Submitted by Jen Jones on Fri, 07/23/2010 - 10:00am
Life after bankruptcy can be a challenge. It will take commitment, a new mindset and an entirely fresh set of budgeting habits.
People are surprised to find that when they look around, there really are countless ways for you to save, establish credit and rebuild the economic life you once had.
For a some filers, bankruptcy meant giving up a car payment you could no longer afford. With the new change, getting around town to run errands or schedule job interviews can be pretty frustrating. However, alternative modes of transportation are becoming more abundant. One example is the WeCar program, an idea already popular in larger cities and on college campuses.
The membership program allows people to rent a car on a short-term basis for an hourly rate. You can register online at www.wecar.com to get your membership started. After you get a card, you can reserve your car online when you need it and then use a “swipe card” to activate the car via a computer built into the vehicle. The keys are stored in the glove box.
The costs associated with WeCar are pretty reasonable, especially when compared to the cost of owning a car. And public transportation, while an even more affordable option, does have its drawbacks in some instances, especially if you need to be somewhere in a timely manner and don’t have the time it often takes to travel by bus. And, WeCars are available at all hours, unlike mass transit. Plus, Raleigh doesn’t exactly have a large population of taxis darting around its streets and avenues.
The annual membership is $50; the application fee is $20. After that, it’s $10/hour, which includes gas, insurance and mileage. So, in total, you can have access to a nice, dependable car for $70 in year one, and $50/year after that. If your transportation needs are minimal, or you generally have a short commute, this can be a good option.
Granted, this program isn’t as helpful for you readers in the suburbs or in Durham. However, rest assured that it will not be long before an hourly car rental program is within your reach. Hertz has launched its own version of a car share program in Manhattan.
ZipCar, which was started a few years ago, is another hourly car rental company that has been expanding quite rapidly but primarily targets the college crowd. It already has college locations in Chapel Hill, Elon and at Wake Forest University.
Raleigh is one of only three cities to have a non-college version of WeCar, making it stand out as an area that could attract additional car sharing businesses. Currently, WeCar has two Honda Civics but will add more as demand grows. One car is located at Enterprise’s office on South McDowell Street and the other at the West Condo building on Harrington.
So as we mentioned, it can be easier than you might think to save when you are coming out of bankruptcy, thanks to programs like WeCar. Keep coming back to this blog for more consumer and money management tips for life before, during and after bankruptcy.
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