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After the house, a car is perhaps the single most expensive thing the average person gets to spend money on in their life. While cars usually depreciate quickly, you will find people driving cars manufactured over a decade ago but they still run perfectly well. In fact, they may look better and operate much more efficiently than some newer models.
If you can keep your expensive car running for a few extra years, you may be able to save a great deal of money. So how can you make your car last longer? The keys lie in understanding your car and keeping it properly maintained and serviced.
Understanding Your Automobile
A car is a complex piece of machinery consisting of thousands of parts, all of which work together to keep you moving. If you want your car to last longer, you must have the car serviced properly on a regular basis. You can increase the lifespan of your vehicle by simply taking care of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and braking systems. The following are some simple, but effective tips for making your car last longer:
Get Professional Car Repair Service
Machines normally break down unexpectedly for one reason or another. When this happens, you should avoid trying to fix the problem on your own or hiring a stranger to fix it. There are many people out there who are masquerading as mechanics, but they’re not. Allowing them to repair your car may cause bigger problems in the long run.
Ideally, you should search for a well-qualified mechanic and stick with them as long as possible. The ideal mechanic should have a great reputation and operate a well-equipped car repair shop. They must also be clean and professional in their work. If possible, you should use ASE-certified car mechanics. By having your car repaired by a trusted mechanic, you can have peace of mind knowing that it will last longer.
Replace Your Shock Absorbers
The suspension system in your car is tasked with absorbing any shock your car may be subjected to. In other words, the suspension system protects the entire vehicle from sudden shocks, which may cause serious damage in addition to making your driving experience uncomfortable. Ideally, you should replace the shock absorbers in your car on a regular basis to improve the system’s ability to absorb shocks.
Check Your Oil
The engine is the most important component of an automobile; if you want your car to last longer, you need to take good care of it. You can do this by checking the level of oil in the engine at least once a week and do a complete replacement of the engine oil as recommended by the oil manufacturer. Proper lubrication helps to minimize friction, wear and tear. Oil also washes away debris from engine parts. Therefore, the oil filter should also be replaced on schedule to ensure only clean oil is circulating in the engine.
Check Your Coolant
Aside from lubrication, the engine must also be properly cooled. Ideally, you should check the level of water in the radiator as well as the amount of coolant in the coolant tank every couple of days. This is because the engine in your car produces a lot of heat, which is carried away by cool water. After circulating through the engine, water is taken back to the radiator, where it is cooled by cool air from the surroundings. If the coolant is depleted, the engine may overheat and freeze to a halt – something that will clearly reduce the lifespan of your vehicle.
Clean the Car Regularly
Cleaning may seem like an insignificant measure for increasing the lifespan of your car, but it plays a key role. While the body of the car may be washed at least once a week, the engine and chassis of the car should also be washed every once in a while. This will ensure that there’s no buildup of debris.
Responsible driving is the best strategy for improving the lifespan of your car. Before driving the car, turn on the engine and let it warm up. When you engage the gears, increase the speed gradually; don’t go from 0 to 60mph in the blink of an eye. similarly, don’t go from 60 to zero suddenly. When driving on an uneven road surface, reduce your speed to ensure the suspension system is able to accommodate all the shocks.
Keep the Car Covered
When you park your car, make sure it’s under a shade. Be sure to park it under a carport or in a secure garage. This is because the UV rays from the sun can cause serious damage to your car.
Even if you’re not as handy with cars as your local mechanic, there’s a lot you can do to keep your car on the road. Some of the work you can do on your own, and some may require taking your car into the local auto service center. Again, the key is to understanding the basic needs of your car and attending to them as needed. Do this, and you just might be able to save a lot of money.Read More
If you’re anything like my family, then you’re always looking for ways to save a few pennies each month. You don’t have to sacrifice any quality in your necessities to do so. With the economy still recovering and costs seemingly climbing, it only makes sense to spend some time evaluating where your family could lower its budget.
I’ve recently done this evaluation myself and have 4 great ways that you could slash your budget this next month. Just think of all the money you can add to your savings or even splurge a little here and there. Check out how I saved money below:
You see commercials all the time about saving money on car insurance. Well, they exist for good reason. If you haven’t done any car insurance shopping in the last year, now may be the time to look. It really can just take 20 minutes of your time to save 20% on your car insurance. I know that sounds way too much like those commercials, but it’s true! My husband and I were with one of the bigger car insurance companies but recently decided to look more local in Northern Virginia. Fortunately, we came across Insurance Doctor in Arlington, VA. Not only did we save money on our premium, but we also got to reduce our deductible. Our coverage didn’t even change in quality! As a bill you pay each month, it’s super simple to find lower rates. You just have to be willing to do the research on different insurance companies.
As the winter is approaching, I’m sure you’ll be turning on your heat soon. According to the Department of Energy, heating your home costs more than almost any other utility. Heating bills typically make up 42% of utility costs for a home! So what can you do to cut down this cost? Well, start with the obvious by installing a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already. Next, set the temperature as cold as you can stand while you are home. While you are away during the day, program your thermostat to be 5-10 degrees lower than you would normally keep it. Another way to save money is to make sure your heating system is as efficient as possible. You can do this by replacing the filter on your furnace or cleaning your baseboard/radiator each season.
It’s 2016. How much time do you actually spend watching cable television and not Netflix or Hulu? Your cable bill could be eating away at your budget, especially if your provider has increased your rate after your initial contract. My family has officially cut the cord, AKA we no longer have a traditional cable provider. You may be wondering: how do we watch live TV? Well, we recently signed up for Sling TV, so we can still watch channels like ESPN, A&E, and the Disney Channel. It helped us cut our cable bill drastically, and we still get the channels we actually watch.
Like heating, electricity is another big utility bill. Between my husband and my kids, it seems like we’re always running 10 different devices and leaving the lights on. Although it requires an initial investment, we found a great way to cut our electricity bill. We’ve started using more power strips and timers. The power strips not only add more outlets, but they also are able to use electricity more efficiently to charge and run all of our electronics. The timers help us to make sure lights turn off when we’re not home or the electronics aren’t being used. These especially come in handy once the Christmas lights go up.
So the next time you’re sitting down to budget, make sure you consider if your family can implement these 4 ways of cutting the budget. Spending a little time and doing the research on car insurance or your cable bill can really cut down on your spending. Plus, finding ways to be more efficient and reduce your utility bills like electricity and heating will always help to pinch some more pennies. Let me know in the comments ways that you and your families like to save a few dollars here and there!Read More
Some people don’t mind getting up every day and going to work for someone else. Others want something more from their career. For many people, their major goal in life is to start their own business. While there is some risk involved, there are several reasons why starting your own business will be more beneficial to you.
While it may take long to achieve this goal, eventually it will be possible. In the beginning, you should expect to work very long hours with very little pay. Once the business takes off, however, you will be able to control your own schedule, and find more free time to spend with family and friends. If you choose to take advantage of franchise opportunities like FranNet and purchase a franchise for sale, you will have more free time sooner than you would if you were starting an independent company.
There are several tax perks that you can take advantage of when you start your own business. There are certain start-up businesses that qualify you for a variety of government incentives. You can also write off several expenses, including food, travel, phone bills, and portions of your car payments. If you are working from home, you can write off your office equipment’s depreciation, home phone bill, internet bill, and a portion of your rent or your mortgage.
When you start your own business and it begins to take off, you will have a great sense of pride. You will be able to look at something that once started out as nothing, and you were the one who made it into something. This is something to be very proud of, and something to make others proud of you. This sense of pride will stick with you for a lifetime. Each time your business passes a milestone, your sense of pride will build.
When you are working for someone else, you can never be sure if your job is going to be permanent. If the business is not doing as well as it could be, there could be downsizing and layoffs. If you are the owner of the business and things are going well, you will be the one doing the downsizing and laying off. It is nice to know that you don’t need to worry about being let go.
As a business owner, you will have the opportunity to meet people that you likely would not meet if you were someone’s employee. You can get to know other business owners and other people in your industry who can give you some advice in business, and who you can lean on and talk about the day-to-day challenges of owning a business. If you are opening a franchise business, you will be able to network with other franchisees which can be very helpful in getting your business to take off.
Being a mentor can be very rewarding and can give you a slight ego boost. When you start your own business, you can become a mentor to your employees and other people who are planning to start a new business. This is especially true if you are planning to open a franchise business. Over time, you won’t be the new franchise owner. There is always someone new buying into these companies. When these people are starting out, you can help them and mentor them so that they can be a success as well.
When you start running your own business successfully, you will receive a great deal of recognition. It can be from others in the community, from friends and family members, and from colleagues and other business owners. There is nothing better than being recognized for your accomplishments in business. This recognition can also help the business grow.
One of the major reasons that a person will start their own business, is that they hope for financial independence. Many people look at the lives of the people who have started multi-million dollar companies, and want to live the same lifestyle. While you may not reach that level, owning your own business can provide financial independence. In almost all cases, it won’t happen right away. It can take years and years for the profits of the company to allow you to be financially independent. When you get there, however, it is worth it. If you want to jump start your financial independence, you should consider buying a franchise, which already has a proven track record and an excellent reputation.
As a business owner, many things that you do are going to be trial by error. Over time, you will learn and develop new skills that you didn’t have before. You will learn things like networking, creating budgets, setting up marketing campaigns, and how to manage employees. When the business starts to become a success, you can start to delegate these responsibilities to your employees, but you will still have developed skills that you likely would not have had a chance to if you were working for someone else.
When your business takes off and you start making good money, you would be considered an expert in your field. You can use your expertise to teach other people and to finally be able to tell yourself that you made it.
Starting your own business takes a great deal of work, know-how, and money. After you have started the business, there are so many perks that make it all worthwhile.Read More
Windows provide light, ventilation, and views to the outside world; they can even boost the value and visual appeal of your property. Old and deteriorating windows, however, have their drawbacks; these windows can let hot air escape during the winter and let it in during the summer. When this happens, your HVAC system will be forced to work harder to heat or cool your home – and you’ll see the evidence in the high utility bills.
Where else can you find evidence that it may be time for a window upgrade? See if your windows or single- or double-pane; if they’re single-pane, you should think about using more efficient double-pane windows to replace them.
For best results, the double-pane windows should have high-performance glass with spectrally selective or low-e coatings. Live in a colder climate? Reduce heat loss by choosing gas-filled windows with low-e coatings. In a warmer climate? Reduce heat gain by choosing windows made with spectrally selective coatings. These energy-efficient windows are specifically designed to maintain interior temperatures, give your HVAC system a break, and lower your energy bill.
Replacing old or deteriorating windows can be costly. But remember this: Energy-efficient windows can considerably decrease the cost to heat and cool your home or business. These high-performance windows assist in lowering heating and cooling bills and decreasing the peak cooling and heating loads; as a result, you may be able to run smaller HVAC systems.
Other benefits of replacement windows include:
Today’s energy-efficient windows yield warmer interior glass surfaces – and that reduces condensation and frost. This in turn positively impacts the temperature and the level of humidity and condensation in the space.
Exposure to sunlight causes items like carpets, artwork, upholstery fabrics, wood, and paint to fade. However, these many replacement windows are designed with a specialized coating to block out the UV rays of the sun. This will help to keep your home’s furnishings looking great for years to come.
Improved Lighting and Better Views
What’s a window without a view, that doesn’t let in daylight? For years, the answer was often a window with high-performance, energy-saving features. Today’s high-technology windows reduce unwanted heat gain while maintaining your views and enabling natural light to come into your home. Many showrooms, such as my local Richmond Window, can show you how windows with different coatings will look in your home.
Lower energy usage means lower utility bills, and that’s great. But the benefit goes farther than that. More efficient homes require less power from fossil-fuel sources like natural gas or coal. That ultimately transforms your home into a more environmentally-friendly haven – and something you can feel good about.
Less window condensation has other benefits, including a lower risk of mold. Because of the UV-resistant coating, dirt buildup and water spots on the windows are practically non-existent. You’ll enjoy a healthier environment without having to spend a lot of time cleaning the windows.
Double-pane windows also have impressive soundproofing capacity. They can drastically lower or totally eliminate outside noises such as those caused by sirens and roadway traffic; this is an especially good feature in communities where the homes are located close to each other.
Remember: There’s more to energy-efficient windows than just a view, and lower utility bills are just the start!Read More
There are many ways to save energy at the home or office. In fact, an HVAC company like Opie’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning can offer timely cost and energy-efficient savings for all residential and commercial establishments. If you are dealing with soaring energy and electricity costs — there are simple ways to lower bills across the board. The following suggestions should help you save on energy bills so long as they are implemented by everyone in your household.
Maybe you’ve heard this before — but leaving the lights on when you’re not in the room can really affect your home’s energy consumption. Simply turn off these lights and even unplug certain appliances and components when not in use, as some electronics will continue to use electricity even when they are turned off.
Just like the lights, you can save energy in your home by unplugging certain appliances and electronics when they’re not in use. This includes televisions and radios, along with microwave ovens, blenders, mixers, and more. Electricity continues to flow to the outlets day and night. This means that even if your unit is turned off, it is still receiving ample power due to its connection. Unplug the wires in appliances after usage and you will see dramatic savings on your energy bills. In addition, make sure that no generators, vacuums, or other equipment and power tools in the garage are on when not in use.
HVAC professionals also specialize in helping home and business owners cut down on their en
ergy costs. This includes installing digital thermostats, which offer better climate control than outdated or conventional units. They also check your ducts and vents to ensure optimal airflow throughout properties. This means removing any obstacles or hurdles that are hindering maximum performance. Whether via duct cleaning or sealing up air leaks, local HVAC specialists have the tools and expertise to meet your needs within time and budget. As always, they will check attics, basements, and crawlspaces for any susceptible air leak areas. Local professionals also check system coils to ensure that units are properly sized for the home or office.
Water consumption is also one of the main reasons behind soaring utility costs. While HVAC experts do check AC unit pipes and components for liquid or Freon leaks, they also recommend that home and business owners curtail their water usage. This is especially true during those scorching summer months, which require periodic watering of lawns and gardens to prevent browning and even insect infestation. The problem is that water sprinkler systems require electricity to run on a daily basis or schedule. This can also lead to high electricity bills, and in turn cause your overall energy costs to rise. Remember, no matter which appliance or component is in use — they require energy for optimal functionality and performance. To prevent excess billing, simply curtail your scheduled watering to just one time a day during the summer. This should at least help lower some of the costs associated with running a home.
If you’re really trying to save, it’s also recommended that you lower your daily device and TV usage. In most homes, there is more than just one television set on simultaneously. This allows parents to watch their favorite shows, while the kids watch theirs. Again, this tends to consume a lot of energy and power. In fact, using desktop PCs or laptops without shutting them down when not in use also increases usage and costs. If you are serious about securing cost and energy-efficiency in your property, even the slightest modification can help. Simply try to watch one TV set with the family, and designate specific times for the kids to use computers, gaming consoles, and other electronics.
An HVAC technicians can easily help you set the right temperatures for your home or office. At times, owners tend to lower their thermostats for cooler air. However, this can cause adverse effects — especially when the humidity levels are high outside. Fidgeting too much with the thermostat can also cause soaring energy bills. As a result, you need an experienced HVAC specialist to help you set the right temperatures for your home or business. All it takes is one phone call or e-mail to schedule a complimentary consultation and get a free estimate. With the summer heat rising outside, you do not want to end up paying more for energy consumption this year. Simply contact a cooling and heating expert today and they will take care of the rest.Read More
When older people have a limited income, saving money becomes a priority. Even if you are on a fixed income and have few additional assets or resources, you can still live comfortably while being economical. To maximize your limited budget, follow these money saving tips.
Senior discounts are available for a wide range of products and services. They are not based on your level of income, and many are available to individuals over age 55. You can save a considerable amount of money over time by taking advantage of senior discounts.
Some of the many examples include discounts at restaurants, cell phone services, some retail stores and pharmacies, airline and travel accommodations, local attractions, and tax preparation services.
You can start by asking about discounts in your area as well as checking into discounts that are available online. You can save money on services and merchandise.
Retirees who live alone may want or need a variety of services for enjoyment and home entertainment. This does not mean you should purchase the highest-priced options when lower-cost options are available.
One example is your television service. Whether you have cable TV or satellite, the monthly bills can take a large chunk out of your monthly income. Consider purchasing a converter box instead. You can enjoy plenty of over-the-air programs, news, and sports, and you will not have any monthly bills.
A second option is to bundle your services. If you want a home phone, internet, and television, it costs much less to bundle these services together. Check with the companies that provide service to your area, and choose the lowest cost option that meets your needs.
If you live in a large town or city, you should be able to find opportunities for free entertainment you may also find opportunities for recreation and physical fitness.
When you search online, or ask at your local community center, you will see there is much that you can do for fun that does not cost money. It will also help you to stay active, and give you the chance to meet new people.
One of the easiest ways to save money when shopping is to use coupons. You can either clip coupons from your Sunday newspaper or find coupons online. This can become a hobby that saves money every time you shop.
Second, as used products are often in good condition, consider shopping for various products at thrift stores and yard sales. You will find household goods, books, decorative items for your home, and clothing. Think of how much you will save when you do not pay retail prices for these items.
Third, online shopping can save money, too. From books to clothing, there are many websites that offer discounts and low prices.
Fourth, if there are certain stores where you shop regularly, read their ads to learn about sales. Some stores have weekly sales which can mean considerable savings for you. If your favorite stores have websites, it is easy fro you to keep track of their sales.
If you are like many seniors today, you do not prepare your own meals at home as often as you did in the past. Perhaps you do not enjoy it as much now that you are living alone, or you lack the time and energy to prepare meals.
Unfortunately, eating at restaurants and having pizza delivered regularly are not the healthiest options, and it can become expensive if it is a habit.
A home care service is a better option for meals. An in-home aide, like this senior care service in Rowlett TX, can prepare delicious meals that are packed with nutrition. Your aide can even help with meal planning and grocery shopping.
When you hire an in home care aide, you won’t be spending money eating out at restaurants and getting delivery service. Instead, you can have tasty meals that are actually good fo ryou. Your income will stretch further when a caregiver helps you with your nutritional needs. Dining out can remain an occasional treat instead of a daily necessity.Read More
Living in a consumer society makes it very difficult to decide what we actually need, and which items we can definitely live without. Many households are crowded with things that have been used once or twice and are now forgotten, no matter if they are kitchen appliances, clothes, toys or numerous gadgets. On the other hand, there are items on which spending more money is actually recommended, because the later savings surpasses the initial investment.
For starters, the items we should invest in are some kitchen appliances – a dishwasher, a cooker, an oven and a fridge. Then, we should not save on a washing machine, as well as the water heater. There are several reasons to invest money in these appliances. First, their longevity will be much higher, so once you buy them, you can rely on them for the next 10-20 years. Then, if you buy “A” class appliances, they are going to save a lot of energy and water, which means that your bills will be reduced. Lastly, the quality of these appliances is higher, so you can expect better results.
Another item we must not save money on is bed. A Japanese proverb says:
As we spend approximately 6-8 hours sleeping on daily basis, it is important that we have a good bed that provides us with necessary rest. Not only that a high quality bed means firm and healthy sleep, but it also lasts longer than cheaper beds, so you can expect to have it for a long time. This means that you will not invest money in a new bed every couple of years, which is why a more expensive bed actually comes down to being more affordable.
As for the items we need to save money on, the list is quite long. To start with the kitchen – there are numerous appliances that some of us may want, but which are actually unnecessary. For example, if you have a multipractic food processor, you do not need a blender or a juicer. Similarly, there are many kitchen gadgets that may seem appealing, but which you will use only several times or never. Before buying some of these items, ask yourself how many times you would use them and for which purposes you would need them.
Then, it is not necessary to spend too much money on home appliances such as TV. You do not need to buy the latest model, especially if you already have a TV. Since they are constantly changing and improving, it will be possible to buy that same model for significantly less money in a year or two. And the golden rule is – do not fix what is not broken.