Are Car Repair Costs Driving You Into Debt?

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Owning a car can be expensive enough without having to then pay for constant repairs on top. Many car owners will spend more money in repairs and servicing than they did buying the car initially. Fortunately there are many ways to bring these costs down and prevent yourself from heading into debt. Here are just a few ways to bring down these expenses.

Know when to make a claim

Third party car insurance won’t offer you any compensation. It’s worth upgrading to fire and theft or comprehensive cover as these could help you pay for damage done to your vehicle by others. When making a claim, it’s important to contact your insurer as soon as possible after the damage has occurred. Some insurers will only allow you to make a claim if you notify them within 48 hours. You don’t have to go through the claim process there and then, but you should let them know. Don’t get repairs until your insurer has accepted your claim and paid out (although it could be beneficial to spend this time getting quotes for repair services).

Similarly you may be able to make a legal claim if you have been injured in a car accident. Some of this money could help to go towards car repairs. Personal injury solicitors can help you to make a claim. Some will operate on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, meaning that you won’t have to pay these solicitors unless you win your claim.

Shop around for repair services

It’s worth getting multiple quotes from different repair centres in your area, especially when repairing major damage. Occasionally, you may be able to get loyalty rates by staying with one mechanic, however this shouldn’t stop you still shopping around for quotes to check that there isn’t anything cheaper out there.

Be wary of repair centres that are charging very cheap rates – they could be making up for a bad reputation. Many repair centres will have reviews online from users. Check these so that you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Negotiate

Once you’ve collected quotes from different repair centres, consider negotiating the price down. Not all repair centres will be open to negotiation as some may have fixed rates. In most cases, you’ll generally have to speak to the manager. Some mechanics may have an option of paying in instalments, which could make it more manageable to pay.

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Source your own parts

Repair centres will look to make a profit on any replacement parts they need to buy. You can sometimes save money by sourcing your own parts online. Second-hand parts will be cheaper, but could be partially damaged – meaning that they’re prone to breaking sooner in the future. Buy these parts from a trusted parts dealer. If you do decide to buy from an independent seller, make sure that photos are supplied so that you can guage an idea of the condition or buy locally so that you can go and inspect the part in person before buying. Be aware that legal requirements on the condition of parts varies from country to country. For example, when buying partially worn tyres from another country, be aware that the tread depth of those tyres may not be legal in your country.

Phone a friend

Do you have a friend or relative that’s handy beneath the bonnet of a car? If you trust that they are proficient enough, you could go to them for repairs for a discounted rate. Alternatively, there may be some repairs that you yourself feel confident enough to take on. There are Youtube tutorials and online how-to-guide on most car repairs. It could be worth visiting a mechanic afterwards simply to check that your work is up to standard, most mechanics will be able to check over your vehicle for free.

Take preventative measures

The temptation may be to only fix things that need immediate repairing. However, quite often you can save money in the long run by investing in preventative repairs. A worn brake pad could be causing you to apply more pressure on the brake pedal, putting more strain on other parts. It could be wear down your tyre too. Replace this part early and you could delay other parts having to be fixed. Preventative repairs may even prevent accidents in some cases.

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Keep fluids topped up

You’ll be amazed how many faults are the result of allowing fluid to run dry. Don’t wait until your oil levels are dangerously low – the oil keeps all your parts lubricated, stopping them from grinding against one another and prolonging their lifespan. Engine coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid and washer fluid are other liquids to keep on top. Whilst obvious, you should also keep fuel regularly topped up. Try not to let your tank run almost to empty each time as you could be putting a greater strain on your engine.

Do you really need a hire car?

When getting your car repaired, consider whether you really need a hire car in the meantime. Car hire costs are usually very expensive. It could be worth going without a car for a couple weeks and catching a lift from a friend or using public transport. Be aware that some insurance policies may pay for a hire car.

Is it time to sell/scrap your vehicle?

There may come a point when you’ve spent too much on repairs and it’s time to call it quits and buy a new vehicle. You can sell damaged vehicles but must specify this damage – there may be some buyers who still want to take it off your hands and pay for the repairs. Alternatively, when it comes to serious damage, it may be better to simply scrap the vehicle. You’ll get a small amount of money for scrapping – it won’t be enough to pay for a new car but it will at least give you some money to put towards a new vehicle.  

Considering a Personal Injury Claim? 5 Things You Should Know

Any personal injury is a grave injustice and in the face of any injustice it’s only natural to seek retribution.

Personal injuries are, by definition, not our fault and yet they can have far-reaching and damaging effects on our day to day lives. They can cause us to take financially damaging time off work and erode our sense of worth and personal identity. They can cause us emotional stress which can cause discord between us and our friends and family.

And that’s without going into the pain, discomfort and psychological trauma of the injury itself.

Yes, it’s safe to say that in the event of personal injury that it’s only natural that a victim should seek justice through the proper legal channels. But, as with anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it.

Here are 5 things you should know if you’re considering submitting a claim…

You should act sooner rather than later

While you absolutely shouldn’t act rashly or out of panic or anger, it is important that you take steps as quickly as you feel able. Whether your injury was the result of medical malpractice, negligence at work, a slip, a fall, a road traffic collision or even as a result of a faulty product you need to strike while the iron is hot.

The longer you wait to act decisively, the greater risk of evidence being lost or harder to collect and the more the strength of your case may be diminished. There is also an inherent time limitation (usually 3 years) on personal injury claims.

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Once you have made the decision to act, you need to find a legal representative to assist you. While you could make the claim yourself we would advise against it as you will be in a vulnerable position and may not be able to present the best possible case for a claim.

Personal Injury Law is a huge market and it can be difficult to know who to choose when there is so much competition out there. Look for someone with a proven track record who is open and upfront about what your expectations should be. You can use this Online tool that checks if you have a no win no fee claim but whomever you choose to represent you, make sure that they work on a no-win-no-fee basis and that they will ensure that you get the maximum award owed to you.

You need to be open and honest with your representation

It may be tempting to exaggerate the details of what happened or omit details of your medical history (such as previous injury) from them out of fear that they may harm your claim. While this impulse is understandable, it can seriously harm your claim if you are not open and honest with your legal counsel. Dishonesty can lead your solicitor to make unfair or inaccurate judgements on the strength of your case and when any lies are found out it can seriously damage the integrity of your claim.

You need to take care of yourself

It may be tempting to assume that you should not look after yourself or make efforts to help your injury heal out of fear that it may harm your claim. Rest assured, legal professionals expect human bodies to heal so you should absolutely seek medical assistance and follow any medical advice given to you by your doctor.

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You will be expected to take any medication prescribed to you and attend all appointments, lab tests, therapy sessions, referrals and check-ups throughout the claim’s progression. Exacerbating your injuries through deliberate negligence will aid absolutely no-one. In fact, it will damage your claim as the opposing legal counsel may try to imply that any symptoms you experience will be a result of your own poor self-care rather than of the incident itself.

Keeping on top of your treatments, eating well and getting plenty of rest can only ever help your case.

Be aware, you may be watched

Depending on your circumstances, it’s not unheard of (though it is rare) for the defence to monitor your personal activities through a private investigator. Any documentation of strenuous activity on your part can give the defense grounds to question your honesty and this can seriously damage your claim.

For this reason you should avoid long walks, running, lifting heavy objects or going to the gym until you are advised by a medical professional that it is safe to do so.

You should keep your head down on social media

While many of your friends may feel the need to record everything they do on social media, you should avoid this at all costs. Claims adjusters or private investigators can access this information and use evidence of your activities to harm your claim. Even an image of you picking up a friend’s baby could be seriously damaging. Avoid posting on social media and turning your privacy settings up to their maximum just to be on the safe side.   

Teaching Your Kids To Help Their Kids Make Smart Financial Choices

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Money isn’t the most important thing in this world; family is. Nonetheless, your family can benefit greatly from making smarter financial choices. Furthermore, it’s never too early for the children to start learning. They will inevitably pick up habits from their parents and their grandparents. As Grandma or Grandpa, your job is to ensure that those influences are of a positive nature.

The only way to accomplish this challenge is to work together as parents and grandparents to ensure that the children get the very best support. Here’s what you can do as the most senior member of the clan to make it happen.

Lead By Example

You can’t possibly expect your children to become educators unless they’ve been educated themselves. Therefore, financial responsibility needs to start with you. Only then will it trickle down to your grandchildren.

At your advanced stage in life, life insurance should be one of the top items on your agenda. You can visit lifeinsuranceforseniorsover80.com for more info on the best deals and coverage around. Once this is in place, you’ll gain a huge sense of relief knowing that the family is in a better position. Frankly, that’s one of the best parting gifts you could ever leave.

More importantly, though, your commitment to the cause should encourage your children to employ better habits too. If that doesn’t result in a better financial education for the grandkids, nothing will.

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Make A Joint Investment  

Investing savings in an effective manner has become more important than ever, especially as we are living longer. With the cost of living climbing at a far too rapid rate too, building that nest egg for future years will be vital for your kids and your grandchildren. Subsequently, this is one area where you can have a telling influence on their futures.

As an older and wiser member of the family, your input can be extremely useful during this time. The best way to handle this is to be actively involved. Real estate is a particularly popular option for joint family investment. Understanding the different types of ownership, along with the other key elements, will serve all parties well.

In addition to boosting the financial futures of yourself and your children, it will have a huge impact on the grandchildren. Not only because the profits gained will have a direct influence on their lives, but because they’ll pick up important life lessons too.

Teach The Importance Of Budgeting

Even if you live a self-sufficient life, there’s no doubt that you will have encountered moments in earlier life where every penny counted. Your children probably have too, but may have forgotten those lessons now that their troubles in the past. But guess what, those difficult moments are still to come for your grandkids.

With this in mind, cutting unnecessary overspend is something the whole family should be involved in. Whether it’s using coupons for cheap groceries or tailoring broadband packages isn’t overly important. Reducing waste removes financial strain and leaves more capital for life and investments.

Embracing those improved habits is one of the greatest life lessons that you’ll ever impart on both generations. Do not underestimate it for a second.

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Encourage An Appreciation For Hard Work

No two families are identical, especially with regards to financial standing. Whether you’re rich, poor, or somewhere in between will have a major impact on many factors. Regardless of your unique situation, though, gaining an appreciation for the value of money is important for all.

Helping your child help their children to achieve this is best done through making kids work for their money. Of course, young kids shouldn’t be made to do some overly strenuous work. Still, using chores and other tools to promote the feelings of satisfaction gained from working is beneficial. And it will go a long way to aiding them through later life.

In truth, this financial astuteness also encourages an improvement to general personality too. For this reason alone, it’s one of the most important tips you could ever apply.

Be Prepared For The Worst

It’s one thing to get yourself in a comfortable situation for the moment. But what would happen if an unexpected issue occurred? As a wise head, you’d probably be ready to roll with the punches. How about the kids and grandkids, though?

If the answer isn’t an emphatically positive one, a change needs to be made. Workplace injuries, car accidents, and other issues could change a life in a heartbeat. Those impacts aren’t limited to health either and will cause financial problems. Learn about the available legal help at munley.com to help keep the whole family protected. Even if there isn’t a problem yet, knowing how to deal with those situations will remove a huge sense of fear.

Home security and similar preventative measures should also be on the agenda.In an ideal world, they’d never need to use those facilities anyway. Nonetheless, it’s imperative that your kids are aware of them. In turn, they can ensure that their children don’t enter adult life ignoring those factors too.

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Avoiding Temptations

Perhaps the most valuable lesson to teach your family is to stop rushing in to make luxury purchases. Let’s face it; clever advertisers are fantastic at encouraging us to spend money that we don’t have on things we don’t need. While life is to be enjoyed, putting ourselves under long-term stress is not an option.

Therefore, teaching the importance of organization and prioritizing is pivotal. Mortgages, debt repayments, and bills should always take precedence over personal treats. Even if your grandchildren are young, teaching them this at an early age is advised. After all, financial responsibility is a key life element that schools fail to acknowledge.

Once again, the only way to achieve greatness is to work together as a family. If you are repeating the same values that their parents are teaching, the grandkids will soon take note. A brighter financial future for the entire family awaits.

Why Don’t They Teach Kids About Buying A Home In School?

Kids learn a lot at school. They learn about history, the Founding Fathers, how to do algebra and why rivers erode their banks. And while that’s all well and good – there’s just one problem. It’s not a practical education. Educators are often so obsessed with teaching their own hobbies and pet interests that they neglect to impart the life skills that will really help children navigate the financial world and succeed in it.

Top on the list of financial topics that should be considered in school is buying a home. Taking out a mortgage is likely the biggest financial decision a young person will make in their lives. Yet the school system right now neglects to teach this in any kind of detail. Instead, children are hyper-trained at an early age in the academics, at the cost of their social, emotional, practical, economical and financial development.

Interest Rate

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The first thing that kids need to understand about mortgages is the interest rate. This, in essence, is the price you pay for money. The higher the interest rate, the higher the price of money. A mortgage is nothing more than a fancy way of saying a “house loan” – and the interest paid on it is the price of having that money today.

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Term

Another idea that kids need to get their heads around is the idea of a term. Mortgages come packaged up with different terms. The longer the term, the more time a person has to pay off their mortgage. Most mortgages come with a 25-year term, but term lengths can vary, depending on an individual’s preferences.

Kids need to understand that, given a fixed interest rate, a longer term will result in a higher total amount of money paid as interest. For example, at an interest rate of 5 percent and a mortgage of $100,000, the total amount of money paid as interest over 10 years is $26,682. If paid over 25 years, however, total interest payments are more than $73,441 – nearly the total value of the loan.

Foreclosure

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When people fall behind on their mortgage payments, they may face foreclosure. Kids need to understand the consequences of not paying their creditors. Foreclosure means that the person paying the mortgage loses ownership of the house, which is then sold by the creditor to recoup their losses. They also need to understand that it is possible to get foreclosure help to prevent this from happening. Sometimes it is possible to restructure the debt or modify the household budget to make it easier to pay mortgage instalments in the future.

Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is mandatory when the value of the loan on the home is more than 80 percent of the price of the home. This protection is needed, say, regulators, to protect borrowers and creditors alike. However, in practice, it really means more money in the lender’s pocket. Kids need to understand, therefore, that borrowing money can be very expensive. It’s not just the interest rate that they need to be concerned about – it’s all the other fees that they might have to pay.

Teaching Teens The Financial Value Of Safer Driving

Teens are natural risk takers and believe they will live forever – a nasty combination when they start learning to drive. They will also start to forget all the valuable lessons you have taught them about finances in the past  – temporarily, at least.

The result is a headstrong child driving in a lethal weapon, who knows that mom or pop will bail them out if they have a crash. And a young adult who doesn’t care about the fact you are worried about their safety.

So, how can concerned parents teach their kids about the value of driving safely – at all times? As I mentioned above, their innate confidence means they will think you are overly concerned. After all, they can drive perfectly well – the license they have in their wallet or clutch proves it, right?

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Forget about safety

First and foremost, forget about your safety concerns. Try and think back to when you were a teen. How many times did you listen to your parents when you went out for a night? What did you do when they told you to be careful or watch how much you drank? Or, when they asked you to make sure you drove slowly? It will go through one ear and straight out the other. You need a different tactic, and one that they know will impact them – money.

Talk about insurance

It’s OK to pay for your kid’s first car, and all the costs that go with it. But one tactic that might work for you is to make sure that your teen is aware they will foot the bill for any insurance increases. Now, as an adult with years of experience of driving a car, you might not remember how costly that can be. Teen auto insurance is extortionate enough as it is, but it skyrockets even further if they are involved in a crash. And a quick search online for an auto insurance comparison service will show them exactly what that will mean. They could be facing extra payments of over $100 or more every month.

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Talk about the impact of an accident

While your teen will care little for their own safety, they will care if it impacts on your family. So, let them know how much it will cost to hire a personal injury attorney in the event they have a crash. Point out that you might have to say goodbye to your family vacation, as you will need to take time off work to look after them in their hour of need. It’s even worth showing them precisely how much it costs to treat an accident at a hospital, including the ambulance fees, charges for X-rays and scans, and the price for staying overnight in bed. Even a teen from a wealthy background will wince at those figures!

Conclusion

Teens don’t go out with the express intent of causing trouble on the roads; it’s just the way their brains are wired. And their wild nature means no harm to anyone else; it’s just that they think they are superhuman. But with a little education in the right areas, you will be able to – hopefully – encourage your child to learn the financial implications of having a crash in a car.