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Save Money By Changing Your Oil and Rotating Your Tires

Repair Your Car and Save Money!

Owning a car is a major investment. Many take out loans to purchase a car and spend five or six good years paying the debt off. On top of that, they are paying for gas every week, car insurance monthly, oil changes quarterly and registration every year. The total amount of money you spend just to drive the vehicle ads up to thousands of dollars every year. But it’s okay, because when you purchase your car, you expect to pay for these expenses and you have planned for them.

The hardest thing to afford are unplanned maintenance items. Some mornings you wake up, turn the key in the ignition and hear nothing but unhelpful sputtering. For some reason your car wants to wake up this morning less than you did. With the help of the internet and a few helpful tools, you could diagnose the problem yourself, get the equipment and do the work yourself—removing the need for a high priced mechanic to charge you for labor. Many home mechanics post helpful tips and tricks at figuring out your problem and fixing it.

The most important thing to understand about car maintenance is that when you maintain a good schedule of oil changes and tune-ups, you can keep your car in good working order and avoid more expensive repairs.

Oil Changes

On average, the typical oil change should be done every 5-7,000 miles. When you change the oil, replace the oil filter and use a quality oil or synthetic. For newer vehicles, a 10/40w will be good, while a thicker weight such as 5w30 will suffice. As a rule, Quaker State or Penzoil are quality oils, which can keep your engine in good working order. There are great tutorials on the internet that can teach you how to change your oil.

Tune Up

A Tune-up should be performed every 10-25,000 miles depending on the spark plugs you use. Platinum plugs will last longer, and work better. You should replace the plug wires every other tune-up at least. If your car has a distributor cap, that should be replaced as well, to keep the engine firing correctly. In order to perform your tune-up correctly, it is vital to replace the spark plug wires in the exact order you removed them. If the wires are mixed up, your car will misfire and run rough.

Auto parts

As you prepare to do a tune-up, it’s important to have the correct resources and tools at hand. For instance, for your oil change, you will need a ratchet set, as well as a filter remover. Each model will require different procedures depending on your engine.

When you purchase auto parts, you need to make sure you have the right make/model and engine for your vehicle. Many variables can decide which part you need. The engine size is usually found on the bottom of the hood, or on a plate inside the engine compartment. Once you have the engine size, you will be in a better position to get the right parts for your car.

You can find great tutorials on YouTube that will teach you how to rotate your tires, and change your oil. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, look at pictures and read. Most easy repairs can be completed if you are willing to search out the resources.

People love sharing the things they learn and take a lot of time to write up explanations, take pictures of problems and even demonstrate processes through videos. You do not have to be a car whizz to understand what they are doing. In fact, a lot of times, the explanations are explained at a level that most anyone can relate to.

The best thing about these tutorials is that they are completely free. Combine that with the free labor you will provide and the purchase of materials, you will pay less money on every repair if you can just do it yourself.

Budgeting as an Empty Nester

When your children move out of the home, becoming an empty nester can be a big adjustment. When you move into this stage of life, it can be a good idea to learn how to eliminate your debt once and for all. Downsizing your home is a great way to minimize the money that you are spending each month and you may even be able to make money off of your home if you purchase a smaller home.

If you are still in debt, work on paying down the high interest debt first. When you can pay down the high interest debt, you will be able to minimize the total amount of money that you are going to have to pay. Sit down and figure out which debt you will want to pay off first, this way you can be sure that you are able to minimize the total amount of many you pay towards your debt.

When you are tempted with using credit cards, try to keep your future in mind. If you know you are going to be on a fixed income, you will not want to be spending money that is going to make it harder to make ends meet on that fixed income. If you know that you have some money headed your way, but you are not going to be able to pay your bills before the money comes Check City can help. Stop by any Check City location and take out an Installment Loan. Our installment loan has been designed to make it easy for customers to pay the loan back. This way, you can avoid late fees and be on your way to financial freedom. Getting yourself out of debt as an empty nester is a great step towards financial freedom as a retiree.

Tips for Being a Good Renter

When you are renting a home it is important that you know how you are going to take care of the rental unit. There are a lot of people that end up paying money in fines and fees because they are not caring for their home properly. If you know that you are going to be renting, be sure that you are prepared to be the best tenant that you can be. This way, you will be able to work well with your landlord and ensure that your home is comfortable.

First, be very familiar with your contract. Make sure that you know what is expected of you and how you are going to fulfill the agreement that you made. Take time to read through the contract on a consistent basis so you do not forget what you are responsible for. Part of your contract will require you to pay rent by a certain date. Be sure that your rent is paid on time and that your landlord does not have to remind you to pay your rent. If you are a little short on your rent payment, stop by a Check City to take out an Installment Loan. Our Installment Loans are safe, secure and easy to pay back. This way, you will not have to deal with any problems or late fees with your landlord.

Second, make sure that you do not do any damage to the home that you are renting. Usual wear and tear on a unit is expected, but you should not be doing any more damage than that. If you do damage something, be sure to have it fixed promptly. If your contract requires you to tell your landlord, contact your landlord as soon as possible to show the damage to your landlord.

Renting can be a great opportunity. Make sure that you learn to be a good renter before moving into a rental unit.

5 Great Steps When Starting a Community Garden

5 Steps to Create a Successful Community Garden

If you are interested in getting more involved with your community, there are many ways that you can start to involve yourself. Community gardens are becoming more popular and are a great way for you to become more involved with those around you. Not only will you get to know your neighbors, but you will also help grow nutritious food for your community to eat and enjoy.

Here are some great steps when planning how to start a community garden:

Step 1: Invite Your Community

If you want to start a community garden, don’t be afraid to talk about your idea to the people in your area. You may be surprised at how many people around you have an interest in this as well.

Once you know there is enough motivation and people who can support it, you can then form a planning committee and get the ball rolling for a community garden in your area. Having a community to participate with you is a very important step when starting a community garden.

Step 2: Find Resources

You will need to figure out what types of tools, materials, funding, and volunteers may be needed to keep your garden running smoothly.

While doing this research, try to identify all of the available resources that you and your planning committee can utilize. Starting a community garden can be expensive so it’s a good idea to utilize the skills and resources within your own community before you consider looking for outside help.

It may be beneficial to find a sponsor for your community garden. Some churches, private organizations or businesses may be willing to sponsor your community garden to ensure that it is successful.

After you have your funding in place and a list of materials, tools and members, you can decide if the garden will be open to any willing residents, or if you will require membership dues.

By requiring a small participation fee, the garden will be self-sustaining and you can be sure that as long as people are interested, the garden will continue to run well.

Step 3: Locate a Garden Site

Once your committee is set, you know you have funding and/or sponsors, and a community ready to garden, your next step is to find a location! Search your city for land that may be available for lease or purchase and contact the landowner.

While searching for the perfect location, remember that it is recommended that your plot of land get at least six hours of direct sun daily and has an easily accessible source of water.

Your garden can be as large or as small as you wish, but ultimately the size will be determined by how big your community is, and how many people will participate. Finding the proper location is a very important step when planning how to start a community garden.

Once you have a plot of land secured, make sure you obtain all the necessary liabilities and fees.

Step 4: Arrange Your Garden Plot

After you have figured out everything above, you can then move on to the garden itself. Plan the size and lay out of the garden to ensure that it is user friendly and protected.

Make sure your garden is easily accessible for people of all ages, but also protected from any wildlife that may destroy the garden. Depending on your area, you might be concerned about vandalism as well. Make sure your garden area has a secure tool storage when starting a community garden.

Step 5: Grow Your Produce

Most of the hard work is done, now it’s time to do the fun part: plant your garden! To get off to the best start, test your soil and see if you need to add any fertilizers for better growth.

Make the most of your garden by using plants that grow well in your climate, including native plants, incorporate mulching or composting, and if legal in your area, install a rain barrel to use for watering plants or cleaning supplies.

As you go through these steps to create your community garden, do not get too upset at small setbacks. With many people coordinating, you may find that there are problems and differences of opinion.

If you run into problems with your funding, stop by a Check City location to take out an Installment Loan. These loans are safe, quick and secure. They are also developed to ensure that customers are easily able to repay the loan. With some time and patience, you can be sure that you have a community garden that you know you will love.

Finding The Perfect Summer Camp for Your Kids

Finding a Summer Camp for Your Kids

For many of us, summer camp conjures up memories of lighting fires, roasting marshmallows, and summer camps. However, regardless of your particular experience with summer camps, there is a wide variety of camps to choose from for you children. Each camp has its own unique qualities, and your child may be more suited to one over the other so it is important to choose carefully.

Signing your kids up for summer camps can be difficult. A summer camp for kids can be a great way to ensure that your kids are taken care of and enjoying themselves. Of course, you want camp to be a positive experience for your child, so involve your child in the process of searching and vetting each summer camp option.

Find a Licensed Summer Camp

Start by looking for summer camps for kids that are licensed by the state. You want to make sure that the health and safety of the camp are being regulated and that its facilities are sufficient and in good repair. A licensed camp will also have to screen its employees and volunteers, so you can be more certain that your children will be in the hands of caring adults.

It is important that parents ask if background checks are done on the staff. Then, they should inquire about the type of training that employees go through and the ratio of staff to children. This way, the parents will have a better understanding of how their children are going to be cared for when they are at the summer camp.

Find a Camp That Caters to Your Child’s Interests

A great summer camp could wind up sparking a lifelong interest for your child. She will most likely be creating memories that will last a lifetime, and crafting deep friendships.

There are so many kinds of summer camps out there, with various themes centered around sports, science, religion, civic involvement, and much more! By choosing a unique camp for your child, you can help them broader their horizons and learn more about what the world has to offer.

Talk with your children about the types of activities they want to participate in when they are at camp. This way, you can be sure that your children are able to enjoy the time that they spend away from home. You may find a summer camp that is focused on athletics or a camp that is focused on art. No matter what, you should be sure that your children are excited about the activities that they will get to be a part of.

Budgeting for Summer Camp Costs

Budget will also need to be taken into consideration. Summer camps can get pricey and it is important that the parents know what they are signing up for ahead of time.

You should start budgeting for summer camp months, even years ahead of time, depending on the camp you plan on sending your child to. If you choose one that is particularly expensive, but would be incredibly beneficial and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your child, then all that stands in your way is your own ability to craft a workable budget that allows you to save enough money.

Not all summer camps will cost an arm and a leg. If you want to give your child the camp experience that’s cheap, look for options in your own backyard. You won’t have to travel as far to drop off and pick up your child, and you’ll be close by if an emergency were to happen.

Many summer camps also offer scholarships and financing help to families with need or to promising children. All it takes is to ask, and you wind up saving hundreds of dollars!

7 Amazing Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

Planning an Easter Egg Hunt

There are only a few holidays every year that allows the entire family to get together, with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Every family has their own traditions that they like to do, but most families participate in an Easter egg hunt with all of the young children. Here are 7 amazing Easter Egg Hunt ideas.

Use Plastic Eggs

Another Easter tradition among most families is to paint real eggs and decorate them. However, using these same eggs in Easter egg hunts can have several draw backs for several reasons. For example, if you hide any inside the house and they aren’t found and you forget where it’s hidden, those eggs will become rotten and start to stink up the house.

Real eggs, even hard-boiled eggs, are much more easily breakable than plastic eggs. In the process of hiding or finding them, the shell can easily break and make a mess. You can avoid all of these issues by using plastic eggs instead of real ones.

Color Code the Eggs

Once you’ve got your plastic eggs, separate them into at least 3 different colors. This will allow you to hide different prizes for 3 different age groups – the elementary age kids, the middle school kids, and the junior high (or older) kids. Before the hunt, inform the kids which color they should be hunting for and throughout the hunt remind them to leave eggs that aren’t their designated color hidden.

This allows you to hide the eggs in different levels of difficulty. It’s understood that younger children have a harder time finding hidden objects than older children. The eggs that are meant for the younger children can be hidden in plain sight more so than the eggs for the older children that can be hidden in high places and made more of a challenge.

Extra Challenge

If you want to add an extra challenge for the oldest kids you may even want to write letters on the eggs that you have hidden. Then, at the end of the hunt, have the kids make as many words as possible with their letters and you can award the child that can create the most words.

Remember the Weather

When you are filling the plastic eggs, fill them with treats that are going to last in the weather. If you are going to be setting up an Easter egg hunt in the heat, take that into consideration as you fill the eggs. If you are in a cold climate, keep in mind that some of your treats may freeze or become difficult for younger children to chew. Find substitute treats that won’t freeze up.

Motivate Older Kids to Participate

While most young children don’t need to be told twice to participate in Easter egg hunts, older children have less motivation. After participating in the hunts for several years, some teens just don’t feel the need to continue, while others get frustrated by their younger siblings or cousins.

You can motivate them to participate by placing money in their eggs rather than candy. However, you’ll want to keep track of every location that you place an egg with money in it or else you may end up losing that money for good.

If you don’t want to put the money in the actual egg in case it gets lost or there is particularly bad weather, you can put a coupon in the egg, allowing the teens to redeem their coupon for cash.

Additional Games

Although you may give everyone a chance to participate in the hunt, there will be those kids that don’t find as many eggs as others. To allow them to go home with just as many treats as the rest, you’ll want to create additional games and competitions for them. For example, see who can design the prettiest egg, or who has the best outfit. If need be, you can rig the games to ensure that everyone goes home with a prize, and everybody has fun.

Get the Supplies You Need

As you are looking for the supplies that you need and you are short on cash, you should be sure that you stop by Check City. An installment loan is a great way to get the cash that you need to plan your Easter egg hunt. With an installment loan you will be able to get the cash that you need and pay back the money quickly to ensure that your installment loan is a wise financial decision.

Starting Your Spring Yard Clean Up

When the snow starts to melt away and your grass re-emerges from its winter hiatus, you have to be prepared to start caring for your yard. This year, make sure that you are ready for spring to roll around by preparing to care for your yard. There are many ways that you can get yourself ready, so your lawn is in full bloom as spring progresses into summer.

 

First, you should be sure that you have all of the gardening and maintenance equipment that you need.  If you know that you are going to need this equipment, but you do not have the resources to purchase this equipment stop by Check City to take out an installment loan.  Quick, easy and transparent, the installment loan is a great way to ensure that you are prepared to start taking care of your lawn properly. Stop by any Check City location today and be on your way with the cash that you need.

 

Second, you want to make sure that you dedicate time to working on your yard.  You want to make sure that you are consistently working on your yard to ensure that it never gets too out of control.  While you are working on your yard, you have to be sure that you have a plan and that you stick with your plan.

 

Finally, be sure that you consult with a professional if you feel that you are in over your head.  You may need some help creating a plan or you may need some help executing a plan that you have created to ensure that your lawn is going to be well taken care of. No matter what you need, if you get an early start you can be sure that you will have a yard you can be proud of.

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