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4 Great Ways to Save at the Gas Pump

One of the biggest expenses the average family has to pay for every week is gas. Unless you live in a city with public transportation, using an automobile is absolutely necessary to commute to work, buy groceries and do many other things. While gas prices may rise and fall seemingly at random, there are thankfully ways to consistently save at the pump. Below are four such strategies.

1. Check Your Tire Pressure

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you should check your tire pressure once a month. Making sure your tires are properly inflated can increase your gas mileage by as much as 3.3 percent. This can create significant savings rather quickly.

Properly inflated tires are also far safer. Underinflated tires can lead to blow-outs. A blown-out tire can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It’s a common cause of accidents.

2. Keep Your Tank Closer to Full

It may seem illogical. Most people may assume filling up more often may cause them to be less economical in regards to paying for gas. This is not true. What you may not know is that operating your vehicle on or near empty means your car is actually consuming more gas. This is due to the fact that when your tank is less full your car is running less efficiently.

A good rule of thumb is to fill up your car when you have a little less than half a tank. This is also far safer since you will be less likely to run out of gas while on the road.

3. Choose Your Gas Stations Strategically

Not every gas station charges the same for unleaded and premium fuel. One way to save is to try to choose gas stations that are charging less for gas. Many radio stations, websites and smart phone apps track the price of gas in cities and can alert residents of where to find the best deal on fuel.

There are also other factors you should be aware of. Certain states tend to have cheaper gas than others.According to Forbes, Ohio tends to have the cheapest in the country. This can be useful information if you are traveling. Freeway gas stations also tend to charge a premium for gas compared to others.

4. Drive Strategically

How you drive your car is also a big factor in regards to your fuel economy. Avoid idling. It wastes gas. If you need to wait at a fast food drive-through, for example, turn off your car until your food arrives. Also try to take routes that do not require constant stopping and starting. If free of traffic congestion, an interstate highway is likely to result in less fuel consumption than a city street with intersection after intersection.

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Person Centered Planning: Focusing on The Individual

When a family member is experiencing a chronic or serious disability or illness or when they are aging and may need extra support and services, person centered planning is often used to help. This is an approach to aid and care that puts the individual first and asks them directly about what they want and need in terms of help. It is the ideal way to deal with these often very difficult situations in care.

Each process will be customized in a different way, and that is why it is person centered. But in general, you will be able to use the following principles to help your loved one or the person in need when it comes to person centered planning.

1. It is important to make sure the individual is the focus of the plans.

At all times and at every point in the decision making process, the individual needs to be at the center. This will include decisions on when the planning will happen and how it will happen. If the person wants to return to certain decisions, that is their choice as well.

2. The individual also invites who they want to the planning and arrangements team.

The planning team will be integral to the success of this plan for your friend or loved one. It is they who will collectively arrange many of the decisions you make. Only the individual at the center of the planning can choose these individuals.

3. It is the team members who will find and improve a natural support system of treatments and individuals.

The team members will spread out to carry out the wishes of the individual. It should always be the individual who directs the projects and processes that the team members organize and arrange.

4. Both formal and informal options of support can be implemented.

The team members and individual should keep in mind that formal services, such as those from adult day caring services and hospitals can be used. But informal services like help from friends and family members can be employed as well.

5. The individual themselves will be able to talk freely about their wants, needs and overall preferences.

To help individuals talk about their own plans and implement ideas, desires and needs, the rest of the team members should ensure that the appropriate accommodations are made for them.

6. Lastly, if an individual needs additional help to make these critical decisions, they will get that help while remaining the center of the decision-making process.

Sometimes, individuals need to have close friends or relatives at their side to help them make a critical decision. This should also be accommodated, but these individuals should never take over the dialogue.

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A Backup Camera For Safety: Avoiding Collisions

Some would argue that one of the greatest inventions for automobiles is the backup camera or rearview camera. The average person doesn’t know that the death of a small boy, who was ran over on accident by his father, was partially responsible for why most modern rearview cameras exist.

The NHTSA has been working towards forcing automakers to make rearview cameras standard in every future automobile. According to the regulations, automakers have until 2018 to make this technology standard in all passenger vehicles that are sold in the United States.

When you consider the fact that these cameras save lives, it’s easy to understand how beneficial they are. However, until 2018, consumers must make a judgment call and decide if a rearview camera is right for their vehicles.

Avoiding Collisions with a Backup Camera

Rearview cameras make backing out of a parking spot, driveway or sidewalk much safer. They help to prevent collisions between vehicles and property. About one fourth of all vehicular collisions occur when a driver is backing up.

Over half of these collisions occur very close to your home. The sad news is that 75 percent of all of these collisions can be prevented, but most vehicles don’t have a rearview camera installed, so the driver is far more likely to be involved in an accident when backing up.

Rearview cameras can help to prevent a vehicle from colliding with curbs, bikes, children and other vehicles. The camera gives the driver an additional set of eyes, which lets him or her see where there is normally a blind spot.

How They Work

A typical backup camera, like the one you would find on a modern vehicle, is roughly the size of a nickel. It’s usually mounted on the exterior of a car or SUV. It provides a real-time video feed of the space behind a vehicle.

Many of the newest cameras actually have sensors, which alert the driver when the vehicle is getting too close to an object. A lot of cameras have technology that displays guidelines onto the screen that displays the digital video feed from the camera.

While these cameras are incredibly useful for everyday passenger vehicles, they’re also very useful for large commercial vehicles. The blind spot that the drivers of large bulldozers must deal with is huge.

A backup camera helps to bridge the gap and lets drivers see what they can only see with a camera mounted to the exterior of the vehicle.

The Pitfalls of Backup Cameras

There is no doubt that rearview cameras increase convenience and safety, but they can cause drivers to get tunnel vision, which can encourage the driver to not use data from the rearview and side mirrors.

Some backup cameras can cost $1,000 or more to have installed, so they can be cost prohibitive for some drivers. However, if the technology can save even one single life or collision, it can instantly pay for itself.

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Home Design: Choosing Furniture for Your Space

When the time comes to decorate your home, it can seem overwhelming to choose furniture for your space. While the possibilities are exciting, a project of this size and scope might appear to be a monumental task. The following suggestions can help you reduce the overwhelm factor and develop a strategy for choosing just the right furniture for your new surroundings.

Plan Out Your Room Design

Measure your space and give some thought to how many pieces of furniture you’ll need. Do you envision having end tables? Arm chairs? An ottoman? Then come up with a rough idea of where you think you’ll want to put each piece. Make a list of the items you are looking for, and take it with you when you shop.

Choose the Right Style Furnishings for Your Home

When choosing new furniture, the next thing you want to evaluate is your home’s architectural style. It’s important to preserve harmony between the building’s structure and its furnishings. If you have a mid-century modern style home, it would make sense to decorate it with similar retro mid-century modern furnishings. It would be appropriate to decorate your seaside cottage with vintage surf décor; the same furnishings would be likely to look out of place in a southwestern style adobe house in New Mexico.

Combine Several Patterns for Visual Interest

To make your space more interesting, you’ll want to consider incorporating several different coordinating patterns into the room. Don’t go overboard with this; you don’t want too many different patterns competing for attention. What you do want is a pleasant visual mix of patterns that is not overwhelming. Throw pillows, area rugs and wall art are all creative places to introduce interesting patterns into your space.

Selectively Use Furniture You Already Have

If you already have furniture, it’s a good idea to incorporate it into your new environment whenever possible. You can often re-purpose items as needed. You could re-paint the bookcase you used for organizing your college textbooks and transform it into shelf space for your child’s bedroom, for example.

Incorporate Heirloom Pieces Where Appropriate

If your family has handed down any heirloom pieces, evaluate whether they’d be appropriate to include as part of your interior design. They’ll be much more meaningful to your family than any furnishings you could buy at the mall.

Ask for Other Opinions

It can be helpful to ask your friends’ opinions about the various pieces of furniture you are considering. It’s especially important to seek consensus when narrowing down your final selections for the major purchases like couches. Tough decisions can become much easier when you have help.

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Private Jet Charter: Best Way To Get To Your Destination

If you want to travel in a way that maximizes comfort and minimizes hassle, nothing beats a private jet charter. Whether you are planning a business trip or a vacation, this is a mode of travel that eliminates most of the things that people dislike about flying. A charter flight is more convenient and far more comfortable than even the most luxurious first class seating on a commercial flight.

Convenience of Charter Jet Flights

Hardly anyone enjoys the modern rituals of entering a busy airport, checking your baggage, waiting on a long line at security and boarding a crowded plane. A private jet charter allows you to escape all of these hassles. You will avoid the crowded terminals and board your plane at the charter company’s private terminal. There will be no lines for checking baggage or security. If you are driving your own car to the airport, you won’t even have to worry about parking. A valet will park your car.

This is not only a less stressful way to fly, it also saves you a great deal of time. On a commercial flight, you have to arrive at the airport at least an hour in advance. When you take a charter flight, you can take your time and not worry about missing the flight. While you are expected to arrive on schedule, the plane is not going to leave without you on a charter jet flight.The Comforts of Charter Flights

The advantages of a charter flight only become more obvious once you get on the plane and prepare to enjoy your flight. You can expect to have plenty of room, exceptionally comfortable seats and a wide range of amenities that are closer to what you’d find on a cruise ship than on a commercial airline. While airlines boast of how much legroom you get in business or first class, on a private charter flight, you will have a whole cabin to yourself. Your cabin is just for you and any companions who may be flying with you.

When it comes to meals, beverages and entertainment, you will have a wide variety of choices. You can arrange custom choices for your meals and expect dishes to be of top restaurant quality rather than typical airline fare. For entertainment, you’ll have access to a wide selection of music and movies.

Charter Flights Can be Economical

While chartering a flight is obviously more expensive than flying first class, it is more affordable than people often realize. If you are flying with a family, group of friends or business associates, it can actually be more economical to charter a flight rather than purchase separate tickets for everyone.

Charter flights are useful if you are traveling to a remote location where there are no commercial airports. Your only alternative in this case would be to fly to the nearest major airport and arrange ground or water transportation the rest of the way. A charter flight is faster and often more economical in such cases. Finally, if you are taking a trip with multiple destinations, chartering a plane is often more practical than buying several tickets for commercial flights.

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Beach House Real Estate: Owning A Home on The Beach

It might prove difficult to find someone who doesn’t want to own a house on the beach. For many, the ability to live in a house on a beach is a childhood dream. Some are able to save up enough money to purchase some beach house real estate while others can only continue to dream.

The thought of waking up to the sound of waves crashing against the shore can be very enticing. The beautiful color changes that take place in the sky as the sun sets are like icing on the cake.

What You Need To Know Before the Purchase

If you’re considering buying a beach house, there are some important bits of information that you should know. First, it’s crucial to research the location.

It’s recommended that you spend time in the area where the property is located before you decide to purchase. The deal could turn sour quickly if you move in and find out the neighbors are rude.

Check to make sure the property is built in a convenient location. Check out the local hospitals and stores. Consider whether there are restaurants, museums or movie theaters.

Find a Local Realtor

After deciding on a location, you’ll want to make sure to work with a local realtor for the area. While it might seem hard to justify the fee that you’ll have to pay a realtor, it’s almost always worth it.

Your realtor will be able to tell you everything you need to know about the property and area. A local realtor might even be able to tell you the weather patterns for the area.

Pay For an Inspection

Before pulling the trigger and purchasing a beach house, it’s important to hire a home inspector. Paying for a home inspection is especially important for coastal areas because they represent some unknown dangers that aren’t common with other homes.

Coastal weather conditions can be very different from what is experienced away from the coast, which can cause beach homes to degrade quickly.

Beach properties are also far more likely to have suffered flooding or similar moisture problems. By paying for a home inspection, you can hope to spot any potential issues before you purchase the home.

Consider an Alternative

There are two types of beach homes. One is actually located on the beach, also called a beachfront property, and the other is located just a short distance from the beach.

The cost of a beachfront property can be significantly more than what you would pay for the alternative, which is located a short distance from the beach.

For many, owning a home on the beach will remain a dream. If you’re fortunate enough to be in a position to purchase such a beach house, make sure to use this information to your advantage.