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Single Payment Leasing - If You Can Handle It, Do It
This Can Save You Thousands
These days many individuals and businesses lease vehicles. They do it for a variety of reasons, mostly for tax advantages. But many people don't know about "single payment leases" which can save thousands of dollars over the term of the lease. These type of leases have you pay the entire lease contract at the time you sign your lease. Naturally that means you need to shell out a lot of money before you drive out of the dealership but if you have the extra cash available - many people suggest you do it.
It Reduces the Monthly Payment
This type of leasing virtually eliminates the financial risk from the leasing company because you are paying the ENTIRE lease in advance. Every payment is made before you walk out the door. This gives the leasing company a reason to discount the monthly payment because normally some of the financial risk is baked-into the monthly rate. You might find an annual savings of $1000+ by doing a single payment lease, it all depends on the value of the vehicle you are leasing and the length of time you are leasing the vehicle.
Check Engine Light On? Find The Problem for Free
No need to spend a fortune at the dealer for a diagnosis!
Everyone experiences that familiar "check engine" light from time to time. As vehicles and their electronic systems get more advanced, there are more sensors, switches, and relays that can fail. Many people think they need to go to the dealership to figure out the problem and that can cost you a lot of money just for the diagnosis. The secret that many people don't realize is many local auto parts stores have "OBD" readers and offer to plug them into your car to see the trouble code. It literally takes seconds to do and the auto pats store is happy to do this because the diagnosis may show that a simple sensor needs replacing or maybe even your gas cap is loose or doesn't make a good seal. Many times the part that can fix the trouble code cost under $30 where the dealership may cost you $200 to diagnose and repair the same part.
You can even shop on Amazon or other online merchant and buy your own OBD or OBD-II reader. Some of the basic readers cost $25. Yes, you can spend $200 on a fancy code scanner but if you simply need to know what the error was, and can do your own research online for the fix, you can easily do it with a $25 scanner.
Beware - sometimes you will get an error code that says your oxygen sensor or downstream-sensor is bad. It sometimes can be a case of bad gas (not the people kind.) Many people have found that by letting their gas tank get low on fuel and then refueling with a different grade of gas - the problem goes away and then they switch back to the regular gas they used and the problem stays away. This is quite common and is worth trying before spending the money on replacing a sensor that may actually be working properly but sensing a problem with the particulates in the exhaust.Look: OBD-II Scanners
Many Brands of Tires are Made by The Same Company
Potential Savings: Big
When shopping for new tires you are often forced to buy the brand name tires that cost the most. That's because many stores that sell tires get a bigger profit or bonus when they sell the brand name, high dollar tires. Here's the secret: many of those same tire manufacturers that make brand-name tires also make the not-so-brand name tires, and that can save you big money. For example, many high speed rated tires cost $190+ per tire. If you ask about the same tire in a non-brand-name you may find it priced at $140 and if you ask about who makes the tire, often times it's made by the same company as the $190 tire. That's a $50 saving per tire!
Always ask about the non-brand-name tires
Many tire companies spend the same amount of dollars in devleoping a generic tire that they do for the high dollar tire. One gets more advertising dollars nationally so it naturally costs more becuase the expenses involved in sales and marketing of the brand name tires is quite high. Plus, some of the big name tire companies will offer the same or even better mileage warranty on the generic tires to try and gain the market share of the business. It's all a game these days of who can "own the market" and sell the most tires in a given city. This is a plus for you becuase you have the choices available to save significant money when buying new tires and often times it's from the exact same tire manufacturer. Be sure to always ask WHO makes the tire you are looking at.
How to Save Money on Gasoline
Potential savings: $150+ per yearMany people waste hundreds of dollars per year on gasoline because they don't think of the different ways they can get a discount. You don't need to use a specific gas company credit card to save. By thinking a little bit in advance bbefore you make a purchase you can often find a significant savings on your fill up, or on your total money spent to acquire the fuel.
Method: Gift CardsMany supermarkets offer big discounts or rebates if you buy a gift card through their store. For example, there are some that offer a $15 store credit on any $100 gift card purchased. Combine this method while using your gas "perks" card (most filling stations have one of those programs that give you cents-off of every gallon if you use their card (not credit card!). Yes, you may only be getting a 5cent discount on fuel when using your perks card AND your gift card but remember what you received - a $15 grocery store credit. That means you are spending $15 LESS on your next grocery store purchase and that's real money which means you are saving all around. Always look out for grocery stores that offer a big discount or big rebate when purchasing a gift card. During holidays they often offer a signficantly larger bonus when buying a gift card. Shop: Gift Cards
Method: Perk Cards offered by Gas Stations
These cards are the ones you see at Exxon/Mobile, Shell, Chevron, etc gas stations. You sign up and get 10 cents off a gallon for the first 30 days (for example). That's real money you are saving and after the first 30 days they usually drop the discount to 3 cents of 5 cents off. But don't stop there. Many of these cards also let you earn additional discounts when you use their credit card to make everyday purchases. You can earn up to $1 discount per gallon in some cases and that's a very, very large discount. Look around for gas company perk cards and find the ones that offer you the biggest discounts with the most assorted ways to earn the discount. Grocery stores are often the best becuase they let you add up points for every dollar of groceries purchased - up to $1 discount per gallon. Once you find the best card - give it a try for a while and see if the discount is measurable. If yes, you've found the secret to getting a real discount on fuel.
These can be a little more tricky to find but if you are good with a search engine you can dig for the companies that offer discounts on gasoine or provide gift cards in return for completing a survey or surveys. Some of the offers seen have been as high as $25 to complete a survey, and some have few few limits on how many surveys you can take per month. This means you could get $75 to $100 in gift cards for taking a handful of surveys. That's not bad for a half hour of your time to get a couple tanks of gas per month!