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Simple Ways to Cut your Car Maintenance Costs

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[Article by Rachel MacDonald]

The last thing you want to think about when you purchase a shiny new car is paying for future repairs when it breaks down. Yet repairs and maintenance are major components of the overall cost of car ownership, and are important to consider as you work out a budget. There’s nothing worse than a massive and unexpected bill at the mechanic’s.

Slash your maintenance costs and have more to set aside for your next holiday by taking these preventive steps.

Become a more efficient driver.

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to reduce your maintenance bills is to keep your car in top working order. Well maintained cars are more efficient and in better shape. Keep a light touch on the accelerator and avoid slamming on the brakes whenever possible. You can also keep mileage down by combining multiple trips, carpooling, and seeking out alternative forms of transportation.

Keep a record of your full service history.

Getting your car checked out on a regular basis requires a bit of an investment, but it can help you save on significant repairs down the road and is well worth it. You’ll want to maintain documentation of your full service history, because this will help you protect your warranty. It can also help you sell your car down the road.

Take care of your tires.

Driving on under-inflated tires is an easy way to burn through unnecessary fuel and put strain on your car’s engine. At the same time, over-inflating your tires causes extra wear to the treads and reduces the tires’ lifespan. You’ll want to check your tires regularly to make sure they’re at the recommended level of pressure, and order replacements online to get better deals than what you’d find at the dealership.

Don’t be afraid to haggle.

If the thought of a trip to the mechanic’s sends you into a cold sweat, you’re not alone! Many of us rank it up there with visiting the dentist or taking an exam, afraid of the high bill that’s likely to result. If a quote seems unusually high, try haggling. You can ask for a breakdown of all the work the mechanic suggests, so that you can get a clear picture of the services rendered. The important thing is to ask for this before you agree for the work to begin, and ask for quotes from several other mechanics at the same time. This gives you added leverage when you want to bargain for a cheaper price.

Buy your own car parts.

As you look at the breakdown of a maintenance bill, you may notice that the most costly components are often the auto parts themselves. It’s not always in the mechanic’s best interest to get you the best deal on car parts. You can source parts on your own and benefit from added discounts. Try visiting a local scrap merchant, an auction site, or a specialty parts supplier along with staying up to date on the latest car news from sources like car sales. If you can find a better deal, hold off on the work until you’ve ordered them.

With proper care and a bit of haggling, you can downsize your bills in no time. These are just a few ways to cut the cost of car ownership just a little bit, leaving more money in your bank account to splurge on a new car when the time comes to trade it in.

Image Source: Poppy Thomas-Hill / Wikimedia Commons

Nail your next job interview

April 12 Suite Tie

Good morning Loves.  Let me ask you a question, are you in the market for a new job?  I am 33 years old and I’ve been to dozens of job interviews in my life.  Some of them went really well and some of them went not so well.

My embarrassing job interview

The most embarrassing job interview  I ever had was at a golf and country club.  I was 16 years old and I went for an interview to be a server in their dining room.  I didn’t realize it until I got back into my car after the interview, but I had black grease on my face the entire time.

That’s right, I walked through a country club, sat in the dining room and answered questions during a 30 minute job interview with black grease on my face.  Needless to say I didn’t get the job.

The worst job interview ever

A year after my country club catastrophe I had an interview at a popular steak house to be a server.  The interview was the most awkward 20 minutes of my life…and I was 17, a time when everything is awkward.  I didn’t know it then, but now as I look back I think the world was telling me that I just wasn’t meant to be a server.  The interview was going so badly that the manager actually stopped asking questions about the job and then asked me “If you could be a fruit, what fruit would you be?”

I was completely shocked and to this day I remember my answer.  I said “I would be a grape because I love to eat grapes.”  After that the interview was over.  The manager said he would call me within the next week because they were looking for someone to start the following weekend.  To this day I am still waiting for that call.

Prepare for your next job interview with these tips

As we get older the job interview process doesn’t get any easier.  There is absolutely nothing worse than feeling awkward and being uncomfortable in a job interview.  But if you want to advance your career we all have to do it.  The best tips I can give you for your next job interview are to be prepared, research the company to tailor your answers and know how your strengths apply to the job.

In today’s ever competitive job market employers want to know why should they hire you and only you?  It’s important to showcase the strengths that make you stand out from the other candidates.  You don’t want to be cocky but you should be confident.  Let employers know you’re the best person for the job.

Employers also want to know that you are enthusiastic about the job and excited to work for the company.  Employers want to know how long you plan to stay in the position and how long you plan to stay with the company.  That’s why employers always ask about your career goals, even though you are interviewing for a new job.  It takes thousands of dollars to search for, find and train a new employee; so employers  want a long term commitment.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long term commitment to job, but definitely to the company.

Photo by eecoy.com

 

Why I hate #RichKids

BB April 12 Champage

The truth is I don’t.  The reason I bring this up is because I saw the cast of #RichKids on Bethenny last week.  I was a little bit disturbed and a whole lot surprised as to what they had to say.  The six cast members of the Rich Kids of Beverly Hills are a mix between hardworking and completely spoiled.  They are all in their 20s and they were all born into money.  Some cast members now make their own money and some just live off their parents.  Some cast members work full time and some just party full time.  How do you feel about that?

You can be rich, but you don’t have to be spoiled

I have mixed emotions about the things these #RichKids do with their money.  I believe in having chances in life, but I don’t believe in having things handed to you.  I was not born into a rich family so I can’t speak first hand, but I think rich people should just be normal people…with more money.

Just because you are born into money doesn’t mean you can’t still wake up every day and go to work.  You may not need to work for anyone else because you have the money to start your own business.  You can afford to start your own company and do whatever you want to do, but you should still do something.

Lots of people would kill for the chance to wake up every day and do what they love.  Even more people would like to wake up and do what they love for themselves, instead of having to do it for someone else.  Are you one of those people?

#RichKids can good with their money

If parents don’t make their kids work that’s a whole other issue.  I think that people should always have to work for what they have and people should always have the will to be better, to do better.

I had a client whose parents won the lottery two years ago and gave him a lump sum of $3 million.  He continued to go to work as an accountant every day.  He maintained his daily routine and even kept the same girlfriend and same apartment.  His lifestyle improved, but he continued to make his own money.  When I asked him why he kept working he said because once you spend money it’s gone.  He keeps working to maintain a sense of normalness in his otherwise privileged life.

If I was a #RichKid

Why can’t people with money just be normal and nicer clothes with better apartments?  I am not going to lie.  Some days I wish I had money to do whatever I wanted to do.  I wish I had the money to take longer vacations in five star resorts and I wish I had the money to live in a bigger apartment that was paid for in cash.  I am not a big fan of paying rent or making mortgage payments.  I would like to keep all the money I make for myself instead of having to pay bills.  But that is my dream world.

I would definitely still get up and go to work every morning.  I’m not sure what I would do, but I would love to work for myself.  Or at least I think I would.  Being your own boss seems stressful and I’m not sure I would like it, but I would like to try.  That’s what money does.  It gives you freedom to new opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Photo by Jeffrey Kontur

5 Purchases You Have to Consider as You Get Older

5 Purchases You Have to Consider as You Get Older[Guest Author]

As you get older, you may need to purchase a few items and make a few adjustments in and around your home so that it will accommodate your needs. Safety, for your home, your possessions and yourself is always important. However, it becomes even more of a concern and priority as you get older.

The following five purchases can help your home transition to accommodate the lifestyle changes that come with aging.

The bathroom is one area of your home where you may need to purchase a few safety related products. If funds allow, you might want to consider renovating your bathroom so that you can enjoy the convenience of a walk-in tub or shower. Smaller purchases such as non-slip rugs and tub mats, grab bars and a raised toilet can make your bathroom safer and more convenient.

Purchasing a wireless monitored home security system can give you peace of mind. This type of system enables you to see what’s going on in various locations both inside and outside your home. Features such as a panic button, door and window monitors, and alarms can make you feel safer while you are at home and when you are away from home.

Declining vision and reduced visual clarity are often a part of the aging process. Trying to find your way through a dim house can result in a fall. Night-lights are an inexpensive purchase that can make your home safer. Adding more lamps, brighter bulbs and changing your overhead lighting design can provide the additional illumination you need to read or walk through your home. The exterior of your home, especially the entrance and the walkway from your car to the door, should be well lit at night. Purchasing some pathway lights and exterior motion sensor lights can make the walk to the door safer.

Logically speaking, as you get older, so do your friends. Therefore, you will want to consider the ease and safety of entering your home. Whether you have a ramp or steps leading to your door, the purchase of a handrail is essential. Both you and those who visit you can benefit from this safety feature. If physical limitations make it a struggle or an impossibility to walk up and down steps, you will need to purchase a ramp or the material to construct a ramp. A ramp should have handrails and a non-slip surface for maximum safety.

A digital or automatic medicine dispenser might be a purchase you will want to consider as your get older. Taking advantage of a convenience such as this can make life less stressful for you. Fill the dispenser, set the alarm and you will not have to worry about forgetting to take your medicine or taking it too often.

If you, like most seniors, have a desire to live independently in your own home for as long as possible, you will find it worthwhile to make some purchases that will enable you to continue living independently. The previously mentioned purchases can make your home safer for you and for those who visit you. Well-lighted pathways and sufficiently illuminated interior spaces, handrails and grab bars can help prevent falls. A wireless security system can increase your safety and give you peace of mind, as you get older.