Introducing the Volkswagen ID concept

The 2016 Paris Motor Show saw the grand reveal of the Volkswagen ID concept, ushering in the German manufacturer’s take on an alternatively fuelled future.

Dr Herbert Diess, the Chairman of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand, pointed out: “In 2020, we will begin to introduce an entire family of electric vehicles on the market. All of them will be based on a new vehicle architecture which was specially and exclusively developed for all-electric vehicles, not for combustion engine or plug-in hybrid vehicles.”

There’s plenty to be excited about when it comes to the Volkswagen ID concept, including the fact that this will be the first compact car created by the German vehicle brand based on its MEB Modular Electric Drive Kit.

As a result, the car will have a 125kW/170PS electric motor made up of lithium-ion batteries, enabling it to achieve a 360-mile range on a single charge.

Focusing on this particular element, Ulrich Eichhorn, the Research Director at Volkswagen, said: “The major work will be in the batteries. This will be at the far-end of lithium-ion technology, not just a development of what we’ve got already and we are already working on it in research and advanced engineering.”

As well as an intriguing drivetrain, the Volkswagen ID concept is attention-grabbing. The vehicle’s exterior features a front end that is completely blanked off with digital headlamps that are wrapped in LED daytime running lights.

In regards to the interior of the Volkswagen ID concept, Dr Diess summed it up by stating that there are “no buttons, no switches, no sticks, just screens”. Therefore, drivers can enjoy an LED dashboard, rear cameras in place of mirrors and a retractable steering wheel whenever the car’s autonomous driving mode is switched on.

Unfortunately, the Volkswagen ID concept is not set to arrive on roads until 2020. However, motorists can pass the time by experiencing other Volkswagen electric vehicles, like the Driver Assistance technology-heavy e-up! and the practical, refined and advanced e-Golf.

Motorparks launches two new car calculators

British car dealership Motorparks has released a pair of new motoring calculators, which will help motorists to discover if they can afford the vehicle that has caught their eye.

With the company’s interactive car finance calculator, you will be able to learn about the best car finance option for your needs thanks to the following features:

  • A finance calculator, which determines the cost of a vehicle, any deposit required, the length of a loan and its interest rate in order to set out an estimated total amount that your dream car will set you back.
  • A jargon-free quiz, which advises you on the most suitable type of car finance after you have answered the following questions:
  • What kind of car are you interested in?
  • Will you be aiming to own the vehicle?
  • What’s more important to you; owning the car as soon as you can or making low monthly payments?
  • Are you a fan of car loans?
  • Is the vehicle going to be used for personal means or for use in a business?

Motorparks’ motoring costs calculator will work alongside the company’s car finance calculator. Use this tool in order to find out the day-to-day costs of your vehicle, such as:

  • How much you will spend on fuel.
  • How much the vehicle’s road tax will cost.
  • How much it will cost for you to insure the vehicle.
  • Other motoring costs that you may need to factor in depending on your commute. For example, daily parking charges of toll road fees.

See if you have the budget to purchase your dream car by giving both easy-to-use calculators a try today.

Do Not Let These Five Reasons Make you go on a Spending Spree

Sure it is fun to go shopping and leave with bags in hand, but it is no fun getting the bill later, especially if you cannot pay the entire balance off at once and it rolls over to the next month with interest, digging yourself deeper in debt.  For those that have a shopping addiction typically do not need any extra incentive to go on a shopping spree, but there are a few reasons that can sway the average spender.

Stressed Out

When you are feeling down the first thought may be to go shopping to get rid of the blues, but fight temptation and put stress into working out, as the extra shopping bills will drain your account and raise your credit card debt, only to leave you sad again when it comes time to pay.

Peer Pressure

Whether it is shoes, a car, house, no matter what the item is, we want to keep up with our peers, but do not let that influence get you to live beyond your means.  Stay within your budget and you will be able to treat yourself to the finer things in life when you save up.

Put it on a Credit Card

If you want an item and do not have the money for it, an instinct will be to put it on a credit card and worry about it later.  Sure it may work once or twice, but getting used to that mentality will only make things worse down the road and you will continue to live beyond your means, amounting to loads of credit card debt and no savings to show for it.

Running up a balance on your credit cards usually runs into overdraws, late payments, and the late fees and poor credit that goes along with all of that. This will lead you down the road of learning how to remove late payments from credit report agencies databases. Probably an additional hassle you want to avoid if possible.

Trying to Please

We want to make other happy, especially a spouse, friend, or family, and what better to show our love with gifts, but buying love only is short term, and with potentially long term effects on personal debt.  You are not thinking about finances when overspending, and could even ruin a relationship, which according to a survey by GOBankingRates, overspending was the biggest financial deal breaker in a relationship.

Falling for an Unneeded Sale

Black Friday for example is a great tactic by retailers to get people in the store, and it works, with record crowds.  Stay away from sales, as you will be more tempted to buy items because they’re on sale, not because you need them.

16 Must-Follow Facebook Pages for Spread Betting Enthusiasts

numbers

Spread betting was once relegated to the realms of Wall Street bankers, but today the Internet and a changing market has made it accessible for all.

This shift proves that the public are increasingly willing to take bigger risks in the hopes of a bigger pay-off. Spread betting is a form of speculating market movements and predicting the rise or fall of stock to turn a profit. Tax-free with a high-profit margin, everyone is now opening spread-betting accounts. Alas, this form of investment is particularly risky and involves a lot of homework.

The following 16 Facebook pages allow you to follow along with the pulse of financial trading from your social media feed. Stay up-to-date with market predictions and access educational resources to help you read the market and place the most informed spread bets possible.

buy-sell

  1. Market Watch

@marketwatch

Market Watch is run by Dow Jones & Co. and provides current market commentary for savvy investors, while also running a vibrant blog with financial advice.

  1. Fidelity Investments

@fidelityinvestments

Fidelity is a top stock trading company with a thriving financial blog they update near daily on their Facebook page.

  1. Online Trading Academy

@onlinetradingacademy

Online Trading Academy is an educational platform that teaches traders and investors about the market. Follow their Facebook page for breaking news about the latest financial events.

  1. Hedge Accordingly

@hedgeaccordingly

Hedge Accordingly has been posting consistently since 2008, providing current commentary and breaking new financial events as they happen.

  1. Forex Trading

@learnforextrading

Forex Trading is a must-watch Facebook page for those looking to learn the ropes of investment.Perfect for beginners.

  1. StockTrader.com

@stockmarketrecaps

StockTrader.com are a leading source of market analysis and an endless resource for trading education. Follow them for daily visual updates of recent market activity. A must for any committed investor.

  1. InvestorPlace

@investorplace

InvestorPlace is one of the most active Facebook accounts with multiple posts per day sharing the latest stock trading news. This is a great page to follow along as an avid investor.

  1. CMC Markets

@CMCmarkets.uk

CMC Markets, while experts on spread betting, exist to provide you with world-class market analysis and commentary. Follow their Facebook page for videos and blog posts from their global market analysts.

  1. E-Trade Financial

@Etrade

E-Trade is a service assisting you in making informed trading decisions. Like their page for regular updates of educational resources to help you make smarter trading decisions.

10.Scottrade

@scottrade

Scottrade provides handy prompts to analyse your investment activity. Less market watchers and more financial advisors, Scottrade’s Facebook page provides regular advice, which makes it worth watching.

11.IG

@australiaIG

IG is a global leader in financial trading, so you want to be tuned into their announcements. While their Facebook page isn’t overly active, when they do post a gem you want to be ready for it.

12.FXCM US

@FXCM

FXCM is a trading platform whose Facebook page provides regular market analysis and insights to help you plan your future investments.

13.SpreadEx

@spreadex

One of the UK’s longest surviving spread betting companies, SpreadEx is a company to follow. Best followed by serious investors.

14.City Index

@cityindexUK

City Index are specialists in spread betting, and keep their followers updated with predictions of movements in the stock market. They specialise in making sure traders understand the risks involved before undertaking spread betting.

15.ETX Capital

@ETXcapitalgroup

World leaders in spread betting, ETX are certainly an account to follow. Their Facebook page shares blog posts of all the largest financial events to happen globally, and are a good way to keep your finger on the pulse of trading.

16.Spread Betting & CFDs Guide

@financialspreadbetting

Financial Spread Betting is a guide with tips on getting started in spread betting and advice on making the most of your investments. Follow along for market commentary and check their website for educational articles to make the most of what you learn from the above 15 Facebook pages.

On this list are some of the most prominent names known in spread betting. This list should be treated like keys to the kingdom. Click ‘like’, sign-up to their newsletter, browse their blog and follow along their daily posts and in no time at all, you’re going to be a spread betting, stock trading superstar.

Do You Have to Sacrifice Fuel Efficiency for Lower Insurance Premiums?

You want to save money and help reduce greenhouse gases so naturally, you are in the market for fuel-efficient vehicles. The good news is that there are more cars and trucks designed for fuel efficiency than ever before, thanks to the growth of hybrids and advanced technology. The bad news is that many of these are in the luxury category, which tends to attract higher premiums. On the other hand, gas guzzling SUVs are rewarded by many insurers, but use large amounts of energy and create significant emissions. Do you have to choose between fuel efficiency and affordable auto insurance?
Vehicles with Low Insurance Premiums
If you like piling the entire family into a huge SUV or minivan, such as the Toyota Sienna, your insurer will reward you with lower premiums. These cars suffer less damage when there is a collision, and tend to be easy and relatively inexpensive to repair. Since many of these vehicles are created with families in mind, they have additional safety features which also score brownie points with insurance companies. The downside is that these are the vehicles which are avoided by those who are concerned about the environment and about paying high prices at the pump.
Vehicles That Save Fuel
The advent of hybrids has been a boon to green-oriented drivers, but they require a significant investment. These cars tend to be priced higher and they also command significant premiums. In addition to luxury cars that are not commonly owned and require specialty parts, hybrids have a complex structure that makes them more costly to repair, and therefore, more expensive to insure. In addition, smaller engines are more fuel efficient, but the smaller the car, the less well it may fare in a collision, and therefore, premiums will be higher. If you are interested in motoring costs, then check out this motoring costs calculator for details that you need to know.
Finding a Compromise
You don’t have to give up energy efficiency to save on auto insurance or vice versa. It helps to look at premiums in your area, for instance, San Antonio auto insurance on certain brands and models and make another list of the most energy-efficient cars. By comparing the data on both lists, you will be able to identify cars that are energy efficient and carry reasonable premiums. The U.S. Department of Energy has a resource that can aid in identifying energy-efficient vehicles.
There are a number of cars that fare well on both lists. A Ford Escape non-hybrid represents a fair compromise between inexpensive insurance and fuel savings, as well as the Chevrolet Silverado. You can find your own fair compromises through cross-referencing, and may come up with a few surprises. In addition, keep in mind that your auto insurance premium quoted may not be the last word. There are ways to negotiate lower premiums, such as through taking a defensive driving course, having past fines and tickets removed from your record, driving less than the national average and searching for insurance discounts.
While there are some crucial choices to make in the search for an energy efficient car with affordable insurance premiums, it is not too difficult to find vehicles that meet both criteria. Buying a hybrid car isn’t the only way to save on fuel and to cut down on carbon emissions. You may find a car that fits fuel and affordable insurance standards and drives like a dream.

What Should My Credit Score Be?

If you are not one to check not only your credit score, but your credit report in general, now is the time to start.  Credit is the most important factor for a lender to decide our worthiness to get loan approval, whether it is for an auto loan or a mortgage purchase or refinance.  It is surprising how many family and friends that I hear do not know where they stand with their credit, or even just assume they have great credit.

A way to start would be to pull a Free Copy of your Credit Report.  You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year from the three major bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian.  Although pulling a free copy of your credit report will not give you a credit score, you can purchase one for an additional fee of usually under $10, or if you currently have a credit card, you can find your credit score on the monthly statement, whether you receive paper copies in the mail, or have an online account, you can click to see your score when logged in, as most credit card companies are providing an updated score each month.  When you view a copy of your credit report, double check to make sure everything is accurate, as far as the number of accounts open, addresses, and balances.  Keep in mind that reports are usually a month behind, so if you have charged or made a large payment or even open or closed an account it will not show up for an additional month or two.

Now what about the score?  Credit scores range from 301 the lowest to 850 the highest, with ranges falling in between, as “Poor” to “Excellent”.  “Excellent” scores would be those that are above 750, and thus getting the best possible rates available, and getting less favorable as you go lower in score, while those at the bottom cannot be trusted borrowers and would be declined.  “Good” are those between 700-749, “Fair” 650-699, “Poor” 600-649, and “Bad” anything below 600.  In order to make sure you get the most favorable rates and no trouble getting approval for a loan, you would need to make sure you get at least in the higher end of the “Good” range and above. Your credit score might come in handy if you ever needed liquidity and wanted approval for car title loans for quick cash. Your credit score affects just about every part of your financial life.

If you find your scores are low, you will need to make sure you continue to pay bills on time, balances are paid down to free up more available credit, and you avoid continuous new credit lines.  With patience and discipline, scores will rise.

5 Things You Can Do to Save Big in 2016

2016 has made its way into our lives and we are already almost through the first two months. There is no better time to start saving money to set ourselves up for financial success than right now. We have about 10 months to save as big as we can, but wait! How will we save big?

One of the hardest parts about saving money is that you do not want to see a huge loss of money fly from your hands, so it can be hard to set aside hundreds of dollars a month. Below, we will go over some awesome ways to make saving a substantial amount of money painless this 2016!

 

  1. Limit How Many Fees You Spend

One of the worst things about saving money is not having the money to save, but when you start to think about all of the fees you spend to maintain accounts and withdrawal money, you will quickly see you are throwing a lot of dough out the window.

For example, if you use an out of network ATM, you will spend anywhere between one to five dollar to withdraw the money from the chosen ATM and then your bank will charge you ANOTHER service fee on top of this. Therefore, just to withdraw $100, you are paying $110. If you do this often, you are quickly tossing money out.

In addition, consider other things you may be paying fees for such as paper statements, pinless debt charges, etc.

 

  1. Student Loan Refinancing

If you want to painlessly save thousands of dollars this year, then look directly at your student loans coming – after all, they won’t see it coming. Student loan refinancing is a great way to keep money in your pocket while paying down the debt that you owe.

Student loan refinancing is designed to help get you a better interest rate on your student loans, which will save you a ton of money. For example, switching from a seven percent interest rate down to a three percent interest rate is a big leap and you can place this saved money right into your bank account.

 

  1. Avoid Eating Out

One way that you can save big this 2016 is to commit to eating at home more often. When you eat out, you are paying for convenience and a meal for two can easily be $30 at a restaurant. Imagine going out to eat five days out of the week, that is $150 just for dinner! You could spend that $150 at the grocery store and feed your family for the week.

When you can, use coupons for the items you buy too. If you have the extra time to do so, you can match up the coupons with some of the local ads and really save some bucks at the store.

 

  1. Avoid the Movie Theater

Alright, alright, maybe once or twice, but seriously, you should stop heading to the theater on date night. While you may not realize it at the time, your movie ticket is costing you up to $15 PER. If you visit the movies once or twice a month, this really adds up.

You could rent a movie or two from Redbox and spend significantly less than you would if you went to the movies. In fact, the rentals at Redbox are just a buck.

 

  1. Utilize Power Wisely

One area that people tend to spend the most is on their utility bill. This bill includes your power consumption and sometimes your gas consumption as well. If you take some time to turn lights off, keep the AC off, and use minimal power, then you will notice that your utility bill drops in price and you can set aside the additional money you would have been sending to the power company.

If you are looking to save a lot of money this year, consider the five tips above to help you. It is important that you eliminate things that you do not need from your budget or find alternatives, such as buying a generic brand and so on.

We believe you can start saving more than you think! Ready for the challenge? Let’s do it together!

 

 

Starting a Restaurant on a Server’s Salary

Even though it is one of the toughest professions to exceed in, it is still one of the most rewarding. As long as you know where to begin and know things to avoid (like having champagne taste on a beer budget) then opening your restaurant could be as easy as opening a can of soup (okay, maybe not that easy).

Location, location, location

Obviously you want to have your new restaurant in a prime spot, maybe on a busy street in a popular city or town. The problem with this is that the more “idea” the location is, the more likely the higher the rent. I’m not saying you need to start a business in the middle of nowhere to save a few pennies, but just be smart. For example, pick a location that was previously a restaurant. This way, a lot of the things you need – stove, dishwasher, bar – is already in place. This will save a ton of money on having to put these items in. Also, maybe look for a neighborhood that is up and coming, this way your rent will stay cheap while the area grows in value.

Spend smart

Once you have to start stocking your restaurant with all things needed, you will be overstimulated by how many options are out there. The best way to make sure you have everything you need – from menus to paper towel rolls – is to find a trusted partner. Restaurant Discount Warehouse is one of these vendors who can stay with you through the lifecycle of your restaurant. You will save money on things like menu covers, so you can spend more on upgrading your bar or oven.

As long as you remain smart about the decisions you make regarding opening your restaurant, you can be a successful entrepreneur. You just have to take the first step!

Top 10 Habits that can increase your fuel economy

Okay, we’ve talked about these gasoline/fuel economy habits many times before, but with the cost of gas still over $3.50 a gallon at many pumps around the country, we figured it was time to write about them again. Enjoy.

First, you should definitely drive slower. The simple fact is that as your speed increases, the “drag” on your car or truck increases as well. For example, if you drive 62 miles an hour rather than 75, you can actually reduce the amount of fuel that your car uses by nearly 15% just because of reduced friction.

When it comes to speeding up and slowing down, neither is good to do in excess. Basically what you need to do is anticipate traffic, traffic lights and stop signs in order to accelerate and brake moderately. This can increase your fuel economy by nearly 20%. This in turn helps you to increase the amount of money in your checking account.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is one of the easiest things you can do to save money at the gas pumps. Simply check the level recommended by either your vehicle manufacturer (in the instruction manual) or the company that manufactured the tires that you purchased to replace the original, factory tires. This can help increase your fuel economy from 1% to 3%.

While the jury is still out on whether or not using the AC increases or decreases fuel economy, it’s definitely well known that having your windows open at highway speeds increases drag and decreases your fuel economy upwards of 10%.

If you can avoid long idling times, especially over one minute, you will definitely save money as idling the car for longer than 60 seconds uses more fuel than stopping and then restarting it.

One of the best things you can do to increase your fuel economy is simply to have your car or truck serviced regularly. Things like dirty air filters, low fluid levels and spark plugs that aren’t functioning correctly will get replaced if you maintain your car correctly.

Another great way to save gasoline is to use cruise control.  If you can maintain a constant speed over a long distance, your car or truck will definitely use less gas.

Keeping the amount of junk in your car to the minimum is also a great way to save on fuel. The heavier your car is the more gas it will use,  so make sure to take out anything you might have put in there over the winter to give you better traction and just don’t drive around with a lot of stuff in your car.

Finally, the very biggest and best way to save money is simply to purchase a car or truck that is fuel efficient.

OK, now you’re all set again.  Don’t make us repeat ourselves for a while if you please, and happy motoring.

Top 5 Tips for Buying the Right Boat for summer

Summer is fast approaching and with it the urge to get out on the water, whether that water happens to be a lake, river or the ocean, and take advantage of all that mother nature has to offer.

The best way to do that is with a boat, if your budget can afford it, and today’s blog will help you to do just that and purchase a boat that fits your budget. Enjoy.

1) Your very first task should be to visit a large boat show. Boat shows are truly the best place to see a large number of different types and styles of boats, as well as different sizes, so that you can see all of the different prices, options and so forth. Having all of this information will allow you to make a much better decision on which boat/engine combination to purchase. A boat show is also an excellent place to meet lots of boating experts who can guide you in your decision.

2) Take your time. A boat is a large and expensive purchase and something you will likely have for many years. If you take care of it well, you may also be able to pass it onto your children. Point being, take your time making a decision on what type of boat to purchase so that you’re satisfied with that decision for the next few years (at least).

3) If you’re new to boating, definitely look into taking a boating safety course. The simple fact is this; while it might steer like a car, a boat handles much differently than an automobile and, if you don’t know how to handle it correctly, you could easily cause an accident or worse.

4) Keep in mind that their are a lot of additional costs when it comes to owning a boat. If you don’t have somewhere to keep it, you will need to either rent a space in a storage lot or a “slip” at a marina, both of which are relatively expensive monthly costs. Also, if you purchase gasoline from a marina, you can expect the price to be at least 30% higher than at your local gas station. Boating accessories like water skis, fishing rods, life jackets and so forth also will add to the cost, sometimes significantly.

5) If possible, take a test drive. Referring back to #2, a boat is something you will hold onto for many years. That’s why, whenever possible, you should definitely take it out for a test drive to make sure that you like the way it handles before you make your purchase decision.

And there you have them, 5 excellent tips that should help you to make the right decision when on a new boat. We wish you happy and safe boating!

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