How to Reduce Frequent Fill-ups

With fuel prices climbing ever higher, many drivers are suffering major financial collisions. Thankfully, many vehicle-associated costs are within your control. You can save a lot of money by making a few changes to the way you drive and use gas.

Consider Downsizing

Large, heavy vehicles can burn up to three times as much fuel as small car; so if it’s time for a trade-in, consider a vehicle that is built to get good gas mileage. If you are truly ready to reduce fuel consumption, go for a hybrid car. Since they run on a combination of gasoline and electricity, they are economically (and ecologically) sound choices.

Maintain Your Vehicle

Preemptive maintenance not only makes for a safer, more secure ride, but keeping all your vehicle’s parts in tiptop shape will extend fuel usage over time. Keep your air filter clean, tires pumped with the right amount of air, the clutch adjusted, and make sure your engine is filled with enough clean oil. Also, since most cars, trucks, and SUVs are built for regular unleaded, don’t upgrade to pricy premium unless necessary.

Drive Smart

Before taking off, look for unnecessary, heavy objects you may be carrying both on the exterior and interior of the vehicle. Carting around such items as a tool kit, stereo equipment, and ski or bike racks affect gas mileage. If you don’t need immediate access to the items, store them elsewhere.

Chart your course carefully. Choose the route with the flattest terrain and fewest stops, and if at all possible, avoid traffic jams and stop and go driving. Have a navigation system? Use it to find the quickest path and to avoid wasting gas by getting lost. There are also map apps for your mobile device like Waze or Google Maps that will integrate local traffic and suggest alternate routes to save you time.

Other ways to save gas include (when safe and appropriate), turning the car off rather than idling, traveling the right speed for each gear, and not revving the engine or warming up newer vehicles. Use cruise control on the open road, coast down hills and accelerate slowly when leaving stoplights. Think twice before turning on the AC too – that blast of cool air means a much quicker visit to the pump. Instead, roll the windows down while driving at low to moderate speeds. (However, the faster you go, the greater the drag – so keep them up when traveling at high speeds.)

Drive Less

Reduce unnecessary trips by combining errands, and bike, walk or use public transportation whenever possible. If you have neighbors who work in the same general direction as your place of employment, arrange for car pools to share the cost of gas. (After all, you are not the only one who is affected by the rising price of fuel.)

Want more budget-friendly ideas? Call BALANCE at 888-456-2227 – at no cost to you. Your call will remain confidential.

Why You Should Have Renters Insurance

You come home and discover that your apartment has been gutted by a fire. Your landlord’s insurance policy will cover your loss, right? Wrong. Unless the damage is the result of the landlord’s negligence, landlords’ insurance policies typically only cover the physical structure of the building, not tenants’ personal property. To protect yourself, you need renters insurance.

Renters insurance is like homeowners insurance for renters. If your property is destroyed, you get money to replace it. Even if the value of your personal property only totals a few hundred dollars, renters insurance could be beneficial. It may only cost you $200 to replace your futon, but your personal liability is virtually limitless. A friend could trip on your rug and sue you for $100,000. If you have renters insurance, your insurance company will cover at least some of your costs.

Another benefit of renters insurance is that you do not have to worry about collecting money from someone who causes damage to your property. Let’s say your apartment flooded after your upstairs neighbor left the shower on all day. Legally, he is responsible for your losses, but that does not mean he will be willing to pay you. If you have renters insurance, you can just file a claim with your insurance company. Perhaps the best part of renters insurance? It is dirt cheap, usually costing no more than a few hundred dollars a year.

Looking for financial advice? Apple FCU has partnered with BALANCE to provide you with FREE and CONFIDENTIAL financial education and counseling. Their certified counselors can answer your questions, review your credit report and help you create a budget. Call 888-456-2227 or visit for more information.

Want a FREE Quote for Renters Insurance from Apple Financial Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Apple FCU? Click here and select ‘Homeowners’ from the drop-down.

Find the Vehicle That Fits You Today!

Your vehicle needs can change over the years. So whether it’s time to shop for your first car, a family van or a sporty red convertible, you can turn to Apple’s FREE AutoSMART Resource Center for the perfect match.

AutoSMART is an easy-to-use website with great information and resources designed to make your shopping experience simple, convenient and fast. With just a few click of your mouse, you can:

  • Research new and used vehicles
  • Estimate the value of your trade-in
  • Search the inventory at local dealerships
  • Order a vehicle history report
  • And much more!

Ready to get started? Make Apple’s FREE AutoSMART Resource Center your first move.

National Coffee Day

National Coffee Day is Saturday, September 29. I’m quite the coffee drinker, so bring on the discounts and free coffee deals! I’ve rounded up where to take advantage of this ‘holiday’ below. Let me know in the comments if any other companies are participating.

Weeklong celebrations:

  • McDonalds: Stop in for a FREE small coffee, every day if you’d like, through the 29th.
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: Instead of a free drink, you’ll get 50% off specialty coffee drinks. Each day brings a new drink to try! Check out their calendar of drinks HERE.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Present this coupon for a 10-ounce hot latte or 16-ounce iced latte for just $.99 through September 30th.

National Coffee Day – Saturday, September 29th:

  • Caribou Coffee: Get a FREE small cup of their new Amy’s Blend Coffee. If a small just won’t do it, you can get a larger size for a discounted prince – $.50 for a medium and $1 for a large.
  • Krispy Kreme: Stop in for a FREE 12-ounce cup of coffee. Plus, you’ll have the chance to enter to win free coffee for a year. More details HERE.
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: Enjoy BOGO (buy one get one free) of their pumpkin spice latte.