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Monday, December 6, 2021

How to Save Money on Your Car

How to Save Money on Your Car
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For most people in the United States, owning an automobile is a need. Public transit is not readily available, and urban sprawl ensures that the places you need to go are likely a significant distance away. At the same time, it is no secret that cars can be money pits. Here are some ways to lower the costs associated with owning a car.

Get Better Loan Terms

You might be able to find a better deal on your auto loan than what you got when you purchased the car. Look into refinancing it. There are two ways this can save you money, and the type you choose is up to you. If you need more cash in hand each month, you might be able to find a lower interest rate with another company. This will, in turn, lower your monthly payments and the total amount that you will end up paying on the car. You can also find a loan that allows you to pay off your car sooner. This will raise your monthly payments, but a shorter-term means money saved in the long run.

Take it in for Maintenance

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes you have to spend money to save money. Regular maintenance minimizes the risk of major repairs down the road. It also keeps your car running smoothly, which gives you better gas mileage. Follow the recommendations included in your owner’s manual, but most cars have a similar list of general maintenance needs. This includes regular oil changes, fluid replacements, new filters, alignment checks, and tire rotations, among other things. Being meticulous about maintenance will extend the life of the car and save you money.

Learn to Make Minor Repairs

You can save a great deal of money by learning to make minor repairs yourself. Some of the most common car troubles are ones that you can fix on your own. All you need is the right tools and a good online tutorial. Some things that you should be able to learn how to do are replacing worn down brake pads, changing a drained battery, replacing windshield wiper blades, changing out the lights, performing routine oil changes and coolant replacement, trading out spark plugs, and more. While you will still have to pay for the parts, you will be saving a lot of money on labor costs.

Make it More Efficient

There are simple ways to keep your car running more efficiently. Both the condition of your car and the choices you make as a driver can have a major impact. Some things you can do to your car to help it be more efficient are to check the tire pressure monthly and adjust when needed, keep your tires aligned, use the type of oil suggested in your owner’s manual, run the air conditioning less, and change out dirty air filters. Some steps you can take as a driver to increase your fuel efficiency include driving more slowly, never idling the car for longer than a minute, parking in the shade, and running your daily errands in one longer excursion, as opposed to taking many smaller trips. You also might want to consider getting your windows tinted. Window tinting can block 98% of solar heat, making your car more efficient to keep cool.

Stop Buying Premium Gasoline

Unless premium fuel is required for your car, you can save money by purchasing regular gas. In the past, only premium gasoline had the necessary additives to make them cleaner and more efficient. Now, most brands of regular unleaded gasoline feature the same inclusions. Additionally, modern cars are generally made to handle lower-octane gasoline. Historically, some cars were not able to deal with the engine knock that would occur with lower-grade gasoline. Now, most new car engines have built-in control systems that limit knocking. Again, it is important that you follow the manufacturer's directions and use premium fuel if it is required for your car. But if not, your car will perform just fine with regular unleaded, and that means money in your pocket.

Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

It is possible to lower your car insurance rate. Start by calling your insurance company to find out if they have any discounts. Some insurers offer savings to people with a good driving record, to people who take a defensive driving course, if you have reached a certain age, and if you have taken steps to improve your credit scores. If there is nothing for you there, feel free to shop around. You may have chosen a car insurance company without comparing prices, and there could be some less expensive options. Additionally, you can probably drop some of your coverage if your car is older and low in value. It is definitely worth looking into.

Pay it Off

The sooner you can pay your car off, the less it will cost you in the end. If you have some extra cash flowing in, consider using it to pay off your car. You can do this by paying larger lump sums when you get them, or you can add a little bit to your loan payment each month.

Make Insurance Claims Wisely

You don’t have to make a claim to your insurance for every fender-bender or minor bump. You raise your premium significantly whenever you make a claim, especially if you are at fault. Consider paying out of pocket for minor accidents where there are no injuries. Most motorists will be happy to work with you directly. Even if you aren’t at fault, it is a good idea not to make a claim for small repairs. Work with the other driver or, if necessary, pay for any repairs yourself.

You don’t have to break the bank to keep up with a car. There are many ways to save money, and wise consumers take advantage of all of them. By following these tips, you can save hundreds and even thousands of dollars a year on auto expenses.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out our tips on How to Save Money on Your Car. Which tip was your favorite? What other tips would you suggest? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, we’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter and/or Facebook. Don't want to lose this? Pin it on Pinterest so you can get back to it later!


Have a great day!

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Friday, December 3, 2021

What Home Improvements Should You Prioritize?

What Home Improvements Should You Prioritize?
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There are a lot of decisions to make when you are renovating your home. There is a seemingly endless array of possible home improvement projects to take on, but a finite budget and timeline in which to do your improvements. Knowing what improvements are worth it and which are not is never easy, but this article is here to help. Here are eight home improvement projects that you should prioritize when you are renovating your home.


Roof Replacements

Your roof is your first line of defense against the elements. An old and damaged roof can lead to leaks which can cause incredible amounts of very expensive damage to your home. Worse yet, a roof collapse could cause injury and even more damage than a leak. Updating your roof and replacing it when it comes time is essential to maintaining the safety of your home. Depending on the type of roof you have, you should be replacing your roof somewhere between every fifteen and thirty years. Do your research to find out what kind of roofing you have and when you should be replacing it.


New Flooring

The floors in a home get dirty and damaged over time. And while proper maintenance, clearing, and repairs can help keep your floors nice for longer, you will eventually need to replace the flooring. Floors are very important to the structural stability and resale value of your home, and adding new flooring offers a plethora of advantages as a homeowner. For carpeting, you should replace your floors every decade or so, and other types of flooring last longer or shorter than that. Make sure you know how long your flooring has been in your home, so you know when it is time to replace it.


Bathroom Remodels

Bathrooms are some of the most important spaces in your home both for livability and for the resale value of your home. Remodeling your bathroom provides a comfortable and modern space for your bathroom, which is always nice. Bathroom remodels also offer a very high return on investment to the value of your home. Buyers are always looking at the bathrooms as a signal for the value of homes and having a nice and updated bathroom sends value signals to buyers. If you have not updated your bathroom in some time, then now is the time to do so.

Kitchen Remodels

Much like a bathroom remodel, a kitchen remodel is one of the best things you can do in your home for both the livability of your home and the resale value when it comes time to sell. Kitchens are one of the biggest selling points of houses and updating your kitchen can increase the value of your home almost exponentially. Not only that, but upgrading your kitchen will make your life better while you live there too. Remodeling can make you proud of your home and make cooking in your kitchen a joy again. If you love cooking, or want to get back in the habit, then remodeling your kitchen is a great step to help you get in the kitchen more and love the time that you spend there.

Upgrade Your Appliances

Your appliances are some of the most valuable home renovations and remodel items that you have in your home. Upgrading your appliances can help save you time on your day-to-day chores and tasks with upgraded machinery that does the tasks faster and more efficiently than older appliances. New appliances add value to your home, as appliances typically are left in the home upon move out. New appliances are also usually more energy-efficient than older appliances, which can save you a ton of money on your monthly utility bills. If you have not upgraded your appliances in a long time, then now is as good of a time as any to prioritize this update to your home.


Upgrade Your Outdoors

If you have a lot of outdoor space at your house that you don’t use, then you should prioritize renovating your outdoor spaces. You can add a deck, patio, outdoor living area, or even something as simple as a small gazebo to give yourself usable space in your yard. Any of these options are great ways to add some livability to your outdoor area to promote bonding time spent outside with your family and friends. They also all add tons of value to your home, as buyers love having usable outdoor spaces. You should prioritize the outdoors any time you are renovating your home.


Finish Your Basement

An unfinished basement in your home is a lost opportunity for more usable living space. An unfinished basement is pretty much only useful for storage, which is helpful, but not exactly the most valuable space to have in a home. Finishing your basement can offer another living area, office, storage, bedroom, or whatever else you want. The opportunity that an unfinished basement poses to improving your home space is so great, that it should be right at the top of your list if you have an unfinished basement


Take a Crack at Your Attic

If your home has an attic space that you don’t use, or only use for a little bit of storage, then you are staring at a huge opportunity for your home. Just like with an unfinished basement, an attic space that is unfinished gives you the chance to add a new room to your home, without needing to go through the costly process of a home addition. Turning your attic into a bedroom, office space, or tv room can be a great way to add functionality to an otherwise unused space in your home. So, give it a shot and see what kind of space you can make your attic for your family.


Renovating a home offers endless opportunities. But at the end of the day, you need to make decisions on what renovations are worthwhile and which ones need to wait. Focus on these eight renovations that deserve priority when considering home improvements and see what a difference they can make in your home.

Read this next: 4 Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Home Improvement

Thank you for stopping by and checking out our tips on What Home Improvements Should You Prioritize? Which tip was your favorite? What other tips would you suggest? Be sure to let us know in the comments below! If you enjoyed this post, we’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend or sharing it on Twitter and/or Facebook. Don't want to lose this? Pin it on Pinterest so you can get back to it later!


Have a great day!

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