Super Smary Money Saving Tips for Post Grads

Finally — the studying, the exams, the footnoted research papers are behind you. You’ve completed those last needed academic credits. And now you’re a college graduate. An adult. On your own. Paying rent, covering utility costs, paying off school loans, moving through the maze of insurance needs. Scared yet? Nearly all post grads are faced with these financial pressures and more. It IS scary, especially when you’re still on the bottom rungs at work or, worse, still looking for a full time job. But there are things you can do to get on track and stay on track and even begin planning and saving (!) for the future. Keep calm, and read on for our most sound advice on how recent graduates can get on top and stay on top of their finances.

Budget, Budget, Budget!

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We’ve all heard it — from parents, teachers, employers, friends: “you’ve got to have a budget!” But no matter how much the newly graduated may resist, especially when you feel you have almost nothing to budget, it is true. Admittedly, it is not very much fun. But when you create a basic spreadsheet of monthly costs, and you see in black and white that there’s more money going out than coming in, it’s pretty clear that something has to give.

Cut Corners

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So, you dine out less and eat in more — actually learn to cook. That coat can last another season. Those new boots no longer are a must-have but something you hope you might receive as a holiday or birthday gift. You no longer offer to pick up the tab at lunch or buy a friend a beer. You even give up the daily latte and figure out how to make a pot of coffee. The vacation to an exotic destination will have to wait another year. But you don’t have to despair. It’s not all Raman noodles and an austerity program. Take pride in your newfound financial independence, and the new set of skills you’re developing as you find creative ways to save. The next time your friends try to drag you out for a night on the town, invite them over for a home cooked meal instead.

Be A Conscious Commuter

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One of the easiest ways to save money is commuting contentiously. If you in the suburbs, consider carpooling with a neighbor or nearby coworker. If you are fortunate enough to live in a city with a reliable public transportation system, take the train or bus to work to cut out fuel costs all together. That said, you don’t have to rely on public transportation for the next decade. Consider purchasing a used car and, even smarter, one that’s not a gas hog. One that is inexpensive to maintain and that reduces your environmental footprint. The perfect example is the Fiat 500 from www.ocfiat.com. This sweet driving, super cute compact car can be purchased for under $15,000 at http://www.ocfiat.com, making it an incredibly smart and financially feasible investment.

Steps in Running Over Plastic

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Approximately 380 billion plastic bags are utilized in the United States every year. That’s greater than 1,200 bags per U.S. resident and more than 54 times the number of people who live on the planet. That’s why within Santa Monica, thanks to a town-wide plastic bag ban, you won’t locate a plastic bag at some of the major retail stores.

Since plastic bags usually do not biodegrade, normally it takes anywhere between 500 and one thousand years for the grocery bag to break down through photodegradation. So, those plastic bags floating around with the road will probably be there for quite a while.

Plastic bags are not only dangerous to wildlife, killing hundreds of thousands of marine animals each year, and the environment, depleting resources like oil and trees-but additionally to your car.

When you’re driving on the freeway and you roll over that plastic bag floating between the lanes, you could be in for a huge and costly surprise if it gets caught somewhere inside your car.

A plastic bag will get sucked into the drive belt or exhaust system, causing major mechanical issues and sometimes even fire, as pointed out by way of a professional mechanic on Reddit. It can be pretty tricky to obtain off, and cause your automobile to smell like burning plastic for weeks, if this melts for your exhaust pipe.

Yikes!

So, the next time you see a supposedly harmless plastic bag in the road, do the best to safely avoid it. If it actually passed below your car, and if you do eventually drive over one, make sure your rearview mirror to discover. If you don’t see anything in the mirror, pull over (when safe) and check underneath your vehicle.

Regardless how beautiful Wes Bentley from American Beauty thinks they can be, plastic bags are pretty shitty.

Plastic bags aren’t the only thing that can induce unforeseen harm to your car, either. Neglecting seemingly-small maintenance tasks can really take a toll in your car’s general performance and lifespan. Here are some basic things you can do to maintain your car running smoothly and avoid unnecessary and costly repairs.

Change Your Oil

I know how annoying it can be to change your oil every three or five thousand miles, but that minor inconvenience will keep your engine healthy.

Plus, it allows a mechanic to view what’s happening under the hood and underneath your car every few months, and they can notify you of anything that could result in you problems if left unchecked.

Mind the Lights

That check engine light is indeed easy to ignore, and I’m just as accountable for it as someone else. But when you probably think you’re spending less by not taking it in, the longer you let a service light go unchecked, the much more likely you’re increasing the cost of any repair that must be done.

The check engine symbol is quite self explanatory, but several of the others aren’t as easy to find out if you don’t know much about cars. Look at this simple help guide what each of the lights mean and how you might be able to solve the problems all on your own if you’re unfamiliar with them.

Check Your Tires

Probably the simplest thing you can do to avoid unwanted injury to your car is to make sure your tires aren’t under- or overinflated. Plus, keeping your tires filled correctly can add a couple of miles per gallon to the car.

Examine the owner’s manual or the inside of your car door for the correct pressure for your tires.

Air Filter

Alter your air filter. Most technicians will check your filter whenever you come into the store for an oil change. Go ahead and get it done if they say you should change it out.

How many times you have to change your filter depends a lot regarding how much you drive and what type of climate you live in. If you’re in an area with a lot of dust or pollution, you’ll need much more frequent changes.

These are just a few simple things you can do and also hardwearing . car out from the shop and running better. If you have any more simple and quick tips, let us know from the comments section.

“February 2014 Editor’s Letter Focused On The2013 Tuner GP Was Another Epic Battle “

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We’re incredibly privileged to run our Tuner GP with such incredible tuning shops. Most turn up with either a shop car or one loaned by a customer, though several teams build cars for the event. So this year we didn’t see the quasi-racecars that dominated the field this past year. On the whole, the GP entrants were daily drivers, with most eschewing trailers and preferring to drive to the track and then home again afterwards. As a result, lots of the cars were either slightly overweight because of full interiors, or still had emissions equipment fitted. Yet this didn’t detract from the incredible performance squeezed out of the cars. The dyno numbers, acceleration figures and lap times were amazing to see.

Divided into front-, rear- and all-wheel drive classes, we had a diverse selection, including two magazine project cars for the first time. One was the Ford Focus ST we built with FSWerks and LTMW to the 2012 SEMA show. It was actually entered into ECGP13 by FSW, which had performed a great deal of its unique development on the car.

The second project was Alex’s E46 M3, which embarrassed us by doing rather well on the dyno – we can’t win our own trophies!

With 11 cars assembled for the dyno test, drag racing and road course, it was fascinating to see how each conversion performed. Most used off-the-shelf parts that may be replicated in your road car, so you can assess how each conversion would suit your needs and budget.

In addition to this month’s feature, you will find a video at europeancarweb.com plus a second one as part of The Downshift series on the Motor Trend YouTube channel. Additionally, many of the individual teams get their own ECGP footage, so check out their house sites indexed in the Profiles section.

F-Type vs Stingray

I recently experienced something new and unexpected. For just the second time in my life, I came across myself loving an American car.

Now I would explain that we spent nearly all of my life in great britan, so wasn’t exposed to Detroit Iron. I generally feel the Europeans make better cars for most situations, however. And then in my defense, that’s why I do this job. I don’t sleep, eat and breathe Euros while secretly desiring Japanese imports. Nor will i hanker after ’60s muscle cars.

With that said, the first great American car I drove was a Ford Mustang Cobra R. Left a lasting impression, although it was hot and noisy, enormously powerful and utterly basic.

Recently, the D3-modified Cadillac ATS 3.6L, which we compared to our BMW 335i Sport, impressed me. However, it wasn’t a car I’d rush out and buy. The same can’t be said from the Corvette Stingray tested in this particular issue against the Jaguar F-Type. It was fantastic to drive. In reality, it reminded me of the E90 BMW M3 in how it felt a little heavy and temperamental when cold and at low speed, yet came alive once the revs rose.

Other advantage of driving the Vette was that you didn’t have to look at it. And while I liked it from some angles, it was actually particularly challenging from the rear. But once behind the wheel, the heavy clutch pedal and notchy transmission in addition to the thunderous V8 overwhelmed your senses, putting everything else within the shade.

By comparison, the F-Type V8S was such an easy car to operate a vehicle and deal with. It’s undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous designs on your way, and its power delivery will leave you wide-eyed as the rear tires illuminate, accompanied by one of the more exotic V8 soundtracks you’ll ever hear.

When we proposed pitting the Jag versus the Chevy, we were concerned the retail price difference and characteristics wouldn’t be comparable. But after an epic 18-hour drive across 500 miles of some of California’s twistiest mountain roads, we were surprised at just how much they actually had in common.

Which Are The Best Cars To Attract Ladies

Before starting this article may I just say that I apologize to anyone who is offended in any way and point out that there are no guarantees that buying one of these cars is the only thing standing between you and the girl of your dreams?
However, unfortunately for guys, one of the things which many women find attractive in a man is money. They may not admit it, they may not even recognize the fact in themselves and categorically deny it but there are scientific studies which have proven it to be true.
So, it stands to reason that some women are attracted to men who drive expensive cars. Now here’s the good part – not all women really know which cars are expensive and which are not . . . well, not all men know that either to be honest. The important thing is for a car to look expensive for the driver to definitely be in with a chance of catching the heart of the girl of his dreams.
It must also be said that girls have pretty unique tastes. Some may prefer sleek sports cars whereas others are more impressed by a powerful truck and girls which are particularly worried about the future of the planet may be more impressed by one of the newer electric hybrid motors.
Let’s take a look at a few examples and don’t worry, it’s not all about Bentleys and Lamborghinis:
• Jeep Wrangler Rubicon – Jeeps have been capturing the attention and imagination of the nation at large since the 1970’s and they still have oodles of appeal for the ladies. If you are an optimistic type then go for a larger version with extra passenger room. Check them out at www.ocauto.com.

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• Dodge Challenger – this is one mean looking muscle car with a contemporary flair and makes a great impression on some ladies.
• Mustang GT Premium Convertible – this motor is a true American icon and will hardly ever fail. Take a spin in one of these babies and watch the heads turn as you drive by.
• Mercedes Benz C350 Couple – this is certainly not one of the most expensive Mercedes cars but if you read the top of the page you’ll realize that it really doesn’t matter. The sheer fact that it looks expensive is all that you need to know.
• Nissan 370Z Coupe – particularly if you choose the model with the sport package. This is definitely the best of the bunch when it comes to Japanese motors and is a great attention grabber.

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• Audi A5 Convertible – this motor oozes German quality and style. The sexy drop top is sure to attract plenty of attention as you cruise along the highway.
• Range Rover Evoque – the Evoque is arguably the most striking of all SUV’s on the market today. Arguing? Who’s arguing? Certainly not me.
• Ford F-150 King Ranch – a subtle blend of power, luxury and utility. Okay, perhaps it’s about as subtle as a sledge hammer but hey, it’s still a great way of attracting the attention of the opposite sex.
• Chevy Volt – this is one for the more environmentally friendly girl.

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That’s a pretty good cross section don’t you think? There should be something there to capture the imagination of most drivers and lots of different girls. Check out some of these and other fabulous motors at http://www.ocauto.com and remember, just because some of these cars look expensive it doesn’t necessary follow that they’ll leave a gaping hole in your bank balance.

What You Could Learn With The National Teen Driver Safety Week

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Sadly, many parents believe homicide, disease and suicide are bigger threats to their teens’ safety than the vehicles sitting in the driveway. But nothing kills more teens in the U.S. than car crashes. NSC, along with other traffic safety organizations, is observing National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 20-26 in the hope of helping parents understand why teens crash and the ways to coach teens through the learning-to-drive process.

Daily on this blog, NSC will explain various materials it has designed to help parents with teen drivers. We encourage you to share this vital information with friends and relations. It’s imperative we protect our youngest and most vulnerable drivers, and education is one of the first steps toward effecting lasting change.