Archive for February, 2012

All American Tires

All American TiresAll American tires are designed in various grades and as a result the cost can vary widely. Some tires are designed to last only 40,000 miles while expensive tires will last you as long as 80,000 miles under normal wear and tear.  Buying better tires usually means they will last longer, they will perform better and will be safer for you and your family while you are on the road.

The best thing you can do for car safety and tire safety is to check the tire pressure at a minimum of once a month and before every trip. Also check for tire tread wear and if beginning to show significant wear or balding, replace them immediately.

While passenger-car tires are nearly all radials these days, ST tires are still available in bias-belted construction. We all know that our car tires are filled with air although recently they are also being filled with nitrogen and that at certain times the air pressure in them decreases.

High Performance Tires

Higher-performance tires have softer, grip pier rubber with shorter tread life. There are quite a few levels of performance tires available on the market, from full-on race tires to general use passenger car tires. Performance and luxury touring tires are quiet and handle incredibly well, sometimes it is hard to believe that these types of tires are having the ability to produce results like this.

When using performance tires they tend to wear out quicker than usual everyday car tires that you would put on family cars.

All passenger car tires are all made from the same radial base so there is no need to sell in “balanced” sets as you put it. Car tires are cheap; you can pick up a used one just about anywhere.

Select the Correct Tire for Your Car

One important fact is that many automobile passenger tires are not intended to maneuver the car out of problem with speeds in excess of 75-80 mph. Make sure your car tires are in good condition.Today’s car tires are built from steel and rubber which gives the tires the ability to last longer.

When choosing a car tire , speak to the dealership or auto mechanics to get their opinions on which tires are good for you type of car. The dealer has a reference list that specifies which tires can be used on each car. If you deviate from these recommendations there is a chance your car will nor perform properly when cornering at high speeds or sudden stops

All American Tires Size

Your speedometer won’t read the correct speed if your car tires are not the right size.  The cable or electronic device is attached to the transmission which turns at a speed based on the engine. If your tires are larger, you may actually be going faster than what the speedometer indicates making you an excellent candidate for a speeding ticket. This actually happened to the writer a few years ago when driving a company car with over sized tires on it. Always follow the guidelines and install the correct size of tire.


Condo Building Security

Condo Building SecurityEveryone of us wants to feel secure in our home. It is a place were we do not need to be concerned about strangers and we do not need to worry about our possessions being stolen. We can retire to our home and relax after a day at work or traveling or what ever it is that we do. Many people take the security of their condo for granted. They feel that as long as their door is closed and locked, they will be secure. Actually there is a lot more that you can do as a condo owner. It starts when you decide to purchase any particular condo. Investigate the security that is provided by the condo, to make sure that it meets your personal security requirements.

The vast majority of condo’s employ a security system of some kind. Some are pretty simple and really will allow anyone to enter who has a little bit if ingenuity. Others are like fort Knox and cost a fortune to manage and control. They employ camera and audio systems, security guards around the clock at the gate and who also roam the property. This can be a high class security program which also costs a great deal of money.

With these two extremes in terms of security, how does one decide what level of security is right for you and appropriate for were you live?  We listed a few items to consider as part of your condo building selection process. They may not all apply to your situation, however take what applies to you and use as you wish.

Condo Building Security Criteria

  • Crime rate in the location were you will live
  • Crime rate of the building you are considering
  • Security program currently in place
  • Effectiveness of the security program
  • Cost of the security program
  • Condo boards attitude towards security
  • Audi and camera system in working order
  • Guest entry process
  • Apartment entry
  • Door dead bolt
  • Balcony door security

These are all issues that should be considered when you purchase a condo. The more security that you have, the more it will cost so take this into account. Sometimes you can apply over kill to a situation that does not need a high  level of security. You end up paying a great deal for something that is really not necessary.

Effectiveness of Building Security

In out city there is a building that is one of the most desired locations to live. Many people from high-profile positions in industry and government live there. This building has 24 hour manned security, audio and camera systems. In addition you must still be buzzed into the building even if security allows you onto the property. A very nice building that really does a good job of keeping the opportunists and the rift raft out of the building and from entering the  property.

Unfortunately, if someone really wants to get in they will do so. In this particular building someone wanted to get even with a judge who had ruled negatively against someone. They posed as a repairman, gained access to the property and then the building. All they did was knock on the door and gained entry to commit a rather serious crime.  This really shook up the building residents and the security system and procedures were reviewed and updated.

the point of this story is that you really need to guard against the opportunists and make it difficult for the average con man or thief to gain entry. This will deal with 99% of all possible crimes. The last 1% is almost impossible to deal with and will cost you a great deal of money as well.


Review the list of condo security items we listed and make your decision on the level of security you need to have as a unit owner and a building owner. Keep it in perspective and avoid spending too much money on security

For more ideas about keeping your place secure, click here.



Solar Power Business Model Variables

Solar Power Business Model VariablesThere are lots of web sites available who are trying to sell you a solar panel power system. they talk about how easy it is and how they solve all of the problems for you so that really all you have to do is sign on the dotted line and suddenly you are committed to a 20 year contract! This web site is trying to get the facts from the consumers perspective and assess what the real Solar Power Business Model and business case is for the consumer.

This post is going to describe some of the factors that should be part of your business model as a consumer considering the installation of a solar panel power system. As we mentioned we are looking for a financial model that consumers can use to evaluate whether it makes sense or not to install a solar panel system purely from a financial perspective. We are going to ignore the noble and emotional areas such as supporting the planet and green energy in this particular post. These attributes  are important, but when it comes down to money, consumers want to know what is in it for them, what is it going to cost and what wil the benefits be?

Solar Power Business Model –  Inputs

So what variables or financial revenue and cost measures should be included in a financial model that a consumer can use? Here is our starting list. Send us comments if you have others that we should be considering.

  • Revenue or power consumption reduction estimates
  • Potential grants available, how much, how long
  • Charges if any to complete initial survey estimate of potential power production
  • Equipment costs from estimate
  • Charges for  installation
  • Charges for completion of application for grants
  • Roof repairs, roof replacement etc to support solar panels – initial installation
  • Roof replacement costs to remove and re-install panels later in life of contract
  • Application costs to attach to Grid
  • Financing costs, interest rates, term of loan, payments
  • Legal fees to evaluate contracts
  • Additional home insurance or special riders
  • Solar income insurance
  • Ongoing maintenance for your system
  • Equipment failures and repair costs
  • Cash flow analysis
  • Payback analysis

Sensitivity Analysis

Once you have information concerning all of the variables you can begin to build a spreadsheet model to evaluate your cash flow, this will serve as the base line model for your evaluation and decision to proceed or not with a solar panel installation. You may even use this model to help you gain financing for the installation and intial maintenance. However we strongly urge you to develop sensitivity analysis to evaluate the risks associated with your project. Remember many contracts that are being offered have a 20 year life span which is a very long time in this business and many things can change for the better as well we as for the negative.

At the minimum, all costs should be increased by 20% and all revenue should be lowered by 20% to determine what the worst case scenario is for your situation. In some cases you might even make it a larger percentage deviation to ensure that you can deal with the worst case situation. For example if in the are in which you live, you typically get 300 days of sunshine on average, you might lower that by 30% or to 210 days to reflect a really bad year with lot’s of cloud. If you can still handle the reduced income and negative cash flow should this worst case scenario occur, then there will be no surprises for you financially which you cannot deal with.

Sensitivity factors to consider, besides varying all revenue by minus 20% and all costs by plus 20%:

  • Premature roof replacement
  • Sale of your home
  • Solar company goes bankrupt
  • Grants end unexpectedly
  • Solar panels have premature failures
  • Tariff rate guarantees spiral downwards

As we do more research in this area we will update our list of factors to take into account. We are still looking for a consumer oriented business model that we could post to our site, however most companies want to provide you with a quote first which means you must work from their models etc. Personally I would rather take their numbers and plug them into a business model that I can manipulate and complete sensitivity analysis on my own.

Readers, if you are aware of one, please share a solar panel power generation business model with us!

For more posts about solar power business models, click here.

Text Messages from Izod

Text Messages from IzodText messages from Izod can actually save you money! Recently I was in one of the Izod factory outlet stores when I heard over the speaker system in the store a message about saving $5.00. All I had to do was send a text message to a number they gave which was actually a short text message code and they would send a text message back to me with a coupon for $5.00 which I could then use at the cash register when I paid for my clothes that I was already planning on purchasing.

This is an example when text message short code program messages can actually save you money. Most of the time you received these innocuous messages and while providing information, they cost you money every time you receive a short code text message .  This time we saved $5 on our purchases in addition to all of the other great sales that we got at Izod. It also did not cost me anything due to my text message plan and that IZOD was not charging to send these text messages.

Stop Text Messages from Izod After You Receive the Coupon

Once we received the coupon via text message and paid for our purchases, we left the store. I then sent a text message from my phone to stop any more text messages from being sent to my phone. This is important for readers who pay per text message. Each time you receive one of these messages, you will pay for each individual message. So once you have the coupon send a stop message until you visit Izod again. It is easy to do. All that is needed is to send a reply to the same address that you originally received the first message and include the word “stop” in the message. Nothing else should be included in the message text.

Deals at Izod

We really like Izod and we wanted to take a moment to hi-light the sales we got. We started with a $75 sweater which was discounted by 70%. They then added another 30% discount and I had another coupon for an additional 20% discount. When you add the $5.00 coupon , the price of the sweater came to $12.28 ! What a deal!

We do not normally talk about department stores and some of the deals that they offer. However in this case, Izod demonstrated a unique way they can use short code text message programs to help their business. They keep their customers loyal and happy at the same time.

We still got charged for the messages to our cell phones. But the cost of these messages was far less than others we have experienced. We also got a deal as well. As long as you are careful you can save money and take advantage of these programs. Once we had our coupon and it was processed through the register, we sent a message to stop further text messages.

We also routinely get emails with coupons attached. They offer additional savings to those that are already in the store. We just received one which we printed offering up to 45% off everything at the cash register.

All in all a great day . I always love it when you get good deals. Even if it is only $5, it is still money in my pocket!

For more information about text messaging, click here.



Hardwood floor Vacuums – Ergorapido Ultra

Hardwood floor VacuumWe recently purchased a Hardwood floor Vacuum Electrolux Ergorapido Ultra cordless 2 in 1 stick and hand vacuum from Costco. The price was right and the lowest we had found in any of the shops that sell these types of vacuums. We paid $69 US for this vacuum which comes with a removable hand vacuum to get at small locations or if you just need to clean up a small spill of some kind. What a great little machine!

This particular vacuum appealed to us specifically because of the two in one package. You can use it as a stick or wand style vacuum or you can remove the had vacuum portion to get at small harder to get at locations. It also appealed to us because you can use it on hardwood floors as well which is what we have throughout our home. This was an important criteria, since we are very concerned about the floors being scratched. For anyone with hardwood flooring, this requirement is critical since the last thing you want to do when you are vacuuming is to scratch your floor.

Hardwood floor Vacuums – Rechargeable

It is rechargeable and so you do not need to drag around a chord and find a place to plug it in every time you want to use it. This is a big advantage for many people who want to do a quick cleaning before the guests show up or to clean up a small mess without having to drag out the big vacuum.

We have read reports that some consumers find that the battery does not retain a charge very long and over time the battery lasts for a shorter and shorter time. This is a problem for any rechargeable tool. Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for initial charging and ongoing charging cycles will ensure that you get maximum use out of the battery .  Most recommend that you fully charge the battery before using it for the first time. Secondly always drain the battery completely before recharging it. This way you will avoid the battery taking on what many people call the memory effect.

Consumer Reviews

After reading a number of customer reviews on a few web sites, we can summarize the following as their general comments:

  • Light weight vacuum
  • Slim, lightweight and QUIET.
  • The vac functions very well on all the floors and rugs in the kitchen and hallway.
  • The charge lasts for about 20 minutes at full power,
  • It takes @ 14 hours to fully recharge, which is rather long,
  • It is very maneuverable,
  • The power head swivels almost like a dyson ball vac.
  • It is a hand vac as well.
  • The vacuum comes with a little brush and a crevice tool for use with the hand vac.
  • The charging stand is small and very easy to use. Emptying the cup is easy.
  • It is slim and elegant

The biggest complaint is that the battery does not last long enough. However it really is not meant for covering a large area. This is for quick mess cleanup on rugs as well as hardwood floors and small rooms. We have found you can vacuum several rooms before it needs to be recharged.

If you have this particular vacuum please leave us your comments. Also if you have another model let us know what you think regarding its application on hardwood floors.


Money Savers from the Past

energy foot printsA humorous but serious post about going green and saving money at the same time. This post represents a time that is not too long ago and demonstrates just how much our lives have changed in the last 50 years. We  thought our readers might enjoy this simple explanation of what it really means to go green:

Stories from the past that are so true!!!!!!!

In the line at the store, a young cashier told an older woman that she should reduce her energy foot print and  bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags take a lot of energy to produce and are not goof for our environment

The woman apologized to him and explained,“We didn’t worry about energy foot prints back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today…….

Your generation did not care enough to reduce energy consumption and save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t worry about energy foot prints.

Back then, we recycled milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store returned them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t worry about energy foot prints back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an elevator or an escalator in every store and office building.

We walked or biked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But he was right. We didn’t worry about energy foot prints in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that clerk is right; we didn’tworry about energy foot prints back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Texas .

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t  burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.  We shoveled snow by hand and did not use a gas guzzling pollution spewing snow blower. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But he’s right; we didn’t worry about energy foot prints back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t worry about energy foot prints back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t worry about energy foot prints back then?

Solar Power Business Model

Solar Power Business ModelThe solar power generation business is going through a shakedown at the time of writing this post, which is going to have a huge impact on the prices that consumers pay for solar panels and also on the number of opportunities that are available for consumers to find products and solution to help them generate their own electrical power. The big companies want to keep power generation and distribution for themselves and avoid getting this into the hands of the consumer. Prices for solar panels dropped while China was dumping on the market. Consumers in general are concerned about the complexities of dealing with panels and batteries etc.

The Big Picture in the Solar Power Business

Back when oil prices reached their highs in 2008, many people who are promoting green energy and independence from oil pushed hard for the solar power business. The result was a number of companies heavily funded by investors with promises of subsidies from various governments. Their business model worked at the time as long as oil remained high, the subsidies stayed in place and demand for electricity continued to grow.

Three years later in 2011, the perfect storm hit and it was devastating to many companies that did not have a sound business model in place. First the economy tanked and we can debate the reasons for this, but the net result was that demand for electrical power fell and has not caught up yet with demand pre 2008. Secondly, as the economy went south, government revenues also fell, which meant a variety of belt tightening measures had to be put in place. One of the first things to go were the subsidies that the governments promised.

Now companies who depended on this revenue found themselves cash poor and unable to meet their commitments. Oil also fell which pleased the consumer and is helping industry, however it takes away the momentum and support needed by the green activists to continue pushing solar power generation. Several major companies who produce power via solar panels as well as solar panel manufacturers have gone bankrupt as a result.

What will Happen to the Solar Power Business

While the events that triggered this collapse are one of a kind, we hope, this stage of a new industry is pretty typical. There are always many companies entering a new industry hoping to make it to the big time. At some point there is always a shake out that is triggered by some market or world event that causes many of the underfunded or poorly managed companies to fail, leaving the stronger ones to survive. As we indicated this is pretty typical in the life cycle of a new industry.

The next couple of years will be difficult for the industry as prices fluctuate and demand cycles, however those who manage cash flow tightly and maintain a sound business approach should survive. They need to treat government subsidies, if any are available as icing on the cake.

What Does all of This mean to the Consumer

For the short term, it means that the cost of purchasing solar panels is going to decrease even more than it already has. With inventories of panels remaining high, prices are falling as corporations cancel their orders for panels. The price of electrical energy has not fallen to any extent so the business case for many consumers and corporations alike has just improved with a much shorter payback for adopting a solar power solution involving solar panels.

Oil will increase again in the next year or so and interest in alternate forms of power generation will increase as consumers spend more on oil related products. Once the inventory of solar panels and related products is used up, prices will again begin to rise. the message in this story is constantly review your business case with up to date numbers to ensure that you are making the right decision based on accurate numbers.

Solar Power Business Model for the Consumer

We are looking for a spread sheet model that compares the cost of installing a solar panel systems for a consumer application, generating power to be used in the home. The excess power would be fed back into the grid providing additional savings to the consumer. We have not seen an economic model as of yet and may build our own to help ourselves as well as readers make accurate decisions regarding this business decision.

In our next post we will start to list some of the variables that need to be included to help assess the economics of this decision. Your input would be invaluable. For more posts about solar power business models, click here.

Apartment Building Security

Apartment building security is one area that we wanted to discuss from the Property Management for residential homesrenter’s perspective. This is something that building management is responsible for. Your building’s reputation as a secure place to live will have a large impact on the rent you can charge for your apartment. Or how much you will pay if you are a renter and looking to rent an apartment or home. Security of the building as well as security of the neighborhood is one of the most important issues for many people.

Anytime you move into an apartment, one of the things that you should include in your list of criteria to consider is the security level of the building. Most people do not give this aspect a seconds thought when they are looking for an apartment. Instead they are more concerned about the rent they will pay and any utilities that are added to the overall cost. In addition, they probably look at parking and location relative to were they work and social activities. But not Security. And yet this can be one of the most important elements of your decision in today’s world.

Apartment Building Security – Why is it so important?

Security of your building is going to influence who is entering your building at all times of the day. Most people will buzz in their friends and avoid anyone that they do not know. But what if your buildings locks do not work well. What if the camera system is not working or the audio. How do you know who you are buzzing in?

If your main door locks are not secure, anyone can get into the building and sometimes people come in to spend the night in the stairwells. One location we rented as a snow bird had to have regular routine checks by the security staff of the stairwells, because homeless people were coming onto the property and trying to spend the night in the stairwell. You have to feel sorry for these people, but no one wants a smelly homeless person sleeping in the stairwell at night and roaming the halls.

Questions to Address

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign the lease to your new apartment:

  • Security system operation and working
  • Security checks
  • Neighborhood you live in
  • Homeless people near by
  • check with police regarding the record of the building
  • Security guard on duty at night
  • Dead bolts on apartment doors
  • Secure apartment doors
  • Secure sliding glass doors if you have a balcony
  • Management has a strong record of dealing with security issues

In addition to checking the security of the main entrance of the building for security issues, you should also check the security of the doors going into your apartment. does you main door have a solid dead bolt that cannot be kicked in. Is your door solid, preferably made of metal so that it cannot be easily broken.

In addition, if your apartment has a balcony, what is the security of the balcony door. Can it easily be pried off the track or can the lock be pried open. Can people move from other balconies onto your balcony? What steps will you have to take to make sure that no one can enter your apartment from the balcony? Admittedly if you are on a high floor you less to be concerned about unless your balcony is joined with another.  Balconies close to the ground sometimes can be reached easily are more susceptible to break ins.

So hopefully after reading this post readers who are looking for apartments will add this issue to their list of criteria about the apartments that they are looking at.  Your comments are welcome about this topic and others.

For more ideas about keeping your place secure, click here.


The Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

There are literally hundreds of vacuums available on the market with claims that they can deal with carpets, hardwood floors, tile and more.  They range in price from $70 to many hundreds of dollars. Many people are wondering what the best vacuum for hardwood floors is and just how to about picking a vacuum especially when you have hardwood floors and are worried about scratching your brand new hardwood floor.

Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

So how do you go about selecting the best vacuum of your home and for your hardwood floors? Like anything else it means establishing a set of criteria and evaluating each one based on those criteria. Even with all of that it is a good idea to also talk to your friends and family to get their input on what works for them, what they like and do not like about their vacuum.

This will help you to form your own opinion on what works for you and what will satisfy you. The vacuum that your friends have may not be the right one for you based on your home and your personal likes and dislikes. So what criteria should you consider ? Here is our list with some thoughts behind each item. Decide for yourself what is important for you.

Criteria for Picking a Vacuum

Price – There are expensive and cheap vacuums. Your budget can only afford so much. It is good idea to establish your limit first and then work with this guideline as you are reviewing various vacuums.

Central or Non Central – This also is a major decision point and will take you between two major families of vacuums. They each have their advantages. Central vacuums can be vented outside which is important for anyone with allergies. They have a long hose which is easy to maneuver around furniture and rooms. Non central vacuums or traditional vacuums can be moved around easily in the home, outside and can move with you should you decide to change homes.

Attachments – Assess what attachments are included with the vacuum and make sure that there is a non scratch attachment for hardwood floors.

Wheels – If you select the personal vacuum or shall we say the non central vacuum type, check out the wheels to ensure that they are non scratch so that you will not damage your floors as you move it around the floor.

Hose – central vacuums have a long hose which allows you to reach all of the locations in your home from several plugin hose bibs. You will want to cover your vacuum hose with a cloth covering to avoid damaging furniture and corners of walls as you drag it around the house.

Storage – This can be a big issue for many people with limited storage area in an apartment for example. Stand up vacuums or wand type vacuums are great since they can easily be stored in a closet with other items.

Power Supply – These wand style vacuums also come with battery powered fans, so you do not have to be concerned about plugging in a power chord. They do have a rechargeable battery which does need to be charged and has a limited life span. This can be an issue for many consumers.

Features – there are probably 10 or 20 other features that you may feel that are important to you. These are really personal likes and dislikes that we all have. We suggest that you list and prioritize them based on your own set of priorities. The main one of course is the floor tool for hardwood floors. Make sure that there is no opportunity for your floor to be scratched in any way.

In our next post we are going to review the wand style vacuum which is portrayed above. We feel that it can be a really good vacuum for people living in apartments who need a small vacuum to clean up small messes quickly and easily.

Save $ Now vs. Spend More Later

Save NowHave you ever found that you saved a lot of money in the short term, but ended up spending a lot more over the long term than what you planned? This is the subject of today’s post and we will illustrate a few guidelines you may want to consider before you make that decision to save a few dollars today vs. spend money now that will save you a lot over the long term.  An example is a good way to illustrate what we are really talking about.

With the cost of repairs and wages for appliance repairs these days being so high, would you pay $100 to $200 to have an old appliance repaired vs. go out and purchase a new one. The right answer depends on what the cost of a new appliance would cost you.  If a new fridge for example would cost you $2000, you might consider spending money on repairs particularly if the current one is less than 10 years old. On the other hand if your current fridge is 25 years old and a new fridge to replace it is around $1000, well a consumer might decide that the best course of action is to buy the new fridge rather than put money into the old fridge.

Save Now – Our Save Money List

We have compiled a list of 10 things people do were they try to save money now only to find they spend a lot more later!

Delaying Regular Check-Ups With the Doctor, Dentist or Optician

For many people who have health plans this is not even something they think about, but for literally millions of people without plans it is something they think about every day. Fro example, should I go to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned or not? What about cavities that are forming which could lead to root canals! A root canal can really cost a lot of money! Not going to the doctor can mean a serious illness or even your life if whatever you have is life threatening such as cancer. Saving a few hundred dollars now by not going to the doctor or dentist could be catastrophic for you later on in life!

Signing up for Store Credit Cards Offering Discounts, but Paying the Minimum

Obtaining the discounts can be a great way to save money, however if you do not pay the card off each month you could be paying 19% or even more in interest. It is amazing how quickly this interest is eats up any potential discount saving you might have received. This is why the stores do this. They know that the vast majority of people will not pay their credit cards on time and they make a lot of money this way. Take the discount, but pay the balance on the card on the due date or don’t sign up for the card!

Doing Your Own Taxes vs. a professionally prepared return

No one wants to pay more taxes than they need to. For many people who have a simple return, there probably is nothing wrong with doing your own taxes. However as soon as it gets complicated such as real estate sales or investment trades, hiring a professional to do your taxes could save you a lot more than the cost of the professional. In fact this is a good measure. do your own taxes first, then take the raw data to the professional and see what he or she comes up with. At the very least you will have confirmation you are doing it right. You may even save a great deal more money in reduced taxes.

Building an Emergency Fund and a Retirement Plan

Many people do not even have an emergency fund let alone a retirement fund. It is so important to have both so that you and your family have something to rely on in a sudden emergency as well as in retirement. It just makes so much sense! We often recommend to people to set 10% aside out of their paycheck for retirement. Invest it wisely and conservatively and save this 10% from every pay check. Take another 5% and put that into an emergency fund. Don’t touch either of these unless you really need to and you will be surprised at how fast they grow!

Buy Cheap Products to Save Money

How many times have your purchased some cheap thing only to use it once and have to throw it out! While we do not recommend buying the most expensive item, always buy quality or don’t buy it. It will cost more initially, but then you will have the item for many years. this applies to clothes, electronics, appliances and on and on.

Pay the Parking Meter and avoid a Parking Ticket

How many times have you received a parking ticket because you did not put money in the parking meter or not enough in the parking meter? A ticket for a parking infraction can cost a lot more than the couple of dollars required to feed the meter!

Buy one Get one Free Deals and Other Sales

These are great deals if you need the item that is being offered. How many times do you take advantage of these buy one get one free deals and then end up throwing the second one out?  Give some thought to whether you will use the products before you make the purchase. Same thing applies to big discount sales where you pick up multiple items, only to not use those items.

Driving Long distances to by cheap Gas or Other Bargains

Did you know that for a car that gets 30 miles to the gallon at current prices that every mile costs you 12 cents! Doesn’t sound like much, however if you drive 10 miles to get a deal and then have to return, that is 20 miles or $2.40 just for the gas, not to mention the wear and tear on your car. Add to that cost the price of a coffee perhaps or other things that you buy and did not need and it can be expensive.

Delaying Routine Car Maintenance

This is potentially a big one. Sure you may avoid spending a couple hundred dollars by not having your car checked for worn brakes and oil changes, but what happens when your brakes give out in a high speed stop? A big accident,  and maybe loss of your car and possibly your life. Routine car maintenance can mean the difference between spending thousands of dollars to have it replaced due to an accident, or towed or to have additional work completed because you did not take care of the routine things.

Buying too much food; Then Throwing most of it Away

There are lots of deal were you can buy large quantities of food at cheap per unit prices. But it is only a deal if you use all of it. If you end up throwing a lot of this food out, you really end up spending more per unit than you might have paid for a smaller quantity. If you do buy in bulk, cook the food and freeze it or donate it to other members of the family. No sense in wasting good food.

Comments are welcome about your favorite money wasting experiences.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensor

Many new high end and medium end cars are now equipped with a  tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). It  is an electronic system which Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensormonitors the level of air pressure in your vehicle’s tires and reports that pressure to you on your dashboard. This is a truly great system that flashes a warning on your dash if one of your tires is low in air pressure. Some air pressure systems will tell you which tire is low, while others will only tell you that one of your tires is low in air pressure. I actually prefer the one that does not tell you which tire is running low on air  since it means you actually have to go and check the pressure on each tire and pump up the one that is low and perhaps also top up the other tires as well. They might have been slightly low on air, but not enough to trigger a dash alarm to you.

There is a strong reason that I feel this way about Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. It turns out on the cars that I have that the warning only comes on when the pressure as declined by about 4 pounds pressure which is enough to effect your gas mileage as well as handling at high speeds. When that light comes on you really want to check all of your tires to make sure they are at optimum pressure settings and not down a pound or two. In fact you should be checking your tires pressure at a minimum of once per month.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensor – Driving Safely

Your vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system has been actually created not just for you monitor your tire pressure,  but to actually help you save your life. Poor handling at high speed or worse a blow out at high speed due to a low pressure tire over heating can cause a bad accident. Avoiding an accident at any time can potentially save your life!

The tire pressure monitoring system is made up of just four little sensors , one on each tire, that you can find on your vehicle. When one of your vehicle’s tires suddenly starts to lose air, the system would actually alert you while you are driving so that you would know about your tire’s situation.

Pull off the road and check the pressure immediately. You might only have minutes before the tire goes completely flat.

Check Out Your Car’s Manual about TPMS

New car owners should read the manual and become familiar with how the system works, what will cause an alarm and how low the pressure in your tire is before the alarm is triggered.

You can depend on the tire pressure monitoring system to tell you when a tire is getting low on air pressure, however most will not tell you when a tire is slightly below optimum, so we still feel that it is a good idea to routinely check the air pressure in your tires at a minimum of once per month.

These are great systems and they are worth the money. Appreciate your comments on your experience with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

For more posts about safe driving topics, click here.



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