Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Car Insurance Tips for Younger Drivers

The day young people gain their driver’s licence is a big day, a license means increased independence, more freedom, and for many it’s the first major step on the road to the rest of their lives. But gaining a driver’s license also brings with it a large measure of responsibility, both to the driver and to other motorists. Being a licensed driver means adhering to road rules that protect lives. It means maintaining your vehicle so that it’s always in a safe state to travel. And it means having the right car insurance in case the worst should happen.

However, the issue of car insurance can be daunting for many younger drivers as there are many factors involved in insurance companies determining the type and level of cover they will provide you. So here is a quick guide to some key things young drivers should take notice of when seeking car insurance. Following these tips will help you get the lowest premium and the right cover for you.

First, ALWAYS tell insurance companies the truth about the state of your vehicle. If you have made any modifications to the engine or body that are likely to impact the roadworthiness or performance of the car then tell them from the outset. You may end up paying more in the short term via your insurance premiums, but it could save you thousands in the long term if you have an accident and your policy becomes void because you didn't inform them of the changes to your vehicle.

Second, many young people try to put someone else’s name (usually an older drivers) details down as the primary driver of their vehicle in order to gain insurance or to lower their insurance premium. However, as with the modifications issue mentioned above, this isn't a great idea as, if discovered, it can make your insurance void. So always put yourself down as the primary driver, but consider adding a second responsible driver to your policy as this may help your case.

Third, never forget that vehicle type impacts on insurance cost, so when you’re out and about shopping for your first car, put your ego aside and look for cars that insurance companies will favour. Cars with large engines driven by younger drivers pose a greater insurance risk than vehicles with smaller engines, as do high performance cars and older vehicles. Smaller cars can equal smaller risk.

Fourth and final point is to take the time to shop around when looking for car insurance. By comparing insurance provider’s policies side by side you can find the right level of cover that suits your budget and driving needs whilst also minimising your risk. A few quick tips when considering a car insurance provider are to not assume that third party insurance is cheaper than comprehensive insurance, to check carefully how much you'd really be paying when you make a claim, and to consider the difference it would make to park your car in a secure location rather than on the street.

Image Credit
Image courtesy slgckgc / flickr.com

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tips for Saving for your Dream Holiday

Have you been delaying your dream family holiday due to a lack of funds? Are you in need of a vacation but don't want to risk racking up any debt? Taking family holidays are important because it gives the family time to relax and enjoy time together. What could be better than creating precious shared moments with loved ones safe in the knowledge that you're not breaking the bank to do so. With some personal budgeting and a plan to save up, your wait for a dream family holiday may be over sooner than you think.

Plan Out Your Vacation
Having a clear idea of the costs of a vacation is imperative. You will have to consider the costs of lodging, airfares, petrol, rental cars, food and drinks and any extra excursions. List out all the major items and think about a number of alternatives as well. Maybe to free up some money for fun family activities you can use your credit card award points or instead of staying at a hotel you could stay at a friend or relatives house or rent an apartment. Be thorough and list all the activities you want to do, assigning a cost to each. If you buy ticket passes online for places such as Dream World, look out for special discounts and reduced prices. Also, use aggregator websites to compare prices for flights and hotels.

Set Up a Regular Saving Schedule
Once you know the cost of your vacation and the time of year that you want to go, you can figure out how much per month you need to save towards your dream holiday. It is also a good idea to set up a separate savings account to collect the travel funds. This will allow you to save rain or shine if you have an automated transfer into this account. Should the monthly saving amount seem too much, you can delay your vacation or find more ingenuous ways to cut back on your expenses.

How to Save on Daily Expenses
To reach your monthly saving target, you will have to scrutinize your spending habits and probably make some sacrifices. Tell the family that everyone will need to chip in to pay to help save for the family holiday. Here are a few simple tips to save up:
  • Cook your meals and avoid grabbing a coffee on the go. This is probably the most effective way to save money. Pack simple but healthy lunches for your kids rather than have them eat at the school cafeteria – you probably don’t like the ingredients the school uses anyway! Avoid the temptation of a coffee from your local barista and make your own.
  • Plan your meals ahead. Try to plan out your meals a week ahead and if you can, match your meal plan with the items on the supermarket weekly specials. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables and buy dry goods in bulk. Cut out and use your newspaper coupons even if they look crumpled.
  • Cut down on some monthly luxuries. Look through your monthly bills and see if there is a recurring cost you can eliminate: For example, cut out your cable TV subscription and stream videos online instead. Limit yourself to eating out once a month instead of once a week.
  • Have a yard sale. You must have a few lovely items in your closets you don’t need any more. Clothes, books, DVDs, and old toys can easily be sold at a local yard sale
  • Stop buying for 6 months. What about necessities? Of course, buy those but nothing extra. Do not be tempted by sales and consider swapping items you need with friends and neighbours.

With a budget, a saving plan, some self-control and support from each family member, you can easily achieve your dream holiday. You can fully enjoy your holiday and be proud of the fact that you have not incurred any extra debt. The family not only shares some great holiday memories but also learns to save more regularly, helping you save towards your next vacation!

Image Credit
Image courtesy of phalinn / flickr.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Win an iPad or Amazon GC

PFStock is giving away your choice of an Apple iPad mini or $300 Amazon gift card. Over the years, PFStock has given away coupons, Coke Rewards codes, USB flash drives, books, financial software, gift certificates, and copies of tax software. Now in order to thank my loyal readers, PFStock is holding its biggest giveaway ever: your choice of a new Apple iPad mini (16GB, WiFi version) or a $300 Amazon gift card!

Update: This giveaway is now over. A winner was selected and notified by Email. Please click on iPad Giveaway above for the latest contests. Thank you for your interest in PFStock.

If you have a problem leaving a comment or any other question, please Email me. Good luck to everyone!