Monday, March 30, 2009

Renting Cars for Road Trips – Part 1

My wife, Linda, and I usually rent cars when we take road trips averaging more than 200 miles per day. In the short run this is an added expense; in the long run we save money and stress.

The Internal Revenue Service currently allows a tax deduction of $0.55 per mile for the business use of a personal car. This rate covers the average cost of fuel and the average depreciation and maintenance.

Currently conservative figures of 20 miles per gallon at a price of $2.50 per gallon result in a fuel cost of less than $0.13 per mile. Subtracting the fuel cost from the $0.55 per mile average leaves $0.42 per mile for average depreciation and maintenance.

Since the costs of our cars are below average, I estimate our per mile cost of depreciation and maintenance at $0.30 per mile instead of the national average $0.42. Therefore, when we rent a car for less than $0.30 per mile we save money.

In fact, Linda, who shops for our rental cars, regularly rents them for less than $0.25 per mile. This past weekend she rented one at a total cost of $0.13 per mile.

Links to Cutting Expenses Special Report
Cutting Expenses - Introduction

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cutting Your Bills Down to Size

Everyone knows the shopping stereotypes – women love to shop and men hate it; women browse and men are focused on the objective. Whatever truth there may be to the stereotypes they do not describe my wife. I am blessed that she is frugal by nature.

With the economy uncertain my blessing is doubled. My wife, Linda, is working to reduce our standard bills; the telephone service, the cell phone service, the satellite TV, etc, without reducing the service levels. So far she has cut $10 per month from our satellite TV bill, $11 per month from our landline telephone bill, and convinced our internet service to give us one month of service free for a total savings of $287 per year – so far.

How – you might ask? By asking!

She calls Customer Service for each provider and asks them to reduce their charge. When they refuse she asks to speak to their supervisor and asks what promotions they are currently running. She is persistent and polite and sometimes she is successful.

Links to Cutting Expenses Special Report
Cutting Expenses - Introduction