How Much a Ticket Might Hike Your Car Insurance Rate — and What to Do About It

Traffic violations can raise the cost of your insurance coverage — but it's not entirely out of your hands. The lights flash, the siren sounds, and you’re pulled over by the side of the road as a police officer writes you a ticket. How embarrassing — and potentially expensive! First, there’s the cost of the actual ticket, of course — and that initial expense varies widely, depending on the state and the driving violation. However, from reckless driving to not wearing your seat belt, the ticket

It's not the money; it's how you make it

The dealership finance manager is one of the most complicated and highest-paid positions in automotive retail. Though a six-figure salary awaits a top F&I manager, so does the pressure to make up for shrinking front-end profit margins and the burden of maintaining compliance standards. As new-vehicle margins melt away, structuring a pay plan that rewards one of the biggest earners in a dealership but still ensures the job is done ethically and legally is one of dealers' greatest challenges, aut

A 5-Step Plan for Slaying Your Financial Fears

Demons — like taxes, budgeting, estate planning and investing — are far scarier if you hide from them. Exorcise them with these tips. It’s nearly Halloween, so let’s talk about something really scary: Many of us have the habit of leaving our finances to chance. We hide from financial issues that scare us, but all that does is leave us open to frightening surprises. As with spooky monsters under our beds, finances do less harm when you shine a light on them. So, follow the advice of financial g

8 Foolproof Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing this critical insurance policy takes a little effort, but it pays off big. Here's how you can save. Most of us rarely think about our homeowners insurance. It’s easy to put a policy in place and then forget about it. But a home is likely the most valuable thing we will ever own, and it’s filled with costly possessions. Insurance covers the value of the building — including upgrades — and the worth of our belongings. It’s vital to review what your homeowners insurance covers and how

The most costly mistakes you can make when leasing a car

Leasing a new car instead of buying one makes a lot of sense — at least it often appears to make sense until you check under the hood. Those who lease cars get to drive the newest models, don’t have to pay for maintenance and basically only pay for the depreciation of the car while they drive it. Little wonder leasing makes up about a third of annual new car transactions, reported automotive journalist Matt Jones of Edmunds. And the American consumer’s tendency to focus on monthly payments ins

Should you get married? Not before talking about this

Mike Lynch watched his just-married best friend tear up as he accepted an envelope from his new father-in-law. The envelope contained the student loan paperwork for his new wife’s debt. While the gesture was tinged with humor, Lynch, vice president of strategic markets at money management firm Hartford Funds, thought it was a smart move. “When you’re married, you’re both responsible for debts,” he said. “Anytime you add someone to the family — a partner, children — things change and it’s impor

3 Ways Car Loans Can Go Wrong — and How to Avoid Them

Beware these car loan pitfalls. One wrong turn can make the difference between building good credit or driving it into a ditch. A new car loan can drive your credit ahead, cementing your reputation as a responsible borrower who can be trusted with major responsibility, including the much-coveted mortgage. But take a wrong turn – even one late payment – and your credit score will sink, making it more difficult — and in some cases nearly impossible — to obtain credit in the future. The time to

Do You Need Gap Insurance for Your New Car?

The federal government is open, the economy is starting to recover, and auto dealers are offering terrific incentives. Now's the time for you to buy that hot new car you've had your eye on, right? Maybe, but you might need to consider special auto insurance that will protect your vehicle if you do. Although the U.S. economy has still not fully emerged from the recession, average new vehicle finance terms have been steadily rising over time, which means you have a longer time to pay off your deb

Over 40? Take a lesson from TV’s ‘Younger’

If you haven’t yet tuned into the TVLand dramedy “Younger,” now’s the time to binge watch and soak up the intergenerational work/life lessons mixed within each story line. “Younger” is about 40-year-old, recently divorced Liza, (Sutton Foster) who struggles to return to the promising publishing career she left years earlier after marriage and the birth of a daughter. The former whiz kid finds the young publishing bosses want to hire other millennials, not a divorced mom with a daughter close to

Love The Ride You're With

ARE YOU longing for a new ride? Check your driveway. The car you once proudly drove home can be restored to showroom quality. The following tips from a panel of auto experts and enthusiasts can help you get the process started. Deep cleaning. A great ;rst step in sprucing up your car is a meticulous hand-wash and wax, says Costco member O.J. Lopez, owner of Fluid MotorUnion, an automotive repair and performance service (, in Naper-ville, Illinois. You can do it yourself wit

Michelin, Goodyear put products to test in big early-season races

The multi-year agreement replaced a supply deal IMSA had with Continental Tire the Americas L.L.C. since 2010 that ended in 2018. The deal calls for Michelin tires to be on every Prototype and GT Daytona race car competing in the WeatherTech Championship as well as on the companion Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge series. "We began prep for the 2019 (races) toward the middle or third part of 2017, as soon as we learned of the award (to supply IMSA tires)," Mr. Payne said. "

Is a Vacation Rental a Good Investment?

As vacation rentals rise in popularity, more people are starting to ask themselves, “are vacation rentals a good investment?” Vacation rental properties can be a great investment depending on several factors that are unique to each buyer. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 30%of vacation property owners and 32 percent of investment property owners planned to rent their homes as short-term rentals in 2018. That’s a significant increase over the 2017 figures of

The 5 Biggest Reasons You Weren't Invited In For A Job Interview

“But why didn’t you at least call me? I would have explained!” That’s what Todd, one of my colleagues at a major news magazine, said when he discovered my past job was as a hiring editor at another publication. I had posted a job. He had applied. I clearly recall looking at his online application and hesitating. He sounded great — if only. (We’ll get to why he was rejected in a minute.) In retrospect, I realized he would have been a terrific hire, perhaps better than the superstar who landed t

Expert Advice on Growing Your Small or Medium-Sized Business in 2016

“Owners of small and medium-sized businesses have many opportunities for success in 2016,” said Jeff Stibel, Vice Chairman, Dun & Bradstreet. That means now is the time for those owners and leaders to plot their futures. The trend this year will likely be for those business owners and leaders to continue to step back and determine how much they can – and should – invest to grow their businesses. “Everyone thinks interest rates drive lending for small businesses. Small businesses don’t usually

7 Secrets To Negotiating Pay & Benefits, From A Former Hiring Manager

At least, that’s what she’d written in her cover letter. She wrote the moniker wasn’t due to a lack of personal hygiene. Nope, her newspaper editors had bestowed the handle upon her after she proved they could count on her to happily accept the “smelliest” reporting job assigned. If they needed someone to face down a blizzard or take a midnight trip to a bloody accident site, she willingly went. Or so she said. I caught a whiff of hubris in the “Smelly” letter, but extended an invitation for an

9 Ways to Take a Bite Out of Pet Bills

I recently spent $1,500 on my cat, Puck. He’s got cancer, and this is the third time in 10 years he’s had major surgery. Total bills so far: nearly $10,000. Shocked? Don’t be. It’s not just the cost of human health care that’s getting out of control. So is the cost of veterinary care. So what will you do if the cost of caring for your furry friend gets beyond your reach? Fortunately, you have many options, from vet schools to animal welfare organizations. Here are nine tips. Local animal we