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REVIEW of Money 19

Drive Your Dollar Further
The road to cheaper motoring

Here's the sad tale of two motorists: a particularly harrowing day in the life of Jack and Jill Average. Both are responsible adults who are considerate of their children and their professional obligations; less so of finances, especially when it comes to their cars. They have problems with fore-planning and time-management. Due to this failing, one most of us have in common with them, they are forever reacting to situations which see them on the back foot. On this occasion, they oversleep and are racing around in panic. Jack is late for work and the car won't start - as usual. When eventually it does, he is forced to rev the engine to prevent it from stalling while riding the clutch as he waits for a gap in the traffic streaming past his driveway. Jill, in the meantime is doing a hundred-and-one things while trying to round the kids up for school.

It's a poor start that only gets worse. Jill's car is low on fuel and, being too far from the discount servo, she has to pay top dollar locally. Back and forth she goes, covering the same ground over and over when it could all have been accomplished in a single trip, had she given it some thought. That might also have avoided a second costly fuel stop and a parking fine into the bargain. Jack's route is simpler: just a straight drive to work and back, almost. On his way home he breaks down, thanks to a clutch that he didn't get fixed eventually burning out leaving him stranded on the freeway. While he waits for Jill to pick him up he has ample time to rue an expensive day of feeding hungry meters because he was too late to get his usual parking spot; plus receiving a speeding ticket; and to cap it all, being faced not only with the cost of repairs to his car, but also a towing charge, having forgotten to pay the premium on his roadside assist policy.

Both Jack's and Jill's cars needed better attention than they have given them. That, and their inability to manage their time to advantage, has cost them dearly. There is a valuable lesson to be learned by reading J & J's complete and woeful story.

To read the complete article or download the PDF of Money 19 click here

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