Personal Finance Views

Thursday, September 24, 2020

7 Fuel Saving Tips Every Driver Should Know
September 24, 20200 Comments

Who doesn’t want to save fuel? Automobile manufacturers generally make their products for maximum efficiency. However, that doesn’t mean that drivers cannot play a role in making their vehicles fuel-efficient

We have made sure that these tips remain easy to follow and can reduce your vehicle’s overall fuel consumption significantly.

1. Don’t modify the vehicle off the standards 

Your vehicle is designed to meet certain goals and one of them is maximum fuel efficiency. When you modify the engine, you are putting it through a risk of influencing its fuel consumption. 

Fuel Saving Tips

No matter how small or minor those changes are. For instance, if you add wings or spoilers, it would increase your vehicle's wind resistance and your engine will have to work hard when you are driving your vehicle on the highway. 

Using wider tires also increases resistance and it will increase your fuel costs. So, keeping your vehicle close to its original shape will ensure that it continues to perform. 

2. Keeping the tire air pressure under a close check

If your tires are underinflated then you automatically increase the fuel consumption of your vehicle. Underinflated tires also increase the resistance to roll over the road. It means that with the increased amount of drag your vehicle is experiencing, it will eat more fuel. 

Apart from that, your underinflated tires will wear out far quicker too. They won’t be able to maintain the proper grip of the road and increase the risks associated with road safety.

Hence, you need to keep your tires properly inflated at all times and keep checking the air pressure in your tires time and again. You can do so whenever you stop to refuel your vehicle. You can check your door sills to get guidance about what tire pressure you need to maintain specifically for your vehicle. 

3. Regular maintenance 

If you don’t get it services on time, your engine filters can get clogged and you will also have to deal with dirty spark plugs. You might also have to tackle various other issues like misaligned wheels and worn parts. 

During the maintenance services, all these parts are scrutinized and adjusted. Any of them are replaced according to the need during your routine service. Therefore, it is better to properly maintain a servicing schedule for your vehicle. 

4. Go for high-quality fuel 

Keep your engine clean and it will continue to work efficiently. You can go for a special fuel type that comes with various additives for keeping the fuel injectors clean at all times. Such fuels can be effective in increasing the overall efficiency of the engine and reducing the fuel consumption. 

With these additives, the internal friction of an engine can be reduced significantly and it will consequently reduce the field consumption.

5. Anticipated driving 

The nature of driving relies on the fact that you have to share the road with other drivers. And to increase the fuel efficiency you have to do anticipated driving so the least amount of disruption occurs to your overall progress.

Therefore, you have to make it a habit to keep your eye long ahead on the road. Have a mental map of the road as well as other vehicles and anticipate what other vehicles are doing on the road. This way you can prepare yourself better for any upcoming hazards or any other obstructions. 

You can steer a very smooth path around you and it will also allow you to drive at a steady speed. And driving at a steady speed on the road will also affect the overall fuel consumption of your vehicle. Slowing down and speeding up frequently can waste a lot of fuel so you need to drive in a way to maintain the momentum. 

6. Plan and combine your short trips

All your short trips that are only a few miles long can be very heavy on fuel consumption. It is because your vehicle’s cold engine can burn a lot more fuel than when it warms up. 

And of course, during any short trips, your vehicle’s engine might not spend enough time to reach its proper running temperature. Hence, it is advisable to run all your errands in a single trip to keep fuel consumption at a minimum.

7. It's better to glide on the road

Another one of the most important ways to save fuel costs during your trips is to turn the Cruise Mode on. Some of the modern vehicles come with this feature. And it is highly effective in reducing your vehicle’s overall fuel consumption. 

Turning this mode on will disconnect your vehicle’s engine from your transmission. And of course, you won’t be doing any sudden revving or braking. With this mode, your vehicle can conveniently freewheel on the road. And it will save a lot of fuel. 

Cruise mode works similarly on the bike when you stop pedaling to save your energy. The bike continues to move at the same speed even when you stop pedaling. It is just about maintaining the proper momentum of your vehicle and it will continue to sail along the road.

Here's how you need to use Cruise Control on your vehicle:

Even if your vehicle doesn't have this feature, it will have the fuel injector cut out mode. And it will stop providing your engine with petrol when you take your foot off the gas. The whole idea here is to allow your vehicle to glide more along the road. It will allow you to save a lot of fuel. 

Final Word

These tips will allow you to save a lot of fuel. And some of them will allow you to be safe on the road as well. You have to make sure that you leave for your destination a few minutes ahead of time. It will allow you to move on the road without any hurry. 

With smoothness in your drive, you will increase the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle. You won’t have to run any red lights because you are already moving ahead of time. This way, you are not only saving fuel but also keeping yourself and others safe on the road.

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Monday, August 24, 2020

How to Start Investing as a Beginner
August 24, 20200 Comments

 Looking to start building wealth by investing?

Today, I have a great article from Neiko Johnson on how to get started with investing even if you are a beginner. Neiko and his wife paid off $240,000 in 27 months and they share their finance knowledge and debt-free journey on their blog Secret to Finance. The primary focus of their blog talks about budgeting, paying off debt, money tips, building generational wealth, and increasing income with side hustles.

When it comes to investing, it does not have to be complicated. In fact, it can be simple and very rewarding. That is to say, you can earn similar returns compared to someone with detailed strategies.

Start Investing as a Beginner

There are a range of options when it comes to choosing your investing approach. Of course, you can find a financial advisor to assist and guide you along the investing journey. On the other hand, you can use the DIY model, which would remove the advisory fees you would normally incur.

Being new to investing, you will have a lot of questions such as: how do I get started investing or what is the best strategy?

Use these tips to help you answer your questions and get started investing.

Get started investing as early as possible 

One of the most important ways to see good returns on your money is to start investing as early as possible. This is a result of compound interest, which is how your investments start earning money on their own. The great thing about compound interest is that it allows your account balance to grow over time.

However, there will be ups and downs when investing. But you must play the long game and stay committed to your investments. You will have decades to let your money grow.

Most importantly, start investing now even if it is a small amount of money. Investing is important for you to start building financial security and generational wealth.

Understand the available investment options

The main thing I love about investing is I get to choose what I invest in. I always suggest investing in things that you understand. Stay away from investing in things you are not comfortable with. In fact, just because someone else was successful at investing in a certain thing does not mean you will be.

That is to say, you can invest through a 401(k) or similar employer retirement plan, in a traditional or Roth IRA, or a standard investment account.

Each type of investment carries a certain amount of risk and you must understand which is the best for you.

A few popular investments for those just starting include:

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds

A stock is a share of ownership in a single company, which are also known as equities. I recommend purchasing stocks through mutual funds instead of buying single stocks.

A bond is a loan to a company or government entity. In return, they will pay you back in a certain number of years with interest. This type of investment is considered less risky since you know when you will be paid back and how much you will receive. On the other hand, the returns are usually lower over time. So, it is a good idea to diversify your portfolio and not invest in all bonds.

A mutual fund is a collection of investments mixed together. You can purchase a diverse group rather than picking individual stocks and bonds. Additionally, you can have some of your mutual funds managed by a professional. 

Decide on an investment strategy

It is important to create an investment strategy that is based on your savings goals. You must decide how much money you need to reach your savings goals and the amount of time you have left.

If you are investing at a younger age, you can be more aggressive and invest mostly in stocks. However, choosing stocks can be complicated if you are not familiar with them. So, it is usually best to invest in stocks through mutual funds, index funds, or ETFs.

If your savings goals are more short-term, you may want to play it safe and keep your money in a money market account or an online savings account. For money you need within the next 5 years, it is a better idea to stay away from long-term investment options. The safety and liquidity are important when you know for sure that you will need that money.

Final words – how to start investing as a beginner

To conclude, investing is a great thing to do as early as possible. Important to remember, you need to have clear objectives and goals to make sure your money is working for you the way it should. This is crucial so you know you are making sound decisions and not wasting money.

Take some time to think through how you want to invest and come up with a strategy. There are a lot of resources out there with great information if you are not sure where to start.

Be sure you do the necessary research and understand what you are investing in and plan to invest over the long term.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

How to become successful in the insurance broking business?
August 05, 20200 Comments
Insurance brokers stand for their clients. Selling policies is not at all a big deal if you have that eagerness and positive spirit to tackle your business environment effectively. Here are some useful tips that can be practiced by potential insurance brokers to stand out from other existing players in the business.

insurance broker

Understand your limitations thoroughly

The first and foremost thing is to understand you as a human being. Everybody has their own limitations. Before you face a client make sure you have enough knowledge about your capabilities in handling a buyer. Analyze your weaknesses and sharpen your personal traits. You have to know which areas you can shine and where you need to stay low. This is nothing but the real basics of becoming a thriving individual and the pathway to a successful career in the insurance industry.

Do enough groundwork

The next step is to perform enough groundwork about your client. Whoever the client is, never approach with a blind eye. You have to have enough knowledge about the person you are about to shake hands with. Do a brief analysis of the prospects and grasp as much information as possible. This will help you to prioritize your product explanations accordingly.

Do it today

Time is the key. It doesn’t wait for anybody. You may lose a prospective customer just because of a fraction of a second delay. The sooner you approach; the chances of business conversions are high.

Product catalogue customization based on customer attributes

This is very significant. This is one area most of the insurance professionals fail to consider. They always follow a predefined catalog for every client. They not even consider the pinpoint requirements of the clients and prioritize their product offerings accordingly. You have to take a different path. Grade the products as per the client’s needs. Then you have a better chance of winning policies.

Make yourself different from others

This the meeting phase. The rule is, never to fall into the common pool of “insurance sellers”. You have to market yourself in parallel with the product options that you exhibit. Let your prospect comprehend that you are different from the existing players. Let them have the idea of getting served from one of the top quality insurance professionals available in the industry right now.

Walk with your customer through the path you chose

This isn’t as easy as you perceive. It takes a lot of effort to gain the desired experience and soft skills. But once you have reached that point nothing can stop you from succeeding. You need to be determined in what you offer. Guide them through the best offers that you can provide. Make them know that the best their wish will satisfy with the finest you offer.

Practice taking notes

Never take this lightly. On a given day, if you have to visit clients who follow the same response pattern sometimes you may feel confused about their requirements. Persistence is the key to ultimate success. After the meeting, you may feel that you have everything in your mind. But chances of getting lost happen more often. This will make your follow up plan complicated. Sometimes the result will end up losing a prospective client. So always try to take notes on what he wants. It not only gives a positive intent to the client but also helps you to pick up on your conversation easily where you left off.

Always ask for references

References are an important tool. Never leave your seat without asking for references. Sometimes one small random mention will end you in a prospective business conversion. Be optimistic whenever you ask references. Never judge people based on their appearances. Make sure you had enough of them before you leave your seat.

Post meeting follow-ups

Priority is taking care of your prospects’ queries and solving them as soon as you can. Even though if you need something to escalate, make sure you own the rope and your prospects get what he wants. People expect quick replies and feedback. So always try to be an instantaneous professional.

Automate your business process

This is considered as a guaranteed option. Automating the business process with the help of a top-rated insurance management software not only helps you in managing the entire business processes but also helps you to create a futuristic and trustful image in the eyes of your customers.

Thus you can organize and track each and every stage of policy. These softwares assist you in managing prospects and renewal follow-ups, preparation of RFQs and quote comparison, collecting payments, and delivering policies to customers, their endorsements, and a lot more.

About the writer: Akhil Raju is a passionate and dedicated content creator, giving his readers informative rich content with the best reading experience. He’s working in an insurance broker software developing company as their Content Manager.
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Friday, September 6, 2019

What are the Benefits of Money Management?
September 06, 20190 Comments
We all manage money. Does that mean we all know a thing or two about money management? Not really. Money management is an art that people can master if and only if they see money from an objective frame of reference and are damn serious about it. 

Every adult needs to learn money management. How they can learn it is a discussion best saved for some other post. In this post, I would like to demonstrate the benefits of managing money effectively. Some of the benefits are obvious while some are not so much.

Control over your finances

If you excel in money management, you gain control over your financial life. As strange as it may sound, most people don’t have control over their finances. They either spend extravagantly and max out their credit card or spend too little and waste their present for the sake of an imagined future. None of these is money management. True money management skills - when acquired - help you sleep calmly at night knowing your finances are perfectly in order. 

Money Management

Explore investment opportunities

For people living from paycheck to paycheck, investment is a lofty word. But people who have their finances under control, know that it’s not a distant dream. A dream for sure, but an achievable one. 

Earning money is an important aspect of money management. People who take money management seriously put extra emphasis on earning money. What better way to earn money than discovering new investment destinations and diving headlong? Money management encourages one to do that.

That being said, one must be able to discern true investment opportunities and not mistake them with get rich quick type scams. As mentioned already, mastering money management skills gives one the ability to spot the difference. Hence, those skills are essentials. 

Tracking your money

There are plenty of software online - both free and paid - to help you in this endeavor. With those software, money management becomes as easy as taking a walk in the park. 

Most people who fail at budgeting report their inability to track money. When all the earnings, no matter how small, and all the expenses, regardless of how large or small they are are tracked and listed in the monthly budget, one gets a 360° view of their financial lives. Tracking earnings and expenses is therefore important.

When you use custom software, you don’t have to create separate headings for your earnings and expenses as these are among the basic features of the software. By spending a little bit extra i.e. signing up for a premium plan, you can avail more robust features sorting income types and expense types, alert and notification on earnings and expenses, and more.

Early retirement, made possible

Early retirement is not a fad; it’s not humblebrag of a few lucky ones either. A lot of people are retiring early in their mid-40s thanks to their efficient money management skills.

Money management helps one set a savings target. We often set targets ourselves. The problem is, targets fixed by us are either unrealistic or too easy to achieve. When you inculcate money management, you learn to set achievable targets. Insights retrieved from monthly budget can make it easy. 

Next is meeting those targets. At this point, a bit of self-control is advised. Even if your heart desires to splurge on expensive stuff, spend carefully. A diverse investment portfolio is more than necessary if you hope to retire early. Find a consultant and get ideas. However, don’t depend too much on them. Take their advice but don’t blindly follow those advice. 

Handle credit better

A lot of people in the United States suffer from debt. The country’s cumulative debt is standing at an all time high of $21 trillion. Like many Americans, your finances look bleak unless you have a great credit score and are used to handle your credit card like a responsible adult.

Strategies around fixing your credit must start with evaluating your credit report. The score assigned on your credit report is called FICO score. A FICO score lower than 650 is bad. It limits your chances of getting a loan from a reputed lender. Additionally, you cannot bargain for a favorable premium rate with a low score.

Handling credit is all about improving your existing credit score and managing your card better. Money management skills prepare you for this. 

Reap all the benefits

I sincerely hope that you become an expert at money management and reap all the benefits discussed here. That being said, money management is more like a habit. Like every other habit, sticking to it can greatly benefit you while deviating from it can be risky for you. So take time and make yourself firm and determined. And then start managing money.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Why not try living on less money?
November 28, 20180 Comments
The paycheck we receive from our job is the money we use to live on.  Some of us put a certain percentage into a savings account so we are prepared for an emergency or we might be saving to buy a home, a new car or to take a nice vacation.  There are also those who live from one paycheck to the next and never have a savings account at any time during their life time.  But when we want to make a change in our finances, we can choose to live on less and that means cutting back on those things we can really live without.

frugal living

How this is done is specific to each person.  Some can stop eating out as often, some might change where they shop and other might use the internet to compare prices on something they need before they buy.  It is also possible for those who have a phone that supports apps to use one or a few of the many finance apps that are available today.  There are many to choose from and they range from making a budget, to a debt payoff planner to an app that allows you to track the incoming and outgoing of your accounts.  If this sounds like something you want to try, or you have friends who have raved about how a particular apps helped them, you can go online and find the one that fits your needs and your budget.

When you find ways to live on less money, you will have extra cash to put toward your credit cards, to take that much needed vacation or maybe you want to invest some of your money so you have another form of income.  It is easy to think that the money we make is all used up for our lifestyle but believe it or not, once you start looking, it is easy to find many areas in your life where less is better.  This might be taking public transportation when you can which will save you on the cost of fuel and the cost of parking.  A programmable thermostat will lower your energy bill and when you shop at thrift stores, you also save on the cost of clothes.
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