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Stretching Your Dollar

Are Gas Prices Making It Difficult For You To Cover Your Transportation Needs?

According to AAA, the average cost of owning and driving a car 15,000 miles a year is $7,830. SUVs are even more expensive at $9,990 a year and the cost is only going up. Cutting transportation and vehicle related expenses can add up to big savings in a short amount of time.

If you’d like to get up to 35% better gas mileage on your car follow these simple steps:

  • Slow down on the freeway. In general the most fuel efficient speed for a car ranges from 40 to 60 mph. Driving faster than this wastes gas.

  • When traveling long distances use cruise control. Keeping a constant speed is more fuel efficient than slowing and accelerating at that same speed.

  • Don’t accelerate too fast. Racing away from stoplights forces your car to work harder than it needs to and wastes more gas than you know. You can also save gas by slowing down early for stoplights. Take your foot off the gas pedal and save.

  • Avoid idling. For every minute that you car idles it burns approximately a half-mile worth of gas. Turing off the engine while waiting in your car and avoiding the drive-through will help you save gas.

Source: Feeling the Econonic Crunch? online 28 Jan 2009.

Are You Paying More In Medical Costs Than You Can Afford?

The National Coalition on Health Care estimated that in 2007, the average cost of health expenditures was $7,600 per person. If your medical costs are a financial burden or if you're simply not covered because you can't afford it, visit the resources below for additional information.

  • If you're paying more in health insurance than you can afford, or if you do not have health insurance coverage, you may want to shop around for lower cost health options. The Arizona Department of Insurance provides consumer guides to health insurance, lists of health insurance companies, general health insurance resources, and health insurance resources for children and seniors. Call 1-800-325-2548 (Statewide) for more information.

  • Some individuals and children may qualify for government-subsidized health insurance through Arizona's AHCCCS and/or KidsCare Medicaid programs. For information on eligibility requirements or to apply for coverage, call (602) 417-4000. You can also visit Arizona Self Help to determine if you qualify for benefits.

  • The Arizona CoppeRx® Card can help cover prescription costs for people with and without health insurance. The plan can also help people with insurance cover the costs of prescriptions not covered by their health plan. The card even provides discounts on some pet medications. All Arizonans, regardless of income level, are eligible to receive the benefits of this discount service. Call 1-888-227-8315 to find out more.

  • Did you know that smoking a pack of cigarettes a day means you are spending more than $1,500 a year on cigarettes, equaling more than $58,000 in your lifetime? In addition, it is estimated that life and health insurance costs are 30% to 60% lower for non-smokers. To find out how much smoking is affecting your budget and to get resources to help quit, call The Arizona Smokers' Helpline at 1-800-556-6222.

  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can often help employees find medical and mental health help, take inquiries or assist with financial issues. At the University of Arizona, call our Life & Work Connections offices at (520) 621-2493 to make an appointment.

Source: Feeling the Econonic Crunch? online 28 Jan 2009.