With the economy still not what it used to be, people are still trying to save money wherever they can. One often overlooked expense is transportation. If you are like most Americans, you simply see your car as a necessity and not a place where there is any money to save. But even if you don’t have a hybrid or vehicle you are not making payments on, there are still ways to keep your car while saving money on fuel and other costs. Here is my top 5 list.
- Properly Inflate your Tires. Did you know that over 25% of cars on the road are driving around with improperly inflated tires? This is not optimal for fuel economy and can lower gas mileage by 3% or more which adds up over time.
- Slower, More Constant Driving. When you accelerate quickly in your car you are using far more gas, up to an amazing 33%. Quick stops also reduces fuel economy and will wear out your breaks quicker.
- Turn Down the AC. Something most drivers don’t consider, the use of air conditioning while you are driving can lower your mpg by up to 25% when its on full blast depending on your vehicle.
- Carpooling and Combining Trips. This is a no-brainer, carpooling to work or other places saves big on travel expenses. And when you go to run errands, its much more efficient to do them either on your way home from work or all at the same time.
- Perform regular maintenance. Use a service like Aarrow Transmissions Auto Repair to take care of your car by having the recommended maintenance done in a timely manner you will help save money by avoiding the bigger, much more expensive problems down the road.
Just because you need a vehicle doesn’t mean you should be spending too much on fuel and repairs. Using these tips may not make you rich but they will certainly help you save money each month. You might also be interested in my recent post about increasing your cars value and performance if you are thinking about selling your vehicle.
Like many things in life, automobiles are an asset that depreciates and will most likely lose value over time. However, if you are looking to protect your investment as much as possible you may need to invest some time and elbow grease into your car. Below are three tips to improving your car’s appearance that can also help to increase your re-sale price.
De-clutter Your Car: After all, presentation is everything! No one wants to ride around in car that is piled high with clothes, fast food wrappers, and junk. Cleaning out your car should be on you to-do list because, best of all, it’s free! You will be surprised the difference a pristine and clean car will make as opposed to a messy one. It is sure to raise your potential selling price and depending on how many things you have in your car, you could potentially improve your gas mileage.
Get Your Information in Order: Everyone can say they properly maintained their vehicle however; having the evidence in black and white can only help to assure your buyer. Keep a folder of any and all repairs and maintenance records. This proves that you have cared for your car and that is priceless to your potential buyer. If you haven’t kept your receipts, don’t worry. Check with your auto repair shop. Depending on their business practices some companies keep receipts on file for up to three years following service. Also do your homework. Have a copy of your CarFax or Experian report so that way you know what your buyer knows as well.
Make Those Fixes You’ve Been Putting Off: That dent in the bumper, scratch in your window tint, or scuffed car door paint, it’s time to finally cough up the money and repair your car. Your potential car buyer is going to potentially over-estimate the repair costs or just not even consider buying your car if they see glaring imperfections. Getting your car repainted or upgrading your window tinting are relatively small costs compared to the potential loss of funds if those problems make your buyer walk.
Most home owners are concerned with the cost of high energy bills. It is important for you and your family to be comfortable around the house, but does it need to be so expensive?
In addition to contracting a heating and cooling specialist like Arundel Cooling, here are some HVAC tips that can help lower your heating and cooling expenses.
1) Insulate your Home
Homes that are not properly insulated will leak cold and hot air that will make their heaters and coolers less efficient and increase energy costs. One way to improve insulation is to check your windows and replace broken frames and seals.
2) Check the Condition of the Filters
Filters should be changed regularly or replaced when needed. This should happen every six months or when you feel that it’s not performing as well as it should.
3) Regular Tune-Ups
Your unit needs to be checked by a licensed technician to make sure that there’s nothing wrong with it. Have it tuned-up at least twice a year for maximum performance.
4) Use a Programmable Thermostat
A thermostat can help control the temperature around the house and save electricity. When it’s cold already, it can lower the temperature and increase it when it gets hot.
5) Protect Units from Direct Heat and Cold
Installing an awning that will keep your unit in the direct heat of the sun can lower your energy bills by 10%. In the winter, you can protect your unit by covering it.
6) Choose Energy Star
Brands that have earned the Energy Star are more energy efficient.
Keeping your cooling and heating equipment well-maintained and your home well insulated will lower your consumption and therefore, your bills. The initial investment you need to make can be recovered from the savings you will incur. Aside from that, an efficient HVAC system will keep your family more comfortable in your home.
A very important service that any home owner needs immediately is window replacement. All of our homes can take a big beating from weather and our kid’s activities. I can’t tell you home many times my son has damage my windows throwing rocks or sports balls. Weather can take a very large toll on homes by damaging the window frames and wearing out the energy efficiency of the glass. There five very common signs to look for when considering whether or not your windows need replacement.
- If you see rotting or cracks in your window trim then you should be thinking about replacing your windows. This is generally a sign of water damage and if not handled immediately you have a good chance of having a mold issue.
- Finding cold spots on your windows mean that the insulation of your window is wearing off and need replacement. During the winter months, do you find your windows feel extremely cold? This will put added pressure on your HVAC system and raising your energy costs.
- Feeling cold drafts by your windows is another sign that you will be looking into replacement. This means that there is an issue with your insulation and if moisture enters through then you could end up replacing interior products from mold or water damage.
- When the window sticks or constantly closes when trying to keep open then you will need a new window. This is a sign that the frame has warped in some way and preventing the smooth opening and closing motion of your windows.
- Cloudiness of your windows is also a sign of replacement. Most windows are double or triple panes and are designed to keep moisture out. If there are signs of cloudiness then that means air is entering in between the window panes.
When you inspect your windows and find any of these issues it is important to find a contractor that will provide quality window replacement. If you are looking for expert window replacement then I suggest visiting Metropolitan Contractors at www.metro-contractors.com. They provide expert knowledge and quality products for all of Northern Virginia.
Windows are great. They allow us to see the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of our home. They let you watch the snow fall as enjoy a hot beverage. But with so many window manufacturers out there, it may be hard to see the difference between producers and find the right one to go with. If you’re looking for new windows for your home, you should go with Andersen Windows. Here are some of the benefits of Renewal by Andersen Windows.
- Clarity you can see. Windows are great to look through but when they aren’t clear, they don’t serve their purpose very well. Andersen Windows are the clearest windows you’ll find on the market, made with the highest quality glass around.
- They are great insulators. Your house loses a lot of energy through its windows. In the wintertime, this can add up to hundreds of dollars on your energy bill. Andersen Windows are made to insulate your home, so that it can maintain temperatures in the winter and summer. Nothing is worse than having a cold house in January and an unbearably hot home in August.
- Security you can count on. Windows are another way to enter and exit your home. Although you may not be crawling through them everyday, it is in your best interest to make sure no one else can either. Andersen Windows are strong enough to stand up to the greatest pressure, so you can feel safe from danger. These windows will make your home more secure than before.
The benefits of Andersen Windows are very easy to see. You’ll feel safe knowing they’re protecting your home and you’ll enjoy looking through them year after year. They’re a great investment in your home as they both protect your family from the elements and save you money on your energy bill. Don’t let this window of opportunity close! Upgrade your home’s windows today.
Anyone with spring allergies knows how frustrating it can be to deal with all of the symptoms each and every day. For those of you who think there is nothing to be done about these allergy symptoms, I have some good news for you. There are actually some pretty simple things you can do to help yourself feel better during the season you normally feel your worst.
While making sure to take your allergy relief pills is an obvious first step, there are some things to do to make sure you don’t suffer from allergies all the time. Im talking about ways to allergy proof your home so you don’t have to experience the symptoms while you are indoors. I was trying to figure this out last week and discovered I could reduce my symptoms if I cleaned my home, getting all the dust and allergens out.
I eventually found my solution by first doing a search for carpet cleaning Virginia Beach online to find a home cleaning service near me. You see, over time you and your family will bring inside pollen and dirt which basically created an outdoors environment inside your home. I soon found that Chemdry would be able to help me so I called them for complete carpeting and upholstery cleaning service. Just days later I noticed I was able to breathe easier inside my home and the symptoms of my allergies were not as bad when I woke up in the morning.
With recent retail security breaches, credit cards have gotten a bad reputation. However, if used properly credit cards can be a great financial tool. As long as you pay off your credit card balance every month you will never pay interest on a credit card. Interest can add up exponentially which is typically what gets people into credit card debt. If you look at using a credit card more as a debit card, meaning you do not spend more money than you have, then you can take advantage of the bonuses credit card companies and providers offer their financially responsible consumers. Listed are the top 3 reasons why using Visa credit cards are better than cash.
Better Your Credit Score and History
Your credit score can affect a wide range of financial decisions such as your mortgage rate or an auto loan. By buying on credit and using it responsibly you can increase your credit score and put yourself on a strong financial path. By paying off your bill every month you are proving to financial lenders that you won’t borrow more than you can pay back.
Protect Your Money
Whether it’s buying in person or online your money will truly be safer with a credit card. Debit cards, checks, and cash are withdrawn instantly. Yet, credit card purchases are paid at a later date. If there is a fraud or theft situation you can file a report with your provider and your money isn’t left in the balance.
Reap the Benefits
Most credit cards offer some form of reward incentives. Whether it’s 1% or 3% cash back on your purchases, for every purchase you make and pay off you are earning interest. Some cards even offer their rewards in the form of frequent flyer miles. Overtime with your responsible spending you can earn a free flight to take that long awaited vacation.
Credit cards are the fastest and most convenient form of spending. Call Federal Credit Union serves the metro Richmond, Virginia area and its surrounding counties including Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico. Call Federal offers a number of Visa credit cards with a variety of benefits and rewards. Call or visit your local branch to speak with a financial adviser and find out more information on which credit card best fits your needs.
Finding the right Fairfax auto insurance provider for you
Unfortunately, all drivers are at risk of accidents, vehicle damage or theft. It is therefore important that you find the right insurance cover. If you’re looking for affordable car insurance, then you’ll first need to understand how your individual situation effects your insurance opportunities. Provided that you bear this in mind, you should be able to find the right Fairfax auto insurance provider for you.
Car insurance providers: your options
Car insurance is there to support you in the financial repercussions of physical damage to you or your vehicle. There are several considerations to make when looking for the most affordable and appropriate car insurance for you which may be important in saving you time and money, and in insuring you receive the cover you require.
First, you will need to consider what kind of insurance cover your require. While some companies will provide cover primarily for road traffic accidents, other deals may allow you to receive financial cover in the case of vandalism and theft. You should also consider whether a company’s ‘deductibles’ are acceptable for you – this is the amount under which an insurance company will not pay out. Finally, you may also want to take multiple insurance deals into consideration: quite often, insurance companies are able to provide you with substantial discounts when you rely on them for not only car insurance, but also home insurance.
What influences your insurance costs?
Because car insurance costs work around statistics, the simple fact is that some people will receive cheaper insurance costs than others. There are several factors which influence these costs, including your gender, age, driving experience, driving history and location. Overall, young male drivers with little driving experience, poor driving history and who’s car is registered in an area in which accidents are more likely to happen tend to pay higher insurance costs.
When it comes to finding a good Heating and Air Conditioning company in your area, you want to make sure that you find one with good friendly technicians, up to date technology and equipment, and fairly priced, affordable rates. Finding a gem like this may seem difficult to uncover at first, but there are a few steps that you can take to make sure that you find the perfect company or contractor in your area.
The first step in figuring out who in your area is the best for HVAC related services and repairs, start off with some research conducted on Google. I will use my hometown, Cleveland Ohio for an example. Begin by searching for [AC repair Cleveland], and note the top 10 results for websites that are actual companies and contractors. If you find one for yelp, yellowpages, or bbb.org, you can skip those for now. What we want now, is a list of target companies for the next step of research.
Okay, now the fun part. Navigate over to yelp, Google+ search, and Angie’s List (make an account if you don’t already have one!). Look at the list of prospect companies and contractors from your initial research, and go through each website looking closely for any and all reviews about that particular company. The best thing here is to note whether or not they have positive, negative, or no reviews. Those with a lot of negative reviews are worth eliminating, however if you find one or two negative reviews and some positive reviews, then take the negative reviews with a grain of salt. Once you have things ordered based on reputation, pick 3 and have them conduct estimates. Of the three, compare the prices offered by each and select the one you feel most comfortable with – however be weary if one of them is far lower in price than another. Affordability does not always mean high quality work!
Of course, for those in Cleveland who are curious about who my go-to company for heating and air conditioning related repairs and services are, visit their website.
If you haven’t seen a dentist in a long time then you need a cosmetic dentistry service right now! Oral hygiene is vital aspect of overall health and improper hygiene can lead to bad overall health. You can actually increase the longevity of your life if you stay on top of your teeth cleaning and a dentist can help you do that.
I used to go to the dentist all the time when I was in high school, but once I graduated from college I stopped going to the dentist thinking that it is not super important because I am so young and I brush every day. That was until my teeth started hurting and my jaw was in a lot of pain. Turns out I was overdue for having my wisdom teeth pulled and they began causing me large amounts of pain and discomfort.
I decided to look around Richmond, Virginia, for cosmetic dentistry and found the best cosmetic dentist called Modern Dentistry. They have very experienced dentists and provide a wide range of procedures including handling my wisdom teeth. The doctors were able to assist me in cleaning my teeth and making sure they were no other issues other than my wisdom teeth. The whole staff was very friendly and I was excited to find out that they had weekend hours so I wouldn’t have to miss work for dentist appointments.
It is very important that you see an oral doctor at least twice a year. By seeing the dentist twice a year they will be able to take preventative measures to ensure the health of your teeth. If you decide that you shouldn’t see the dentist then later on in your life you may experience deterioration of your teeth. This will make eating and drinking difficult when you become an older person.
Once you have ended up in your golden years and your teeth are decayed and in rough shape there won’t be much the dentists can do to save your teeth. This is why we see a lot of images of older people having dentures, because they didn’t stay on top of their oral hygiene.