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There is much to consider when buying a car — make and model, color, leather seats, sun roof, MP3 hookups, and of course stick shift or automatic? Everyone has a reason for liking one or the other, but what if you can’t choose? Below I’ve listed the pros on cons of both, the choice is yours.

Stick Shift

The first time I drove a stick shift I was terrified. It was a 1986 Chevy Trooper with a habit for breaking down. I was doing fine until my mom made me drive on the busiest street in town. I freaked out a little and stalled the engine more than once. Needless to say, driving a stick shift scared me afterwards.

When I got married my husband forced me to learn to drive stick shift. He didn’t care that I was terrified of it. We only had one working car and it was stick shift. There would be no getting around it.

The thing is, you never forget learning to drive a stick shift. There is something about having complete control over the power of an engine that can be intoxicating. That’s not the only reason for getting a stick shift, but it’s up there on the list of reasons to love it.

My husband prefers to drive stick shift, when I asked him why he told me there was no transmission that could break down. And it’s true. If your transmission blows on your automatic car, it’s going to cost a pretty penny. It might not even be worth recovering. Something to consider when you when you buy a car for sure.


There’s a certain comfort in knowing you don’t have to worry about making sure your car is in the right gear. After all, your engine could blow if you’re not careful with a stick shift. But that isn’t the only reason for getting an automatic.

The most obvious choice in getting an automatic is the ease of it. Learning to drive is hard enough, why throw a stick shift into the mix? All you have to do is put it in drive and take off. And most cars these days have the option of switching to manual which can be handy when going down steep hills without using too much break.

My personal reason for choosing an automatic over a stick shift is my kids. There is no way I could drive and be a mom with a stick shift. I need to keep my hands open in case of an emergency (i.e. baby screaming for a bottle which I can hand back to them.) It’s a comfort that may not be necessary for a car but can be a boost when it comes to safe driving.

All in all, everyone picks cars for different reasons. The important part is to do your research, shop around, and don’t settle for less. Whether or not you pick an automatic, make sure it is the right choice for you.

Spring is just around the corner and that means it’s time to de-junk. You’ve taken care of your closets and drawers, but what about your car? Think about how much time you spend in your car. It’s easy to get out of the car and forget what a mess it’s in. Then the next time you jump in your always disgusted with what a state you’ve let it get to. Is there any way to manage the mess?

Although I’m not perfect at keeping my car clean I do have a few tips that have kept me from feeling like my car has exploded in a cloud of disgustingness.

Keep a Trash Can in Your Car

This step is so easy, yet so often overlooked. How much time would it save you to have a little bag or a small container just for trash. All of the gum wrappers and food stuffs would have a nice little home when they are done being used. Then all you have to do is drop the bag in a big trash can at the gas station. Make sure you’re keeping extra bags on hand so that your trash container can be easily replaced, keeping the car clean.

Keep Basic Cleaning Supplies in Your Car

I have two kids. Kids are messy. Kids are really messy in a car. My kids will not clean up after themselves (unless I really put the pressure on) keeping basic cleaning supplies in the car such as disinfecting wipes, febreze, and dusters can save you when there is a mess on the road. Not to mention having the ease of cleaning supplies in your reach while in the car. Then you can get a few things clean before you head inside. That way you won’t forget what needs doing later.

Spring Clean Your Car, Just Like You do the House

Only so much can be done with the things you have in your car. There will come a point when you need to a little more in depth cleaning. That’s alright though, going through your car and de-cluttering pile by pile will help you evaluate the trouble areas. For example, I always keep movies in the car for my kids. I’ve recognized that where I keep the movies is a complete disaster. I bought a little box and now all the DVD’s are kept nice and neat in one area. There are other things that seem to gather in the car that could use their own place. What about bag that holds all the pens floating around the floor of your car? Or a folder for papers stuck in odd places? Your car can be organized, just like your house.

No one likes to live in a crowded and messy place, so why let your car get that way? It never hurts to take a look at your car and find places room for cleaner car improvement. Go ahead, clean your car — and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty.

The other day I talked about what you need to do to be prepared for a car accident, but hardly is it discussed what to do directly after an accident. I can’t say that my advice would pertain to every accident, but I learned a few things from being in one. Therefore, I think it best to start with my own story.

In 2005 my husband and I were moving from a small town to a bigger one for a job. The drive was two hours away. He had already moved a few weeks previous, but I was still finishing up my job at a bank in a small town. During this time, I was driving two hours between the small town and the big one to see him and to be with family.

It was three days before I was officially done with my job in the small town, but my dad was getting baptized in the church the rest of the family had shared for years. I couldn’t miss that event. I had spent my childhood hoping he would one day join us in our religion. So once again I began to the two hour drive to the big city.

Of course, I couldn’t leave until I was finished with work. That put me in the middle of rush hour traffic. There is one stretch of road that is always crowed and that day it was at a standstill. It took me a good hour to get through the mess, and I was eager to get moving so that I wouldn’t be later than I already was. The traffic was still rough. It was six o’clock and people were making their way home from work. Still, the speed of the cars around me had picked up.

Naturally, I was looking for the fastest way to get to where I wanted to be. That put me in the left most lane. I wasn’t the only one trying to get places and the car behind me was mirroring my moves. Then it happened. A car in front was stopped abruptly.

I slammed on the brakes and the car skidded to a stop, I was inches away from the front cars bumper when the car behind me smashed into mine and sent me crashing into the car in front. I forced myself to keep my eyes open so that I could know what happened, and that was the first thing I did right.

After taking a few deep breaths of air I slowly started moving body parts to make sure I was okay. Being sandwiched between two cars could have been seriously bad. I called 911 and they transferred me to highway patrol, and then we waited. Once I felt safe leaving the car I did. I surveyed the damage.

My airbag hadn’t gone off, but there was still a chance the car was totaled. I didn’t talk to other drivers we all just sat there and looked at each other bewildered. When the cops showed up they each took our stories. I told them about how I was just able to stop, but the guy behind me wasn’t.

The car in front said she was hit twice. Since I hadn’t gathered enough evidence to prove otherwise, I paid her car bills. The point is, there is one thing that you should do after an accident.

Make sure you know exactly what happened, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself!

No one wants to get in a car accident. We all hope we are driving well enough to avoid disaster, but sometimes disaster strikes whether or not we wish for it. The only thing we can do is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I’m sure most of us at least wear our seatbelts which is probably the biggest preparation you can have for an accident. (I know, my parents crashed a car when I was ten and seatbelt saved my life.) But what else can we do to make sure we are ready, should the worst happen?

Keep a Disposable Camera in the Car

In 2005 I was driving on the freeway to family event when the car in front of me stopped abruptly. I just had time to brake, but the car behind me didn’t. I was smashed between the two cars. One thing I wished I had that day was a camera. When you’re in an accident it’s hard to see the details of what happened clearly. Pictures taken at the scene can bring a clearer vision of accident to your mind. Plus, you’ll have physical proof in your hand.

I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell the story of the accident again and again. To the police, to all three insurance companies, to the chiropractor I had to see. The actual moment was blur, and having a picture in hand may have saved me some money in the end. It’s such a small and insignificant thing that can make a huge difference in a crash.

Make Sure You Know the Correct Numbers

One thing I am glad I had in my accident was my phone. I probably would have had a mental breakdown if I wasn’t able to call my husband and let him know how I was doing. But I did make one mistake, I called 911. Now, there are times in an accident when you should call 911. Like if someone is seriously injured. But that shouldn’t be the number you reach for if everyone is okay.

I felt awful for calling 911 and needing to be transferred to highway patrol. What if I tied the lines up? What if there was a real emergency? I don’t want to be caught in that scenario again, so now I program highway patrol into my phone. It gives me a sense of security.

Always be Aware of the Little things

Another thing I wish I had kept track of right before my accident was my speed. Proving that I wasn’t speeding would have helped my accident case immensely. But the traffic had been slow, and I was in the middle of speeding up. I didn’t know what my speed was exactly, and that makes a difference in a serious crash.

This, combined with other factors, (such as how the cars around you reacted to the accident) can make an impact in your insurance claims case. Don’t take those little things for granted.

It’s never fun to think about being in an accident. But being prepared can give you a piece of mind, even if it seems minuscule in the big picture. Trying to avoid accidents is always best of course, but it never hurts to be prepared.

Gas mileage in a car can make a major difference in how much money you spend a year on gas. Although the economy has bounced back since 2008 and gas prices have gone down, they are still high and people are looking for ways to save. The average for gas is $3.52 per gallon in the United States, which isn’t exactly totally cheap. A car with good gas mileage could end up saving you a lot of money. Even just a few miles less per gallon can make a huge difference in how much you spend. Although you might need a truck, which doesn’t really get great gas mileage, you might want to consider getting one that gets better gas mileage than others like it.

If you are in the market for a new car, you are probably going to want to consider getting a car that gets decent gas mileage. The last thing you want is to do is buy a car without doing your research. No matter what kind of car you are in the market for, you might want to do a little research and see how it is ranked in its class before you make any decisions. Whether you are getting a truck, a hybrid, or just a regular sedan, you might want to take certain information into account.

I went to this website,, which gives a very detailed account of what cars are the worst gas guzzlers for 2012 in a number of categories. There was a lot of great information on there and i suggest you check it out if you are looking to buy a brand new 2018 car. Here are a few categories i thought would be helpful to anyone looking to buy a new car for a quick reference in helping you decide if any of there cars are on your radar.

Here is a list of a few different of cars and how they are ranked in their gas mileage compared to other cars in their class.

Top 5 gas guzzling Coupes for 2012:

  1. 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution-22 mpg
  2. 2012 Subaru Impreza LURX STI-23 mpg
  3. Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder-24 mpg
  4. 2012 Misubishi Lancer-25 mpg
  5. 2012 Mazda Mazdaspeed3- 25 mpg

strong>Top 5 gas guzzling Sedans for 2012:

  1. 2012 Maybach 57-16 mpg
  2. 2012 Maybe 62-16 mpg
  3. Bently Continental Flying Spur-17 mpg
  4. 2012 Bentlly Mulsanne- 18 mpg
  5. Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class-18 mpg

Top 5 gas guzzling Trucks for 2012:

  1. 2012 Ford F150-14 mpg
  2. 2012 Nissan Titan-17 mpg
  3. 2012 Toyota Tundra-17 mpg
  4. 2012 Toyota Tacoma-18 mpg
  5. 2012 GMC Sierra 1500-18 mpg

Top 5 gas guzzling Hybrids for 2012:

  1. 2011 BMW Active Hybrid X6-19 mpg
  2. 2012 Cedillac Escalade Hyrbid-23 mpg
  3. 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid-23 mpg
  4. 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid-23 mpg
  5. 2012 GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid-23 mpg

Driving with a child in the backseat can be a thrilling and frustrating experience. All the rules of driving seem to change from the moment you install your first car seat. Newborns will generally scream, toddlers will generally through tantrums, and older children generally have needs that they think can be attended to while on the road.

While I’d like to say everything about motherhood is an exciting and rewarding experience, I can’t. That would be a lie. There are moments when motherhood is everything a parent dream it would be, but those moments never occur on the road.

Remember when you were a kid and you looked forward to road trips? I know I have some fond memories of going places with my family, but I conveniently forgot one thing. How annoying I was. And how stressed out my parents seemed to be. Taking a road trip with children in the car is no vacation.

Although these days we have the convenience of DVD players, that doesn’t keep the kids from wanting things. Plus, who wants their kids to watch eight hours of T.V. while you go visit the in-laws? It’s not really healthy.

The fact is, it’s going to be hard to have kids in the car, but they can be trained. Of course, nothing can guarantee your child will be perfect for you, but there are things that can be done to help them learn to how to deal with long trips in the car.

Make Rules

This one seems fairly obvious. Of course there should be rules in the car. But how much are you enforcing those rules? When I drive, there is one big rule my kids have to follow. When mom is driving, I can’t help you. If I’m the passenger seat, the rule is different. But if I’m driving, I will not reach back to help the kids. If their movie ends, too bad. If they drop a toy or blanket, they are out luck. This rule can be hard to enforce, but I’ve found it necessary for road safety.

It will be hard at first. Your children will cry and complain and throw fits, and you will have to ignore them. It may take some time, but they’ll learn that you don’t respond to their tantrums. Eventually, they’ll stop asking.

Recognize That They Don’t Need to be Entertained Every Moment

Kids have huge imaginations, and they have windows to look out. Don’t be afraid to let them daydream. They may complain when they don’t have anything to do at first, but it won’t take them long to start thinking about the world outside the car. It’s a great time for them to use their brains. Let them have the quiet time. Some of my favorite memories are me making up stories in my head on long car trips, and now I’m a writer. I don’t know that I could say that had I never day dreamed.

Being a mom and the driver is difficult work, and through it can be stressful, it can benefit your kids in the end.

5 Great Options On Cheap Car Insurance for College Students

It is hard enough that college students have classes, jobs, loans, and financial struggles to worry about. They have very high car insurance rates to deal with as well. Everyone knows that people under the age of 25 have the highest car insurance rates. This is because insurance companies consider them “high risk” for violations and accidents. While there is no way to avoid a high insurance premium for college students, there are options to get them a little cheaper. Check out these 5 great options on cheap car insurance for college students.

Get on Your Parent’s Plan

One option for college students to get auto insurance that they can afford is to get on their parents’ policy. This option is available to those students who are living with their parents while going to school. While the students won’t have to worry about getting high premiums, a family insurance policy will also be beneficial to everybody else in it. This is because everybody covered by the policy can split the premium. As a result, each person pays less than if they have their own individual car insurance policies. That can really lower the price on car insurance for college students.

Pay-Per-Mile Insurance

Another great policy option for car insurance for young drivers is the pay-per-mile or pay-as-you-drive insurance plan. This policy, which has only been recently introduced, charges a policyholder based on the driving mileage consumed instead of on a fixed monthly premium. While not all insurance companies offer this, the companies that do have reported that pay-per-mile policyholders have saved 20% – 40% on their premiums. This policy is ideal for out-of-town college students as most of them spend much of their time in campus and the area around it.

Look at Discounts

Many car insurance companies offer discounts for full-time student drivers because they understand that college is financially draining. College students should ask their agent if they are qualified for this. Another discount college students can take advantage of are safe driver discounts, for which they can be qualified if they complete a driver’s safety course. Discounts like these will help them get cheap auto insurance for teenagers. It will also lower college students’ high premiums. They should inquire about such discounts and discuss them with their insurance agents.

Keep Your GPA Above 3.0

Another option on car insurance for college students is that students can lower their insurance premium if they keep their GPA above 3.0. A college student’s GPA is one of the many factors that insurance companies use to determine a customer’s monthly insurance premium. Maintaining an average grade of above 3.0 earns the insurance companies’ trust on a student’s sense of responsibility and will award that student with a lower premium. Additionally, if a student is on the dean’s list, the premium will decrease even further.

Choose Your Car Wisely

When deciding on a car to purchase, college students should consider bigger cars and newer models. They should also consider installing safety features on their cars like an alarm system and airbags. Having safe cars like these will encourage auto insurance companies to lower premiums for college students. On the contrary, fancy, expensive sports cars will only increase insurance rates and premiums, as these are more expensive to repair or replace and are more at risk of getting stolen.

Car insurance companies are notorious for giving very high premiums to college students because they are what they call “high risk” clients. However, this fact is not carved in stone. College students can find cheaper alternatives or even ways to get lower premiums and rates. Cheaper auto insurance is not impossible to find. Read up on this article on car insurance for women to see other ways you can save on car insurance.

Very Cheap Car Insurance

Many people resent the cost of car insurance premiums, especially if they have never had an accident or claim. The cost of damages from a single accident can exceed the total cost of insurance premiums for several years. Car insurance saves many drivers thousands of dollars in the event of an accident, and it is required by law in the U.S. Luckily, almost all drivers can find very cheap car insurance by following a few tips.

Defensive Driver Discounts

Every driver can take advantage of this discount which can save up to 10% on insurance premiums for up to three years. Defensive driving courses take about eight hours to complete, can be taken online and cost about $30. Some states require insurance companies to provide this discount but most insurers offer it voluntarily. The average U.S. auto policy is $1200 per year so this discount can save the average driver $360. Taking the course every three years renews the discount.

Safe Driver Discounts

Potentially available to everyone, the safe driver discount usually requires that a driver have no accidents of traffic violations on his or her driving record for 3 to 5 years. Some insurers offer a shortcut to young drivers with a device that records driving habits. If the device indicates the driver uses safe driving habits, he or she may be eligible for the discount even if they do not have a previous driving record.

Driving the Right Car

Insurance companies charge different rates for different cars based on the likelihood of certain models being involved in an accident and the cost to repair the vehicle if it should be damaged. Crossovers, SUVs, and 4 door sedans in the mid price range usually cost less to insure than other vehicles. Lists of models that have very cheap car insurance rates are available online for drivers planning to replace a car.

Membership May Offer Discounts

Some organizations and associations negotiate discounts for their members with car insurance companies. These groups include trade unions, auto clubs, retirement associations, fraternities and sororities, credit unions and credit card companies, even the Eagle Scouts and the Girl Scouts of America. Members should check with their organizations and credit card companies to see if they may be eligible for discounts on very cheap car insurance.

Comparison Shopping For Auto Insurance

Any driver can take a few minutes to compare the rates of different car insurance companies. There are websites that offer free instant car insurance quotes from several different insurance companies. It only takes a minute to compare the rates of various insurers to find really cheap car insurance. Most insurance companies will also give free auto insurance quotes by telephone so all drivers can compare rates to get the most affordable insurance.

Everyone can get very cheap car insurance if they take the time to find out about discounts and to compare the rates of insurance carriers. Even cheap auto insurance for teenagers is an option. It takes more time to clip grocery coupons than it does to find discounts on the internet and checking quotes.

Get Super Cheap Car Insurance

Many drivers make costly errors when buying car insurance. While auto insurance is something all drivers must have, there is no reason to pay more than is necessary for the coverage. There are several common mistakes people make when shopping for car insurance and eliminating these errors can help drivers get super cheap car insurance.

Gap Insurance

Although low premiums are important, it is just as important to have enough coverage. Owners of late model cars with high loans may find their car is worth less than the amount of their loan. Collision insurance will only cover the actual cash value of the car and the owner is responsible for the balance on the loan. Gap insurance pays the uncovered balance on the loan. Once the value of the car exceeds the balance remaining on the loan, gap insurance should be dropped.

Late Payments

Insurers may charge a late fee for payments which are received after the due date which increases the cost of the premium. If the company sends a notice of their intention to cancel the policy for non payment and payment is received after the cancellation date, there may be additional charges for reinstatement of the policy. Any accident that occurs before the insurer receives payment will not be covered and the driver will have to pay the damages plus legal penalties for no insurance.

Renewing Expensive Insurance

Many people renew their existing insurance policy without bothering to check the rates of other companies. While the policy may have been the cheapest when it was purchased, rate increases may have changed that. Before renewing a policy, drivers should get free online car insurance quotes to compare rates. Getting really cheap auto insurance requires that drivers do a little homework to save money.

Failing to Report Changes

Drivers who retire from work or who move closer to their job may not report these changes to their car insurance company. Insurance rates are partly based on the number of miles the driver travels in a year. When a driver uses his or her car less or doesn’t drive as far, he or she may be eligible for a reduction in insurance rates. Reporting changes in driving habits is an easy way to get super cheap car insurance.

Paying in Installments

It is easier to pay car insurance premiums monthly but it costs more money. Most insurance companies add a finance or service charge to monthly bills. Drivers who pay for their policy in full at the time of purchase can save as much as 10% on their auto insurance premiums. Paying three or six month installments costs les than paying than monthly installments. Consumers who want super cheap car insurance should try to pay premiums for the full policy term when they buy insurance.

Car owners looking for super cheap car insurance should make sure they take advantage of all the discounts for which they qualify. There are other steps drivers can take to reduce the cost of auto insurance, but correcting these mistakes can save drivers money. Getting free online quotes to compare rates is a quick and simple way to find the cheapest possible car insurance.

Don’t Attempt To Cover Your Student Car Insurance Fees With Student Loans!

A lot of students attempt to cover their student car insurance fees with student loans, but this is a bad idea for several reasons.

Student Loans Aren’t Meant to Cover Car Insurance

Student loans usually make very detailed specifications for what the loan can be used for. Possible expenses can include tuition, lodging, food, and text books, and very rarely will a student loan make reservations for student car insurance. Because of this, if you use your loan for student car insurance, you can very easily come up short when it comes time to pay off the real expenses. Tuition fees have tripled in the past 20 years, with a basic year of studies at a four year university costing a minimum of $1000, and often as much as $5,600. Using student loans for ulterior expenses like car insurance can dry up your funds more quickly than you might think.

Repayment Will be Harder to Shoulder

As it currently stands, over 238,000 students have defaulted on their student loan repayments. Compared to the number of students who have received loans, roughly 3.4 million, this figure is close to 7 % of the entire group. Tuition fees are getting higher and higher, and student loans are becoming increasingly difficult to repay. Using your student loan for student car insurance results in just one more expense that will take away from the education itself, and that you need to pay back at a later date.

It May be Illegal

Certain loan organizations such as FAFSA clearly state that the money from the loan is only to be used for direct school purposes. They provide a contract for students to sign which goes over all such information, and by signing the student is specifying that he understands all of the parameters of the loan. Breaking this contract is against the law, and can result in fines or revocation of the loan. If you’re using other organizations, you need to call the administration office and find out what the loan can be used for before using it on car insurance for young drivers.

Most Students Don’t Actually Have Access to the Funds

The majority of student loan organizations don’t actually hand over a check to the student. Instead, they send the funds directly to the college or university, and the student simply receives a letter saying that the funds have been received and everything is in order. You should never rely on your student loans to pay for your car insurance because you could get in trouble with both the loan company and the insurance company.

Rather than relying on student loans or some other third party source of funding for your student car insurance, look for free insurance quotes so that you can find the best possible rate and save money that way. If you liked this article be sure to check out our car insurance for college students post.

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