionally you have been used to doing your banking by going in to a physical brick and mortar building and taking care of whatever banking business you had to take care of.
Whether it was opening an account, checking balances, depositing a paycheck, taking money out for living expenses, applying for a loan, paying a bill, moving money around from account to another or whatever.
Of course you had to make a special point of putting it into your schedule and arranging other tasks around it to accommodate your planned trip to the bank. Well, those days are over.
With the popularity of the internet during the last 5 years banking has never been easier or more convenient than it is today.
With the internet and online banking you can access your bank 24/7. Or as close to 24/7 as can be since there is always the time when the bank's website is not accessible due to website maintenance.
And you don't even have to get dressed to do your banking. I find this benefit very useful in the cold winter months when I can just sit in the warmth of my home and do my banking activities through my computer.
Nowadays, most large national banks, regional banks and even smaller local banks and credit unions have some form of online banking for both the convenience of their customers and for their convenience as well.
By allowing you to access their bank and your banking account they don't have to pay for someone to attend to your needs and they save money. They can pass that savings on to you through higher interest rates on your money.
In fact there are virtual banks that exist today that do not have a brick and mortar existence and exist solely online. Because of the great savings that they enjoy with that arrangement they offer some of the highest banking interest rates I have seen.
Another great benefit of online banking that I have been taking advantage of is online bill paying.
In the old days when I had to pay a bill I took the bill, wrote out a check, put it in the envelope, put a stamp on the envelopeand put it in the mail, hoping that it arrived on time so I wouldn't be assessed a late fee.
Now I can just get on the internet and get on the website of the place where I am paying the bill, hit a few keys on the keyboard of my computer and the bill is paid, saving a stamp and a lot of time and worry about the reliability of snail mail.
Another great advantage of internet banking is the concept of direct deposit.
Using direct deposit your employer can now take your paycheck and automatically deposit the money in whatever banking account you designate. That way you don't have to worry about getting the money into the bank in time to pay your big bill coming up. Now having the money in the bank and the paying of the bill can be done electronically.
And now dealing with the IRS has been made somewhat easier with the arrival of internet banking.
Now you can file your return and if it turns out you owe Uncle Sam some money you can pay it electronically by submitting your banking information with your return. If the IRS owes you a refund they can send it to you using that same banking information. And, it is all done more speedily than it was in the old days using snail mail. If you are due a refund you will be very happy to get your money sooner.
As you proceed into the 21st century you can take advantage of the progress that the banking industry has experienced in the
last few years. You will find many ways to make what used to be
considered a drudge or a necessary evil into some thing that is
more pleasant and less time-consuming to deal with.
So if you haven't experienced online banking, give it a try. You'll probably like it!