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Managing Holiday Budgets

December 7th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety, inSIGHTS

Often, a leading cause of stress during the holiday season stems from money problems. If you are like most consumers, you have not planned ahead and may find yourself struggling for cash come January. Proper budgeting and smart shopping techniques will help you stay within budget while finding something special for everyone on your list.

Consider the following tips:

  • Write down a maximum dollar amount that you want to spend for your entire list, and then track how much you are actually spending.
     
  • Set aside money throughout the year to use for holiday spending.
     
  • Take advantage of online ordering to save money and time by comparison shopping. Make sure to take advantage of Cyber Monday sales and free shipping codes.
     
  • Buy gifts using cash. This will help you avoid putting too many expenses on your credit card.
     
  • Give personalized gifts instead of expensive gifts. A less expensive, thoughtful gift can be worth more than a costly gift that the recipient may never use.

Keeping in mind the above tips will ensure that you can enjoy the holiday season without worrying about money.

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Protect Your Car from the Sun

July 10th, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in inSIGHTS, Insurance Discount Strategies

If you don’t take the proper precautions, the sun can severely damage key components of your vehicle. In fact, it’s not uncommon for the exterior of cars to reach 194? F when exposed to direct sunlight in the summer. This amount of heat can not only wreak havoc on your car’s finish, but its interior as well.

To protect your vehicle, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Park in the shade. This is the best way to avoid direct sunlight, which will keep your interior and exterior from drying and cracking.
     
  • Use a windshield sun protector. These affordable products keep the inside of your car cool and help prevent sun damage.
     
  • Install seat covers. Seat covers are a great way to protect leather and fabric seats. Better still, these covers can help keep your seats cool.
     
  • Wash and dry your exterior often. Sun and heat can fade and crack the paint of your car. Frequent washing and hand drying helps remove dirt and dust particles that can cause issues to a vehicle’s finish.
     
  • Wax your car. Waxing your car adds an extra layer of protection from ultraviolet rays. How often a car needs a wax job varies, but it is best to do it on a regular basis.
     
  • Check your tire pressure. Hot pavement and underinflated tires can easily lead to blowouts, which can be expensive to fix. Even good tires can lose about one pound of air pressure a month, so it’s important to check them often. Be sure to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure.

Rising Auto Insurance Prices

June 1st, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety, inSIGHTS

Although gas prices are low and job rates are rising, these factors are pushing auto insurance rates up. That’s because as people begin to drive more, car insurance claims and insurance payouts rise accordingly.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that auto fatalities rose an estimated 8 percent last year, which is the largest increase in over 50 years. Additionally, the Insurance Research Council has found that the average cost per auto insurance payout is over $15,500—an increase of over 30 percent. As a result, many insurance providers have raised premiums, and you may see higher prices regardless of your driving record.

To save money on your auto insurance, consider raising your deductible and driving a vehicle with extra safety features. Also, be sure to contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer today. We can work with you to find an insurance policy that best fits your unique needs.