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What to do in Las Vegas: 12 Awesome Activities Off the Beaten Path

Whatever the reason you have come to Vegas, you have come and now it is time to have some fun. Of course, going to a casino, making bets, drinking, and touring the Strip are old classics that –like most classics – never get old. But there is so much more to do and experience in Las Vegas! There are interesting things to see, fun things to do, and so much to experience. Why not start your new Las Vegas experience today by trying some of the following:

1. BBQ at Ellis Island

The BBQ at Ellis Island in Vegas is the stuff of legend and is reason enough to visit this casino. The table games don’t open till 3:00 p.m. but the beer is brewed on site, and the BBQ may just be the best on the strip. If you love BBQ then this is one of the best things to do in Las Vegas!

2. Level 107 Lounge at Stratosphere

The view from the 107 Level Lounge in the stratosphere is amazing, and as the name implies it is 107 floors up. The view is simultaneously breathtaking and a bit nerve wracking. To get the full effect you will have to walk around a little, but it is worth it. If an epic Happy Hour is on your Las Vegas to do list take advantage of some amazing drink and dinner specials at the 107 Lounge.

3. Neon Museum

The Neon Museum is a walk-through of Las Vegas history that stretches across six acres. This museum features dozens of vintage signs and a great visitor center. In fact, the visitor’s center is the restored lobby of the iconic La Concha Motel, a Las Vegas landmark rich in local lore.

4. High Roller Ferris Wheel

The High Roller Ferris Wheel is the tallest observation wheel in the world. It is a fantastically fun, high, and scary ride – a ferris wheel for the brave at heart. (Or, depending on how you look at it, for the insane – either way it provides unparalleled views of Las Vegas.) If getting a bird’s eye view of the city is on your to do list, then the High Roller Ferris Wheel is not only a to do, but a MUST DO!

5. Face a Lion

Come to the Lion Habitat Ranch about a minute away from M Resort’s Buffet. This is where the MGM Grand Lions go when they retire. The keepers treat the lions like family, and it is a fun place to go because of the welcoming and clean environment.

6. See Other Countries in Vegas

You can visit Paris while in Vegas – there’s an Eifel Tower replica at Paris Las Vegas. Want to experience Venice? At the Venetian you can enjoy gondola rides at St. Mark’s Square. You can even see The Big Apple by going to New York New York where you will see recreations of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

7. Visit a Museum

Don’t visit Las Vegas without going to the Atomic Testing Museum. The Nevada Test Site was once the country’s principal weapons testing facility – at the museum, you get to see into the state’s history as a nuclear testing zone.

8. Less than $10 Sight Seeing Trip

For your next visit, ride one of the city’s fleet of double-decker buses that peruse the Strip and go all the way downtown. Known as the Deuce, these buses start at $6 for a two hour ride or $8 if you want to go on and off the buses all day.

9. White-Knuckle it on a Stratosphere Ride

The Stratosphere is the tallest building in Nevada, and on the roof of that very very tall building is a couple of rides that are sure to have you screaming for dear life. These thrill rides include: Big Shot, X-Scream, Insanity: The Ride, and SkyJump. You are sure to be white-knuckling it during these tear jerkers.

10. Jumping Fountain at the Bellagio

The Jumping Fountain is a more expensive attraction but it is worth the extra cash. This show comprises more than 70 swimmers, divers, aerialists, contortionists and clowns. All of these people are performing in and around a pool with 1.5 million gallons of water.

11. Drink in a Fascinating Place at The Mermaid Bar & Lounge

The Mermaid Bar & Lounge at Silverton is one of the most extraordinary/interesting places to have a beer. Enjoy watching the silver-finned mermaids swimming around, or hang around the Beatles-themed Revolution at the Mirage.

12. Go Swimming

The Hard Rock’s pool is so much fun. Whether it is you and some friends or you and the family, you can have a great time with the sandy beaches, waterfalls, and swim-up blackjack.

Budgeting Tips for your Las Vegas Experience

As you can see there Las Vegas is a great place to go on vacation, either with a group of adults or with the whole family. Either way, you’ll need to budget it right, or risk spending more money than you should have. If you need some tips on planning the perfect family vacation check out this post and if you find yourself in Las Vegas in need of some quick cash visit any of our Check City Las Vegas locations.

Cheap Road Trip Adventures

We’re getting towards the end of January and that means we have one more cold month of winter ahead of us. While winter is nice, it’s hard to enjoy waking up to 15 degree weather and icy windshields when you know that a quick road trip can land you smack dab in the middle of paradise. If you find yourself getting cabin fever sometime in the next few weeks, maybe a road trip is the answer you’re looking for.


“Life is about accepting the challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and savoring the journey.”
—Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


Road trips are all about spontaneity, adventure, discovery, roughing it, being creative, and enjoying all the quirks of life that come your way. But if you’re not afraid of the occasional wrong turn, eating PB&J for a week, or trying buffalo jerky from an out-of-the-way hunting lodge, a road trip could be just the adventure you are looking for.

Road trips can be one of the cheapest forms of vacationing. Rather than booking expensive hotels, eating at nice restaurants for every meal, and paying entrance fees to every theme park, attraction, and tourist hot-spot, road trips are about finding all the fun, free stuff. Of course, there will be expenses, the most notable gas. But between you and your friends (and phone apps that help you find the cheapest stations around), you should be able to handle the costs. Outside of that you may have to pay for a few nights at a motel or hostel and of course some food. But aside from that, you won’t have to pull your wallet out for much else.

HOW to Enjoy the Journey

road trip fun

1. Stock up before you go

Before you take off, stock up on your favorite foods, snacks, and music. Try to bring food that doesn’t need refrigeration and that can be enjoyed for days. PB&J works wonderfully. So do crackers, chips, popcorn, dried fruit, and trail mix. But make sure not to miss out on local cuisine as you drive through town. Many out-of-the-way cafes, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts offer great quality food for decent prices. This is your chance to sample some of the best food America has to offer. See what edible jewels you can find along the way.

2. Stock up on coupons

When you’re on the road it’s hard to not spend money on fast food. There are plenty of foods you can pack to save on road trip food costs, but if you do need to eat out a couple times, use coupons! Restaurants and fast food places often have apps that include points and discounts that you can use to get a meal without paying full price.

3. Enjoy what is around you

There are a lot of beautiful, exciting places out in Mother Nature that are there for you to enjoy at no cost. Relax at the beach, wander through a canyon, play hide-and-seek in a small forest, or explore the streets of out-of-the-way towns. Especially during the summertime, many cities and towns throw festivals, open street markets, celebrate holidays, and hold cultural events. These usually offer free concerts, dances, cheap specialty foods, and a lot of good times. These are fun, unique, exciting opportunities to experience the diversity that exists in your own backdoor. Have fun, make new friends and enjoy a cheap, quality entertainment!

4. Talk to the locals

Another good tip is to ask locals what to check out. Rather than chasing after the typical tourist sites or falling for the places with the biggest advertisements, ask locals where the best food is, what locals like to do for fun, or where to go to see the best sunsets.

5. Save by camping

Motels, inns, and hotels can be extremely expensive, and honestly, the more affordable options can be sketchy and gross. Skip it all together! Just go camping instead. Camping is better than cheap motel options because you can accumulate your own camping set up and sleep in comfort during your travels. You can always use a personal loan to take advantages of sales and help you purchase quality camping gear.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to enjoy a adventurous and cheap road trip whether it’s this winter or any time of year!

Top Ways to Save on Airfare

It’s the middle of January and for many places across the country that means cold weather, snow, and poor air quality. It seems like every January-February people start to get the itch to get out of town and visit someplace warm. In today’s blog post we’ll cover how you can save on airfare and get out of town without breaking the bank. When you look at the prices of Air travel though, it is hard to believe that anyone who is living on a budget is able to do it. Here are some tips and tricks to find good deals and get back in their air where you belong.

Rack up Those Miles

If you haven’t heard about delta sky miles or any other airline that has the same program available, then you are missing out! Sky miles can help you build up points every time you pay for some things. Think about it, the groceries, the entertainment, all of the things you are purchasing can get you closer to your next trip to the Bahamas! You can actually request flyer miles rather than money. Sometimes it turns out to be worth much more especially when you are looking at the right deals.


There are hundreds of contests out there that offer free airline tickets. While your chances of winning are sometimes not that good, if you sign up for many and stick with it, you will win eventually. The nice thing about it is that you end up being pleasantly surprised and it is all worth it in the end.

Airline Mistakes

Sometimes there are mistakes and Airlines will offer tickets for incredibly cheap or even free. This happened just recently and people were jumping all over it. Not only do airlines make mistakes with their offers, sometimes they will make mistakes and have you waiting for hours. If you make a formal and classy complaint, you can expect to get some sort of compensation.

Ask for Tickets as a Gift

Ya, I know, I know, no one wants to be needy or desperate, but what if you could talk your company into paying for your tickets? For instance what if you made a business trip out of a regular trip or what if you asked for your Christmas tickets to come in with your regular bonus. Most of the time it will be relatives who will be most willing to spot you for your trips so don’t push your luck too much.

When it comes to saving on tickets, it pays to know what you are doing in advance. Everything after that just gets more and more expensive. If you don’t plan things out far enough in advance, you can expect to pay a premium. Make sure that you save on all of your next big trips by minimizing the ever-expensive air fare. You won’t be disappointed when you find that you are flying for dimes and dollars and the person next to you has been spending through the nose to get in the same seat.

Money Smart Traveling Tips for the Holidays

Airports are never busier than around Christmas time. Both students and workers finally get a significant break and family members fly in from around the world to be together. Some families pack up the kids and head off on foreign adventures while others head off to the tropics to enjoy a nice sunny Christmas. In order to ensure a safe, happy, and carefree holiday season, follow these simple tips and enjoy your holiday travels!


No matter what season of the year it is, remember that it is important to use your money wisely. As great as it would be to fly away on a spontaneous Christmas vacation, remember to stop and consider your financial situation. Just because the world seems a bit jollier during the holiday season, it doesn’t mean that all consequences will melt away with the snow. Make sure you have sufficient funds to support your vacation and never put yourself in debt unnecessarily.

Book in Advance

Do your best to plan your vacation in advance. Booking flights early will save you hundreds of dollars. The same goes for many hotels, tours, and travel packages. Thinking ahead will usually give you a better quality vacation than a last minute one. You’ll have more choices when it comes to seats, prices, accommodations, etc.

Notify Your Bank

If you are traveling abroad for the holidays, make sure you inform your bank of your plans. If you leave the country without warning, you run the risk of your credit card being locked or cancelled by fraud protection practices. If you let your bank know of your plans in advance, they will track your card usage and ensure a safer, more secure vacation for you.

Protect Your Wallet

Foreign vacationers are prime targets for pick pockets and petty thieves. It is best to keep your money, cards, ID, passport, and other important documents in a money belt/purse. You can buy special belts and purses that you can wear under your shirt or pants. These are small zippered pouches that protect against wandering hands. Be especially careful around crowds and on public transport. Never leave bags unattended and always wear them where you can see and touch them (not behind your back).

Split up Your Money

It’s good to have cash on hand, but split up where you keep it. Avoid using your pant pockets – prime pick pocket targets. Instead use your money belt or put some cash in your shoe. Split up the cash between family members for added protection. It is ok to use your credit card, but limit its usage to large expenses (hotels, family dinners, car rentals, etc.). If you are about to head out of town and dont have any spare cash, remember that Check City is open later and more holidays than your bank or credit union, so if you need to cash a check, or get a cash advance for your vacation find a Check City location near you.

Copy Important Information

In the event that you do lose something or are robbed, make sure you have copies of important information in multiple locations. Photocopy your passport, your booking conformations, and keep the contact info of your bank handy. Call your bank immediately if your cards go missing.
There is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy a happy, secure holiday season. Follow these simple tips and have a very happy holiday!

Make the Proper Plans to Save on Your Next Trip

Thanksgiving is this week and for many people that means traveling long and far to be with family and loved ones around the world. Thanksgiving travel often lends itself to a wide range of emotions including excitement, stress, and, unfortunately, the common occurrence of little or poor planning. This last habit held by many travelers of poor planning can more times than not lead them to make costly mistakes, especially around the holidays.

Plan Now, Enjoy Later

Because nobody likes costly mistakes, those who are planning on taking a trip in the future should begin now to properly prepare for their upcoming trip. By preparing now for a trip in the future, a traveler will be able to better enjoy their expedition, make more memories on their vacation, and be more effective in their business travels.

There are several things that a person will want to consider while planning and preparing for their next trip. Some of the most important travel considerations that a person will want to prepare in advance for include the following few items.

Plain, Train, or Automobile?

First, one should consider which method of travel will be the most cost-effective. A traveler should take the time long before the departure date of the journey to decide which method of travel will be most cost and time effective for them.

Often, if the distance one is traveling is far then air travel will be the best form of transportation. However, other circumstances may make car, bus, or train travel more practical and cost effective choice.

Plan Your Hotel Ahead of Time

After settling on a method for transportation, a traveler who is looking to get some deals and save some money on their trip should prepare early for their need of lodging. Lodging is frequently one planning step that does not go under prepared for by travelers, however it is typical for travelers to wait too long in that preparation and end up missing out on money saving deals.

Where one will want to stay is of a great importance and will be largely determined by the needs of the traveler. One should consider their travel needs as well as what activities or sight-seeing they want to participate in as they seek to find the best deal on lodging.

Plan For Traveling Abroad

The next preparation to be made is to take care of any foreign travel requirements. There are often multiple forms and various other stipulations for those who are traveling outside their home country, and as such these several requirements must be attended to long before the journey is set to begin.

Failing to get all needful things in order beforehand could cause the trip to be delayed or even canceled. Foreign travel requirement should therefore be taken care of as soon as possible.

And last but certainly not least, a traveler should prepare ahead of time for their finances. Not only funding the trip, but paying for various things while on the trip, such as food, will all need to be carefully and purposefully plan for ahead of time. While traveler’s checks and credit cards are safer ways to spend money while on vacation, it never hurts to have cash on hand as well. If you need to cash a check last minute to get the spending money you need we recommend taking advantage of Check City’s check cashing services.

By making these and other needful plans before embarking on a trip of any kind, a person will be able to better enjoy themselves and eliminate the often costly mistakes that come with limited or poor trip planning.

Top 5 Cars that Thieves Love

car thief

It’s well worth it to protect your property because not only can having your car stolen be devastating, there are also a lot of hassles that go along with it that most people don’t think about.

What is it that you love about a car? What are its characteristics that make you want to own it? It might be the speed, towing strength, leg room, color, or manual transmission.

Or perhaps you prefer the safety features. Maybe you want something that’s great in the snow during the winter months, but great on gas mileage. The different qualities of a vehicle that you’re looking for varies widely based on your personal preferences. Indeed, it is this wide range of vehicle preferences that allows this many makes and models to exist in the first place.

A car thief is wearing a different set of glasses though. They look at the “car market” from a different perspective. Where the car owners could look at any one of hundreds of choices, the car thief is really only looking at about five. What this means for you is that if you own any of the vehicles we’ll be covering in this post you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect your property.

It’s well worth it to protect your property because not only can having your car stolen be devastating, there are also a lot of hassles that go along with it that most people don’t think about. For example, there are the insurance claims, there’s the loss of personal possessions within the vehicle, and getting the loan paid off if you have a traditional loan or an auto title loan on your vehicle.

In order to get a better idea of why thieves might want your car let’s take a second to get inside their heads and cover the top stolen cars and why thieves love them.

#1: Honda Accord

First up is the Honda Accord. Far and away, the Accord was the most stolen car in 2012. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau did their most recent study on most stolen vehicles in 2014 and found that Honda Accords ranked first on the list, with 51,290 Honda Accords stolen in 2014 alone.

#2: Honda Civic

The second most popular stolen car is Honda again. This time, it’s the Civic, bringing in an estimate of 43,936 stolen Honda Civics in the year 2014.

So what’s up with Honda? The next closest car on the charts rates in at about half the number of the Civic alone. So while the lists goes on, Honda vehicles are still more than twice as popular to thieves than any other car on this list. Why are they the most stolen cars in America?

There are ultimately two reasons for this. The first reason is because they are old and easy to break into. The majority of the models stolen in 2012 ranged from 1990 to 2000. They were 12 plus years old and there’s hardly any security on those older models. Thieves don’t want to get caught so they look for the easiest, not the most expensive, targets.

The second reason is that thieves break the cars into pieces and sell the individual parts. Hondas are some of the most commonly owned cars in America. Since these vehicles are still puttering around in abundance (the Japanese really know how to make them last forever), there are plenty of customers out there that just need a door, or a radiator to make the car run for another 50,000 miles. Since Honda doesn’t make certain older parts anymore or the prices for parts are far too expensive to be worth it, customers look for cheaper used parts. Thieves provide those used opportunities, unbeknownst to the buyer.

That said, Honda has definitely learned from their mistakes (having been at the top of this list for a couple years now). If you look at the most commonly stolen newer vehicles, Honda doesn’t come close to the top.

#3: Full Size Ford Pickups

The third favorite car among thieves was the Ford pickup (full size). It weighed in at 28,680 stolen cars. Turns out it was a 90’s truck that thieves were targeting so often. Why were these stolen? Parts and convenience. Again, the thief is never going to make it hard on himself for fear that he might get caught. He’s also going to always target more common vehicles so the parts will sell quickly and easily.

#4 & #5: Full Size Chevrolet Pickup & Toyota Camry

Fourth is the Chevy pickup (full size) coming in at 23,196 reported missing cars, and fifth is the Toyota Camry at 14,605. The vast majority of these statistics have to do with older car models. They present such each targets that it makes sense they would be the most popular cars to steal.

How to Protect Your Car from Thieves

Fortunately, if you have one of these top 5 cars, there are steps you can take to deter thieves.

Park in a Garage

car security

Don’t leave your car on the street if you can help it. If you can’t avoid parking on the street, then park it in a well-lit and populated area, especially at night. Thieves prefer the cover of darkness to accomplish their deeds, but if you park in a well-lit or busy area then you’ll deter thief activity.

But if you do have a garage, work on cleaning it out so you can use it for its intended purpose.

Keep Your Car Empty Inside

Leave the inside of the car bare boned. Don’t leave anything within sight as that can be the main source of temptation for thieves. This is a great tip too because keeping the inside of your car empty can give you an incentive to keep your car clean as well. If you do need to leave anything in your car put it under the seat, in the trunk, or in the glove compartment so that a thief scoping for items inside cars won’t see anything in yours.

Don’t Keep Your Car Title Inside Your Car

Never leave your title to the car in the vehicle itself. It’s almost a no-brainer to do this because if someone steals your car, and your car title is inside, then not only do they have your car but they now have it’s title too. A thief can then forge your signature and sign it over to themselves. Instead keep important documents like this in a safe lock box inside your house.

Lock Car Doors

Lock the car always. Even if your car is in your own garage, you should still lock the car doors before leaving it. Even if you are in your own familiar neighborhood, lock your car. Even if you are only going into the store for a second, lock your car. You never want to make a thief’s job easier by leaving your car unlocked and extra vulnerable.

Watch Your Keys

Keep a careful eye on your car keys. Losing your keys, or leaving them out where anyone can pick them up is a great way to lose your car forever. And you never want to lose your car all because you were careless. One way to help you never lose your keys is to use Tile essentials: devices that you can attach to your keychain so that you can track them using GPS if you ever misplace your keys. Another trick to help keep track of your keys is to use a lanyard of keychain that will make your keys bigger and thus harder to lose.

Use a Wheel Lock

Since a lot of stolen cars tend to be older, it can be useful to update your car’s security system yourself. You can also take advantage of old safety measures. Ever use a wheel lock before? It’s a device that literally locks your steering wheel. It can be a great tool to use as an extra precautionary measure when your car is older and therefore easier to steal. Thieves aren’t always ready to tackle things like wheel locks in a day of alarms and auto locks.


In 2012, the FBI estimates that about 724,000 cars were stolen. Assuming that each vehicle retained an amount of about $5,000 each, that equates to 3.6 billion in hard earned cash (some of which was still owed to the bank) that car owners lost when their cars got stolen. That’s quite the haul. Don’t become a victim of that statistic this year and keep these car safety tips in mind.

Top 7 Most Commonly Forgotten Car Maintenance Items

car maintenance
Keeping ahead of car maintenance won’t just help your car run longer, it will help it run better too. The following are 8 of the most commonly forgotten car maintenance items that you need to be doing throughout the life of a car.

  1. Don’t let your brakes wear down
  2. Rotate and replace your tires
  3. Check your gas cap
  4. Keep your car in the garage
  5. Stay on top of oil changes
  6. Replace your air filter
  7. Change your windshield wipers out

There are a lot of reasons car maintenance is important. Maintaining your vehicle properly will help it keep it’s value in case you ever need to sell your car. Cars depreciate in value over time just by driving them, but their value will depreciate even faster if you don’t practice basic car maintenance. Keeping up with basic car maintenance also helps your car run better and live longer. Cars also get problems over time. They get older and need their parts tuned up or replaced. By keeping up with car maintenance you can mitigate depreciation and the effects of normal wear and tear.

Naturally people are conditioned to the thought process of, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” so they let a lot of these maintenance items slip because there isn’t currently a problem with their vehicle. Similar to the way most people don’t visit the dentist unless they feel like they might have a cavity. But it’s important to have a yearly dental checkup even when everything seems fine, and the same goes for your car’s care. This routine maintenance will end up saving you money in the long run and allow you to build more equity in your vehicle which will come in handy if you ever need an auto title loan.

#1: Don’t let your brakes wear down

Breaks are an important part of car safety. Have you ever felt your car start shaking and hear grinding as you brake? That’s a sign that your brakes are just about to fail. You don’t want to risk getting anywhere near this level. Change them when they squeal or get too thin. Don’t continue to drive on them when you know they need replaced.

#2: Rotate and replace your tires

Your tread will wear out unevenly depending on the tire’s location. To redistribute that wear, have your tires rotated every six months. Tire rotation is one of the cheaper repairs you can get, costing anywhere between 24 and 120 dollars.
vehicle maintenance
Eventually you’ll also need to replace your tires. ‘Worn out’ doesn’t mean until your tires pop or become completely bald. In fact, the closer your tires get to bald, the more likely you are to get a blow-out, not to mention losing all traction on slippery roads.

Your state likely has a legal limit for how short your tire tread can be. Find out what’s legal for your state and keep an eye on your tread depth. If you deal with wet roads it’s a good idea to replace your tires when they have 4/32 inchesof remaining tread depth. Replace tires that are worn out to make sure you make it safely from point A to point B.

#3: Check your gas cap

Over the years, your gas cap can lose its seal as the rubber warps, breaks, or just wears down. This can cause you to lose gas mileage and can often turn your “check engine light” on. It can also cause moisture to get into your gas tank and hurt your engine’s performance.

Most gas caps are designed to last up to 100,000 miles. When you see your gas cap is getting old, pick up a new one and swap it out. They are usually cheap and easy to replace yourself.

#4: Keep your car in the garage

This isn’t a traditional maintenance item, but it is an important one that many forget about. A car is an investment, and exposing it to the outside elements for years can do a number to your car, and not just to the paint job. Keeping your car outdoors will depreciate it’s value over time much faster than if you keep it inside a garage.

Clean out the garage and make space to fit your cars into designated spots inside. Garages are often full of junk you’ll never use again anyway. Sell the junk, keep what you need, and organize what you keep better to get the most out of your garage space.

How to Organize Your Garage
    1. Remove everything from the garage.
    2. Get rid of things and put everything else into categories.
      • Examples of categories: Seasonal (like Christmas decorations), Biking, Tools, Gardening
    3. Clean the garage.
      • Sweep and wash the floors and walls, paint, and do any other renovations your garage might need.
    4. Install organization units.
      • Overhead storage on the ceiling
      •  Cabinets
      • Storage bins
      • Peg boards
      •  Shelving
      • Wall hooks and racks
      • Work bench and table
    5. Move all your things back into the garage now with everything in a planned out place, along with your car that now fits!

#5: Stay on top of oil changes

Depending on what kind of oil you get, you’ll only need to come in once every 7,500 to 10,000 miles to change your oil. Whatever the recommendation your oil gives you, stick to it. The consequence of not doing so is dirty oil passing through your engine. The more debris that makes it through means more damage to the engine.

Also, if you’re not keeping track of your oil levels, your engine could be burning more oil than you’re putting in. Should your oil run too low, your engine could seize up because temperatures run too hot. Not only does your oil keep the engine lubricated, but it also helps transfer heat out.

#6: Replace your air filter

Your engine requires a proper mixture of air and gasoline to run most efficiently. Your car sucks in enough air to mix with the fuel as it moves through the engine. The last thing you want to come in with that air is any dirt or debris from the earth. The debris will hurt the inside of your engine.

An air filter is placed in the way of all incoming air to catch all the debris. The filter can get so dirty that it actually blocks air flow, changing the air-gasoline mixture and reducing your engine’s effectiveness. You can usually tell that your filter is too dirty because the dirt looks caked onto the fibers. Change it before it reaches that point.

Generally you should change your air filter between 15,000 and 30,000 miles. If you drive on a lot of unpaved, dirt roads than you may need to change it more frequently.

#7: Change your windshield wipers out

Too often drivers don’t think about their windshield wipers because they only use them when it rains. They’ll go well over a year without changing their wipers. In the meantime, the rubber on the blades have started to crack, rip, and break, making them ineffective.

When they start missing large sections of water, making lots of squeaking sounds, or smearing your window instead of cleaning it, you know it’s time to change them. As a general rule you should replace your windshield wipers every 6 to 12 months.
Basic car maintenance and upkeep is an important thing for every car owner to get used to. If you take proper care of your vehicle you can rely on your car more. It will also help your car live longer and run better throughout its life. Then, when it eventually comes time to sell or trade in your car, it will have much more value than if you slacked on basic car maintenance. Keeping up with car maintenance can also help you out if you ever need a title loan.

Watch a video from Lowes about “How to Organize Your Garage.”

Read another Check City article about how to save on Car Maintenance, “Save Big-Time With These Car Maintenance Tips.”

How to Save Money on Transportation

Its summer time and that means that personal and family vacations are just around the corner. Whether you’re planning your dream vacation to the South of France or you’re going to a family reunion at the Grand Canyon a little extra money can go a long way when it comes to your summer vacations.

For some people it makes sense to get a cash advance before heading out on their vacation so that they can have a little extra spending money, for other’s they’d prefer to save some money as they prepare for their vacation. In this post we’ll cover several ways that you can save as you prepare and embark on your big summer vacations to make sure you don’t go broke in your travels this summer.

Save Money on Airfare

If you travel by airplane often, then it is worth it to find the best deal possible on airfare. One of the most important things you can do to save money in regards to airfare is to examine all the options.
Compare the costs of different carriers and different airports. You may be used to flying out of the airport that is closest to your home, but that may not be the cheapest one.

Check Pricing from Different Airports

You may be able to find cheaper tickets out of a farther airport, and even factoring in gas money you will save money. Another great way to save money on airfare is to travel on the days that have the lowest fares.

The days with the lowest fares are usually the days in the middle of the week, like Tuesday or Wednesday. These are the days that are farthest away from the weekend, and so less people are traveling.

Don’t Go for the First Deal You Find

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should always be looking for the best deal. Don’t settle for the first price you find on the Internet.

Whether you are looking for your tickets yourself online, or working through a travel agent, always ask for the lowest fares possible. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and you will very likely get the original price lowered.

Save Money on Car Rentals

Once you get to your destination, you will most likely need to rent a car. Car rental agencies are notorious for charging fee upon fee upon fee for people to rent cars.

The way to get around this is to compare the total cost of each car renting experience between the agencies you’re looking at. Be blunt when you’re asking the clerk about how much it will cost because they will sometimes try to hide fees from you by simply not mentioning them.

If an agency has a special offer going on, take advantage of that. Be wise, though; make sure that the offer is actually going to offer you a discount and isn’t just a flashy gimmick.

Car rental agencies also try to offer you lots of different liability and insurance options. These may seem like a good idea to purchase in the moment, but you may already have coverage from your already existing insurance company.

Make sure to check with your insurance company preferably before you’re at the desk at a car rental agency. You do not want to double up on coverage and have to pay more money in the long run.
Now let’s switch gears to talking about cars. Most adult Americans own their own car.

Save Money on Gasoline

Many Americans complain about how much money they spend on gasoline for their cars. What most Americans don’t realize, though, is how much money they can save by being wise about buying gasoline.

Americans can save hundreds of dollars per year by only buying gas from the cheapest stations, and only using the lowest possible octane allowed for their vehicle. Many people are ignorant about what their car needs and this unfortunately costs them money.

If you are currently looking for auto insurance for your car, there are ways to save money on that as well. Again, it comes down to comparing prices across different agencies.

Contact your state insurance department to get a complete list of prices charged by various insurance companies in your state. Be aware that you may not want to automatically go with one of the lowest prices listed; it’s important to compare what coverage each company offers as well.

If the insurance is cheap, but the coverage isn’t very extensive, then that really isn’t a good deal. When you’ve decided on an insurance company to go with, make sure to meet with an insurance agent who works for that company and explain your situation to them.

If they are a reputable company, they will work with you to work out an insurance premium that is fitting for your needs. There are hundreds upon hundreds of ways to save money; all you have to do is try them.

Safe Driving Tips We All Should Know

If you are planning on doing any traveling in the near future, be sure to make the effort to drive safely.
Being a cautious driver and driving safely is something that we need to be doing at all times. Let’s learn some safe driving tips, so we can be the safest drivers possible.

Become a Defensive Driver

defensive driving

Defensive driving is when you are actively “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others” according to the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course. They also say that car accidents are actually the leading cause of death in the workplace. They have both classroom programs and online courses you can take to learn more about what it means to become a defensive driver. They even offer specific classes for teenagers and young adults who are first learning how to drive.

Eliminate or Limit Distractions


Distractions should be eliminated or limited while you are driving so you and everyone around you can be as safe as possible. There are many things you can do to get rid of distractions all together, like putting your phone away. There are also ways to minimize distractions you can’t get rid of like keeping activities in the car to keep kids busy.


Obviously you can’t eliminate or limit the number of children you have in your vehicle. If you have three kids that is what you have in the car – but you can make some rules about acceptable behavior while your children are in the car. Don’t allow your children to fight or climb around in your car, they should be buckled at all times.

Cell Phones

Cell phones take your focus away from safe driving. The best and safest option when it comes to cell phone usage while driving, is to just say ‘no!’ no texting, no dialing, no internet surfing, etc. Don’t do anything with your phone that causes unsafe driving and harm to others. If you need to talk on the phone, use the legal car features that allow you to talk and drive through Bluetooth technology without having to touch your phone. It is safe to suspend conversations during hazardous driving conditions if possible. Make sure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing seat belts, and be courteous to those who are on the road with you.


Getting ready for a long trip? Make sure you get plenty of sleep before your trip, and if you start feeling tired don’t drive. Having the proper amount of sleep before driving is very important to being a safe and cautious driver.


This one is simple, don’t drink and drive. Part of being responsible when you go out for drinks is to coordinate how you’ll get safely home. This has become much easier with the creation of ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Now you can essentially call yourself a taxi wherever you might be.

Learn to Drive in Different Weather

driving in snow

Being a cautious driver during weather is very important. You never know when an unexpected storm is going to roll through causing driving conditions to become dangerous. It is always best to be prepared for these types of moments. Whether it’s raining, snowing, icy, etc. you always need to be cautious during these conditions. Slower and more cautious driving is highly encouraged.


Remember it gets darker much quickly in the cold months. Therefore, make sure to account for this fact when you are on the road and travelling. Committing to safety basics is going to make a big difference when it comes to dealing with the possible complications of the season.

Thanks for reading! We hope we have taught you some great safe driving tips.

Why You Need to Take a Vacation

Using Your Vacation

Many people do not realize that the average American does not utilize all of his or her paid vacation days. Taking your time off and ensuring that you are able to cultivate a healthy balance between work and personal life may help you be a better worker and feel more fulfilled in your life.

When you know that you want to take a vacation, be sure you schedule it far enough in advance. It’s always smart to schedule your vacation in advance so you won’t leave your co-workers empty handed on short notice.

Regional Vacations

America is a vast and diverse place, offering vacation spots in every corner. You may want to visit some of the unexplored areas around you. For instance, if you live in New York, consider a trip to the Catskills. There are many camping, hiking and sight-seeing opportunities. A trip up to Upstate New York to see the fall leaves can be an amazingly beautiful and inspiring road trip.

If you live in the South, you can visit historical Civil War sites. Most southern states have several historical sites for history buffs of all ages.

If you live in the west, consider visiting the mountains of Utah. Utah boasts several National Parks, and some of the most diverse and gorgeous landscapes in the nation. Take a vacation to Utah for a great and enjoyable time.

California offers vast options for vacations. California has a little something for everyone. You can take trip up the coast on Highway One. This historic highway takes you up the entire state, from San Diego northward.

Farther Afield

If you decide that your budget allows you to travel further, you can consider a cruise. A cruise allows you to travel to diverse lands, in a fairly safe environment. You can purchase excursions in each port, or simply stay on the ship. You can relax with every amenity at your finger-tips.

Consider an all-inclusive resort. Like cruises, these resorts offer every amenity in a tropical location. You can snorkel, swim or just chill on pristine beaches. When you are traveling, look for last minute travel deals and get an awesome deal on an excursion.


If time and money play a factor, consider a stay-cation. If a stay-cation is in your future, consider small road trips to water parks, museums, or tourist locations you’ve never seen. That local museum you’ve always wanted to stop by is calling your name! Another stay-cation option is a one, or two night stay at a local hotel. Just a quick change of location can do the trick.

Stay-Cations can also be a great time for you to catch up on your reading, gardening, or finish the small household chores you’ve been putting off. Just having your environment in order can be as restful as a full-on vacation.

If your employer offers paid vacation days, make sure to use it as needed. It’s important to take a vacation and relax so you can come back motivated. Whatever your budget allows, you are guaranteed to have a great time!

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