How to Choose the Right Car Dealership for You

Buying a car, whether it’s a new one or a used model, can be a tricky process. Even if you have put the hard work in and researched the manufacturers and models you like, and perhaps have a dream car in mind, you still have lots to do. For one thing, you need to choose the right car dealership to buy it from. There is likely to be several different dealerships in your local area. How then do you choose between them to find the one that’s right for you?

First and foremost, don’t rush this part of the process. As excited as you likely are to drive off in your new car, the last thing you want to do is just choose the first dealership you come across. To help you avoid the pitfalls, we’ve put together a selection of tips to navigate the different businesses and choose the right one.

Choose a Dealership That Publishes its Opening Hours, Address and Telephone

Although this is probably going to seem like common sense to a lot of people, it is still worth highlighting. After all, if a dealership you are interested in is as good and reputable as they say, then they will make it relatively easy to contact them. If they post their opening hours, address and a landline telephone number, then they are likely to be a legitimate business that can be trusted.

However, if all you can find is an address or even just a Zip Code, you should be very suspicious. Not only do you need a phone number if you want to contact them to arrange test drives and an appointment, but you want to know that you will be able to contact them after you’ve bought a car. The bottom line is, beware of any business that doesn’t provide various phone numbers for different departments and full opening hours along with their address.

Think About How You Are Going to Finance Your Car

One aspect of choosing a dealership you need to consider is how you are going to raise the funds to buy a car. You need to think about whether you have access to the money, are going to get a traditional loan from a bank or through the dealership itself. You will be able to see what dealerships offer.

Look At Their Inventory

It is very easy these days to find, research and choose the car models that tick all your boxes online. Most reputable dealerships will have comprehensive websites that detail all their current stock. This obviously gives you the chance to look at the inventory and check they have the car model or models you are interested in.

Make sure you phone them before you decide to go down and visit the dealership to make sure they still have that car is still in stock.

Read Customer Testimonials and Reviews

The best way to determine if a dealership is trustworthy and good to do business with is by reading reviews by customers who’ve used them in the past. Reviews can be found on the dealership website and third-party sites too. Don’t just focus on the positives. Look also at the negative reviews so you can get a fuller picture of what doing business with the dealership is like.,

Tips for Buying a Used Car

Are you in the market for a new vehicle in your life? Are you looking to invest in a used car rather than paying out for a brand-new model? We are not surprised if you are feeling a little overwhelmed, then. As buying a used car can be quite a tricky affair. If you are not careful and don’t put the necessary research and homework into the process, you could end up making a very expensive mistake.

How, then, do you go about buying a used car, without getting ripped off? Keep in mind the following tips, that’s what.

Calculate Your Budget and Stick to It

Don’t even start looking at cars and falling in love with models that may be out of your league financially before you have calculated the budget you have to spend on a used car. As well as the actual price tag on a car, you need to consider other financial aspects such as the running costs like fuel and any potential repairs and maintenance it may require.

When budgeting you need to consider if you are going to part-exchange/trade in your current automobile or you will require financing to help you secure that vehicle you want.

Find Trustworthy Car Dealerships

There is a lot of stigma attached to the concept of a used car lot. When people hear those words, they often envision shady characters just looking to offload rust buckets to the next fool that comes onto their forecourt. However, while it is true that there are used car dealers like that, they are not all like that.

You need to be careful when choosing the used car dealer, you go to, if you want to avoid the unsavory types. One of the best ways to do this is by checking out impartial online reviews and testimonials. This will give you an idea of what other people thought of a dealership who have used them in the past.

Think About the Car You Want Before You Visit

If you visited used car dealerships without a clue what kind of car you were interested in, you may find it a little intimidating and confusing. It’s much better to sit in the comfort of your own home and look at models on the internet first. Figure out the style, size, make and models you are interested in. Look at reviews of those models and look for any that are available in your local area.

Then, when you head to the local dealership you will have a firmer idea of what you want and will be able to navigate around the lot quickly and more efficiently rather than waiting lots of time.

Always Get a Test Drive

This is something that may be rather obvious to a lot reading this post. However, you’d be surprised at just how many people do not try before they buy a used car. As well as assessing how comfortable and suited it is to your own preferences, this is the best way to check its roadworthiness and whether it is in as good condition as the salesperson suggests.

Things to Look for in a Savings Account

When you have kids, you want to make sure even more than without that you have money saved for emergencies and some of the bigger expenses and investments in life. Knowing where to put your savings can be quite tricky to work out as there are so many different banks and other institutions offering similar sounding accounts and solutions. To help you cut through the noise a little and find the best savings solution for you, take note of the following features all good savings accounts should have.

Very Low Minimum Balance or Deposit Requirement (Or No Minimum At All)

It can be hard enough to save money without a banking institute docking your account with a fee for not keeping to the minimum balance requirement. Therefore, look for a bank of financial institution that offers a savings account without a minimum balance requirement/deposit or at the very least, one that is very low. Therefore, you won’t lose money even on the months when you can’t put anything into your savings account.

Account is Quick and Easy to Open

Most banks that offer savings accounts these days then to make it relatively quick and simple to open one of their accounts. With many you can even avoid the need for attending their actual physical bank and can carry out the application completely online.

Offers Ability To Transfer Funds Online From One Account to Another

With online banking solutions you have greater control over your finances and money, and it makes it much more direct and easier to access savings. As part of online banking, though, you should check whether you can easily transfer from one account to another using the bank’s online portal.

Look for a Bank That Doesn’t Charge Monthly Service Fees

Just as minimum balance charges can put a dent in your savings, so too can monthly and regular service or maintenance fees. So, if you want to ensure that your savings stays put and does not reduce, then look for banks that offer savings accounts, but without the fees.

Always Make Sure The Bank is Insured with FDIC

It is crucial that you only do business and keep your money with a bank with full Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance. This means you will be covered for your savings if anything happens with the bank or it loses money.

Banks that Offer Automatic Savings Transfers or Direct Deposits

It is recommended, particularly by various experts in the sector, that you choose a bank that allows you to setup an automatic savings account transfer from your checking account. This means your paycheck will either completely or partially be moved to your savings account. Which in turn helps to reduce the chance or likelihood of you spending it, because it is not directly accessible, something it most certainly would be if it all remained in your checking account.

We hope the above does not put you off from searching for a high-quality savings account. To give you further help, why not check out this link regarding Guaranty Bank’s offering at https://www.gnty.com/locations/location-detail/austin-downtown.

Got a (Pregnancy) Craving? Here’s Why

 

A food craving, also known as selective hunger, is defined as “an intense desire to consume a specific food”. Food cravings are considered different from normal hunger as they can be triggered by a myriad of factors, one of which stems from being pregnant.

Pregnancy cravings are a common occurrence for expectant women and studies show that 50% to 90% of pregnant women will either crave a specific dish or food or be completely turned off by a food(s) they normally enjoy.

For the average pregnant woman, cravings usually start in the first trimester, peak during the second trimester and decline by the third trimester; though residual cravings may still linger after delivery.

Pregnancy cravings differ depending on the woman but for example, in the United States, reported common cravings for expectant women include confectionery such as ice-cream and chocolate, fast food such as Chinese takeout and pizza, and starchy carbohydrates such as pasta and rice. In the United Kingdom, a recent survey carried out by Pregnacare revealed that common pregnancy cravings among women included chocolate, fruit and ice pops.

So what exactly is the cause of pregnancy cravings? Multiple theories abound, one of which revolves around pregnancy hormones. In the early stages of pregnancy, a woman’s body is flooded with hormones, which may exacerbate certain cravings – for example, if you tend to crave chocolate before your period, the craving may be heightened during pregnancy.

A second possibility may be due to how a woman’s senses are heightened and/or dulled during pregnancy. As a result, women may crave certain foods with bolder flavors and textures to compensate for their dulled taste receptors or may suddenly develop an aversion to certain foods, flavors and textures because their taste buds are suddenly hyper-attuned to the taste of certain dishes.

A third theory revolves around the idea that your body craves something because it needs a certain nutrient or vitamin or is suddenly repulsed by a certain something because it is not good for you and the baby. However, due to the excess of processed foods and reliance on foods far removed from our ancestors’ diet, sometimes pregnancy cravings may be a result of crossed nutrition signals resulting in strange food combinations, which have become a staple pregnancy joke – i.e. pregnant women love pickles with ice-cream.

Lastly, pregnancy cravings may be a result of something as simple as a need for comfort food. Some expectant women crave foods and dishes they associate with their childhood or culture – for example, a study showed that pregnant Japanese women had multiple cravings for rice. The need for comfort food may be more psychological than anything else but it can also serve as a means to bond with the unborn child while tending to the pregnant woman’s wants, needs and comforts.

In conclusion, cravings during pregnancy are a real and common side effect for expectant women. Some may develop cravings for a certain food, dish or odd combination of flavors and textures while others may discover that foods that once enjoyed suddenly test their gag reflex. Although there are no concrete theories as to why pregnancy cravings exist, some possibilities for its existence may include pregnancy hormones, heightened or dulled senses, a body’s instinctive need for nutrients or even just the psychological need to seek comfort through childhood and cultural foods.

Massage: An Alternative to Pain Management?

At an early age, we learned that the touch of a hand can ease the pain. Remember that time when you fell down on the ground and got bruised? You instinctively rubbed the sore and painful spot didn’t you? And now, whenever you experience stiff shoulders, you most probably tend to knead them.

A well-placed and trained hand can do so much in terms of pain management. The healing power of it is so apparent that almost every culture in history has been using massage as a way to relieve pain. However, with the introduction of modern medicine, massage somehow faded into the background. But then again, an increasing number of people are going back to this type of pain reliever. Statistics say that about 25% of adults have had a massage at least once in the past 12 months. Moreover, 50% used massage therapy for health-related reasons such as relief for pain or stiffness.

Despite being well-known as an “alternative medicine”, massage is now gaining respect from the medical community. As a matter of fact, more than 70% of doctors confirm that they refer patients to massage therapists and surveys show that ⅔ of Americans want massage therapy to be covered by their health insurance. So if you’re suffering from pain, whether brief or chronic, you may want to give massage a try. However, it is still strongly recommended that if you’re suffering from persistent and acute pain that you have a doctor evaluate your condition to identify the real cause of the pain.

How can massage alleviate pain?

It has been observed that a good massage can ease the pain in several ways as follows:

  1. It can warm sore, stiff joints, and muscles by increasing the blood flow thus improving your body’s overall blood circulation.
  2. It triggers the release of opioids, which are our body’s natural painkillers.
  3. It speeds up the flow of oxytocin. A hormone that relaxes muscles as well as encourages the feeling of calmness and contentment.
  4. The short and sharp sensations of a good massage can temporarily make the brain forget about other aches.

Is massage safe?

Massage is generally safe, especially if it is performed by an experienced and licensed massage therapist. However, in some who has health problems, it is strongly advised that they check with a medical practitioner first before getting a massage session because is not entirely risk-free.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a massage is not recommended for anyone who has any type of skin condition, deep vein thrombosis, burns, skin infections, eczema, open wounds, broken bones, or advanced osteoporosis. Cancer patients also need to consult their oncologist to ensure a massage is safe for them as it can have adverse effects such as internal hemorrhage or the dislodging of blood clots.

One important thing to note during a massage is that it shouldn’t cause you any pain. If you feel pain during a session, tell your therapist immediately.

If you’re experiencing chronic pain and confirmed with your doctor that a massage is fine for you though, don’t hesitate to visit a massage therapy center near you.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Newborn Photographer

Understandably, you will want the best for your baby when you select your newborn photographer. To help you choose your Los Angeles newborn photographer or a newborn photographer anywhere, we have written this article to give you information on what you need to consider.

Experience and Qualification

You will need to do some research in choosing your newborn photographer. If you just choose the cheapest option or the one with the best-looking website, you could end up with a photographer who has no idea how to handle a baby. Instead, ask them how long they have been working? How many babies have they handled? Have they received any training? There are safety training certifications out there, including the American Association of Newborn Photography Association. We have all read horror stories about things going wrong during these photography sessions, so be careful and research thoroughly before you choose your newborn photographer.

Styling

You can find a vast multitude of different types of newborn photography, including posed newborn style, lifestyle sessions or baby led posing. Posed newborn style involves your baby being guided into different poses, gently led by an experienced professional. Your newborn baby must be safe, relaxed and comfortable during this type of photoshoot, and should not be forced into any situations that make your baby feel distressed in any way. If the newborn photographer is experienced and professional, they will be able to tell you how they will gently and carefully make beautiful and complex baby poses, perhaps through means such as combining multiple photos to make a composite photograph.

Lifestyle photography sessions are primarily focused on the connections between the family members and the newborn baby. Baby-led posing is when you place your baby in a comfortable environment and they can move as they please, snuggling into blankets, going into relaxed positions and do things that you will want to remember them doing so when your child is older you can look back at those photographs and remember when they were only a mere newborn.

Budget

As we said before, you should not just choose the cheapest Los Angeles newborn baby photographer. In fact, those who cut prices are usually the ones who cut corners on important things such as the safety of your baby. As well as taking all the above into consideration, you should make sure that you have established a budget based on what you have and how much you are willing to pay, and then you should stick to it.

Prices vary from photographer to photographer, and some things that are taken into consideration by the business when pricing their services are the time it takes for the photograph, the experience of the photographer, the level of training of the photographer, the cost of the equipment and the location of the photo shoot.

Conclusion

This article has discussed a few of the things that you must consider. The most important thing will always be your baby’s safety but make you sure that you are happy with how the photographs will look and that the cost of your Los Angeles newborn photographer fits in your budget.

Grocery Shopping Hacks That Will Cut Down on Your Bills

 

 

Filling your kitchen with nutritious and delicious food while on a budget? Challenge accepted! Check in with these simple ways to cut down your bills at the supermarket.

Plan your meals before you shop

When you don’t have a goal in mind, it’s all too easy to wind up at the cash register with a basket full of frozen peas, coffee beans, and fruit leather.

While they’re all edible, pieces you grabbed at random probably won’t come together to create a cohesive meal. Inevitably, you’ll have to go out again and pick up what you need to fill in those spaces — causing you to spend even more money!

A meal plan can help you eliminate the number of shopping trips you take by focusing your attention on what’s absolutely necessary for the week ahead. It’s a blueprint of upcoming meals, outlining all the lunches, dinners, and snacks you plan on serving your kids.

Remember before you shop to choose meals that will satisfy everyone in the family — not just your kids! Although they may be picky eaters, they shouldn’t dictate the family’s diet every day. This can lead you down a road of bad eating habits as you adopt their selective palette for yourself.

Not only will you be able to start eating food that you like again, but you’ll also reduce your waste. A well-crafted meal plan will incorporate the leftovers of one dish into another new meal, so you’re less likely to throw out food. By eliminating waste, a family of four could save as much as $150 a month in spoiled food.

Create a budget and stick to it

A budget is the financial plan that complements a meal plan perfectly. It helps you organize your finances, so you can afford to buy what you need.

Last year, the official USDA Food Plans estimated a family of four on a thrifty budget could spend around $640 a month on groceries. Those on a more liberal plan could expect this cost to nearly double to $1,280 a month.

By sitting down with your finances, you can determine which of these plans is more realistic for your family. More importantly, you can cut spending in other areas of your budget to make sure you’ll always have enough cash to hit your monthly target for food.

Of course, a budget isn’t infallible. There may be a week here and there when you go over your limits. There’s no harm in splurging now and again on special occasions, as long as you stick to the plan most of the time.

Don’t panic if your budget is thrown off by some unexpected household expense. If it’s an emergency you can’t ignore, a personal loan might be the answer — even if you’re rebuilding your credit score. There are loan options for those without good credit that include installment loans and lines of credit that work quickly in your time of need.

An installment loan or personal line of credit works well as a momentary stopgap, but they shouldn’t become a regular feature of your budget. Just remember they’re meant for emergencies — not every  shopping trip.

Bring your smartphone along for the trip

How many times have your dug through your purse to find your phone, so you could call someone back home to see if you need more milk? If this is the only way you’re using your phone in the grocery store, you’re missing a huge opportunity for savings.

With the right app, your phone can help you:

  • Comparison shop:Is the deal on pork chops really the lowest price in the city? Price comparison apps like Basket and Grocery Pal will answer questions like this. They locate sales at grocery stores in your area, so you don’t have to drive around town in hopes for a better deal.
  • Collect rewards:You have what feels like a million loyalty cards and stamp cards somewhere. Too bad you never seem to remember to bring them with you. Apps like Flok and Punchcard connect every rewards card you have onto their digital platform, so you only have to remember to bring your phone to the store.
  • Earn rebates: You can take some of the sting out of a costly bill when you compare your groceries to the list of qualifying items on apps like Checkout51, Ebates, and Ibotta. If you can verify your purchase, these apps will send you cash back.

Having a kitchen fully stocked with nutritious food isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you don’t have a lot of extra cash floating around. But with the right tools in your purse during your trip through the grocery store, you can manage it.

What to Do When Your Gutters Are Backed Up

It’s true, the gutters on your property may be the last thing on your mind from one day to the next. However, they are also not something that you should neglect. Problematic gutters can cause serious issues and damage to your property that are not only difficult to resolve, but costly too. With that in mind, therefore, it’s important to have your gutters cleaned and maintained regularly to make sure they are doing their job or moving rainwater and melted ice away from the sides and foundations of your property.

What happens if your gutters get blocked? Is it really that serious?

Well, if debris, dirt and leaves can accumulate and block up your gutters, there are numerous problems you will be faced with that you could have easily avoided. Problems like:

  • Cracked gutters
  • Mould growth,
  • Rusting
  • Soil erosion and foundation damage
  • Subsidence
  • Pest infestations

What Can Clog Gutters?

Gutters rarely get backed up overnight. It normally happens over a considerable period. As debris like twigs, pines, leaves and even paper gets blown onto the roof and in the gutters, most is carried off by the rain. However, some of it remains. As this happens regularly, the guttering gets blocked up. After it’s blocked, all that rotting organic matter becomes the perfect place for mould and even pests such as insects and rodents to breed and make it their home.

Clogged Gutters can Cause Leaking Roofs

The gutters on your property are there to provide protection for the roof, fascia, siding and even the foundation from water damage, by redirecting rainwater away from the building. When your gutters are backed up and blocked, the water has nowhere else to go and starts to accumulate around the roofline, overflowing in the process. During winter, any water trapped in your gutters will freeze over. As the water remains on your roof for longer than it should, the materials on your roof can start to erode, which can then lead onto water seeping into your roof and into your home.

How to Stop Gutters Getting Backed Up in the First Place

The best way to solve the problems associated with clogged gutters is to prevent it from happening in the first place. By far, the best way to do this is by scheduling maintenance and cleaning of your gutters. Ideally, you should have this work carried out at least once evert year. However, if there are a lot of trees and sources of foliage and debris in the area around your home, you will need to schedule gutter cleaning at least two times a year.

Hopefully you can see just how serious a problem clogged up guttering can be for your home. The last thing you want is to only notice that you need your gutters cleaned and cleared when there’s bad weather. It’s much better to have them cleaned during those drier and warmer parts of the year, so they are ready to handle the wet and cold weather.

Which Nissan SUV is Right for You?

Whether you’ve got an active and versatile lifestyle or a large and growing family, there’s plenty of various scenarios where an SUV is probably the best type of car to invest in. Of all the car manufacturers out there, who design and build SUVs, one of the most exciting must be Nissan. However, with so many different models to choose from, which is the right Nissan SUV for you? In the following article we’re going to look a little at some of the newest and best from the Japanese car giants, to give you an idea of what you could spend your money on.

Nissan Pathfinder 2019

The most recent addition to the Pathfinder family of SUVs from Nissan is the 2019 model. This is a three-row midsized SUV that is perfect for families who like high-end tech just as much as they love comfortable car rides. There’s room for as many as seven passengers and around 79.5-cubic-feet of luggage and storage space. The fuel economy is reasonable offering as much as 27mpg while driving on the highway.

Nissan Rogue 2019

One of the lowest priced models highlighted in this article, the Nissan Rogue 2019 model is a truly compact SUV that will fulfil most of your needs and wants from a car. It really is incredibly versatile. Given that it’s smaller and cheaper, there’s only space for up to five passengers. However, there’s still a rather generous 70-cubic-feet of luggage and storage space and given that it does 33mph driving on the highway, this vehicle would be a fine investment in the long run.

Nissan Kicks 2019

What if you’ve not got a family, but do a lot of travelling as a singleton or couple? The Nissan Kicks 2019 model is a sub-compact crossover that you should give serious consideration to. There’s still enough space for as many as five passengers. What may really attract you to this model though is its price tag and the fact that it’s capable of doing around 36mph on the highway. The fact that it has enough space for around 32.3-cubic-feet or luggage and cargo, is just the cherry on a very metallic cake.

Nissan Armada 2019

However, if you’ve got a sizeable budget to play around with and bigger family or just spend a lot of your time travelling with friends and family, give some thought to the rather awesome Nissan Armada 2019. Armada by name and by nature as this car is a full-sized SUV that will suit mid-sized to larger families who need a lot of space. Ignore for the moment its fuel economy of just 19mpg and consider the fact that there’s room for as many as eight passengers.

Add to that the fact that you can store up to 95.4-cubic-feet of luggage, equipment and whatever you want to take with you, wherever you go, and we think this is a bit of a winner.

As you can see, there’s something for just about everyone when you choose to go Nissan for an SUV.

Reasons to Consider Cowboy Hardware for Children’s Western Wear

In the past, men and women looking for cowboy and western-style clothing have had no problem finding a wide range of outfits and accessories available. The same could not be said of children. Many of the top brands in the industry still only offer a limited range of western clothing suitable for smaller sizes. That was until a wide variety of kids western wear became available from Cowboy Hardware.

If you are looking for high-quality western clothing for your kids, whether you have a ranch, a smallholding or your little ones just love the style of the Wild West, there are many great reasons why you should consider Cowboy Hardware. In the following post we are going to look at some of them.

Clothing with a Lot of Character and Style

One of the most crucial things with western clothing is that children like to wear it, not just because they have to (although if they help you out on the ranch or with your cattle, it makes sense to dress the part too), but because they are trying to emulate their parents and their heroes. That is why the style and character of the designs must shine right through. That’s what you get from Cowboy Hardware rugged and durable clothing that has been designed and produced with a lot of attention to detail.

Western Clothing That Actually Fits Your Little Ones

A major bug bare, for quite a lot of parents is that when it comes to buying junior his or her new western clothes, finding that the sizes are too small or too big for them. You then have the problem of trying to decide whether you should buy in advance, without knowing if they’re tastes are going to stay the same or buying a larger size and then tinkering and tailoring them to fit.

But if the latter is the case, why would you go to all that bother paying out brand-new prices for something that’s going to be altered anyway? That is why so many families tend to kit their kids out with hand-me-downs, either from their children’s older siblings or friends and relatives or even through eBay or other online platforms.

That then leads to a lot of kids feeling unhappy because they want clothes that appeal to them and don’t share the same taste as their siblings or friends. By opting for Cowboy Hardware however, you’ll find that there’s a full range of clothes in various sizes, so you’ll have no trouble finding items that fit your little one well.

Got a Small Small Child?

Even if you have a small child or infant, Cowboy Hardware still deliver where many other western clothes and accessories shops don’t. Infants are often forgotten about and therefore it can be s struggle to find anything that is small enough. That’s not the case with their great range, as all ages, styles and needs are catered for. It means that now all the family can get high-quality western clothing and accessories that are not just reliable and practical, but that look great too.