6 Money Savvy Tips You’ve Been told About Cars That are Myths

Car myths

You Should Change Your Oil Every 3,000 Miles

Everyone remembers getting their first car. The first rule of car maintenance has always been that you should change your oil every 3,000 miles and you will save money on gas and repairs. This logic made sense back when cars first hit the roads, but with synthetic oil technology advancing to the place that it is today, it is likely that you should not need to change your oil so frequently. To be sure, you should check the label on your motor oil, but most contemporary synthetic oils can last upwards of 7,500 if not 10,000 miles between changes.

So why does this myth persist. You can likely blame it on your mechanic for insisting on the more frequent change. They certainly have something to gain from the increase in checkups.

A Big Car is Less Costly and Safer in a Collision

Now this one is a bit complicated. If you think back to tenth grade physics class, you will remember that object with more mass carry more force; therefore, if an eighteen-wheeler and a Toyota Prius get into a head-on collision, we all know that the Prius is going to be decimated while the truck will feel as though it just ran over a large pebble. This means that you will end up paying more in repairs if you drive a small car.

With that said, barring extreme circumstances like the previously mentioned collision, the sedans of today have comparable safety ratings to larger cars such as SUV’s and pickup trucks. Again, this is one of those myths that was likely truer back in the day, but nowadays, modern safety features have made this somewhat of a myth.

You Can Sell Your Old Car for Parts

This myth is almost common sense. An integral part of your car gives out. The cost of repairs isn’t worth it, and you see a whole car filled with working parts that could find a home somewhere else, leaving you with some free space in your garage and some extra money in your pocket. But not so fast.

Selling your car for parts is neither as easy or safe as it may sound. Sure, some parts of a car can be removed without hassle, but remember, between all the fluids, coolants, fumes, and metals that compose the elaborate beast that is the modern automobile, there is a lot of room for you to make a mistake, one that either damages remaining parts or exposes you to something toxic.

Additionally, you would have to be extraordinarily lucky and patient to end up selling off all the parts in your car. More than likely, you’ll end up with a half hollowed out husk of a car. Instead of breaking it up piece by piece, look to a service that will pay cash to take the whole darn thing off your hands.

Not All Gas is Created Equal

Especially now that gas often costs upwards of $3.50 a gallon (depending on where you live), you might be wondering if sticking with the cheap gas is wreaking havoc on your car’s engine. However, studies have shown that there is no significant difference in the quality of commercial gasolines.

Granted, some purveyors of gasoline chose to put in additional additives, but these are for the most part negligible. The EPA requires that all gasoline meet a certain level of detergent. Some companies choose to add more, but the point stands. Name brand or off brand, it will work with your car the same. So next time Ole Pops gives you heck for pumping up your car at the Kwik Stop, tell him that all gas is (more or less) created equally.

Warm Your Engine Before Driving

We’ve all heard this one: let your car idle a bit before driving, especially for those of us who live in colder parts of the country. The theory operates on the very true belief that engines run less efficiently when they are cold, albeit only slightly less, and a more efficient car saves gas. So, the myth goes, it would make sense to warm your engine before driving. Right?

Wrong! The problem with this theory is that engines warm up faster when the car is driving. Experts recommend that you idle your car for no more than thirty seconds before taking off on the road.

Manual Transmission is More Efficient Than Automatic

Once again, we have a myth that was true in a certain time. When automatic transmission first came onto the scene, it wasn’t quite as efficient as manual. But nowadays, with automatic transmission making leaps and bounds in technology, it often proves even more efficient than manual.

The Importance of Having an Emergency Fund

emergency fund

An emergency fund is liquid money that has been earmarked for financial emergencies and unforeseen expenses. Emergencies do not include monthly expenses or wants, but rather things like medical emergencies, job loss, car repairs or major home repairs. The funds must be liquid (accessible) and you should never rely on credit cards or debt to get you through these. Having an emergency fund can make the difference between a financial bump in the short-term and a financial disaster that upends your life. Here we will look at why an emergency fund is so important.

Insurance at its Best

An emergency fund can be viewed as a type of insurance, although it is even better than that. Each month you put money into the fund (like insurance premiums) and if you need the money, there it is ready for you to use it. You never withdraw the money, unless you are facing an emergency and if you need to “make a claim,” you don’t need to prove anything to anyone – the money is available immediately. Even better, at the end of your days, that money belongs to you so that every premium you paid become part of your estate.

Freedom

Many people, at some point in their life, are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a situation that is unbearable. Without financial stability, those people will have no options, but to continue in their current state. That may be a relationship that is unbearable or a job that you can’t stand. With an emergency fund, you may be able to open your own business, start trading, or go back to school, but without the funds, these options will be impossible.

Job Loss

Most people who leave their jobs and have no other job lined up to start immediately, do not leave voluntarily. The risk of losing your job is generally considered to be the number one reason for having an emergency fund, because with no money coming in, you will need another source for paying your bills.

Major Medical or Dental Expenses

Medical events can be extremely expensive, particularly without health coverage. However, even with health coverage, when you take into account co-pays or other related out-of-pocket expenses, medical events can be very costly. The same is true for serious dental emergencies. Even a single event can be financially catastrophic if you have no emergency fund.

Repairs

The most common emergency repairs include car repairs and home repairs and some repairs cannot wait until you have saved up for them. A broken-down car so you can’t get to work needs to be fixed immediately. A leaking roof or broken heating/ cooling system probably can’t wait. Even if you have home insurance that will cover the repairs, the high deductibles will require you to have a sizeable sum of cash handy.

Bottom Line

Anyone who has faced a financial emergency will tell you that their emergency fund saved them. Don’t become one of the people who had no fund and has still not recovered financially many years later.

How to Save on Home Insurances

How to Save on Home Insurances

If there is something as important as the car and life insurances, it has to be the home insurance. You can’t even afford to debate if you are a family person: it is an absolute no-brainer. When a hailstone storm rips your roof to shreds, a fire breaks in the basement or a thief steals all your valuables while you are away on a vacation, a basic home insurance policy will have you all covered in such unforeseen mishappenings.

But just because you have to buy one, you don’t have to overpay for a home insurance, especially when there are a variety of policies and discounts available. Here are some important tips to save on your home insurance:

How to Save on Home Insurances

  • Shop around for the best deal. An insurance broker can help you with companies that offer discounts, since they have databases of sources of a variety of companies. Other than that you are entitled to special discounts if you are living near a fire department or if you possess safety devices such as a security system or deadbolt locks. Sometimes sticking to the same insurer may get you a loyalty discount.
  • Increase your deductible
    Deductible is the part of the insurance claim that the insured has to pay before the insurance company gives you benefits. If you think the cost of your monthly premiums is increasing annually, you can raise the dollar value of your deductible, and in a way you are reducing the risk on your insurance provider and also reducing the monthly premiums. For example, if your current deductible is $200, raising it to $500 or even $1000 can reduce the as much as about 25% on your monthly or annual premiums. Your deductible is the indication of how much risk you are willing to assume. But the only problem is, you have to bare the damages of minor causalities till the deductible limit is reached.
  • Know the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value
    Replacement cost will insure you with the actual cost it would take to replace your home and the other personal property in it. On the other hand, the actual cash cost will consider the current value of your house as per the market dynamics. So if you take a replacement cost insurance for a laptop worth $800, then on the laptop being, you will be issued $800 for a new laptop. But if you consider a actual cash cost insurance for the same laptop, you will get the current market value for the laptop, which may be much less since the price depreciates over time.
  • Increase safety measures and check your house for repairs
    Little improvements in your house can get you a better deal with lower premiums. The insurance rate depends on a variety of factors including the structure and built of your house, wiring, plumbing and structure material. Upgrading the security system and alarm system may also help. Also, quit smoking. The insurance companies believe that the majority of the fire cases are due to irresponsible smoking.

Reduce your home insurance costs and see how your savings add up!

How to Make Money Blogging?

How to Make Money Blogging?

How to Make Money Blogging?

You like writing? Well, writing long copied captions on Facebook doesn’t count. People who have a creative hand for writing, you can probably take your blogging activity to a whole new level. Blogging is a lifestyle-friendly business, work from home, write about your interests and share your creativity with the world. For those who already have a blog or have made a decision to start one, following guide will help you set one up with ease and earn serious money as well.

  • STEP 1: Setting up a Blog
    The very first thing to do is to get a good domain name, since the domain name is going to be stuck with you forever and changing the domain name is like starting all over again. A good domain name should suggest the nature of your blog. Something of the form, yourname.com.
    After finalizing your domain name you need to get a cheap and reliable web hosting solution, that is, a WordPress Web hosting company, with 99.9% server uptime guarantee, all at an affordable price. Setup a WordPress on your blog, select a great theme.

 

  • STEP 2: Creating Content and Marketing
    The next step being marketing and making your blog popular. Have attractive titles, use pictures, select a nice theme and write attention-grabbing headlines and content. These are the basics. How do you really establish your blog? Install a Google Analytics Tracking to your site (Search Engine Optimization). Now who doesn’t want to rank higher and come up on the first page of the Google search page? You can even monetize your site through affiliate marketing, i.e., by advertisements of affiliate products on your site. The most important way to publicize your site is through these social media networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

  • STEP 3: Security
    You wouldn’t want a sudden data breach on your blog, you use some of these tips to protect your website from any outside attack.
    (a) Use strong passwords for all entry points. You need to change the WordPress admin password generated by WordPress at the time of the installation. Even though this password is really strong (with uppercases and lowercases, symbols and numbers), but their ftp/cPanel password for that domain is not that strong.
    (b) Add CAPTCHA on your login page.
    (c) Use a .htaccess file in your wp-admin directory to limit access to certain IP directories only.
    (d) Protect access to your plugins directory by blocking access to these directories.
    (e) Never show the WordPress you’re using on your blog since it gives the attacker an upper hand in finding a way to break in.

 

Happy Blogging!

4 Ways To Be A Better Investor

4 Ways To Be A Better Investor

Intelligent investors are always looking to learn new things. The stock market can’t be perfected, which means that there are always new strategies to practice and habits to adopt. Even the world’s most successful financial traders would back this up, even if they’ve developed some of their own methods to get where they are today.

Keeping all of this in mind, we wanted to briefly cover a few steps you can take to be a more effective investor. These tips don’t deal with charts and numbers so much as habits and psychological strategies, but they can help you to manage any money you might have in investments more effectively all the same.

1. Learn Assets, Not Charts

Don’t misunderstand this as a claim that it’s not necessary to learn how to read patterns and charts if you invest in the stock market. Rather, it’s an assertion that learning about the actual asset or company you’re investing in is the foundation for good financial decisions. Legendary investor Warren Buffet has made this claim, saying that people should buy into businesses they understand.

As he explains it, you should think about each asset as if you were going to put your entire family’s net worth into it. Does that inspire confidence? Or would you prefer to find a business or asset you know more about? This is a simple thought process that should guide you through investments, but also inspire you to learn more about a broader range of assets.

2. Keep A Trading Journal

Commonly recommended for forex traders, but helpful for any type of investor, a trading journal is a tool to help traders learn from past successes or failures. It’s not a complicated idea, but it’s one that more investors ought to be taking advantage of.

There aren’t exact standard parameters for a trading journal, but the idea is that it’s a log of buying and selling activity that can help to illuminate one’s own habits for purposes of learning and improvement.

3. Guard Yourself From Advice

This doesn’t mean that advice is bad, but it does mean you should judge each tip on its own merits. Venture capitalist Mark Cuban has made the point before that if a broker could make every client a millionaire, she’d be charging a lot more.

A lot of people who speak from a position of expertise in finance may not necessarily be experts on your own situation—or even in general. Advice is invaluable given the aforementioned fact that investors should always look to learn new things, but you still need to be careful about who you listen to and when and why.

4. The Market Is Wild; Stay Calm

Finally, don’t get hung up on volatility. Financial markets are always moving, and a lot of inexperienced traders and investors can become frustrated trying to track movements and time their transactions perfectly. The longer you stay involved with this sort of financial practice, the more you come to understand that the markets are always volatile and wild. The most important thing you can do as an investor is to keep calm and carry on.

When Should you File for a Patent

patent

Before you get too excited about your little idea, start talking in front of the wrong people, you need to protect it. An idea simple has no value. You need to have proof that you yourself came up with whole idea, i.e., the idea is absolutely original. But patenting every idea that comes up your mind may not be feasible. The important question is- is your idea a business opportunity or an invention?

Patenting is an important tool to secure your product in the market, but it may not be your ticket to success. So before you spend thousands of dollars, filing a patent, you need to analyse whether your idea is indeed a smart business move. Securing a patent should never be your first step, because not all patented products stand through market dynamics.

So the very first step should be to analyse the idea, beyond your gut feeling and encouraging comments from friends and family. This involves a proper market research with an attention to product development. You are supposed to do a preliminary check on your target market, manufacturing and distribution costs, comparing costs of similar products, etc.,  before you invest a great deal of time and money on patenting your invention. How profitable is your invention in the actual market?

Do a preliminary patent search: Before you file for a patent you have to make sure no one else have patented your idea already. You can start with a basic search at www.uspto.gov. If you find any sort of non-patented artwork related to your idea, you cannot patent it.

Design a Prototype: A prototype is an early model or sample built to test a concept, which has all the specifications of the real working system. This is the design of the invention you will be presenting before the potential investors. Prototyping is necessary so that you discover all the flaws or kinks before your idea can be patented.

Once you have carefully covered up all the loopholes in your project, you can finally consider if you want to patent your idea or not. If you don’t want to go for a patent, you may want to consider filing for a trademark or copyright instead- a less expensive and easier option.

You may also want to make an important decision- whether you want to manufacture and sell the product all by yourself or you want to license for sale to another company. In both these cases, patenting will justify your investment in design.

After your research on the idea, designing of the prototype and working out the entire kink in your design, you can finally file the patent. While you are writing the patent and filling out the application on your own, it is better to get legal aid when you file the patent, so that any loophole in your patent document does not allow your competitor to copy your idea.

This is when you create a business plan and figure out how you would bring your product to the market.

While your patent attorneys will always recommend you to get a patent first, don’t just surrender to their advices, before you make an actual evaluation on your choices. Keep your mind open!