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.

How To Start Saving For Retirement

Everyone deserves to have a comfortable retirement after decades of hard work. But to so many Americans, saving for retirement seems complicated, intimidating, and a choice that can be postponed for the future. However, there are so many little choices you can make every month to start saving for retirement–and they aren’t difficult at all!

All you need to know are a few practical basics on how to start saving for retirement. Sometimes you just need a jump start to get you going. Once you begin saving, you will feel more comfortable about the process and adjust how much and how often you allocate funds.

Here are some great ways to start saving for retirement:

  1. Have an Emergency Fund

You might think an emergency fund has nothing to do with saving for retirement. But if you have no emergency fund and you experience a financial emergency, where will you turn for cash? That’s right, your retirement fund! Cushion yourself for unexpected bills with at least $500 to $1,000. That way, all the money that goes into your retirement fund will stay there!

  1. Pay Off High Interest Debt

This might seem unrelated to retirement as well but if you have debts collecting interest, then you are losing money you could be investing in high interest retirement accounts. Try to pay down a majority of your debts by prioritizing higher interest debts. These debts can include credit cards, title loans, auto loans, and student loans to name a few.

  1. Regular 401(k) Contributions

If you are lucky enough to have an employer sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k) or a 403(b), then take advantage. Many companies will match your contributions, meaning that you will receive even more in your savings right away! Contribute to your retirement account often and regularly to start saving off on the right foot.

  1. Create a Financial Goal

After you’ve taken care of various other aspects of your personal finances and really got your 401(k) going, it’s time to sit down and create a financial goal. Once you feel comfortable, take on a more aggressive savings plan. Determine how much you’d like to have saved by the time you hit retirement and when you would like to retire. Do the math to figure out how much you are aiming to save monthly or annually.

  1. Figure Out Where to Put Your Money

Where you place your savings depends on how many years it will be sitting and gathering return. For shorter term investments, you can look at online savings, money market accounts, or short-term bond funds. For longer term accounts, you could look into a Roth IRA, traditional IRA, stock investments, etc. If there will be a large amount of money going untouched for a few decades, you want that money to accumulate as much interest as possible, so you get more bang for your buck.

You don’t have to be overwhelmed by the thought of how to start saving for retirement! When you come at it from the right mindset, saving for the most relaxing chapter of your life can be simple. Give yourself peace of mind knowing that your future is secure by starting to save today!

Image source: Pexels.com

How Money Can Affect Relationships: Both Negative and Positive

How Money Can Affect Relationships

We all know how money can affect relationships negatively. After all it’s one of the most common things that couples argue about. However, have you ever thought about how money can affect relationships in positive ways? Whether for good or bad, communication is the key to dealing with money in your marriage or primary relationship.

How Money Can Affect Relationships Negatively

Money is one of the biggest sources of conflict in most marriages. Even before you get married (if you choose to do so), money can rear its ugly head in your relationship. Here are just a few of the most common ways how money can affect relationships negatively:

  • When one of you out-earns the other, it can lead to feelings associated with a sense of power imbalance. This can also relate to strain over ingrained beliefs about gender roles in the home.
  • One of you has significantly more debt than the other which creates arguments. Similarly, if you have different viewpoints about how to deal with debt, then you could end up resenting one another.
  • You have different money personalities. For example, one is a spender and the other a saver. If you don’t respect each other’s approaches, then you could have a problem.
  • If you haven’t discussed your long-term goals then you might not be on the same page financially. This can show up in arguments over day-to-day spending.

Money is rarely just about money. People come to the topic with a lot of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Many of these things have less to do with money and more to do with beliefs about career, identity, family, power, security, and love. If you’re not discussing the underlying issues, then you can end up fighting about money. Since money isn’t the true issue, the problem is never resolved.

How Money Can Affect Relationships Positively

It’s easy to become afraid of dealing with money in your marriage. However, it helps if you think about how money can affect relationships positively. If you have open, authentic communication, respect one another, and are willing to compromise, then money can actually be the source of some beautiful things in your relationship.

For example, one of you may become physically or mentally ill and thus unable to work. This could add up to a lot of medical debt as well. If you approach this setback in a healthy way, then it can be a period that strengthens your relationship.

The spouse that is able to carry the couple financially during this time may feel like they have a small bit of control during a scary time. The spouse that is ill may experience a kind of relief that gives them space to heal. It’s not an easy time, but it doesn’t have to be one in which money is the enemy.

It’s All About Communication

There are several similar scenarios that have the potential to be negative but could also be positive for your relationship. More than anything else, though, you can work together to use the vehicle of money as the starting point to discuss those deeper issues. If you recognize that it’s not really about money, then you can dig into the deeper emotions and issues at the core of the problem.

For example, let’s say that you’re fighting about one person working while the other is a stay-at-home parent. You fight about the lack of money or how money is spent. Underlying issues might include:

  • Fears by the stay-at-home parent that they aren’t doing enough to support the home
  • The stay-at-home parents feelings of losing their financial autonomy and what that means about their identity and life options
  • Hesitation by the stay-at-home parent to express times they’re dissatisfied with staying home because they’re “lucky” not to have to work
  • Fear by the working parent that the children are closer with the other parent
  • Resentment by the working parent that they have to be at work all day
  • Emotions about the power dynamic that might relate back to childhood issues

Those are just a few of the things that might be unsaid when fighting about money. If you can discuss money practically and respectfully, then you can make space to deal with those other issues. It’s all about communication. The more you learn to talk about money with each other, the more ways you’ll see how money can affect relationships positively.

Read More: