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Nine Ways To Save Serious Money On Car Repairs

Nine Ways To Save Serious Money On Car Repairs

Are you looking for the tips & tricks to keep repair costs down for your vehicle? No worries! Here, in this article, I’m going to list some smart moves to save serious money on car repairs.

A car is the 2nd largest purchase that the consumers make, after a home. But, it’s a fact that costs never stop, when you own the vehicle. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2nd largest household expense is to own and operate a vehicle, which is approximately $8,800/year.

1. Know The Car’s History

The first way to save money on serious car repairs is to ensure you buy a good car. Be extra careful while buying pre-owned vehicles. If the vehicle is 10 or more years old, the repair and maintenance costs usually add up to higher than the worth of the car itself. First of all, you need to make sure that the car you have is safe to drive. For this, it’s crucial to know the history of the car and what all it has been through in the past years.

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Just ask the seller to show up the receipts regarding repairs, maintenance, and services. If he does not have any receipts, then you should seriously reconsider your options! You may also ask about the car’s extended warranties and personalized registrations. Last but not the least, do ask about the police reports. If the car went through some serious accidents, there must be a police report to escort it.

2. Check The Odometer Before Buying

When you are considering buying a used car, you must check the odometer for sure. Obviously, it’s always a good thing to have the car with the less mileage. You can find the cars with the less odometer reading, especially from the old folks, as they drive less, and you will get a more reliable vehicle. If you buy a five year old car that has run more than 60,000 Kms, then you’ll surely get in trouble as such cars ask for more maintenance costs.

 3. Clean Interiors

While you are checking out the car’s interiors before the purchase, check out the button controls and other such functions as well, to ensure they all work fine. Check out the seat cover for tears and stains as you may end up spending more on these later.

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If you are the seller, try to keep the interior clear of stains, smells and the other things as these may lead to car devaluation. Try to put seat covers on to keep the actual ones clean and safe. And when you plan to sell the car, just take them off before the buyers arrive.

4. Don’t Just Rely on the Carfax

Many consumers rely on Carfax reports which reveal the history of the car. Most of the car dealers and owners offer a carfax; however, this does not mean it’s accurate. In fact, most of the studies show that most vehicles have been in some kind of accident, however small, and these reports may don’t include the damage done. So, be aware and don’t just rely on it, as this could mean extra costs for you later on. Have the car checked thoroughly by a professional car mechanic, if needed.

5. Maintain The Exterior

Once you have bought the car, you certainly have to avoid scratches and dents. Always drive carefully.

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You also need to check the garage or the ground where the car is parked to inspect the oil pools, which will indicate any problem in the car engine or the transmission. Overlooking small details will cost you a lump sum of money on repairing and also, it will devalue your car from the actual market value.

6. Rotate Your Tires

Just keep it in mind, as compared to the rear tires, front tires wear out more quickly. By replacing them from time to time, you can make sure that all tires wear out in an even way and that you won’t have to replace them ahead of time. This will eventually save your time, money and of course the hassles you face all along.

7. Replace Your Air Filter

It’s very crucial to keep your car’s air filter clean. It will clean the engine and this eventually improves the fuel economy. Try to replace it every 28,000 miles or so. For the exact timetable, you can check your owner’s manual. Replacing air filter is quite an easy job to do, which will curtail overall maintenance cost. You just need 5 minutes and there you go! If you don’t know how to do it; you can learn it by viewing YouTube videos as well.

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8. Handle Other Easy Repairs

Handling of other easy repairs such as replacing wiper blades, lights and fuses by yourself, will help you cut down overall fixing costs. It’s very easy to deal with these little things. If you have a busy schedule, just plan ahead to do it on the weekends. You can also watch how-to-do videos for more information on your car problems.

9. Changing the Oil

Usually, mechanics tell that you have to change the oil every 3000 miles, but this criteria is only for used cars. When it comes to the new cars, they contain synthetic oils that can easily cover more than 10000 miles before requiring change. Don’t forget to see the manual card and keep an eye on the exact oil date change.

Whether you are young or old, always try to use these simple tricks which not only ensure you buy a reliable and safe vehicle, but also saves you maintenance money in the long run.

Featured photo credit: upload.wikimedia.org via upload.wikimedia.org

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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