Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Have an Expensive Car? 4 Ways to Save on Costly Repairs

It is easy to spend a lot on a new car right off the dealer’s lot. With such a huge financial commitment, it can be a bit of a disappointment to learn that a new, expensive car needs repairs. 

Yet, this happens more often than people think. Like all mechanical devices, cars have a tendency to break down and need fixing from time-to-time. The following are four tips on how to save money when the need to do car repairs arises.

Be the Mechanic

A lot of car owners waste tons of money on minor repairs they could easily learn to do themselves. Today, it is almost trivial to find instructional videos online which cover virtually every aspect of car maintenance and repair. In fact, some people even learn to do some advanced work on their expensive cars too. 

This may not be an ideal way to save money on car repairs for everyone, but it is a strategy that everyone should honestly consider. This is especially true for women who are finding they are a lot better with a wrench than they thought they might be.

Buy Your Own Replacement Parts

Another way to save money when repairing an expensive car is to get in the habit of buying the replacement parts needed for the job beforehand. There are a lot of places where a person can get their hands on used Ford Mustang parts, for example. 

When buying used parts, it is important to learn about the discount that comes from handing over the damaged part, often referred to as core.

Keeping Spare Tires in Your Garage

It is a good habit to get in the practice of buying tires for an expensive car when a tire shop is running a special sale. Often it is possible to save loads of money with a buy one get one free tire deal. 

After acquiring the tires, then simply store them away in the garage for when they are needed. This way it will be easy to ensure a spare tire is available when a replacement is necessary.

Get Quotes from Local Mechanics

For a lot of people, DIY mechanic work is not going to be a solution. That is okay, because it can still be economical to take an expensive car to a mechanic if a person takes the time to call and get quotes from the mechanics who operate in their local area. 

It is also going to be important to read reviews and gain a sense of what quality of work can be expected form a particular mechanic or company, especially in terms of customer service and billing.

When you save up to get an expensive car, the last thing you want is to pay out more for repairs and maintenance. Take the time to consider these options next time your vehicle needs a checkup. Doing so will help you keep your nice car affordable and well-maintained.

Monday, June 24, 2019

5 Easy Precautions You Can Take Against Identity Theft

Did you know that on average, victims of identity theft spend at least 600 hours trying to clear their name? In addition to repairing the financial damage that’s been done, victims also have to prove that they are who they say they are. How unnerving is that?

As horrible as it sounds, there is a bright side to identity theft. Although you can’t be 100 percent sure it will never happen to you, there are things you can to protect yourself.

Monitor Online Accounts

If your bank offers online banking, sign up for it. Frequently log in to make sure you have no unauthorized transactions. Also, make sure to keep your login information safe. Never write it down or save it in your phone. also, never enable automatic logins.

Order Annual Credit Reports

You’re eligible for a free credit report from all three major bureaus. However, there are also apps that allow you to check your credit as often as you like. Credit Karma gives you instant access to your credit report for free. 

Sign up and check your report once a month for anything that looks out of the ordinary. You’d be surprised how many unauthorized accounts slip through the cracks.

Memorize Your Social Security Number

If someone gets a hold of your social security number, your credit can be destroyed in an instant. Play it safe and memorize your social security number. Make sure you contact a criminal defense group if your identity is indeed stolen. 

 Furthermore, make sure to be mindful of your surroundings when giving your social security number to customer service representatives.

Opt Out of Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers

You know those pre-approved credit card offers you get in the mail from time to time? Do not accept them. Tear them into pieces and throw them away. Thieves are notorious for using these kinds of offers to obtain other people’s credit card information. You can also opt out them to ensure you never get the offers again.

No matter how vigilant you are, there’s always the risk of identity theft. Even a disgruntled waiter can snap a photo of your credit card and go on a shopping spree. Play it safe and stay on top of your finances and purchases. 

If something doesn’t look right or you don’t remember giving that aforementioned waiter a tip, act upon it. The sooner you identify an issue, the sooner you can rectify it.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

3 Reasons You Should Opt in for an HSA Account

With the expenses associated with healthcare continuing to rise, you should be doing everything you can to maximize your savings wherever possible. While there are many things that you can be doing to protect your health and contribute to your overall well begging, you will still want to safeguard your finances against any injury or illness that can come your way. 

It seems that many people have shied away from Health Savings Accounts because of the restrictions placed on how you can use the money that it put into it. While that might be a legitimate concern, consider the following three reasons why you should opt in for an HSA account.

You Can Invest Your HSA

This is an advantage that many people do not know about, but you can actually invest the money in your HSA. While most people just choose the default choice of putting the money in a low savings account, you can actually choose to put the money in a mutual fund if you so desire. 

The money in there can roll over year after year, giving you a similar investment effect that would be achieved by a Roth IRA or 401(k) account.

You Can Make Tax Free Withdrawals from Your HSA

Not only do you receive a tax deduction upon contributing to a Health Savings Account, but you will also enjoy the benefit of being able to make tax free withdrawals when the time comes. 

This makes it a unique type of investment account in that it becomes triple tax free. While we all know that paying taxes are a necessary part of life, it is nice to have an investment where we get to avoid the component of our finances for just a bit longer.

Save Your Receipts

The thought that you must make withdrawals in the same year that you make contributions is simply not true. In fact, you can save receipts from health related expenditures like dental crowns or contact lenses and then make withdrawals from the account in future years when you need the money. 

Just remember that all money you take out of your HSA must be for health related expenses. Beyond that, the timing is up to you.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more reasons why you should contribute to an HSA, such as the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have money available in the event anyone in your family suddenly becomes injured or ill. It is a type of forced savings account that can really pay dividends when the time comes.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

3 Things That Can Increase Your Vintage Car’s Value

Owning a classic car is a lifelong dream for many. Impassioned car aficionados are willing to pay a lot of money for a good vintage car. Selling your classic car is no small feat; not only do you have to understand the market but you also have to understand your vehicle’s value.

Unlike modern cars, there isn’t a sticker price you can rely on for your original. Instead, classic cars are priced and sold based on their value, which is heavily rooted in their parts and appearance.

If you’re considering selling your vintage car, here are a few tips to help you find the right buyer.

Original Parts

Modified classic cars are worth less than their original counterparts; authenticity is a big factor in vintage car value. If you can, find original parts or new old stock (NOS) pieces to add to the vehicle. Original classic cars aren’t easy to find, so buyers will pay good money for a vintage car that has its own parts in place.

If your car already has most of its original parts in place, then try to locate the original owner’s manual or acquire original engine stickers. These small details really pack a punch, especially at auctions and car shows.

A Clean Exterior and Interior

Rather than replacing the seats with newer models, keep the originals and get them refurbished. You’ll have to work with a mechanic who specializes in classic cars; you want to make sure that any covers you purchase are true to your vehicle’s period. You can also look for NOS seat covers that can give your vintage vehicle an updated but timeless look.

Automotive paint customization could also help you match the original color of the car’s exterior, so any updates and renovations you make to restore the vehicle will be true to history.

Excellent Condition

A classic car that looks pretty but can never be driven isn’t something many buyers will go for. The engine should run smoothly, and the car should be in the best possible condition when you start to show it. Have a mechanic give it a thorough run-down and make any necessary repairs.

Having a classic car in a near-flawless condition will vastly increase its value.

Finding the Right Buyer

You don’t want your car to go to just anyone; it’s a good idea to check local car shows and auctions to sell your vintage vehicle. People who shop at these places are often highly knowledgeable and willing to pay more money. You need to find the buyers who will be able to recognize the value in your car, ensuring you get exactly what it’s worth.

Friday, June 21, 2019

4 Tips to Save on Emergency Car Costs with Clever Foreplanning

None of us want to get caught in a vehicle emergency. If something does end up happening you want to be prepared instead of scrambling at the last minute. Invest in protective measures now to avoid complications later.

Check Your Car Regularly

A car tune-up is similar to a standard doctor's appointment. The purpose is to make your vehicle run at its best. Most vehicle manuals recommend scheduling a tune-up every two to three years, or every 30,000 miles. 

A good mechanic examines several key elements in a car's engine. These include spark plug replacement and installing new air filters. They will also check your car's emissions levels.

Purchase Spare Tires as Back-Up

Don't replace tires individually. Purchase them as part of a set of four every time. This ensures that your vehicle handles evenly. Be careful about mix-and-matching seasonal tires with each other. 

Don't combine summer tires with winter tires that have a more durable tread. What happens when just one or two tires wear out? Tire service can assess the tires' status and then replace them for you.

Take Advantage of Sales on Replacement Parts

Make sure to always have replacement parts on hand. One of the most important parts is brake pads since those directly impact the vehicle's safety. These should be replaced about every 50,000 miles. 

Don't settle for generic products. New parts should match the vehicle's make and model exactly. Thankfully these are not as expensive as they may seem. Local dealerships may run sales or recommend cheaper alternatives at reputable sellers.

Purchase Car Insurance

Get insurance that matches both your local climate and how much driving you do. Most states require you to at least have liability insurance. This covers both driver and vehicle in the case of an accident. 

Another common type of insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy. This covers vehicle issues beyond accidents. Issues include hail or storm damage, fire, and theft. Some policies will even cover animal damage such as running over a deer.

Vehicle concerns can sometimes be mitigated by the model itself. Set a budget and then research car types that are known to be durable and have great gas mileage. Understand what parts tend to wear down more quickly. Develop a good relationship with your dealer and mechanic to get additional advice on upkeep. It helps you and others stay safe on the road.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

3 Expenses You Might Run into as Your Car Ages

No matter what kind of car you drive or how well it is built, it will naturally become more prone to certain kinds of damage over time. The protective coatings on metal parts begins to wear away, making them more susceptible to rust. 

The rubber that hoses and belts are made of also becomes more brittle with age, which makes them more susceptible to breakage. In many cases, the wearing down of one part can create a chain reaction that can have an impact on entire systems. Here are three expenses you might run into as your car ages.

Timing Belt

The timing belt or chain controls the timing of the valves in an internal combustion engine by connecting the crankshaft to the camshaft. Some cars will have a timing chain while others will have a timing belt. 

Timing chains generally do not need to be replaced, but timing belts generally need to be replaced every 100,000 miles. It is also important for car owners to be aware that there are two kinds of belts that work on different types of engines. If your car has an interference engine and your timing belt were to break while driving, it can have severe repercussions on the engine itself. 

If you don’t have an interference engine, however, and your timing belt were to break, your engine would just stop running but there would not be much damage. It’s always better to get a timing belt replaced before it breaks, but it is critical on a vehicle with an interference engine.

Windshield Replacement

No matter how carefully you maintain your car, over time your windshield is likely to become covered with a constellation of microscopic cracks, pits, chips and dings. Each of these small imperfections weakens the overall integrity of your windshield. 

Small cracks and chips can be temporarily sealed with a special sealant to keep them from spreading, but eventually, you are simply going to need to get your windshield replaced. The good news is, many auto glass replacement services will come right to you and can even replace your window while you are at work or doing other things.

Brake Replacement

Brake pads are essentially like disposable linings that help to protect your actual brakes. Brake pads should be replaced roughly every 50,000 miles, but some may need to be replaced as frequently as every 25,000 miles. 

Some signs that your brake pads need to be replaced are a squealing or squeaking noise when you brake or your car becomes jittery. Getting your brake pads checked and replaced as necessary will help extend the life of your drums and rotors but even those will need to be replaced eventually.

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