The SmartyPig Blog

Will Electric Cars Power our Transportation Future?

To some people, the volatility of oil and gas means that the hybrid vehicle is too much of a risk to invest in. However, the exact opposite is actually true – more money is being spent on gas guzzling cars than on the technology to get away from oil and gas! Alternative cars provide a low cost alternative to the current assault that gas guzzlers are imposing upon your wallets.

What is Going on With Oil?

Oil will always fluctuate because of the volatile politics that surround it. The most recent fluctuation has to do with the supply of oil in the Middle East. Certain countries are attempting to drive out competition in the West by undercutting them through volume. This may lead to lower gas prices for a while, but you can bet that the prices will not stay there. The only way to solidify proper maintenance costs for your transportation is to move into a hybrid vehicle. This keeps your SmartyPig account even more intact because you save money on maintenance as well as on the vehicle interest rate.

The Higher Cost of the Traditional Vehicle

Not only is the transportation cost of a traditional vehicle higher than a hybrid vehicle, but the maintenance costs are also higher. Gas eventually breaks down a car and causes the owner to invest in maintenance payments. This can get quite expensive if the owner has yet to pay off the vehicle itself. Using a resource like SmartyPig can actually help you save money if you are in this situation.

Hybrid vehicles use electricity, a source of power that is much less detrimental to the infrastructure of the vehicle. People love to become skeptical of hybrid vehicles whenever the price of oil drops below a certain level. However, the slightest bit of research can show you that the average price of oil is way above the price of transportation for a hybrid vehicle over any extended period of time. Along with the lower maintenance costs, there is simply no advantage to having a traditional vehicle when it comes to an outlay of money. However, if you need a loan for either vehicle, you can get it with SmartyPig.

The Few Disadvantages of a Hybrid Vehicle

Hybrid vehicles do have a few disadvantages, however. The first disadvantage is a lack of convenience. Many municipalities do not have the proper infrastructure for a hybrid vehicle to refuel itself. Private companies simply have not been engaged in certain areas. This means that the driver of a hybrid vehicle may have fewer places to refuel than if he or she was driving a traditional vehicle.

Hybrid vehicles also tend to cost more upfront than traditional vehicles. Although the maintenance costs are lower, many people feel as though they cannot afford the actual cost of the vehicle itself. This keeps them out of the marketplace.

The Reason that The Disadvantages Are Not Really Disadvantages

The world is moving towards hybrid technology at a rapid pace. All of the disadvantages mentioned above are losing steam as an excuse away from the hybrid vehicle. First of all, hybrid technology costs less and less at each business cycle. Eventually, hybrid cars will cost less than traditional cars, and SmartyPig can get you in one quickly, saving you money along the way. This is especially true since many entrepreneurs are making strides in providing renewable energy that is readily accessible, evidenced in the United States and Canada, where 13 percent of household energy was generated from renewable resources, according to Alberta Energy. The federal government is also making it a point to subsidize and reward municipalities that try to attract hybrid gas stations and is in charge of many refill stations in large municipalities, such as Los Angeles.

With all of the advantages to hybrid vehicles, it definitely behooves the average person to look into the market even if the actual purchase of a car is years down the road. Eventually, the hybrid vehicle will become the standard and power the future of transportation in many first world nations. If you want to get ahead of the curve, start now by learning about hybrid technology and how you can plan with it to save money and plan for the huge purchase of a car!

Maria Lynn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles.

How Are You Using Your SmartyPig?

Vacation goals are big ones here at the Pig. Spring break, Holiday travel, and Summer road trips top the list of what many of our users are saving for. We asked users what their current travel goals were, and here’s what we heard:

Spring Break! Jamaica, ‘mon!

A month away at our lake cabin. It doesn’t “cost” us much, but I do like to take the time off work (unpaid) and saving now helps me do this in July!

We like to take a road trip as a family each summer. This year, it looks like Colorado is it!

Memorial and Labor Day weekends away!

Spring Break in San Juan. I’m saving for all of my excursions while there.

America Saves Week

“America Saves Week is coordinated by America Saves and the American Savings Education Council. Started in 2007, the Week is an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status. Typically thousands of organizations participate in the Week, reaching millions of people.” This statement from the organization itself. And yes, the week is back again this year!

Personally, we think each week should be a week America is saving, but we’re happy to cheer on the idea that this week is especially important because it’s a time for American’s to learn more about saving and how they too can better themselves financially with just a few small steps. At SmartyPig those steps are easier than ever. Simply create a new goal, decide how much you’d like to contribute and watch your savings grow. You’ll be on your way to a vacation, new car, or holiday gift goal in no time.

Joining us in saving this week!

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman,

Little Ways to Save Big.

Smile on a dollar

Getting more sleep equals making more money? Tips like this one and other small life suggestions are the key to more productivity and the ability to earn more money, say the experts at Yahoo Finance. Getting more sleep means you’re more likely to make better decisions like skipping an extra latte or buying takeout for a quick fix. Sometimes paying more means making more (in the long run) with suggestions like making an extra car or mortgage payment or getting rid of that credit card debt all together.

The easiest way to “earn” more, is to save more. Cooking dinner at home, choosing inexpensive commuting options, or cutting an item you don’t need like Cable TV or House Cleaning. And while you are saving, don’t forget to pay yourself in the way of new SmartyPig goal or deposits into a retirement account. These acts pay off in the biggest way!

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman,

Beating Blue Monday

Were you down in the dumps last Monday? If so, Blue Monday might be to blame. The third Monday of January is now considered the most depressing day of the year. A combination of weather, broken New Year’s resolutions, and holiday bills are to blame. And while January is notoriously gloomy, it’s also psychologically the best month to change behavior. Whether its quitting smoking and eating healthier, or setting next year’s holiday budget to avoid the financial doom and gloom of Blue Monday all together, the first of the year (and few weeks following) are a chance at a fresh start.

If you splurged this holiday season and credit card bills are hitting your mailbox, take solace in the fact that SmartyPig is here to help. Just $50 a month toward a 2016 holiday fund will leave you with the average person’s gift budget. And SmartyPig’s competitive interest and cash-back options from dozens of popular retailers like Best Buy, Macy’s and Amazon will stretch those dollars up to 11% further, covering your gifts and making room for one or two for yourself.

Avoid next year’s post-holiday blues and start saving today!

Wishing you successful saving.

Sarah Foss, SmartyPig’s Media Mad Woman

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