Are Electric Cars Worth It?

As the climate crisis continues to worsen and governments fail to address the issue through top-down policies adequately. It is left to the people make changes to their individual lives to make the necessary reduction in carbon emissions. Hopefully, you can prevent the atmosphere warming to the critical 2-degree threshold.

There are many small things that individual households can do. There are changes to the daily routine and alterations in the types of food eaten. And there are more significant decisions, such as what kind of vehicle to drive.

Often, the smaller changes to our habits are more comfortable to swallow because they don’t incur any meaningful increase in costs. But because purchasing a car is such a big decision financially – it is usually the second most expensive asset we buy after a house – then people can be forgiven for not considering a more expensive alternative to a gas-powered car.

However, as we will explain in this article, for many people, the decision to purchase an electric car will save them money in the long run.

The Cost of Hybrid and Electric Cars

When hybrid cars and electric vehicles first came on to the market, even the most environmentally conscious consumer was not able to stomach the costs. They were prohibitively expensive. Fueled by innovation and technological advancements, not to mention government encouragement, the price for these vehicles has dramatically decreased so that now they are reasonably priced for most consumers to consider them. Their increased affordability is evidenced by the fact that registration for electric cars have more than doubled in 2019 compared to the year before.

Across the globe, most major car manufacturers have added electric car vehicles to their fleet of offerings. These companies understand that they are the future, and as a result, they don’t want to be left behind. The competition from these car companies will help to drive down the cost further and increased vehicle equity. In the United States, you can buy a small electric car for as little as $10,000 (Renault Twizy). For regular-sized vehicles, there is a considerable number of options in the price range of $30-40k.

Government Grants Reduce Cost

When looking at these prices, do not forget that governments also offer credits or grants for purchasing an electric vehicle. In the US, there is a federal electric vehicle tax credit of $7,500. This may not last forever, especially given the current President, so it may be worth taking advantage of these incentive schemes. At the same time, they are on offer to further enhance the cost savings of going electric.

If we focus on the US, let’s create a hypothetical situation where you are looking at a purchase of a brand-new electric car for $22.5k ($30k purchase price less the tax credit). Already, this is comparable to many gas-powered cars, so for many people, the debate as to whether an electric car is worth it will end here. If you are looking at a cheaper gas car, though, then we need to do some calculations that prove the financial benefit of running off electricity rather than gas.

Electricity is Cheaper than Gasoline

The big reason why electric cars are cheaper than gas cars is that electricity is much less expensive to consume than gasoline. On average, American drivers spend around $1,500 a year at the gas station purchasing gas or diesel for their cars. This compares to an average of $500 that drivers of electric vehicles are spending on charging up their vehicles each year.

Financial and Environmental Worth of Electric Cars

Clearly, if you are saving an average of $1,000 every year, then you can quickly make up the difference in the initial price of an electric car.

Ultimately, the question as to whether or not electric cars are worth it can be answered from two angles – the financial and the environmental. From an ecological perspective, they are worth it. The carbon footprint from using an electric car instead of a gas-powered vehicle is far, far lower. By making the switch, you will, without doubt, be helping to protect the planet from global warming.

Fortunately, thanks to colossal progress that has been made in just the last few years, the decision to switch to an electric car is also worth it from the financial perspective. Although the upfront cost of an electric car can be higher, it has been proven that this can be more than offset by the amount of money you will save from charging your car with electricity rather than paying for gas.

So, if you want to save money in the long term and save the planet, hopefully, this article will have helped you to make that decision.

Image source: Open Grid Scheduler.

Don’t Buy a Home with a Swimming Pool. Here’s Why.

home with a swimming pool

If you care about saving money then don’t buy a home with swimming pool. Yes, it’s a nice little luxury. It can offset certain costs. However, in the long run, it’s not a good financial decision.

Justifications for Buying a Home with a Swimming Pool

There are definitely some justifications for buying a home with a swimming pool. It can offset certain costs.

For example, maybe your kids will spend all summer with their friends in your pool. Then you don’t have to pay for other entertainment, camps, and activities.

Likewise, you can have your family to your house so that you don’t have to travel to a family reunion. Everyone can just enjoy the pool.

If you have a pool to swim laps in every day then you don’t need to pay for a gym membership. There are definitely ways that a pool can help pay for itself a little bit. However, overall, the benefits don’t outweigh the costs, speaking financially.

Don’t Buy a Home with A Swimming Pool

If you have a home with a swimming pool, then you have a home that costs you more than it should. There are daily and routine expenses that go up because you have a pool. Plus there are unexpected expenses that can eat into your emergency fund.

The Cost When You Buy a Home

If you want to add a pool to your home, then obviously you have to pay all of the costs associated with that. However, even if you want to buy a house with a swimming pool, there are added costs. You’ll have to pay for a separate pool inspection before you buy the home.

Increase in Household Expenses

When you plan your budget out for the month, you have to plan on spending more because you have a swimming pool. For example, a home with a swimming pool has much higher energy bills than a home without one. You need electricity to run the pool pump. There are extra costs if you add lighting to swim at night or if you have a heated pool. You can easily spend $300 a month or more on extra energy costs when you have a home with a swimming pool.

You may also find that your home insurance costs go up. Swimming pools are considered a safety risk, so insurance companies charge you more when you have one. If you do have to file a claim related to the pool, your costs will go up even more.

Your swimming pool also results in other ongoing costs at home. You will have to pay for pool maintenance. Even if you do all of the cleaning yourself, you have to purchase specific supplies to keep the pH at the right level and so forth.

Emergency Costs

Finally, there are emergency costs associated with pools.

Going back to the aforementioned safety issue, you may have an increase in injuries in your home resulting in emergency room visits, paying liability costs, etc.

Even if you manage to avoid those bills, your pool itself will likely need repairs at some point. You’ll use a pool vacuum to clean it, a pool pump, and other supplies that will break and need replacing. The pool has a lining, and a break in that lining is one of the most common repairs people need. That’s not cheap.

The Cost When You Sell a Home

Finally, when you go to sell your home, you’ll discover that because of all of these things, your home’s resale value is actually lower thanks to your decision to add a swimming pool.

Read More:

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Car Keys?

How Much To Replace Car Keys

I used to lose my car keys fairly regularly. Even more often, I’d lock them inside the car. It was inconvenient, to say the least. But at the time, it wasn’t too expensive. Wondering how much it cost to replace car keys back in the 90’s? It was only a few dollars if I could get someone to take me to the hardware store where they could copy a spare key for me. If I had to get them to make a brand new key, rather than a copy, it was less than $100.

Replacing Lost Car Keys in the 20th Century

I gave copies of my keys to several friends and family members. That way, they could come help me out. If they weren’t available, then I’d have to get a new key made.

I do recall one awful time when I was out of town and had lost my car keys. I needed to call someone out to my car in the middle of nowhere so he could cut me a new key. It was snowing. The guy didn’t seem to know what he was doing. Therefore, the whole thing took hours.

I was sick, and cold, and frustrated. But, in the end, I got my new key and went on my way. Annoying, but simple enough. I don’t remember how much it cost to replace car keys that time but it was less than $100.

It Costs A Lot More to Replace Car Keys Today

Replacing car keys today isn’t as easy as it was back then. Take a look at your car keys and you’ll notice that they don’t look anything like the kind of key that you can just take to the hardware store and get copied. Instead, they are high-tech electronic keys. If you lose one, it could cost you several hundred dollars to replace it.

You don’t just pay to replace the key. You also have to pay for the electronic key fob. Moreover, you have to pay the dealer to reprogram the car so that it accepts the new key. Of course, all of this is designed to make your car convenient. It also makes it safer from theft. But it means that if you lose your keys, you’ll pay a pretty penny to replace them.

How Much to Replace Car Keys Depends on the Car

Back in 2013, Consumer Reports shared that the cost to replace a Toyota Prius key was about $600. That was the most expensive replacement on their list. BMW key replacement was closer to $500 while Lexus was less than $400 at the time. Meanwhile, the cost to replace a key for a 2005 Honda Accord was about $200. So, how much to replace car keys really depends a lot on the car and the type of key it uses.

Edmunds reported these average prices to replace car keys in 2019:

  • Basic transponder key: $160 (plus fob replacement adds another $75)
  • Switchblade keys: $70 (plus fob replacement adds another $75+)
  • All-in-one laser-cut keys: $150 – $250
  • Smart keys (AKA keyless entry remote): $220 – $500+ depending on vehicle

Notably, you can sometimes get a discount on replacement car keys. Work with your dealer to see if they’ll offer a lower price. Consumer Reports notes that you can get huge discounts if you buy replacement keys online. Of course, as with all shopping on the Internet, you buy at your own risk. Read that fine print before trying to save money that way. And remember that you’ll still need to get a locksmith to program the new key, which adds additional costs.

Read More: