Dodging life's big expenses

Prices for gasoline and lots of other items are rising. It could be worse, though, so here are some reminders that it is still possible to avoid the most expensive things in life.

  • Gasoline. If you think you've got it bad at the gas pump, then look at these 10 places where gasoline prices are higher than in the United States. Mainstreet.com lists some impressive pricing, including the topper: Asmara, capital of Eritrea, an African nation on the Red Sea, where the equivalent of a U.S. gallon fetches $9.58. http:bit.ly/zOO053
  • Cities. What major city is most expensive to live in? A report this month by the Economist Intelligence Unit that was widely cited says Zurich, Switzerland, gets the prize this year. Tokyo was No. 2. No U.S. cities were in the top 10, listed at TheHuffingtonPost.com. http:huff.to/wHuV8z
  • Repair bills. AOL Autos examined the most expensive car repairs and how to avoid having to make them. Worst wallet-draining repairs involve dismantling overheated engines for retooling, and can run to $8,000 or more. If you don't need that particular headache — or the second-worst repair, a $7,000 job on your hybrid's inverter assembly — avoidance boils down to minding the maintenance schedule and checking fluid levels. http:aol.it/Abaji6
  • Cheap gasoline. To look for cheaper gasoline in your area — and to let drivers know the prices that you're seeing — call up GasBuddy.com or get the free GasBuddy application for your smartphone. The website tracks prices all over the United States and Canada. http:gasbuddy.com

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