What Families Should Know About Saving Money on Car Insurance

What Families Should Know About Saving Money on Car Insurance

Car insurance is meant to keep families safe while on the road, whether you’re traveling or going on a Sunday drive. Although it’s necessary, car insurance can get pricey, especially if you have multiple children who need to be added onto your plan. Car insurance doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg, there are several ways your family can save money on car insurance.

Finding the Cheapest Plan

When looking for a car insurance plan, it is essential to find a plan that is cheap, but also covers all the things that you need. Some people decide to go with a plan that gives them close to maximum coverage but is slightly cheaper than the full coverage. Some find it worth the risk to have minimum coverage. Whatever the plan though, it’s a good idea for you and your family to know exactly what it covers and what is expected of you. Remember to discuss with your family what your needs are when looking for a plan, and then decide what plan best meets those needs.

What You Can’t Control

There are specific aspects that you can’t control when it comes to insurance. There will be certain factors, such as gender, age, marital status, and location that will affect your rate. For example, if you have a teenage son who gets his driver’s license, you will have to pay an increased rate for him to be on car insurance. Sometimes the price might increase on your premium due to fluctuations in the insurance market. While you do the best you can to find the cheapest and best insurance for you and your family, remember that circumstances may change from what you initially buy.

Look for Discounts

Another piece of information to keep in mind when searching for a car insurance plan is that sometimes insurance companies will offer discounts for car insurance policies. These can be offered for a variety of reasons, such as being based on your driving history or simply coupons that are sent out by a car insurance agency. Be on the lookout for discounts as they can decrease your monthly payment.

When searching for car insurance, remember to find a plan that fits your family’s needs first. Then you can search for one that is affordable and possibly find discounts that decrease your monthly payment. Car insurance doesn’t need to be a hassle, but it is a necessity to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.

Here’s another article you might like: What to Keep in Mind When Budgeting for Your Family Road Trip

Green Tax Credits You Should Take Advantage Of

Green Tax Credits You Should Take Advantage Of

As Kermit the Frog has often told us, “It’s not easy bein’ green,” and for the energy-conscious consumer, that can be true as well. Energy efficiency often comes at a hefty price tag. Electric cars and hybrids are pricey when compared to their gas-guzzling cousins, and home improvements like solar panels are often quite expensive at the time of installation. Fortunately, taxpayers can get some relief in the form of tax credits for their energy-saving efforts.

Electric Car Credits

If you purchased an electric vehicle in 2019, you were more likely to be able to take advantage of the current Federal EV Tax Credit. For some models such as those made by Tesla and General Motors, the credit has already been phased out. However, the full $7,500 credit still applies to vehicles manufactured by Ford, Nissan, Toyota and BMW. You’d better buy fast, though, because these models will also be phased out after each of them sells 200,000 plug-in vehicles in the U.S. If you’re interested in one of them, the full rebate is still available, and the popularity of electric cars and plug-in hybrids remains unabated.

Solar Credits

Installing solar panels on your home is one of the most popular green improvements. The federal government will give you 26% of the total cost of the system you install. In addition, many states and even local governments provide rebates, tax credits and other incentives to install solar. If you’re interested in this green technology, contact a reputable company to discuss affordable solar panel installation.

State and Local Credits

There are many additional tax credits and rebates available to green consumers. You can view a scorecard that ranks how “green” your state is. Most states also have information on their government websites regarding energy-related tax credits.

You can also check with your local utility companies. Many offer free energy audits of your home. These services will tell you what improvements you can make. They are sometimes accompanied by rebates from the power company if you purchase goods or services through them or if you provide proof of upgrades made based on the results of the audit. These improvements might be anything from increasing the insulation in your home to installing a more energy-efficient water heater.

Whether you choose to purchase a new electric or hybrid vehicle, solar panels for your home or just some new, energy-efficient appliances, do your research. No matter what green buying decisions you make, be sure to get credit where credit is due.

Is this your first time filing taxes? Read our tips for beginners here.

How to Protect Your Loved Ones Financially When You Pass Away

How to Protect Your Loved Ones Financially When You Pass Away

Death is an inevitable part of life, one that should be carefully planned for. Among other considerations, it is important to set up a few precautions to financially protect your loved ones when you pass away. There are three things you’ll want to make sure you have in order before you pass away.

Life Insurance

Death is both a tragedy and very expensive. Between the cost of funerals, grave preparations, and other incidental costs the expenses can easily rack up. Having a life insurance plan can help offset some of these costs as well as go towards repaying any debts you owed in life.

Term life insurance can be a less expensive option that might suit your needs and circumstances better than general life insurance. Term life insurance includes different time length options depending on your particular needs. The insurance company will pay your beneficiaries if you die during the policy’s term, in exchange for a monthly fee to the insurance company to keep your policy active. If you are working in a high-risk environment, a term life insurance policy for the time you plan to work in that field may be a good option.

Write a Will

Writing a will is essential to ensuring that your assets go to the right people after your passing. It also makes the process of dividing your assets go much faster than leaving it for the state to decide. When writing a will, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. Make sure the will is legally binding, which requires signatures from you as well as two witnesses not listed in the will. It may also need to be notarized, depending on your state laws. Keep your debts in mind when leaving large assets to your loved ones such as houses. If you are still paying off a mortgage or auto loan, make sure the person you leave the asset to can financially handle taking over repayment.

Name an Executor

Just because you die doesn’t mean your finances don’t need to be properly managed, and the carrying out of your last wishes won’t just happen on its own. Part of estate planning involves the creation of a will and naming an executor for your estate. An executor is someone you name to help ensure your last will and testament is carried out properly. Without one named in your will, the state will usually name your spouse or eldest next of kin as the executor, whether or not they are prepared or trustworthy enough for the position.

With these three things taken care of, your assets will be in good hands after your passing, and your loved ones will be protected from the debts left behind as well as potential fraud that may occur in the ensuing chaos of sorting out your assets.

Read some more great financial tips in this article: How Your Family Can Save Money on Food Each Month

How You Can Save Money When Looking for a House to Rent

How You Can Save Money When Looking for a House to Rent

Looking for a house to rent can be a headache. The process can drain your time, energy, enthusiasm and wallet. However, a few smart moves can make your search much more pleasant and less demanding. Here are three ways you can save yourself effort and disappointment during your search for your next rental home.

Create a Budget With Room for Hidden Costs

Because the rental prices of properties are so varied and the additional costs associated with the process aren’t always obvious at a glance, a budget will help you stay on track. According to Oz Moving, when you sign a lease for a place to live, there are other expenses besides the rent. You’ll have to take into consideration the application fee, security deposit, pet deposit, moving expenses, and more. These incidental expenses will vary from one house to the next. However, these expenditures are unavoidable facts of life. Having a structured budget can help you stay focused on the big picture so that these little costs don’t catch you by surprise or drain your money.

Compare Prices of Similar Properties

According to FirstKey Homes, comparing prices of different houses helps you avoid rental scams. Unfortunately, there are people out there trying to get over on unsuspecting renters, so you must do what you can to protect yourself. Houses in the same neighborhood should be priced around the same amount if they’re similar in size and features. You may even be able to ask some of the residents what they’re paying as well as other pertinent questions. Sure, that’s personal information, but you’d be surprised at the amount of helpful information you can get from potential neighbors.

Consider Different Locations

You’ve heard it before: The most important factor in real estate is the location. Certain houses are going to be more expensive simply because of where they’re situated. This also means that associated costs may be more expensive. If you find that renting a house in a particular neighborhood will simply cost too much, try a neighborhood a few blocks or miles away. You’d be surprised at how fast prices can drop with distance.

It’s true that a search for a house to rent can be exhausting. However, if you follow the tips outlined above, you can significantly reduce the amount of effort, time and money you’ll put into it. Remember to set a budget for yourself, compare similar houses and consider different locations. You’ll be able to settle in sooner and feel more comfortable.

Read more great money-saving tips in this article: What You Can Do to Save Money on Everyday Household Items

What to Do When Potty Training Just Isn’t Working Out

What to Do When Potty Training Just Isn’t Working Out

You may be ready for a successful potty training journey, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a smooth transition. Potty training is difficult for many kids, and it can be frustrating if you are the adult trying to encourage the process. Here are some things to keep in mind if potty training isn’t workout out the way you wanted.

Try Something New

If you have gone down a potty training path that isn’t working, it’s time to try something new. Not every child responds to the same approach, but there are plenty of places to look for other techniques. There are lots of creative potty training tips on the web that you can try if other methods aren’t working for you and your toddler. Parenting websites with information on this topic are everywhere. Books in your local library also will likely cover potty training. It’s also a good idea to ask relatives and friends what worked when they were potty training a little one. You never know where you will find the right advice, so explore a variety of sources.

Offer an Incentive

Some adults don’t like the idea of offering a child a reward for using the potty. However, this approach can help get the process started, and the reward can be something that you are OK with offering. A longer bedtime story, an extra serving of fruit or a special date are all possibilities when it comes to rewards. A child won’t require a reward to use the potty forever. In fact, kids quickly move beyond needing this motivation. Positive peer pressure and the elimination of diapers will be the real rewards when your child gets the hang of potty training.

Be Patient

Being patient is important. Every child is different, and your child has to potty train when he or she is ready. If your child senses that you are stressed about the situation, he or she will become stressed. This can actually cause potty training to take longer. Acknowledge small wins, and let the process unravel in its own time. Eventually, your child will use the potty. You don’t want to look back at your time trying to potty train your child as simply days or months of stress.

Potty training isn’t an easy process, but it is a necessary part of raising a child. Stay calm, try different approaches, and eventually you will find success!

What You Can Do to Protect Your Family During the COVID-19 Outbreak

What You Can Do to Protect Your Family During the COVID-19 Outbreak

This pandemic has brought significant disruption to our normal day-to-day life. With the rising number of people getting infected, we’re reminded of this new reality daily. Even while we’re all sheltering-in-place, you need to make sure your family is protected against infection. You do this by relying on valid information, establishing a new family discipline on personal hygiene, practicing social distancing and caring for one another.

Keep Things Clean and Disinfected

Let’s start by using a disinfectant. You may use household disinfectants if they are available, but you might have to make one yourself. If so, you can mix 4 teaspoons of bleach for a quart of water. Another effective disinfectant is 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. When applying your disinfectant solution, leave it on any applied surface for at least a minute. That should be long enough to completely kill viruses.

Wipe down and disinfect every commonly touched area in your home. This includes doorknobs, light switches, phones, keyboards and toys children play with. Anything routinely touched is worth disinfecting every day. When it comes to something mailed or brought into the home, take time to wipe them that down with disinfectant as well. Viruses can survive for a day on cardboard and three days on plastic.

Quarantine Your Family

Respecting a safe social distance is the only way we can keep this infection from spreading. It’s worth emphasizing how important it is that we all stay home, away from everyone outside our own family circle. You should only leave your home for essential activities. Be clear with your family what these essential activities are. They include going to the grocery, pharmacy or gas station. You can go for a walk around the block as long as you stay away from other people, and you still have your front porch or backyard. Just remember to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from everyone. COVID-19 might be transmitted from a casual conversation in close proximity.

Take Care of Each Other

Other than daily disinfecting, social distancing and sheltering in place, there’s one other thing you can do to protect your family. Simply caring for each other is vital. Being aware of everyone’s physical health and emotional condition adds another layer of protection. This awareness will help you respond promptly and appropriately if someone actually shows some signs of a cold or the flu.

Take the time to think through how you’re going to apply these precautions in your own home. It’s worth the effort to safeguard your family. Coronavirus may be a scary thing to deal with right now, but doing these things will help to ease your mind a little bit and protect your family.

Here’s another great article: 3 Staycation Ideas That Your Whole Family Will Enjoy