Winter Car Maintenance That Can Save You Money

The emergency of winter weather is something very few drivers are looking forward to. Driving during the winter brings multiple risks. You have to be aware of the road conditions as well as the behavior of other drivers. Accidents are inevitable. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent winter weather driving from being a major inconvenience. Consider these winter car maintenance tips that can help you save money.

Schedule a Tune-Up

One of the first things you can do to get your car ready for winter is to schedule a tune-up. It’s recommended that you schedule the tune-up before it starts freezing. Getting a tune-up helps ensure that your car will operate at peak performance during the winter. A mechanic should be able to check your car for any potential issues.

Inspect Your Brakes

Hundreds of accidents occur every year due to brake mishaps. Having good brakes is essential during the winter. Check your brake fluid before the first snowfall of the year. You may need to replace your brake pads for more security. Check your emergency brake as well, so you will have the ability to make urgent stops. Good brakes can prevent your car from suffering major damage in an accident.

Inspect Your Car Battery

Cold weather puts a significant strain on your car battery. It’s important to have your mechanic check your battery, so it maintains peak performance even in harsh winter conditions. Some retail stores will test your car battery for free. Perhaps your battery is functioning properly, but it’s dirty. You can use a wire brush to clean excess grease and other buildup off of the battery.

Tire Overview

Your tires are especially important during winter when inclement weather compromises traction. More than 1 million people die in car crashes every year, with an extra 30 million suffering injuries or permanent disabilities because of traffic collisions. These are alarming statistics and many of these fatal accidents could have been avoided if drivers had better tires. It is imperative that you winterize your tires even if you have to purchase new ones. While purchasing new tires may put a strain on your personal financial situation, think of the alternative.

Interior Cleaning

Cleaning your car’s interior removes dirt and prevents permanent stains from forming. Interior cleaning also gives you the opportunity to wax and seal different areas that may be vulnerable to salt buildup. Interior cleaning benefits your personal financial situation by preventing potentially expensive repairs in the future. Research shows that in 2017, the total cost of service and parts sales at dealerships in the United States were greater than $100 billion.

Clean Your Windshield

Driving in rain and snow impairs your visibility. Your windshield blades will suffer punishment. Clean your wiper blades before winter to get rid of dirt and other buildup. Replace the blades if they are worn out, so you can remain safe on the road at all times. You can use traditional window cleaner, alcohol, or vinegar to clean your windshield. Research shows that 30% of auto insurance claims are windshields. This means it’s important to stay on top of things.

Check the Headlights

Due to shorter days during winter, you will likely spend more time driving in the dark. It’s important to have functioning headlights so that you can be aware of your surroundings at all times. Check your headlights to see if you need to replace the bulbs. In most cases, simply cleaning your lights will restore them back to their optimal level.

Pack an Emergency Kit

Pack an emergency kit so that you’ll be prepared for the worst-case scenario. Perhaps the battery gives out while you are stuck in traffic, or you suffer a flat tire. It’s recommended that your emergency kit include a flashlight, food, water, warm clothing, jumping cables, and a snowbrush.

Utilizing these tips can help alleviate some stress involved with winter driving. It may be a good idea to find a mechanic near you so that you can get started.

4 Tips for Building Wealth

Building wealth is an important part of personal finance. You want to make sure that you and your family have the money you need to lead comfortable lives. However, building wealth takes a lot of work and patience. You need to establish healthy habits in order to maintain your finances. Here are some tips for building wealth.

1. Set a Budget

If you don’t know how much money you’re spending, you’re not going to be able to build on it. Your budget is a personal finance essential. You need to know how much money you’re bringing in and how much money you’re spending. Make a budget, then stick to it. You’ll likely need to alter it throughout the year since there are so many different events and necessities that’ll come up. For instance, the Department of Energy states that three-quarters of American homes have air conditioning. Air conditioners use 6% of the energy produced in the US and annually cost homeowners about $29 billion. You only need air conditioning during hot weather, so your budget should take that into consideration. If you make a good budget and revisit it regularly, it can help you maintain your finances.

2. Be Careful with Debt

Debt can be very useful, but it can ruin your life if you misuse it. Take on as little debt as you can. You want to make sure that you can pay back the money you borrow before it accumulates interest. The best way to do this is to plan out major purchases and have an emergency fund. That way, you’re prepared for anything that might happen. For instance, you may get in a car accident and total your car. Up to 80% of car accidents are the result of diver inattention, and it can happen to you. If you don’t have an emergency fund, you may end up taking out a loan to fix your car or get a new one. This can result in a long payment term or high-interest rates, which have a negative impact on your personal finance.

3. Maintain Your Property

Once you buy something, you want to take care of it. Certain parts of your home need to be replaced on a particular schedule, but this can often mean years or decades in between upgrades. For instance, metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years, depending on the material used. However, if you don’t take care of your property, it might not last as long as it could. Make sure that you inspect your home, car, and other property regularly. Get repairs promptly when problems arise. This will keep everything working smoothly and prevent you from having to buy replacements.

4. Focus on Savings

Once you can pay your bills each month, you should start focusing on saving money. Having a savings account can be extremely useful. You might decide to start saving for a future goal. This can help you achieve new things without having to go into debt. You might also build an emergency fund, which can be a good tool to have. This not only gives you money to spend when you need it, but it also provides peace of mind when it comes to your personal finance. There are many different types of savings accounts, so look into all of your options. But no matter which kind you use, saving money helps you build wealth.

Building wealth provides your family with security, peace, and options in life. If you want to start building this type of wealth, you need to take certain steps to do so. By following the tips listed here, you will be in good shape to build up your family’s wealth in the future.

How Automation and Innovation Can Improve a Company’s Financial Health

Over the last several years, businesses all over the world have found themselves squeezed by changing economic conditions and disruptive world events. Once reliable revenue streams have evaporated overnight in some industries, as the daily way of life for consumers came to a sudden halt. For many manufacturers, overseas workplace closures resulted in critical shortages of parts needed to keep the assembly line operating. Even homebuilders were affected, as they encountered a shortage of skilled labor and appliances were on back order.

With this churning sea of change, businesses have to increasingly look for ways to prepare for money emergencies, cut costs, and add revenues to their bottom line. The very survival of firms today depends on their ability to quickly adapt and evolve to do things in new ways. It’s no longer possible to succeed by relying on the way it has always been done. If a company wants to prosper, they need to leverage automation and innovation as key foundational principles in their evolution. Here are some key ways that automation and innovation can improve a company’s financial health.

Innovation: Electric Vehicles

The past year has been beset by two disturbing trends, namely soaring fuel prices and extreme weather events. The cost of gasoline and diesel skyrocketed as the recovery from the pandemic surged ahead. Unfortunately, the increased use of fossil fuels has also helped trigger climate driven severe weather events. Some nations have seen one-third of their land flooded, and cities all over the world have been inundated by flash flooding and record setting rainfall. Companies that are looking for a cost-effective way to reduce their fleet operating expenses are moving to electric vehicles. Recent innovations have made these vehicles a reliable and profit enhancing alternative to traditional modes of transportation. They are also a far cleaner alternative that is good for the environment. A company’s focus on the environment and sustainability is also a great selling point with consumers.

Automation: Email and Social Media Marketing

Email and social media marketing make up an important part of any company’s efforts to reach and sell to customers. You have to go where the eyeballs are, and consumers spend hours per day on the different social media channels. Email marketing is also an important avenue for getting your message and special offers in a customer’s hands. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly time consuming if you are manually managing your social media or email marketing campaigns. Advanced automation tools let businesses create a continuous presence on social media and produce posts that can be sent out at regular intervals. Sophisticated email drip campaigns can provide an automated way to turn leads into buyers when crafted correctly.

Innovation: Disruptive Technologies

One of the most powerful ways for companies to harness the power of technological innovation is to tap into newly emerging, disruptive technologies. Most firms live and die by the mantra of doing what they have always done. If a firm wants to open up new markets and see their profits soar, then disruptive technologies are the way to go. New technology can give businesses an incredible edge in the marketplace, or create entirely new market segments. Ecommerce giants emerged on the internet and grabbed market share by eliminating the middleman and keeping those profits for themselves. Being one of the first adopters of hot new technology can result in incredible business success.

Common Mistakes When You are Getting Out of Debt

Getting out of debt takes hard work, and it’s about more than just paying off your credit cards. You’ll also need to create a budget and change the way you look at money if you want to stay out of debt. The process has a lot of details, and it is easy to make mistakes along the way. Understanding these mistakes can help you avoid them.

Ignoring Your Student Loans

If you have debt from a variety of sources, you may be tempted to focus on those with the highest interest and ignore the rest. Student loans may fall to the bottom of the list, but it’s important to prioritize them along with the rest of your loans. Falling behind on any payments can negatively impact your credit score. One way of making your student loan debt more manageable is to refinance it into a new one. By refinancing student loans with NaviRefi, it makes it easier to meet the minimum payments while you focus on digging yourself out of debt.

Dipping into Retirement Savings

You may already have a bit of money that could be used for your loans in the form of your retirement savings. However, as you plan your retirement you should think beyond the short-term and consider whether you still want to be working full-time when you are a grandparent. It’s a good idea to avoid dipping into your 401(k) or other accounts, especially because there are usually penalties for early withdrawals. You may receive matches on your retirement contributions, so stopping contributions means you aren’t getting your free money.

Trying to Do it Alone

While you can try to get out of debt on your own, it’s easier if you have a support system in place. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if it means showing you have a problem. You can get assistance from credit counseling agencies. You can work with trained counselors who can suggest solutions like settlement or credit consolidation. They can also suggest ways of staying away from loans in the future.

Getting Scammed by Relief Programs

You can get help through debt relief programs but know it will still take a lot of work on your part. If a debt relief program sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is. Don’t believe the lie about relief magic. Scammers like to make promises that are too good to be true to get more people to sign up for their illegitimate programs. They then charge high fees, and the only ones benefiting are the scammers.

If you are considering a relief program, it’s a good idea to investigate them through the state attorney’s office, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or the Better Business Bureau. You can also get recommendations on legitimate programs through universities, credit unions, and other organizations in the area. But know that no matter the program you choose, there is no overnight fix. You will most likely be in a debt relief program for around three to five years, so know you will need patience.