How to Reduce Car Repair Costs

Car repair costsUnexpected car repairs can be a real budget buster. Even if you own a reliable car, there’s always annual maintenance and eventual repairs to be done. Since it can’t be avoided, you might as well try to save on car repair costs any time you can.

Here are our 5 tips for reducing your car repair costs:

Keep up the maintenance

It won’t eliminate repairs entirely, but car parts last longer when properly maintained. It also minimizes the chances of something major catching you by surprise. Regular maintenance is always cheaper than a major repair caused by neglect.

Do it yourself

You can save on car repair costs by doing it yourself. There are books, electronic databases and videos that can help nurture your inner mechanic. Most can be accessed for free online or from your local library. Repairs aren’t always easy, but simple ones can be done with average mechanical ability and a good instructional video.

Trade services

If you can’t work on yor car yourself, you may know someone who can. You can offer something like dog walking, babysitting, or tech services in exchange.

Compare prices and look for specials

If you have a choice of where to take your car, it doesn’t hurt to shop around. Try to be proactive and get multiple quotes for upcoming repairs before you have to make a decision out of desperation. Always ask what’s included to make comparisons easier. Be wary of extremely high or extremely low estimates.

Keep good records

Assuming you purchased the car in good condition, keeping track of maintenance and repairs will help you make informed decisions. These same records will also tell you when your car repair costs are increasing and it may be time to get a better car.

Interested in taking your savings to the next level? See our 3 tips for staying motivated to reach your savings goal!

Having a wedding is an expensive endeavor. The average cost of a wedding is $26,645, but many couples manage to keep the price under $10,000. Still, it’s not easy to have a budget wedding. Expenses pile up fast and you can undermine your budget goals fast. So if you looking to have a great wedding and stick to your savings goals, see our 5 tips to have a budget wedding. Choose a different day of the week Saturday is by far the most popular day of the week for people to get married. So venues and other wedding related services will offer lower prices if you book for a weekday or even a Sunday. If you get married early in the peak season as well, the savings will be even greater for your budget wedding. Book far in advance By booking venues and other services super early, you’ll save a lot on these expenses. That also allows you to be strategic for when you purchase other things, like invitations, to wait for sales. Keep the liquor options limited Don’t provide a fully stocked bar for your friends and family. Instead, get a keg from a local brewery and have a few wine options on hand. That will be enough to keep everyone happy while keeping your budget on track. You can also add a cocktail option as well to suit other tastes. Don’t serve a sit-down dinner Instead of splurging on a fully catered sit down dinner, consider appetizers instead….

Choosing a used car over a brand new vehicle comes with a wide range of advantages. Apart from typically being more affordable, used cars tend to preserve their value over a longer period of time. But in order to buy the best used car that fits your need and your budget, research is crucial. Here are five essential tips for buying a used car.  Determine Your Budget Setting a strict budget cap is the first thing to do. The step will keep you from going overboard and it will also limit the number of available options. Also, if the car you have your eye on is out of warranty, you may want to set aside an extra emergency fund that can be used for unexpected car repairs as well as necessary maintenance. Research Now that you have your budget, it’s time to research models. Every model has its benefits and shortcomings. Do you want a small automobile? Do you want a bigger vehicle that can carry a lot of weight? Is ease of parking a main concern? Do you want an economic vehicle that uses small amounts of fuel? Do a bit of research based on your list of priorities and narrow it down to a couple of models that are reliable and within your budget. Check the Vehicle and Its History When going to inspect vehicles, it’s a good idea to bring someone along who knows what to look at. Getting a Vehicle History Report is another essential step. This…

How to Pay Off a Credit Card Quickly Credit card debt can be good and bad at the same time, but either way you need to pay it off as quickly as you can. Your credit score may be boosted by using your credit card and then paying it off. However, if you find yourself using your credit card to buy more than you can afford, you may find yourself with a large balance that needs to be paid off. The following examples represent how to pay off a credit card in a short period of time. Cut Unnecessary Expenses If you can cut as many unnecessary expenses as possible, you may have a bit of extra money that you can use to pay down any existing debt you may have. One tip for cutting down on unnecessary expenses is to consider eating at home on a more regular basis instead of at restaurants. You may actually cut your food expenses in half or more by preparing your own meals. As a bonus, the home-cooked meals you prepare will likely be healthier than the ones you’d eat while dining out. Other ways to cut unnecessary expenses include avoiding shopping sprees and cutting back on various types of entertainment. Consider cutting back on your cable TV package or cell phone plan if possible. Pay More Than the Minimum Another option for how to pay off a credit card quickly is to pay more than the minimum amount due if you cannot…

If you’re a parent, you want to pass on good values to your children. Few things in life are more important than the ability to put money away for a rainy day. So how can you teach kids why saving matters in a way they understand? With money games for kids! It’s a fun, simple way to help them understand what money is worth and why it is important. See our 3 money games for kids to help get them excited about saving. Sort and save Sorting things is an activity many little kids love and so we’ve turned into the perfect money game for kids. Grab your change jar and let your kids sort and pile them up in this simple and fun game. Teach them what each coin is worth, help them add up all the change and then let them keep a portion of it for their savings. Not only have they learned what money is worth, but also how quickly spare change can add up to big savings. The Game of Life This classic American board game offers a lot crucial life lessons on the value of saving. You need to save for college, a family, a house, a car and retirement while learning about the financial ups and downs life can throw your way. So if you think your kids are old enough for board games, this is a great option to teach why long-term savings matter. The Chore Store This is a great way…

For most of us, buying a new home is a serious commitment. However, there are a number of things that can be done during the process to make sure that your purchase won’t break the budget. Before you start thinking about buying your next house, take note of these money saving tips:

You receive at least one new credit card offer in the mail every week. You may have considered signing up, but if you do, you’ll end up with multiple credit cards. Will this hurt your credit score? The answer is no (usually). Here’s why. Lenders care about how much debt you actually have, not how you got it If you only have one credit card, your credit score can be driven down if you use it too much. Instead of being based on the total number of credit cards you have, your credit score is affected by the total credit card debt you have relative to the maximum amount you can spend. For instance, if you have $1,000 in debt on a credit card with a $1,200 limit, then your credit score will be harmed, because you’re using 83% of your total credit limit. If, on the other hand, you have three credit cards, each with a $1,200 limit, and $1,000 in debt on only one of them, then your credit score won’t be negatively impacted, because the $1,000 in debt you have is compared to the $3,600 your total credit limit affords you, meaning that you’re only using 27% of your credit limit.

Family money management is important. Teaching your kids how to manage money is the first step in getting everyone involved and on board. If you want to make sure your kids grow up with good spending and saving habits, it is important to start early. Just like with eating their vegetables, kids need to be shown that saving money is important, and that it pays off in the end. If your kids hate broccoli, a little bribery sometimes goes a long way, and this is the same with saving habits. If you teach them to do it, and make it a real habit, and show them that, just like with eating vegetables, saving money is good for them, your kids have a better chance of following through, and saving money during their lifetime. Online Checking Accounts Have your kids noticed your online checking account? If so, show them how it works, and perhaps even set them up with one. If you choose one that adds interest, even better. Encourage them to put their allowance into the checking account, and watch the account balance grow. Then, show them how interest works. To really encourage their savings, tell them that you will match the interest each month, or, if that is not enough, tell them that for each month that they do not withdraw or use their checking account to purchase something, you will add to the balance. See how quickly that online checking account balance rises! Allowances You might also think…

Credit card debt was projected to total $900 billion by the end of 2015, with the average US household owing at least $7,813. Having access to credit makes it very easy to pay with a credit card for goods and services, but there are plenty of situations when paying by credit card is really not a wise option. Reasons Not to Pay by Credit Card One major reason to be wary of paying with credit cards is when shopping online at unfamiliar sites and retailers. Giving credit card details online can be a security risk leading to theft of credit card details and personal information. You should always check the online security of any websites prior to making online payments. 

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