Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Oil Prices Hit New High: Save Money by Going Green

Oil and gas prices have hit record highs. Oil prices reached $102 a barrel at one point yesterday with a promise to keep rising as global demand increases this spring and summer and production will not increase. Gas prices are at record levels hitting an average of $3.14 a gallon. This is up from $2.35 a gallon one year ago. Predictions are that we could see prices hitting $4.00 a gallon by the summer. The good news is interest rates are dropping! Okay, that's nice, but unless you are financing a large purchase, lower interest rates don't help much with day to day expenses. The great news is that this is a great time to go green or deep green and end up with a lower carbon footprint and a fatter wallet. I know you have seen all of these ideas before, but with prices going up on everything, now might be a good time to actually try some of them:

  • Carpool. Connect with your neighbors, co-workers or family on a whole new level. If you don't like any of these people, checkout some of the online ridesharing services. Some social networking sites are now offering these. Just use extreme caution.

  • Bike or walk to your destinations. Not only will you save money but you will look so awesome this summer on the beach or at the pool!

  • Use public transportation more often, a bus or train schedule is only a click away (you can catch up on some reading, listen to a podcast, daydream or people watch on your way to work-hopefully you can avoid unruly teens)

  • Maintain your vehicle and don't drive like a maniac (not only will you save on gas, but your blood pressure will drop by several points)

  • Consider a hybrid. With gas prices rising, hybrids can be worth the higher price considering you can get double the gas mileage on some models. They also look great these days-have you seen the Lexus GS 450h? So hot!

For me a new car is out of the question for now. I am going to rideshare with co-workers on sales calls, carpool with family for some routine errands and carpool with associates for community events. I will definitely buy a bike this year and ride to the store or the mall for light purchases(I could also ride to my grandma's house to show her some love). Seeing that I won't be getting a new car, now at least I feel better about investing the money to maintain my vehicle knowing it will help me save money in the short run.

One observation about all of the money saving tips above - notice how most of them enhance your intimacy and relationship with your community and your surroundings. Recent research reveals that strong relationships are one of the keys to happiness, health and longevity. The long term benefits of going green are immeasurable.

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