Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Budgeting you Money when you live in an Expensive City

The cost of living in a city increases almost everyday. With just the average rent of a two room New York City apartment costing more than $4,000, no wonder more people than ever are budgeting their money and looking for more inexpensive ways to live. Cities become even more expensive if you are traveling to locations around the city that you need to get transportation to. The cost of a cab can become very expensive if you are sitting in traffic, but by owning a car in the city it can be just as expensive with the high costs of gasoline and the amount of traffic in the city.
One way that people all over the country who live in the city are budgeting their money is by taking public transportation. Public transportation is available in every city whether it is through train, boat, or through riding an underground subway. You can buy relatively low weekly passes to all public transportation in the city, and the great part about it is that it virtually pays for itself because when you live in the city, you virtually have to travel to get anywhere. With more and more people migrating to live in the city public transportation is becoming much more accepted than it once was, and besides it saving money it also helps the environment by cutting down on the huge carbon footprint that cities put on the environment. There is no better time than now to begin using public transportation.

Another way people can use Budgeting as a tool to live in an expensive city is by shopping at fruit markets and at thrift shops. The costs of clothing and goods there are much lower there than at expensive stores. Also, with new trends moving towards vintage clothing there is no time like the present to being shopping at thrift shops and vintage clothing stores. As far as buying groceries and fruit it is also much more inexpensive shopping on the side of the road, most of the groceries there are farmed right outside the city which is the reason why they are so inexpensive. Just make sure to carefully check out the location that you are purchasing the goods from before buying them just to make sure it is safe.

Many people who live in the city live above or right next to a pizza place or a restaurant. This is one of the ways that people spend the most money while living in the city. They cave in to how easy it is to just walk downstairs and grab food instead of cooking a meal for themselves. There are many advantages to cooking for yourself at home in a city. The first one is it will help while budgeting your money, but it is also make your diet much healthier by cooking instead of ordering takeout every night.
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Friday, April 5, 2013

Most Expensive Cities to Live in

While some people may be looking for some of the most affordable areas, others may be tempted by pricier metropolitan areas. There are plenty of places around the country that are considered expensive to live in for the average person, but some of these cities may be perfect fits for you, as they are often centers for commerce and culture. Keep in mind that just because the city is one of the more expensive to live in, you may not have to price it out of your budget. There could be deals lying around that make it possible to bring your moving boxes to one of these places.
New York City
The Big Apple is thought of by many as an expensive city, and living costs can be higher than most other places. Much of this is due to the high cost of living in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. An average home in Manhattan costs more than $1.3 million, according to the Cost of Living Index from ACCRA. Brooklyn is just under $1 million, while Queens is higher than $630,000. If you are planning to get a haircut in one of these three boroughs, you could be spending around $20.

While not as expensive as New York City, Boston can still be a high-cost place to live. A haircut in the city averages more than $15, according to the Cost of Living Index from ACCRA. Also, the median home price in the city is nearly $460,000. Despite this, there are still affordable sections of town, and renting is popular among many in the city. Areas such as Dorchester and Allston may be good spots for those who plan to rent, but don't want to break the bank.

San Francisco
The Silicon Valley area is a world center for the tech industry, and this has made it quite popular for many people to move to the area. One city that has seen an influx of interest is San Francisco, and this shows up in the local home prices. The median home sales price in the city is more than $746,000, according to Zillow. This can make some areas of the city quite expensive. The demand is high to move to this city, and much of the same is true for nearby areas such as San Jose.

This may not be as much of a surprise as some of the other cities on the list, but it can be quite pricey to live in Honolulu. The capital of Hawaii is one of the more expensive cities in the country, and despite major issues during the economic downturn, home prices remain elevated. It can cost more than $430,000 for a home in the city, according to Zillow. However, the high price of living in the city has a good trade-off, as it is quite temperate in Hawaii, and there is always plenty to do.

Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital is also a city with a high cost of living. Those who live in the District deal with prices similar to parts of New York City and Boston. The average haircut will set you back more than $16, according to the Cost of Living Index from ACCRA. Home prices approach a median of $750,000 in this area, as well. Like many of the cities on this list, renting is a popular option for some, which can be a good way to better afford the city. There are also many places outside of the city that are not as pricey, and commuting is possible.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2012 BMW Z4 On Sale In Australia From November, Adds Turbo Four-cylinder

2012 BMW Z4 On Sale In Australia From November, Adds Turbo Four-cylinderThe second-generation BMW Z4 has come in for a 2012 model-year update. While little has changed on the outside, it's a whole new story under the skin - and on the price list.

The entry-level Z4 sDrive23i has been dropped for 2012, its 150kW six-cylinder engine ousted by the new N20 turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine and a sharp new entry price.

Producing 135kW and 270Nm (power down, torque up), the turbo four-pot propels the new entry-level Z4 sDrive20i to 100km/h in 6.9 seconds - short of its predecessor's time by just three hundredths of a second.

Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the sDrive20i lists fuel consumption figures of 6.7 l/100km - shaving 1.8 l/100km off the previous model. A new eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission is also available.

Priced at $76,900, nearly $10,000 less than the outgoing sDrive23i, the sDrive20i slips in beneath the fuel-efficient Luxury Car Tax threshold.

The new price point means the slightly less powerful and barely less punctual sDrive20i is unlikely to present many downsides for new Z4 buyers.

Entering the 2012 model year at a sub-$80k price also makes the sDrive20i more affordable than the equivalent 135kW Mercedes-Benz SLK 200

A more powerful version of the N20 engine is also on offer, with the 190kW/310Nm 3.0 litre six-cylinder engine replaced with a more highly-tuned version of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Power for the top-shelf four-cylinder engine is rated at 180kW and 350Nm (again; power down, torque up), giving the new Z4 sDrive28i a 0-100km/h time of 5.7 seconds - one hundredth of a second quicker than the ougoing sDrive30i.

Fuel consumption is listed at 6.7 l/100km - equal to the less powerful sDrive20i - when mated with the standard six-speed manual. The eight-speed Sport Automatic is also available.

As with the entry-level model, the sDrive28i swoops in under the fuel-efficient luxury car tax threshold and is priced at $89,400 - compared to $98,100 for its predecessor.

In order to harmonise prices across the range, BMW has also cut prices for the unchanged Z4 sDrive35i ($107,500, down from $116,898) and the flagship Z4 sDrive35is ($120,500, down from $129,900).

The new pricing means that the 225kW sDrive30i again undercuts the nearest Mercedes-Benz offering, with the new 225kW SLK 350 priced at $118,900.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Most Americans not open to buying cars from India, China

A wave of new Indian and Chinese automobiles are poised to make their debut in the US market in coming months, but a new study has found that most Americans are not open to the idea of buying a car from companies like Tata , Mahindra and BYD.

Market research firm GfK Automotive's Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study found that Chinese and Indian auto-makers could face a similar purchase consideration curve to Korean vehicles when they launched in the US.

In that case, it took more than 15 years for consumers to significantly increase their consideration to purchase Korean vehicles.

The majority of American consumers are not open to buying a car from a Chinese or Indian manufacturer. Such auto-makers looking to break into the US market face challenges in brand awareness and acceptance, said the study.

The Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study found that only 38% of the respondents would consider buying a Chinese car and 30% an Indian vehicle. In contrast, 95% are open to buying from an American company, 76% from a German manufacturer, 75% a Japanese vehicle and 49% a Korean model.
Gen Y consumers were the most open to buying Chinese or Indian vehicles, with 52% saying they'd consider a car from China and 41% open to a car from India.

Predictably, Baby Boomers were the least interested. Supporting its report, GfK cited the challenge Hyundai initially had gaining market acceptance in America, stating that "Chinese and Indian automakers could face a similar purchase consideration curve".

"However, we would add that the quality, performance, safety and reliability of the models make all the difference. And Hyundai initially trailed in all those regards. Perception took years to change, because the company itself took over 15 years to offer competitive products," it said.

Companies such as BYD (China), Chery (China) and Mahindra (India) have in recent years declared their intent to launch products in the United States, only to repeatedly delay their introduction. "Clearly, the time will come when cars arrive on our shores directly from such manufacturers. For some, arguably, the time is now, as the current parent company for Land Rover and Jaguar, Tata, is an India-based corporation. And Volvo is owned by China-based Geely," GfK Automotive said in its report.
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Here comes the sun-powered car

Here comes the sun-powered carA roof-mounted solar panel announced by Ford in the US this week could help to drive electric versions of its Focus small car up to 1600 kilometres a month for free. The panel, developed in co-operation with solar panel provider SunPower, can generate up to 3000 kilowatt hours of power each year and would supplement - or completely replace - plug-in electricity as the vehicle's power source. The US-based program is an intriguing premise considering Australia's high levels of sun exposure. It could become a key development in making electric vehicles more sustainable to drive in Australia.

The only mass-produced electric vehicle on sale in Australia, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and several more due to arrive here next year derive their energy chiefly from coal-fired electricity, which is considered among the dirtiest and least-sustainable forms of power generation. Ford is not the first brand to use rooftop-mounted solar panels. The Toyota Prius brought solar panels into the mainstream in 2009 with a rooftop-mounted system. However, it only powers the car's ancillaries rather than the electric motor.

A pioneer in the field is considered to have been the Mazda 929 from the early 1990s, which used solar cells embedded in the sunroof to power the car's ventilation system. Fast-forward to 2011 and the futuristic Fisker Karma sports car is one of the first production cars to integrate a rooftop solar panel into the production process. Like the plug-in Focus, the Karma's solar panel will feed electric energy directly into the car's motor or its battery pack for storage.

Ford and SunPower will charge customers about $US10,000 ($9500) after US government tax credits are applied. It would cost the owner of a petrol-powered Focus about $148 to drive 1600 kilometres, based on a petrol price of $1.40. As part of the package, US-based owners of the Focus Electric will be able to monitor the solar charging process in their car remotely, from either a website or a mobile phone application.

Ford will also offer the Drive Green For Life solar panel program on the C-Max Energi, a five-seater people-mover it will release early next year in the US. Ford Australia launched the new-generation Focus this week with petrol and diesel engines but has no current plans to import the plug-in electric version, nor any variant of the C-Max people-mover. The Detroit-based brand plans to spin a total of 10 new models off the Focus platform by the end of next year, including five plug-in electric vehicles.

Ford Australia spokeswoman Sinead Phipps says the local operation is unlikely to consider the roof-mounted solar panels for its locally made Falcon or Territory models. ''I would say probably not,'' she says. ''From what I have seen I'm not sure of its applicability. It definitely wouldn't be in our immediate planning scope.''However, the Focus Electric remains a car of interest to Ford Australia. ''We're interested but it's not something we'd do by ourselves,'' Phipps says.
'It would have to be an Asia-Pacific roll-out of the Focus Electric. ''We also remain to be convinced that there's enough electric vehicle infrastructure in Australia for it to be viable. ''We think electric vehicles are a key element of the way to move forward but we also think there needs to be broader discussion about infrastructure. Holden says it is ''considering a range of alternative technologies" but would not comment directly on whether parent company GM is investigating solar panels for its cars.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Maruti Suzuki launches new Swift

Maruti Suzuki launches new SwiftFurther intensifying the price-war in the premium hatchback segment, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (MSIL) on Wednesday launched the new version of Swift, priced between Rs.4.22 lakh and Rs.5.53 lakh for the petrol versions and Rs.5.17 lakh and Rs.6.38-lakh for the diesel variants. Built on an entirely new platform, MSIL's popular hatchback offers improved fuel efficiency and over 140 new features, many for the first time ever in an entry-level variant, claims the company.

MSIL, which sold over six lakh units of Swift since it was launched in 2005, has invested over Rs.550 crore in the project. Interestingly, new weight reduction techniques have helped MSIL engineers offers more mileage — 6 per cent more in diesel (22.9 km a litre) and 4 per cent more in the petrol version (18.6 km a litre). The carmaker has also introduced the VVT engine technology in all petrol variants that gives 87 PS of power, while the DDiS diesel engine delivers 75 PS of power.

“We have launched the new Swift at a time when there was significant demand for the outgoing model. In keeping with the Swift's iconic status, we had to ensure that the brand continues to offer the latest and the best in terms of features, design, performance and aspiration,” MSIL Managing Director and CEO Shinzo Nakanishi told journalists here. MSIL already has 50,000 bookings of the new Swift. “We are increasing the production of the car to about 17,000 units in the next few months from 12,000 units at present. Our second production unit in Manesar (Haryana), scheduled to be operational from next month, will start with rolling out of Swift that will help bring down the waiting period from 3-4 months to 2-3 months,” Mr. Nakanishi said. Asked when the company would introduce the sedan version of the new Swift, Mr. Nakanishi said: “We should have a new sedan type of vehicle of this car…no timeline has been fixed yet.”
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