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Car Insurance for All Road-Going Vehicles

sharpcarinsuranceredeerAny road-worthy motorized vehicles are still basically machineries that is operated and handled by a person at the helm.  Since automotive vehicles are heavy and have potential for tremendous amounts of speed, it is necessary that the person operating the vehicle knows how to drive his vehicle properly, knows both road and pedestrian rules, is sane, and is not under the influence of any substance that can cause him to lose focus on his driving.  Any critical mistake on the part of the drive can lead to serious injuries, damage to property, or even the loss of lives.

Cars and any other automotive vehicles are very convenient to have.  They allow you to travel in convenience without having to worry about destination or the time in which you need to travel.  In addition to this, depending on the seating capacity of your vehicle, you can bring a few people along with you as well as store some of the thing you regularly need and not be bothered of having to carry them around.

The truth is that having a car can bring you lots of conveniences.  However, despite these conveniences, it can never be denied that automotive vehicles are also very dangerous.  Mistakes on the road happen on a regular basis.  While this has not yet happened to you, with the millions of vehicles and drivers on the road on a daily basis, something unfortunate is bound to happen.  The thing is that nobody really wants any accidents or mishaps on the road.  In fact, nobody in the right mind will even wish for such things to happen to other drivers.

The sad truth though is that vehicular accidents are real and they always happen in an instant thus making them hard to predict.  Even if you consider yourself a very safe driver, it does not always mean that the other drivers around you are safe and good drivers as well.  Accidents can happen anywhere at any time and all people and property that are near roads have the potentiality for these dangers.

While there is no real protection from the dangers of accidents, you can however protect yourself with the costly damages that they can do.  By making sure that your car is insured, any mishaps involving your car will be covered by your auto-insurance.  This will help to save you from the financial burdens of settling the damages and bills your car may get involved with.  Red Deer Car Insurance provides different car insurance policies. Choose the one you think is most suitable for your needs.…

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9 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Free Money Finance recently shared 6 ways to save money on groceries.  I’ll share their 6 tips first, plus a few more I’ve thought of:Save money

  1. Store sale – Check the store’s sales flyer or website for their daily or weekly deals.
  2. Store coupon – You’ll usually find these in the sale flyers, on their website, or in-store.
  3. Manufacturer coupon – You’ll find these in your newspaper (especially on Sundays or right before holidays).  You can also search online for a coupon from a certain manufacturer (for example, search for Keebler cookie coupon.)
  4. Cash back rewards – Buy your groceries with a credit card that pays you back.
  5. Store rewards – More and more stores offer discounts on gas or groceries when you buy certain items, or spend a certain amount.
  6. Rebates – Rebates are cash back rewards for buying a certain item. Sometimes you can receive an instant rebate on an item (which means it is basically a coupon) but other times you have to request the rebate by mail or online in order to receive it.  These are a hassle if you forget and don’t submit your rebate request.  Ask me how I know that! ; )
  7. Shop discount stores – Stores like Aldi, Save-a-Lot, and dollar stores offer low prices every day, but may have a limited selection.
  8. Warehouse Clubs – At Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s, you can often get great deals on groceries but you typically have to buy in bulk.  But, selection varies, certain products rotate in and out, and you have to be a member to shop there.
  9. Buy direct from the farmer – We buy honey, eggs, and some meat and produce direct from farmers in our area.
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The Financial 10 Commandments

Financial

I recently came across this list of “The Financial Ten Commandments.”

They were taken from a message by Bill Hybels at Willow Creek Community Church (located in the Chicago area) in January of 1999.

The Financial Ten Commandments

  1. Thou shalt work hard.
  2. Thou shalt establish a plan.
  3. Thou shalt avoid debt like the plague.
  4. Thou shalt distinguish between needs and wants.
  5. Thou shalt determine when enough is enough.
  6. Thou shalt not seek after get-rich-quick schemes.
  7. Thou shalt not compete with the Jones.
  8. Thou shalt not make major decisions without wise counsel.
  9. Thou shalt not corrupt your children with money.
  10. Thou shalt not orient your life around money.

I can’t say that I disagree with any of these.  But I haven’t always lived by them, either.

There’s a lot of wisdom here about maintaining balance in life, achieving financial freedom, living on-purpose, and the use of money as a tool instead of an end-goal.

Looking back on my life, I’ve definitely experienced a lot of financial frustration (and debt) when I haven’t followed commandment #2 and lived according to an established financial plan.

And really, now that I think about it, failing at any one of these Financial 10 Commandments can lead to an increasing burden of debt.

What’s your take on The Financial 10 Commandments?  Which ones are easy, or difficult, for you to keep?…

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Six Ways to Save Money on Haircuts

I’m always amazed at how expensive it is to get your hair cut or styled.  At least, it seems expensive to me.

Gratefully, I’ve discovered a few simple ways to save money at the hair stylist – and even get free haircuts!Hair cut

When I was young, I thought pastors (male ones, anyway) were required to have bad hair styles.  Then again, it was the 80′s…so maybe everyone had bad hair back then. :)

Today, many male pastors (especially those under 40), are “stylin” with the latest cool cuts.

But whether we’re talking men or women, boys or girls, the price for haircuts for a pastor’s family can add up fast!

Where I live, the average price for a male haircut is $16.00 – $20.00 and for women it is $20.00 – $24.00.  Of course, if you add a shampoo or other services, the cost increases.

The good news is that the amount of savings can add up fast too, if you follow these six ways to save money on haircuts.

Six Easy Ways to Save Money on Haircuts

1.  Cut your hair a little shorter each time you get it cut, so you don’t have to come back so soon.  I do this especially in the summertime.

2.  In addition to cutting your hair shorter, you could let it grow a little longer before you come back to have it cut again.

3.  Buy gift certificates that offer a bonus.  For example, during Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Graduation and the Christmas seasons, many hair salons offer a special deal like “Get a $25 gift certificate for only $20.00.”  There’s no reason you can’t buy these for yourself to use.  You just have to remember that you’re paying money today in order to save money a month or two down the road.

4.  Sign up for the “frequent customer” club or birthday clubs where available.  Many hair stylists offer one free or discounted haircut after you’ve paid for five or six.  And some salons offer a free haircut or a discount for your birthday.

5.  Ask if your stylist offers a discount or bonus if you make a referral (invite someone else to use your same hair stylist).

6.  Check to see if there are any beauty colleges or salon training centers in your area that offer free or discounted haircuts.  In our community, there are probably six or seven beauty colleges and at least one salon training center (that we know of) where their professional stylists come once or twice a year for continued training.

My wife and our five children have received free haircuts for nearly a year at this training center.  The only reason I haven’t done it yet is that you have to book your appointments in advance before the limited spaces fill up, and my schedule is so unpredictable due to frequent travel.

By taking advantage of these free haircuts, we’ll save about $1,200 over the course of the year!  That’s a pretty significant amount of savings for us.  How about you?…

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Are Museum Memberships Worth the Cost?

Museum MembershipHere at Pastor Personal Finance, we offer money help for pastors, missionaries, and other ministry leaders, to help you s-t-r-e-t-c-h your money as far as possible.

Spring Break is coming soon, and a lot of families I know are planning to take their kids to the zoo, museum, botanical garden, aquarium, or other similar attraction.  Whenever our family goes to one of those places, we’re faced with a decision:

Should we pay the one-day admission price, or is it better to buy an annual membership?

Six things to consider before buying a museum membership

Regardless of your family size, here are some things to consider before buying an annual membership to your local zoo, museum, botanical garden, or other cultural attraction.

  1. Is it tax-deductible? I was surprised to discover that some museums or other such institutions consider all, or a portion, of your annual membership dues to be a tax-deductible gift.  So just looking at it from a tax perspective, buying a membership that is deductible, instead of buying tickets for one-day admission which are not deductible, may be a smart money move.
  2. What’s the difference in price between the one-day cost and the annual membership? An easy way to decide if a museum membership is worth the cost is to calculate how many times would you need to visit before the membership actually saves you money. For example, we learned it would cost $41 to buy one-day admission for our family of seven at our local art museum, and $65 for an annual family membership – a difference of $24.  So just looking at it from this angle, we’d only have to visit twice (or actually, 1.5 times) in order to save money with the annual membership.
  3. What if you buy the annual membership but don’t go enough times to save money – isn’t that a waste? Maybe.  But you can also just chalk it up as a donation to a “good cause” in your community, whether it actually was a deductible donation or not.
  4. What kind of special offers or discounts would you receive as a member? Most museums or other cultural attractions provide a nice list of benefits that you would receive as a member.  Most give members at least a 10% discount at the gift shop.  Some offer free or discounted parking, free admission to special members-only events, free or discounted admission to special exhibits that everyone else pays extra for, discounts on camps for your kids, and free kids activities and events throughout the year.  Some even offer their members discounted admission to other local cultural attractions.
  5. Are there reciprocal benefits? Your membership at your local museum, zoo, science center, botanical garden, aquarium or other cultural institution may also give you free admission to other similar institutions across the country and even the world.  Most will advertise if they offer reciprocal benefits, but if you don’t see it listed, just ask.
  6. What is the entertainment or educational value? It’s nice to visit any museum or other cultural attraction at least once.  Some, you might feel, aren’t worth a second trip.  But others might have a higher educational or entertainment value which would cause you to want to go more frequently.  Our family has an annual membership at our local art museum, botanical gardens, air and space museum, and history museum.  We feel those memberships are well worth it just to have a place to go on a rainy or snowy or sunny day (depending on the mood or situation), when the kids are bored, when you don’t know what to do, when you want to do something special with one or all of your kids, etc.  Each attraction offers special events or activities that give us something fun and educational to do.  One of the biggest values for us right now is the free kids art classes that the art museum offers every Saturday – we go there at least once a month just for that.
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Free Books for Pastors at Paperback Swap

PaperbackSwap.com is an excellent source of free books for pastors who are looking to add to their personal learning and their library.

Every pastor I know is an avid reader and book collector.  But books can be expensive and out of reach for many small church and bi-vocational pastors. And even if you do have an expense account to pay for book purchases, you want to stretch that money as far as possible, right?

PaperbackSwap.com is a free website that allows you to trade books you have, but don’t need or want anymore, for books that you do want.

Don’t let the name fool you – Paperback Swap isn’t just for paperbacks – but that’s how it got started years ago.  At Paperback Swap, you can trade paperbacks, hard covers, and books on tape.

How Paperback Swap Works

Paperback Swap is a book trading website that operates on the biblical principle of giving and receiving.

All of us have books we no longer want or need, and sometimes we don’t know what to do with them.  The great thing about Paperback Swap is that it allows you to trade the books you don’t want in exchange for books you do want.

The trading is free.  You just pay the postage to send your book to the person who requests it.  And whomever has a book that you want pays the postage to send it to you.  The average postage cost is around $2.00 via the US Postal Service.

When you give a book to someone else, you earn a credit on your account, which then allows you to receive a book from someone else.

Currently, nearly 5,000,000 (yes, that’s five million!!!) books are available for free at Paperback Swap. Chances are good that you will find plenty of good books that you want – on topics like church history, leadership, theology, ministry, popular titles, and more.

Here’s how to get free books from Paperback Swap:

  1. Create your free account at PaperbackSwap.com.  When you use that link, I’ll receive a free credit for referring you, thank you very much!
  2. Find at least ten books on your shelves that you no longer want, and list them on the Paperback Swap site.  When you list your fist ten books, Paperback Swap will then give you two free credits, which will allow you to receive two books.
  3. Listing your books is easy – you just enter the ISBN number of the books you don’t need, and the Paperback Swap site automatically looks up and finds the information about those books.  The books you list must have front and back covers, all the pages, no liquid damage, no writing or highlighting, and be in generally good condition.
  4. Once you’ve listed books that you want to trade, you create your wish list of books you want to receive. And you can add more books you want to trade, and more books you want to receive, at any time.
  5. When you have a book that someone else wants, Paperback Swap sends you a message with instructions on where to send the book.  We recommend using bubble envelopes or catalog envelopes when mailing your books. When your book is received, the recipient logs into Paperback Swap and confirms that they received the book as advertised.  Then you get a credit in your account which will allow you to receive a book from someone else.
  6. When someone has a book that is on your wish list, you are notified that a match has been made, and the sender confirms that they will send the book to you.  And when you receive it, you log into Paperback Swap to confirm that you’ve received it.  Then a credit is deducted from your account, and added to the sender’s account.

My wife and I have been members at Paperback Swap for several years.  It’s fun to get rid of books we no longer want, and receive new books in the mail.  We ship and receive 3-5 books a week on average.

We’ve had some books waiting on our shelves for months before someone wanted them.  Others fly off the shelf the moment we post them, because someone was already waiting for it.

Paperback Swap Tips

If you use Paperback Swap long enough like we have, the bad news is that you will eventually run out of your own books to trade.

The good news is that we’ve discovered some great free or low-cost ways to get more books to list on Paperback Swap, including:

  • Garage sales, yard sales, estate sales – People often sell books for as little as 5 or 10 cents each.  And if you find some that you want that are priced higher, offer to buy several or a bag-full for a lower price.
  • Libraries – Some libraries has
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