A plate of cookies can go a long way. “Getting to know people is a peacemaking strategy,” says Laura Jeffords, an Asheville, N.C. community mediator who is on the board of the National Association for Community Mediation (NAFCM).
Classic Car Swap Meet Guide from Hagerty
Whether you call them swap meets, flea markets or auto jumbles (the British term) any gathering of folks wanting to buy and sell cars, parts, collectibles and related materials is a place that serious collectors will go. Even with the rise of the Internet, flea markets remain a major source of commerce for all collectors.
These markets started out as informal gatherings of collectors looking to clean out their garages or “swap” parts with other collectors who may have something they needed or wanted more. The natural place for such gatherings to occur was at car shows and many of the early markets were associated with major car shows. Perhaps the granddad of all car show-associated swap meets is the National Fall meet of the Antique Automobile Club of America in Hershey, Pennsylvania, or simply known to millions as the Hershey car show. That flea market has more than 8,000 vendor spaces and over 20 miles of aisles. But the rise of such huge markets created the opportunity for stand-alone events such as those that occur at the Carlisle Fairgrounds also in Pennsylvania. No matter which type of event you go to and where it happens, there are certain tricks of the trade to successful buying and selling.
Selling at classic car swap meets
Selling used to be an informal affair with vendors throwing the parts for sale on the ground and having potential buyers pick through them. As the industry grew, purchasers, and thereby vendors, became more sophisticated. This has forced even the little guy wanting to clean out his garage to make a greater effort. Here are some tips sell successfully at a swap meet:
Cleaned parts, without gobs of grease clinging to them, laid out on tables with clear tags identifying the item is now almost required if you want to attract customers.
Clearly marked prices help weed out the window shoppers, but many vendors still prefer not to mark the prices in an effort to force buyers to ask. The thinking behind this is to start a dialog with the potential buyer and sell them the part.
Beyond attempting to make a good presentation of the items you want to sell, the next most important trade issue is to know how to get paid. Flea markets are an example of what economists call the underground economy. Business is almost always done in cash with no paper trail. Yes, the major vendors who have regular businesses may accept checks and take credit cards, but the vast majority will accept only U.S. currency or, in many cases, travelers checks. The obvious skill to learn if you want to be a vendor is how to recognize bogus currency. This information is available online from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Secret Service at Know Your Money.
Another important skill for sellers to learn is to know how to price their wares and how to make sure they close the sale. It never ceases to amaze me how many vendors have an item that should sell but they over price it either out of stubbornness, greed or misinformation. The dynamics are simple. In most cases, if you have an item for sale, you have it priced fairly and there is a market for that item, it will sell. If it doesn’t sell than you have it over priced or are not reaching the market. My theory has always been that giving up a few dollars today may result in space or money for a better purchase tomorrow.
Buying at auto swap meets
Buying at meets requires a little more preparation and stamina than sitting with your latest issue of Hemmings or scanning the Internet. The advantage to “shopping the swaps” is the chance to find that rare item someone has and doesn’t recognize or that’s so specialized, it’s unlikely to be advertised.
Here are some recommended steps for successful flea market hunting:
Classic car swap meet purchasing skills
Three necessary skills for swap meet purchasers are:
Some common sense about personal security applies to the flea markets: Break up your shopping money and put it into different pockets. Don’t flash wads of bills and talk out loud about amounts you’re carrying. Traveling with a friend or two always adds to your personal security – and makes for extra hands when making a big purchase.
Flea markets will continue to be a major component of the collector world and although the Internet has impacted the markets, it’ll never completely replace them. Exploring auto swap meets can be a great way to find needed parts, collectibles or memorabilia, all while sharing experiences with fellow car enthusiasts.
Whether building a new house or simply remodeling, being your own general contractor is tempting. Homeowners who take on that role can save as much as 35 percent of the project costs when things go smoothly. But even for weekend handymen, there’s a steep learning curve.
Having the right skillset
General contractors have specialized knowledge, subcontractor contacts and materials discounts that can save time and money. The average homeowner has a lot of catching up to do to match that kind of background.
Ultimately, whether you should try self-contracting your home depends on your own skill sets. “No one knows what you want better than you,” says Anthony Mancuso, home inspector, with Home Inspector Experts in Hampton Bays, N.Y. “If you have the ability, time and know-how to be your own contractor, then you should. Use the money you save to buy superior materials.”
Mancuso’s encouragement for would-be contractors hinges on having the skills, abilities and time to manage multiple subcontractors. Homeowners often focus on potential cost savings without thinking through the project.
“They fail to accurately assess their limitations and don’t understand the importance of proper pre-planning and the need to constantly monitor their project once building begins,” Monica D. Higgins, founder of certified construction management firm Renovation Planners, points out.
When that happens “they are virtually guaranteed to run into problems, delays and budget-busting surprises,” Higgins says. “It’s no wonder it is estimated that 30 percent of a contractor’s work stems from do-it-yourself projects gone awry.”
If you do decide to self-contract, “you need good business skills to sign contracts with subcontractors who will perform the plumbing, electrical, cabinetry, tiling, HVAC and other work,” John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, says. “Those skills include understanding how to develop budgets, read and evaluate quotes, track costs, track progress, make multiple payments and ensure subcontractors have the right insurance and warranties.”
In selecting subcontractors and suppliers, rely on research and referrals – including those from your carpenter or other trusted workers – to locate and hire the best subcontractors in your price range.
General contractors, however, already know the subcontractors, so they don’t need to gather referrals.
Those relationships create leverage homeowners lack; as self-contractors don’t offer continued business. This can lead to delays in service,
Hiring your own subcontractors does have benefits, though. You can find excellent tradesman who work construction part time and are willing to work on your schedule. By working directly with these specialists, you can begin to learn about these trades and increase your own skillsets.
However, you must be able to stop tradesmen mid-job if their work quality doesn’t meet your expectations.
“You’d be amazed what someone with a little common sense combined with proper research and referrals from local, trusted sources can accomplish,” Mancuso says.
Learn the codes and the lingo
If you decide to be your own general contractor, learn the language of construction.
“Homeowners will need to educate themselves on building code requirements. That can be done by working with your local building department,” Mancuso says. “Not understanding the code requirements (and need for permits and inspections throughout the process) could hinder your ability to get a certificate of occupancy.” Small mistakes also can trigger expensive, time-consuming tear-downs and reworks.
To help ensure you meet local building codes, you must be able to read a blueprint and understand the notations. General contractors do this routinely.
Blueprints show the structural, wiring and plumbing diagrams for a building, but they also contain general notes specifying such details as the type and size of nails or screws for each application, the thickness of dry wall and the spacing for drywall screws. Those details only appear in the notes section of the blueprint and are expressed in symbols and abbreviations. The general contractor, therefore, must understand and interpret them correctly.
Understand the scope of work
General contractors understand the scope of work and can quickly determine what a job entails.
Homeowners, depending on the size of the project, often may lack that knowledge.
“One of the cons of being your own general contractor is that if you don’t know pricing, you’ll need to get multiple quotes from many subcontractors to begin to understand the overall cost,” Mancuso says.
Hiring a general contractor also helps mitigate risk. When you’re self-contracting, if something goes wrong it’s either you or a subcontractor’s fault. A general contractor provides a buffer between you and the subcontractor, absorbing that risk.
Taking on the role of general contractor is time-consuming. It requires managing both the business and construction aspects of a project, including multiple trades, and understanding the requirements of the local building code. Also, you ideally should be available to be on site several hours per day.
Ultimately, whether you should be your own contractor depends on your own skills, time and comfort level. If you’re new to construction, start small before taking on the general contractor role for a large project. Or hire a general contractor and be involved – particularly when multiple subcontractors are needed.
Of course different projects require various levels of skill and cost. If you have a specific home renovation in mind, find out whether or not it’s easier to do it yourself or hire a contractor.
Ever get the urge to freshen up your humble abode? Whether it’s new paint in the living room or trendy front yard landscaping, you can never get enough of those DIY projects. While do-it-yourself seems more fun and less expensive, it’s not always the best option. Let’s explore which home renovation projects are safe to do yourself and which ones are better suited for a professional contractor.
Refacing or refinishing kitchen cabinets – DIYCost: $250 – $500
Time: 2 days
Refacing or refinishing your cabinets is an easy way to give your kitchen a fresh look. For wooden cabinets, the process usually goes like this: disassemble each cabinet and use veneer and stain to reface the sides, drawers and doors. Next, stain the inside of each cabinet. Then, finish the cabinets with 3 coats of polyurethane to protect the wood from scratches and other damage. Reassemble cabinets to complete the makeover.
Paving your driveway – CONTRACTORCost: $3 – $15 per sq. ft. depending on materials
Time: 1-2 days
No matter what the materials, paving a driveway is no simple task. If you choose to install paving stones, for instance, the stones need to be properly measured and positioned – a skill that a seasoned professional would have. The same goes for stamped concrete, as this material requires specific knowledge, precise timing, and a steady hand. When it comes to an asphalt driveway, there are typically certain tools needed, such as a roller, which is used to effectively compact the base soil and to compact the entire surface once the asphalt is laid down. The average homeowner does not possess this type of heavy equipment nor are they trained to operate it. Rather than run the risk of making a mistake or using a product that will deteriorate too quickly, this is a project better left for a pro.
Setting up track lighting – DIYCost: $200 – $300
Time: 2-4 hours
Adding track lighting can brighten up a room and can be done yourself, as long as you’re careful and have basic electrical experience. Here’s what you need:
Installing siding – CONTRACTORCost: $7,512 – $92,010 depending on materials (based on 1,500 sq. ft.)
Time: 7-14 days
For siding to last, it must be mounted properly. If not, water can seep underneath and cause damage or even the siding to pull away from your house. This can ultimately damage the frame of your home and lead to bigger problems.
Adding a kitchen backsplash – DIYCost: $500 – $1,000
Time: 8-10 hours (typically over 2 days)
You can transform your kitchen just by adding a backsplash. First, make sure the wall surface is dry and flat. View this video to see the process:
Replacing or adding windows – CONTRACTOR Cost: average of $4,500
Time: 2-3 days
Installing windows securely and making sure they’re well-insulated is critical. When replacing windows, contractors usually install exterior cladding – aluminum that seals against weather and matches the window color. While working with aluminum requires special skill, there are also certain tools needed to form the cladding. A professional is trained to use these tools and can better ensure they’re installed safely.
Tiling your bathroom floor – DIY Cost: $500 – $1,000
Time: 2 days
Updating your bathroom floor can be just the type of renovation you need for a fresh look. According to the DIY Network, start by thoroughly cleaning the floor and setting out the tiles in a pattern you like. Next, mix and spread the mortar. Then, you’re ready to cut the tiles and press them into the mortar. Lastly, grout the floor.
Knocking down walls – CONTRACTOR Cost: $500 – $4,000 depending on type of wall
Time: 7-8 hours
Removing a wall to change the floor plan may seem like a smart idea, but there’s more to it than you think. For starters, you need to know if the wall is a partition wall, which simply divides space, or a load-bearing wall. Removing a wall that bears a load can cause structural damage to your home. A contractor knows what can be taken out and what needs to stay, as well as how to avoid damaging wiring and plumbing.
Adding wainscoting – DIY Cost: $250 – $500
Time: half a day
Wainscoting can add an elegant accent to your walls. Installing bead board, plywood panels or decorative panels is basically the same process. First, remove the baseboards and lighting switch plates from your wall. Mark the desired height for your chair rail molding, then cut the rails and the wainscoting. Then, attach the panels, paint and add the trim.
Tree removal – CONTRACTOR Cost: average of $557 (varies by height and number of trees)
Time: half a day
Cutting down a tree to change your landscaping may seem like no big deal, but doing it yourself can be extremely dangerous. Large branches usually need to be removed first so that once the tree falls; it doesn’t hit your home, car or utility lines. In order to cut down a tree, you have to be aware of the angle of the ground, wind speed and the weight of each side of the tree – among other factors. The slightest error could result in serious injury or damage, such as the slipping of a chainsaw or hitting a power line. It’s worth spending the money to have an expert complete the task in a safe manner.
If you’re not sure about how to proceed on a DIY project, talk to a professional. Don’t do anything that can compromise your safety or the safety of your house.
DIY home improvements are a great way to increase your home’s value. Find out which DIY projects have the best ROI with this infographic.
If all this remodeling seems a bit overwhelming check this out:
Home DIY Projects Without Tools: Use Glue not a Screw
Hagerty’s Advice on Finding the Best Classic Cars to Buy
Modern affordable classics can be found in every price tier. Here’s where to start:
When it comes to finding the best classic car to buy and invest in, there’s no golden rule. Sometimes finding a car that will increase in value has more to do with the impact the car made when it was new than with production numbers, horsepower or good looks. Sometimes it’s the Toyota FJ40, and we “experts” are left scratching our heads.
If you’re looking to buy a fun classic, here are a few to consider, broken into three categories: under $10,000, under $25,000 and under $50,000.
Best Classic Cars to Buy Under $10,000
The Range Rover Trooper could be a good pick to invest in – it still looks good in its box-on-box simplicity. And compared to early Range Rovers, which are getting more expensive by the week, the Trooper continues to look better as a cheap collectible. You could fill a stadium with first-generation (1981–91) Troopers for under $5,000.
If that’s not your thing, then how about a Mazda Miata? Again, the sub-$5,000 market is loaded with them, but you can also find exceptional early Miatas for not much more. Look for the Special Edition cars, like the 1991 SE in British Racing Green with tan leather interior. Just 4,000 were made in that combo, and they can often be found at or below $10,000.
Best Classic Cars to Buy Under $25,000
Let’s go domestic for -$ 25,000, with a supercharged SVT Mustang Cobra. Specifically, the low-production “Terminator” Cobra built in 2003 and early 2004. You’ll find them in great colors like Competition Orange, Screaming Yellow and the funky, iridescent Mystichrome.
Terminators are still available for less than $25,000, though one with low miles and no modifications might push the price up. There are fewer 2004s, and they typically go for more than the ’03s, so look for early cars first.
Best Classic Cars to Buy Under $50,000
For under-$50,000, I’d go with the 1989–99 BMW 8 Series, a car that has been much maligned among collectors but really gained steam in 2016. Talk of the E31 840 and 850 always brings up the fact that they are complicated and full of era-specific electronics — and they are.
Looking at it from the other side, however, they’re handsome, capable and fun to drive. They’re also radically different looking from any other BMWs before or since. Available with either a V-8 or V-12, they came equipped with manual or automatic transmissions.
You can absolutely find these cars for under $25,000, usually with lots of miles and more than a few owners. But let’s aim for the top of the market here — the low-mileage, five-speed cars. Your target price is somewhere from the high $30,000s to the low/mid $50,000s. Note that 25-year-old Euro-spec models will be available here soon, so you might be able to expand your search beyond our borders. Just act quickly — with fewer than 31,000 built, the great examples are getting harder to find, and you do want the best in an 8 Series.
No matter what your budget is, buying the best you can afford is never a bad idea. Just do it before someone else does, and protect your investment so it has time to grow. Classic car insurance from Sterling Peaks Insurance offers Guaranteed Value Coverage, which guarantees your car’s value with no depreciation while offering best-in-class coverage.
If you recently bought (or already own) a classic car, you may be considering putting specialty license plates on it. Such plates, available from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles, indicate the car is of a certain age. Depending on where you live, these license plates may be referred to as collector, classic, vintage, historic or antique plates.
The first thing you have to do is make sure your car actually qualifies for the license plates. Once you’ve determined the car is old enough to fit the criteria in your state, you’ll need to carefully review what restrictions come with the plates. Again, these vary from one state to the next.
Usually, the magic number for cars to reach this designation is 25 years. Some states, though, allow cars to be classified as antique or classic in just 20 years, while others require it to be older. In Florida, for example, vehicles must be at least 30 years old to qualify for antique or historic designation.
How do I register?
Buying the plates is relatively simple but it does require research on your end to make sure you qualify. You’ll follow the same process as you would to register any other motor vehicle but you will also have to fill out a separate special registration form which regulates what type of plate you’ll be allowed to place on your car.
In some cases, the state will designate what era the car is from; for example, in Tennessee, a car produced anywhere between 1977 and 1983 would be given a 1977-era license plate. In New York, you’ll receive plate dates for whichever year the car was made.
Costs and Restrictions
While such license plates may be less expensive to buy upfront, you’ll want to avoid having them cost you money in the long run. If you don’t follow the restrictions, you could end up with fines or tickets. Since each state has its own rules and regulations for ownership, don’t assume when moving to a new state that the laws will be the same, even if you already have antique plates on your car.
In most cases, the real price you pay for antique or classic license plates is that you are not able to drive it the way you would drive a normal car. Its use will often be limited to things such as participating in car club functions, test drives, driving to and from a garage for repairs, or driving to an auction.
In some states, you’ll be allowed to drive a certain distance for your own driving pleasure, while other states place limits on when the car is allowed on the road. In Virginia, for example, you can drive up to 250 miles from your home on any day of the week; in Tennessee, the car can only be used for general transportation on Saturday or Sunday, but there are no limits on the number of miles you drive.
Once you have your antique license plates squared away, make sure you have the right classic car insurance to go with it. Learn more about Sterling Peaks Insurance vintage car and truck insurance options.
Grand Junction if you own a classic car, chances are you’d enjoy spending time with other car owners who share your interest. Finding the right club can lead to hours of enjoyment and shared knowledge from your fellow members.
Joining a car club, of course, begins with finding the right one. Define what kind of car club you want to join and determine what you want to get out of it. Do you want to show your car? Do you want to learn more about the history of your type of vehicle? Or do you just want to spend time with like-minded car owners?
Checking out your options and making sure you know what you’re looking for will help make choosing the right one easier.
You also can peruse car forums including SportsCarForums.com to get more information about what’s out there and also to see which clubs other automotive enthusiasts recommend. Sites such as carclubs.com or motoraddicts.com can provide a complete database of clubs, along with contact and dues information.
What’s in it for you?
Even after you’ve done your research, you’ll want to ask a few questions to make sure the club meets all of your criteria. Among the questions you should ask are:
Making sure you find a club that is a good fit for your interests and goals will ensure that it’s an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Having the right classic car coverage at the right price is important too – learn more about Sterling Peaks Insurance classic and vintage car insurance today.
Whether you are working on a construction site or coal mine, a saw mill or sand pit, for-hire truckers need commercial grade coverage to keep you running strong. Protect your businesses, and your vehicles,
with our For-Hire Specialty Trucking Program. We open the door to a wide array of vocational truckers—from new hires to seasonal staff to veteran drivers and more.
Build your business with broad acceptability of businesses, vehicles and drivers
DID YOU KNOW?
Many seasonal businesses drop their vehicle coverage in the off-season to save money. Then without proof of continuous coverage, they often pay more to regain full coverage. Help them stay protected against incidental damage during the off-season with our Comprehensive Only coverage—and get a great rate on full coverage when you return to the job.
Towing a heavy truck from an accident scene can cost as much as $15,000.
And while many commercial insurance providers limit towing expenses up to vehicle stated amounts, we provide unlimited towing on covered losses with Collision coverage. Which means your truckers have the option to get a vehicle repaired at the most appropriate facility without paying extra for tow charges.
If your truck is out of commission for 30 days or more, you may be at risk of going out of business.
Get on the road fast with industry-leading claims service. To speed up the process, we get the ball
rolling as soon as the claim is reported, enlisting the experience and expertise of one of our in-house claims specialists. This specialist acts as the primary point of contact for you, during the entire claims process—ensuring convenience, quality and quick turnaround of every claim.
Key For-Hire Specialty coverages
We offer limits up to $2 million and transmit state and federal filings promptly to get your customers in business fast.
Motor Truck Cargo:
Helps you truckers cover the value of the cargo they haul as well as
additional costs, such as debris removal, earned freight charges and more with separate limits
and no additional deductible.
Motor Trucking General Liability (GL):
Helps professional truckers like yourself meet a contractual requirement with GL—which pays for damages caused by your customers when they’re not driving. (Not available for Debris.)
Rental with Downtime:
Helps truckers get a temporary rental if their vehicle’s down due to a covered loss; if a replacement can’t be found, pays them up to the daily maximum limit to help them cover expenses—even if they can’t work.
Many business partners of for-hire risks require they carry insurance for all vehicles in service to their business, whether owned by the business or not. Help them meet this contractual requirement with this excess liability coverage.
Non-Trucking Liability (NTL)*:
Helps you cover your truckers even when they’re off the clock. When they’re under permanent lease to a motor carrier and not driving under dispatch, they’ll have coverage with no radius restrictions.
Plus, you can get these Physical Damage coverages:
Permanently Attached Equipment:
Provides additional coverage for equipment, such as loaders and tarping systems, when included in the stated amount.
Makes it easy to continue coverage when storing a vehicle during the off-season.
Provides Physical Damage coverage to any non-owned trailer a trucker is using—normally required when hauling a trailer under a Trailer Interchange Agreement.
For-hire truckers are more than drivers—they’re business owners. You spend your life on the road. Whether you are owner/operators, drivers operating company-owned vehicles, or any other trucker for hire, we’ll help you keep your businesses running strong with our For-Hire Transportation Program. From Non-Trucking Liability to Physical Damage and more, we offer the key commercial coverages needed to
protect you no matter where the run is, local to long haul or anywhere in-between—even when your off the clock.
Build your business with broad acceptability of vehicles and drivers
Did you know?
•It can take a week to get a stand-alone cargo quote from a broker. Get a quicker quote with our Truck Cargo coverage. Because it’s treated as an endorsement rather than a stand-alone policy, there’s no separate quote needed. Plus, it’ll close gaps in coverage which will speed up payment in case of a claim.
•That towing a heavy truck from an accident scene can cost thousands. And while many truck
insurance providers limit towing expenses to the vehicle stated amount, our coverage does not. We’ll cover the cost to tow your truck to a qualified repair shop nearest the accident.
•In the event of a claim, you have a option of using our Heavy Truck Repair Network shops. Repairs begin right away and are covered by our limited lifetime repair guarantee.
Less paperwork, more profit and save time and effort, with our wide range of discounts and payment options:
Fast, free filing support:
When it comes to filings, let us take the wheel. If your trucking company needs a filing,
we’ll issue all the state and federal filings you need to stay legal, no matter where you
run. In most cases, we’ll submit the filing that same day—so you truckers can get on the
road, and in business, fast.
It’s important that when applying for a filing, you list all commercially owned and-
operated vehicles—as well as all vehicles running under their authority—on the
policy. If you have questions, give us a call and we’ll walk you through the whole process.
Key For-Hire Transportation coverages
• We offer limits up to $2 million—plus, we transmit state and federal filings promptly to get you in business fast.
Non-Trucking Liability (NTL)*:
• When truckers are under permanent lease to a
motor carrier that provides their Primary Liability
coverage, NTL provides liability coverage while they use their truck for most non-business, personal use. NTL will not provide coverage when you are hauling any type of cargo, whether you are being paid or not, or coverage for any activities deemed to benefit the motor carrier.
Motor Truck Cargo:
• Helps truckers cover the value of the cargo they
haul as well as additional costs, such as debris removal, earned freight charges and
more with separate limits and no additional deductible.
Motor Trucking General Liability (GL):
• Helps professional truckers meet a contractual requirement with GL—which pays for
damages caused by them when they’re not driving.
Rental with Downtime:
• Helps truckers get a temporary rental if their vehicle’s down due to a covered cause of
loss; if a replacement can’t be found, it pays them up to the daily maximum limit to
help cover expenses—even if they can’t work.
Motor Truck Cargo Refrigeration Breakdown:
• Provides truckers with legal liability protection for a loss due to accidental breakdown
of refrigeration or heating units.
Permanently Attached Equipment:
• Provides additional coverage for equipment, such as loaders and tarping systems,
when included in the stated amount.
• Makes it easy for to continue limited coverage while storing a vehicle during the off-season.
• Provides Physical Damage coverage to any non-owned trailer a trucker is using—normally required when hauling a trailer under a Trailer Interchange Agreement.
Contact Sterling Peaks Insurance for more information and ways to help keep your Business Protected.
We all want to find ways to save money and have more in our savings accounts at the end of the month. If you’ve tried and abandoned sweeping changes to your financial habits, focus instead on the little things you can do to save without sacrifice. (And, no, you don’t have to give up your morning latte for the office coffee maker!) Here are 5 easy changes you can make to save more and spend less this year.
1. Check your tax withholdings
“My very favorite tip, particularly at this time of the year, is to adjust your W-4 so you don’t receive a federal income tax refund,” says Gail Cunningham, vice president of public relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Sure it’s nice to get a lump sum check around tax time, and the average refund in the U.S. is around $3,000. But if you strive instead to get no refund you would have $250 more to spend each month. “People are giving Uncle Sam an interest-free loan each month, and they jump for joy when he returns their own money to them once per year,” says Cunningham. “These are often the very people who could have used an extra $250 in their pocket each month during the year to either save, pay bills or invest.”
2. Unfriend the deals sites
Sites like Living Social, Groupon and others can offer great prices on a variety of interesting products and services, but they are rarely necessities. Is it really a deal to cut the cost of something you would not otherwise buy? Delete these sites from your daily feed, and you will may be surprised by how little you miss those “can’t miss” deals.
3. Calm down behind the wheel
Fitting the rising cost of gas into your budget is a challenge for most drivers. If you can find cheaper fuel, great, but in the meantime there are other things you can do to cut down on the cost of driving. Simply driving less aggressively can help improve fuel economy. Curb your expensive driving habits by sticking to the speed limit, getting regular oil changes and maintenance, and keeping your tire pressure in check. Keeping these factors in mind can also help you control the costs of your auto insurance premium.
4. Reconsider your cable options
No one is asking you to give up cable, which, for some of us, is far more difficult to part with than that daily latte. But these days there are plenty of entertainment sources to take the place of cable. Rob Berger, who runs the blog Doughroller.net, found that by cutting a monthly cable package at an average $80 per month, he could save about $48,000 over 50 years. (Put that $80 into an S&P index fund each month and that money could grow to more than $600,000.) Research the impact on your life and budget if you were to switch to Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Netflix or a combination of these or other inexpensive or free entertainment options. If you are determined to stick with cable, call your provider and try to renegotiate your monthly price. Cable providers often have money-saving packages available to customers who ask. (You may have to lock into a contract to get a great deal. Compare this to your current package to determine the best move.)
5. Make an extra mortgage payment
It may seem counterintuitive, but spending more on your house payment can actually save you money. With only one extra payment per year—or about $100 per month if you owe $200,000 on a 30-year mortgage at 6%—and over time you can save thousands and shave years off your total mortgage cost. Do it painlessly by signing up for bi-weekly payments through your mortgage company. You know those months when you get three paychecks instead of two? Biweekly mortgage payments will help you leverage those extra weeks and pay off a bigger chunk each year.
Save money on insurance by bundling your policies. Protecting all of your property with Nationwide can help you save up to 50% on your insurance premiums.
Quick ways to save money:
1. Check your tax withholdings (Smaller tax refund means saving more)
2. Unfriend the deals sites (Cut out unnecessary spending)
3. Calm down behind the wheel (Save money by using less gas)
4. Reconsider your cable options (Consider a cheaper cable or streaming option)
5. Make an extra mortgage payment (Pay off your mortgage and save on interest)
Contact a Sterling Peaks Insurance for more ways to save and invest.
SPI Reflections Blog
Our blog is about educating our customers and the public about important insurance information that we feel is meaningful.