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Friday, November 29, 2013

5 simple ways to reduce fuel cost

                                
WITH fuel prices on the rise (a factor that will probably not see a downtrend any time soon), it’s high time to find ways to mitigate the impact it will have on your wallet.
For the uninitiated, the price for RON95 is RM2.10 per litre and RM2.00 per litre for diesel currently. The price of unregulated RON97 is currently priced at RM2.75 per litre.
The following are five simple ways to save on fuel expenses.
Drive reasonably
While it’s a known fact, speeding, a common driving habit, leads to pointless fuel wastage.
“If your average commute includes 20 miles of highway time, and you drive it at 60 mph (or 97kmph) instead of 70mph (113kmph) you’ll save 1.3 gallons of fuel in a five-day work week, according to an article in the Reader’s Digest.
According to California-based Consumer Energy Center (CEC), all vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 55mph (89kmph).
“Driving 65mph (105kmph) instead of 75mph (121kmph) reduces fuel cost 13%. Driving 55mph would save 25%.
The CEC also says reducing air-conditioning or winding up windows fully can also help conserve fuel.
“Using the air conditioner increases fuel cost from 13% up to 21%. If it’s cool enough, use the flow-through ventilation instead of rolling down the windows or using the air-cond.”
Drive vehicles that are low in fuel consumption
The CEC suggests owning a hybrid or diesel-powered vehicle, or even a motorcycle.
“The next best option is to purchase the most fuel efficient vehicle within the class of vehicles you are considering,” it says.
On the local front, with the gradual reduction in subsidies and rising fuel prices, it’s not surprising to see a rise in interest and demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Local auto magazine Motor Trader, claims that the Mitsubishi Mirage is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in Malaysia, having a fuel consumption of 21km per litre. The vehicle retails at RM56,992.15 (on-the-road with insurance).
Among other fuel-efficient cars that the local automotive magazine cites is the Hyundai i10, which has a fuel consumption of 18.9km per litre; the Perodua MyVi 1.3 (17km per litre) and the Volkswagen Polo Sedan (15.4km per litre).
In terms of hybrid vehicles, Toyota claims that its Prius C has a fuel economy of 35km per litre.
“Prices for hybrids range from RM94,800 for the lowest cost hybrid, the Honda Jazz 1.3, to over RM1mil for super luxury models like the BMW Activehybrid7,” notesMotor Trader.
Proper maintenance
According to an article on Forbes, keeping your vehicle’s tires properly inflated with air and the air filter clean can help you save fuel consumption.
“Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage and affect the handling, braking and tread life,” it says, citing a senior official from Express Oil Change & Service Center, a leading US-based automotive services provider.
The reason why this saves fuel is simple, the article says: “When your tires don’t have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get anywhere.”
It adds that fuel mileage can actually be improved by up to 3.3% by keeping one’s tires inflated to the proper pressure. It also says keeping the air filters in your clean can actually help improve fuel mileage by up to 7%.
According to US-based TheDailyGreen.com, having the wheels on your car properly aligned can also help reduce fuel consumption. “Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly, but also forces your engine to work harder.
Align your tires, and save up to 10%.”
Letting the engine idle – too long
Citing a top official from Breitling Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company, Forbes says letting the engine idle too long can result in unnecessary wastage of fuel.
“If you’re going to be standing for more than a minute, running your engine wastes more gas than restarting the engine,” it says.
Do not overload the vehicle
It’s as simple as it sounds - the more weight you carry in your car, the more fuel you’re going to burn.

Source: thestar.com.my

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

How to Effectively Save More than You Spend



              

 

The golden rule in saving—and you are bound to run headlong into this saving advice wherever you look whenever you ask how to effectively set aside piles of money for a rainy day—is to save more than you spend. Oh, but frugal living takes a great deal of sacrifice, you would say.


And you would be right. Even as you begin to try, you would find yourself chased by nagging doubts on whether or not it is even—at all—possible. You would not be the first person to have this problem. In fact, experts on human behavior have offered some eye-opening explanations on why it is so difficult to save and so easy to spend

We equate buying things with happiness. The more you buy, the happier you get. This is not exactly true but for many people, it is. Whenever you feel sad or depressed, have you ever gone on a shopping and dining binge, hoping to feel better? Maybe you did feel better, but do you remember how long it took before you were dissatisfied again? Discontent stems from wanting more and it is human to always desire for more. If we give in to those desires all the time that is really when the trouble starts. 

We have developed bad spending habits. You might have picked up bad spending habits from your family, and some, you probably developed on your own. Like most people, you might have gotten so used to struggling with money that it would take an active decision and a series of consistent, concrete actions to really get you started in the habit of saving—and for you to have any hope of sustaining it at all. 

We are putting up with appearances. Some people seek and find gratification in buying things that are not really necessary. They spend on things they believe would earn them the admiration, esteem, and in some cases, even envy of their peers. Then, there were credit cards, and it became easier for people to put up with appearances—only to fall deep into debt. If you think this description fits you, it would take some serious re-wiring of your mindset—and habits—before you change. It might be hard but it is possible. You just have to have the resolve to change.

Living Well, Spending Less

The following are some effective ways to help you save more than you spend. If there is one saving advice you should always remember, let it be to: spend less, save more. Make it your mantra and think on this every time you are tempted by the convenient use of your credit card or the delicious appeal of a huge store sale. 

Start small. 

If you are deep in debt, more drastic measures might be needed for you to bounce back. But if you are not too thrilled about the idea of frugal living, try to cut back wherever possible. Do you really need a big house or an expensive car? Can you perhaps prepare packed lunches or switch to more affordable brands when grocery shopping? As you begin to see how much you are actually saving from making small adjustments, the prospect of being able to save more would seem more and more appealing. 

Review your bills. 

How many utility bills do you have to pay for in a month? Can you perhaps live without one or a couple of them? See if there are optional services you can eliminate—like your monthly cable subscriptions, for one. It might be more beneficial if you revert to basic services and eliminate add-ons that you do not really need.

Create a budget and stick to it. 

Start by writing down a list of your monthly expenses. Then, create a budget—one that takes your monthly income into consideration—that allows you to take care of all basic necessities and still give you a chance to set aside a small percentage of your income. Seeing everything in writing shows you the bigger picture and makes you think twice every time you take out your wallet to pay for something you can always just live without. 

Go for energy-efficiency.  

Electric bills take up a significant percentage of your income. See if you can cut back on electricity use by installing some energy efficient fixtures or adjusting your habits, like not leaving your computer or the air conditioning machine on for all hours of the night.

Be more proactive. Maybe frugal living is not the solution you are looking for. It could be that you really do not earn enough. Try to find ways to boost your income. Apart from your skills, what you do with your time also counts. Time is an investment as much as money. Stop wasting away the day—be more productive. Assess whether your skills are being put to good use and if they are not, perhaps it is time to go for more rewarding endeavors such as looking for better opportunities or starting a small business.


About the Author:

This article is prepared by Michael Vincent of www.comparehero.my  for walau2u.blogspot. Compare Hero is Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website, where users can compare a broad range of financial products for free.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Study: Have more sex, earn more money




Employees that have sex more than four times a week receive 5% higher wages, according to an academic paper by Nick Drydakis, a senior lecturer in economics at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, England. Conversely, those who don’t have any sexual activity earn 3% less in wages than those who are sexually active, the study — published by the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany — concluded. 

Similarly, a Brazilian study published in 2009 found a positive correlation between sexual frequency and wages for Brazilian employees. This may be little more than a correlation, but based on these findings, Drydakis says, “it seems that sexual activity may be of interest to economists.” 

Why the bigger paychecks? Sexually active people may exhibit more attributes that are prized in the workplace, experts say. “Both sexual activity and higher wages convey a feeling of higher self-esteem and self-confidence, which attracts more sexual partners and more work opportunities,” says Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist in Beverly Hills. “Put succinctly: Everyone loves a winner.” This also ties in with long-running theories that attractive people earn more money, she says. In fact, so-called beautiful people are likely to earn 3% to 4% more than plainer folk, according to “Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People Are More Successful,” by Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas in Austin.
 

Money can't buy you love, but a new study suggests lovemaking can earn you money – and not just if you're employed in the red light district. Quentin Fottrell and couples psychotherapist Dr. Fran Walfish join Lunch Break with details.

Another possible explanation for the connection: Those who are more sexually active may simply be in better shape emotionally and physically, which could make them more amiable, productive and creative employees. “This actually doesn’t surprise me, if sexual activity is just one more indicator of general well-being,” says Tina Lowrey, professor of marketing at Hautes √Čtudes Commerciales de Paris, a business college in France. Drydakis agrees, adding that increased sexual activity could be a key indicator of good health. “Medical and psychological literature suggest that sexual activity is associated with good health, endurance, mental well-being, mental capacities and dietary habits,” he says. 

rebound_sex

One caveat, however: The positive correlation between sex and higher wages could also work both ways. That is, higher wages may encourage some to adopt more sexually active lives, Drydakis says. “They may increase the value and attractiveness of a person on the dating market.” Some psychotherapists say there’s a connection. “The more success the individual experiences, the higher his libido rises,” says Fran Walfish, a therapist in Beverly Hills. And, she says, less money could also mean less sex. “I am currently treating two men whose incomes have dramatically decreased because of the poor economy,” she says. “Both men have reported a significant decrease in their sexual desire and sexual activity.” 

Source: www. cnbc.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10 Habits of The Richest People in the World

         
There is one secret that almost every rich person knows. This secret is very important because it’s the reason they are rich in the first place. This big secret can be summed up in the words of the mighty Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Rich people have gone through the painful process of forming rich people’s habits, and you can become financially prosperous as well if you make up your mind to do the same. Together, let’s examine 10 habits of the richest people in the world to help you make up your mind to make these habits yours, too.

1. They are goal setters

Rich people set goals that make them rich. People don’t become rich by accident. Rich people are very deliberate: they set goals to become rich and they eventually achieve those goals. The act of goal setting itself is a very rewarding exercise because it helps you to see and feel the money you want to have even before you get it.

2. They focus on one thing at a time

A laser beam can cut through very hard objects—it can cut through almost anything, in fact—and this is because of its unusual ability to concentrate all its power on a particular spot on the object until it begins to melt. Rich people are usually like laser beams. They set outrageous goals, but they stay focused on that one goal, directing all their activities and efforts towards achieving that goal until they accomplish it. Average Joes, on the other hand, often have no focus; they just tend to do whatever comes their way and take whatever life hands them. If you want to be rich, be goal oriented and stay focused.

3. They have great respect for time

Brian Tracy said that rich people think in terms of what they earn hourly rather than monthly or annually. Because they think hourly, whenever they are spending time on unproductive activities, they think about how much they are losing with every passing moment. Rich people don’t spend too much time on social media or watching TV. They work around the clock and cannot afford to waste any minute of their day.

4. They spend less than they earn

As simple as this may seem, it is the secret to getting wealthy: always spend less than you earn. The problem with poor-thinking people is they increase their expenses as their income increases. They buy better cars, bigger houses and they remain poor or average. Think about this in terms of percentage; if you want to be rich then follow the motto, “Save 10% of whatever you earn.” But be smart about it. As Warren Buffet said: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” I also advise that you work with a budget and that you keep an income and expenditure statement.

5. They work very hard

Except for people who inherited great riches, I have not seen any lazy rich person. Rich people work very hard and they also work constantly. People that work hard can’t be behind, they are always on top of their profession whether they are business people, self-employed, or even employees. They always do things that ordinary people cannot do.

6. They continually learn and grow

The more you know is the more you earn. Your learning power determines your earning power. As much as it is important to work hard, hard work alone will not make you rich. Before money can be earned, value must be given in return, and the only way to add more value to your clients is by first adding more value to yourself. This can only be done through continuous learning. Make up your mind to develop new skills and gain more experience every day.

7. They keep rich company

Rich people don’t have poor friends. As the old saying goes, “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Let me tell you something: you may not have so much money right now, but as long as you keep walking with rich people or those with the potential to become rich, you will someday become very rich yourself.

8. They are persistent

Rich people don’t give up. About 90% of rich people today did not become rich the way they originally thought or intended. They tried, they failed, and they rose up again many times before they eventually succeeded. You may lose a lot of money in the process, but you’ll keep getting better by learning from your mistakes and experiences until you get the financial independence you desire.

9. They take calculated risks

Rich people are fond of taking risks. Once they decide they want to get something, they will give whatever it takes to get it, even if it means risking their lives sometimes. If you want to become rich, don’t be afraid of taking risks. Be bold and courageous, but also be calculative. Know what each decision will cost you and never put all your eggs in one basket.

10. They are generous

Rich people are very generous. If you look at the lives of the richest people in modern history, you will discover that a lot of them are great philanthropists: people like Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim, to name a few. Make giving one of your habits today and you will become very rich someday, too.


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