Vacation Tips: 5 Things To Do Before Leaving Town

Summer is quickly approaching and millions of Americans will be taking vacations to their favorite destinations. From family road trips to the beach to boarding international flights headed toward breathtaking destinations, vacationing during the summer is something almost everyone looks forward to. Before leaving for your vacation, however, there are some tips
Continue Reading

Have You Talked to Your Pets Lately? There's an App for That.

Have you ever wondered who's really responsible for all those socks and shoes that go missing while you're at work? Thanks to a wide array of new products leveraging home security technology, your question may finally be answered. For example, one new product, PetChatz, appeals specifically to pet owners by allowing users not only to monitor their pets' activities, but to speak to them and feed them a treat with the push of a remote button.
Continue Reading
Posted in Pets

Parenting: It's Never Easy

I'm so tired. My eyes are blurry from parenting exhaustion but I can still see the beat-up walls with fingerprints and dings and dents staring defiantly back at me. The hardwood floor boasts scrapes and scratches from too many toys being dragged up and down the hallways. The tiles in the kitchen are chipped from pots and pans dropped hastily while trying to juggle dinner preparation and a young family.
Continue Reading
Posted in Parents

The Pentagon Has a Zombie Apocalypse Plan. Here’s One for You.

Did you ever stop and think what might happen if the Zombie Apocalypse actually occurred? How would you protect your family? What would be left, if anything, when it was all over? The Pentagon has a plan in place, should you? Zombies have been giving us nightmares for what seems like forever. We've all seen the movies and television shows where flesh-eating zombies take over the world, only to be destroyed by some guy and his love interest in the end.
Continue Reading

Someone Fell off My Horse. Can They Sue Me?

Whether you own one horse or ten, chances are you've been asked by a friend or visitor to let them ride. While this seems like a friendly gesture, you may be opening yourself up to a potential lawsuit. Horses are powerful animals. Even if you follow all the rules of horsemanship, you can never predict a horse's actions - or the actions of a rider. A plastic bag blowing by, a panic attack while riding, or even a sneeze can set a disaster in motion.
Continue Reading

Used Cars: What Are You Really Paying For?

Used car dealerships make money by buying low and selling high, just like the bookstores and clothing boutiques down the street. But on the used car lot, what goes into the price isn't quite as obvious. If you compare the Kelley Blue Book prices on the vehicle you want, you can see the trade-in value, the private seller value and the dealer value, which is invariably the highest of the three. So what are the price tag components that make the same make and model cost more at the dealership than in your neighbor's front yard? At the dealership, you often pay for the car salesman commission, used car markup (which can be the most expensive part of the purchase), plus any extra warranties, features or financing you add into the deal. It's not a crime for salespeople and dealership owners to make a profit. But how do you make sure you're putting the lion's share of your money into the vehicle and not the dealer's wallet?
Continue Reading

8 of the Best Cars Under $10,000

If you are shopping for a car and need to spend less than $10,000, new cars are not an option for you. Currently, the least expensive new car on the market is the Nissan Versa, which starts at about $12,000. This does not mean, however, that you cannot find yourself behind the wheel of a great car. When you buy a used car, you can often find a very well equipped vehicle at an extremely affordable price.
Continue Reading

9 of the Best Cars Under $5,000

If you are shopping for a used car and have a budget that is under $5,000, you may think that finding a cheap, yet reliable, car is unlikely. You may also be willing to simply settle for anything you can find that will get you from point A to point B. However, there are used cars available in your price range that have a solid and proven track record, and one may just be the right car for you.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a Car

Is Buying a New House the Right Way to Go?

As the housing market continues to recover in much of the U.S., shiny new houses are once again hitting the market in healthy numbers. Buying a new house, especially one custom built to your specifications, is an empowering experience. But is it the right financial move for you and your family? Let's take a look at what the experts say about the pros and cons of buying a new home, as opposed to an older home.
Continue Reading

What Kind of House Should Be Your Next Home?

Are you thinking of buying a home? You may be wondering what type of house is right for you. If you need assistance in identifying an affordable price range for a home, there is no shortage of online calculators and mortgage rate estimators to help. Deciding if you'd prefer a townhome over a log cabin, or a condo rather than a ranch, is much more subjective, and it's hard to find outside sources that can help you make a sound choice. You could take any number of the available "Find out What Your Dream House Is" quizzes online. However, it's unclear how your favorite cartoon character or the month in which you were born will point you in the proper direction. These personality assessments may be entertaining, but can leave you more confused than when you started.
Continue Reading

10 of the Best Cars Under $15,000

Let’s face it. When you're shopping for a new car on a limited budget, your don't have many options. There are a number of used cars you can purchase for under $15K, particularly if you are looking at cars that are 5 years old or older, but if you prefer to purchase a new car, you will have only a handful of cars to consider. In the under $15,000 price range, you will only find compacts and subcompacts. Here is our list of 10 of your best new car choices for under $15,000, shown from least to most expensive. Of course, there will be both pros and cons with any car in this price range.
Continue Reading

Complete List of Dos and Don’ts on Car Buying Services

Car buying services can save you money on the overall purchase price of a car, often for a flat fee or a percentage of the savings under the MSRP. According to Bankrate, “These companies usually hire auto-savvy professionals to find a vehicle on the consumer's behalf.” The best auto buying services have the potential to save you thousands on the cost of a car. But more importantly for some buyers, a car buying service can save you time – hours and even days.
Continue Reading

What You Didn't Know About Vehicle History Reports

Car history reports, like the ones provided by AutoCheck and CarFax, are one of the most valuable resources consumers can use to protect themselves in the used car market. According to Kelley Blue Book, car history reports use a car's vehicle identification number to run a check on important facts and events in the vehicle's past, including these: Accidents Manufacturer recalls or lemon law flags Salvage or junk titles Odometer rollbacks Number of previous owners Other states where the car was registered This information can save you from purchasing a car that has hidden damage from a collision or from buying a vehicle from an unscrupulous seller who may have altered the facts about the car's history.
Continue Reading

Buying Diesel? Pros and Cons to Consider

When you are shopping for a new car, you have many options. Some cars are available with diesel engines, and you may be wondering whether buying diesel is a good idea. Until recently, most of the diesel-powered vehicles in the United States were trucks because diesel motors are much better suited for large, heavy vehicles such as tractor-trailers, construction vehicles and school buses. However, passenger cars with diesel motors are gaining in popularity, and carmakers are producing more of them each passing year. If you are asking yourself, “Should I buy a diesel car?” you may find this article beneficial for helping you weigh out the pros and cons associated with these types of vehicles.
Continue Reading

Can I Get a Mortgage with My Current Credit Score?

When you are ready to buy your first home, you will most likely need to finance your purchase through a mortgage. If your credit history isn’t very long or if you’ve had some financial snafus over the years, you may be wondering if you will be able to qualify for a mortgage. Your credit score isn’t the only thing that mortgage companies look at, but it plays a very important role in determining whether or not you will be approved for financing.
Continue Reading

Which Is Best for You? Hybrid vs. Gas Cars

Hybrid carmakers have sold more than 2 million gas/electric vehicles since the Toyota Prius debuted 15 years ago. Now, as gas-powered cars increase in efficiency and hybrids get more sporty and accessible, the question of hybrid vs. gas cars is tougher to answer than ever. If you're in the market for a vehicle that can keep your carbon footprint small, save you money at the gas station and go easy on your budget, a hybrid car might seem like the way to go. But it will take a little math to make sure.
Continue Reading

No Time to Worry: Why Autism Parents Must Have All Their Ducks in a Row

"I don't know how you do it." It's a phrase I hear all the time. It's as if some people think working full-time teaching children with special needs and raising a child with special needs is a big deal or something. Of course, I kid. It is a big deal. A big old hairy deal that has had me tied up in knots and broken down on the floor many times. Throw in my husband and older daughter, who also need attention, a slowly emerging writing career which could use some TLC, a sorry little social life, and you have a recipe for complete disaster.
Continue Reading
Posted in Parents