Money Matters – Dumb Money Moves: Driving

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Driving

(credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

420x316-grad-lee Dee Lee
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner who received a diploma in...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Breaking any of the rules when you are driving can cost you and those are dollars you are wasting just because you have a heavy foot or you think a yellow light means step on the gas. Or that a STOP sign doesn’t really mean stop it means go slow!

[Audio http://cbsboston.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/february-2-2010-money-matters.mp3|titles=Driving|artists=Dee Lee]

Many cities are considering using cameras at intersections to catch anyone breaking the rules. They use them in Colorado quite effectively. Not only will you be ticketed but your insurance will go up as well.

Parking tickets: This one is so easy; don’t park in a no parking zone and don’t double park no matter how quick the trip into the store will be. I does not matter how much snow there is it is still a no parking zone. You are just asking for a ticket.

And what about the meters? You pull up and you have no change. Keep quarters in your car for the meters and keep track of the time when you are just going to run in for a few minutes. Some meters are now equipped to take credit cards. And in Boston, you need 5 quarters to park of an hour. $1.25 and it truly is a good deal. Cheapest major city.

Not having any change for the meter is not an excuse that will cut it with the meter maid. Use those quarters for the tolls as well and when you see your supply is low, stop and get another roll to have as a backup.

Gas mileage:  Drive the speed limit. Studies have shown that by driving the speed limit you cut your gas consumption.

Buy gas when you are going or coming from work. It makes no sense to make a special trip out to buy gas for the car and driving around looking for the best price is also a no-no. And try to bunch those errands together so you are not driving around every day. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.

Consider getting a road side assistance program like Triple A. Some new cars come with a program but it is the older cars where you need the service. Run out of gas or have a flat tire and you will wish you had the service.

Understand your auto insurance and know what is covered. Car insurance is becoming more competitive. Shop around to see what the best deal is. Do you having towing if your car is in an accident? If you rent a car will your insurance cover it? Don’t let your driving cost you more than it should.

And if you are living in Boston do you even need a car? Renting a car occasionally may be cheaper than owning if you include parking, maintenance and insurance. Think about a zip car.

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