Cheap Car Insurance Online – Your Ultimate Guide


Are you trying to find cheap car insurance online? If so, there are many tactics you can use to make sure you get a better insurance rate (one that I know of is doing auto insurance comparisons), so there’s no reason not to take advantage of these strategies so you don’t have to pay as much as you thought you would have to when it comes to auto insurance.

So what are these tactics that can give you cheap car insurance online? To begin with, it’s always smart to use several online auto insurance comparison websites, because this is the quickest way to examine all of the different offers available to you, along with the individual features that each policy comes with. By taking the time to examine each of these options, you will be able to find a policy that ticks all of the boxes you need, as well as comes with a rate that you can live with.

Next, it’s a good idea to consider your options when you are paying for your policy. Interestingly, many people decide to pay for their auto insurance on a monthly direct debit basis – but this often isn’t the cheapest way to do it.

In fact, you can often save yourself quite a bit of money by opting to pay the entire annual fee upfront. Of course, if your finances won’t allow such a big purchase all in one go, you can also benefit from putting the insurance policy on a 0% interest purchase credit card – which means you won’t have to pay any interest at all, just as long as you clear the entire balance before the promotional period finishes.

At the end of the day, the Internet has made it easier than ever to find cheap car insurance online, so if you are willing to search around all of the different providers and examine the pros and cons of each offer, you will be delighted with the savings you can make.

Things You Should Know If You’ve Been Diagnosed With Diabetes (14)

Diabetes can be difficult to live with. If you’ve just found out you have diabetes, here are a few steps you will want to take.

1. Develop A Routine

It’ll be a lot easier for you to stick to a nutritious diet and give yourself insulin shots if you have a solid routine! Come up with a routine that will allow you to stay healthy.

2. Get Rid Of Temptation

If there are foods in your home that put you at risk, get rid of them. Whether you give them away or chuck them in a trash, you don’t want them in your house.

If you are living with non-diabetics, try to encourage your entire household to make changes to your diet. Cutting back on refined sugar is never a bad thing.

3. Get Advice From Experts

Work with your doctor or a nutritionist to come up with a healthier diet. In time, you’ll be able to transform the way you eat and live.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that diabetics will want to consider. Make sure you work to stay healthy. Diabetes isn’t a death sentence; you can still eat great food and live a long and happy life (still, consider getting permanent life insurance rates).

Dancing is Like Magic

Last night I watched the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance and was delighted to have my favorite dancer be crowned ‘America’s Favorite Dancer’.  About a month or so ago, I took notice of Jeanine Mason’s talent and her continuing improvement on the show.  She certainly has talent and to be frank, I am a true believer that those that can dance at the level seen on the show are something awfully close to magic.

The reason I believe something as absurd as this is that it is far beyond my capabilities to dance in any way other than horribly.  In fact, I won’t dance at all…at least not without a dozen or more cocktails in the bloodstream.  Ultimately, I enjoy and revere dance for the simple fact that it is an endeavor that I shall never master or even perform reasonably well for an average guy.

Beyond this, SYTYCD is an exercise not in one’s ability to dance in one particular style, but to be able to perform at a high level across a wide swath of styles.  Ms. Mason demonstrated herself to be more than able to perform any task that was given to her.  For many, she was the Dark Horse that just kept coming until finally she won the title.

But was this really magic?  Is it natural born talent that some will be able to dance at this levels and others, like me, not so much?  Obviously the answer is no.

Often when I have met with clients, friends, or colleagues, they too believed that what I did was some sort of magic.  Sometimes it’s walking someone throught the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and reducing their tax burden by thousands, other times it’s setting up an estate plan that would eliminate estate taxes, but in all cases, it’s simply being able to do what others cannot.

The quiet truth is that we all admire when others can do something we believe important that we ourselves cannot.  For me, it’s dance.  For my clients, it’s financial planning.

Fortunately, you don’t need an ounce of talent to become a master of your finances.  You need only what anyone needs to become a magician at what they do–time, work, and patience.

See, the back story with Jeanine Mason is that she wasn’t born to dance.  In fact, she admits that there were many times when she wanted to quit dancing altogether, but her mother pushed her through.  She didn’t start dancing last year, but as a child.  She put in thousands of hours at the dance studio, worked hard when she was there, and stayed with it until the ultimate payoff last night.

Often times, I’m amazed that we have financial planners today.  Really, money is as essential as language or mathematics, but somehow we ignore the study of it with many never truly understanding the major money issues, let alone the subtle nuances of our financial system.  It is this fact that we as a nation do not put in the time needed to study our finances; we don’t work hard enough at maximizing our financial position; and we certainly don’t have the patience to position ourselves responsibly.  In short, we seem to ignore financial education, hate working hard on our money (keep in mind, this is NOT the same as working to earn an income), and ultimately lack the patience to sustain the activities that lead to financial success.

So what do we end up with?  A lot of broken financial homes and the appearance that those who succeed somehow possess magic powers–otherwise, how could they possibly have become wealthy?

Let’s face reality for a moment.  Most of us with our finances are just like me when it comes to dance–never have, never will.  With this reality in mind, what is one supposed to do?  I mean, we all want financial security at some level, but how do we put in the time, work, and patience to actually achieve this worthy goal?

Simple.  Technology.

Just as things like the microwave have made us better cooks than the average housewife of the 17th century, we are seeing new innovations in technology that can deliver the magic that we need at a fraction of the cost.

Think about it.  What would it cost to have a personal chef?  A lot, right?  What does it cost to use a microwave?  Not much.  In both cases, you can satisfy your hunger and while a personal chef is going to deliver a better meal, you don’t need the best, you just need good enough.

This is where financial services technology is going–satisfying a need by delivering ‘good enough’.  Most of us don’t need, nor can we afford a $200 an hour financial planning wizard, but what if you could get that kind of advice delivered at say $10 a month?  Would you want to check it out?  Would it make your life better?  Of course it would.

Over the next five years, there will be more independent financial sites like Mint, Thrive, Wesabe, and Quicken that will be delivering more technology to make money mastery seem less like magic and more like a simple non-issue….the way it should be.  Ultimately, financial services technology aims to make you more productive with your time and smarter about the management of your money.

For now, most of these solutions focus on budgeting and cash management, but over time, they will evolve to be much broader solutions.  Five years from now, I fully expect this technology to blossom to the point that many out there will think, “Man, I love my finance website; it’s like magic”.  And let’s face it.  Everyone loves magic.

Financial Illiteracy Series Part II – parental contributions

All learning begins at home and financial literacy is no exception.  Our parents are critical in shaping the way we value money and how we manage it when we become adults.  If you were fortunate enough to have parents that instilled a sound core philosophy on personal finance, count yourself as lucky.  The unfortunate fact is that most parents simply don’t teach their children much of value when it comes to money.

Talking Money is Taboo

Most parents avoid having money conversations with or in front of their children.  They teach their children that it’s impolite to discuss finances with others and that these talks should be held behind closed doors.  As a result, children are starved of important financial knowledge and often go through childhood in a sort of bubble–oblivious to the real world.

Shelter Creates the Storm

By sheltering their children from the hard realities of life and money, they hope to maintain their children’s innocence for as long as possible.  The problem here is that when their children finally go out in the real world, they get smacked in the face with tough lessons from a financial system that cares little about their well being.  Many with parents that are at least moderately affluent will wind up returning home after taking their licks and become boomerang children, sometimes living with mom and dad into their thirties.

Economic Outpatient Care

This return home or whatever help parents might give to their children has been called economic outpatient care by the authors of The Millionaire Next Door.  Research unveiled in this important book on the habits of America’s wealthy clearly demonstrates that supplying children with seemingly limitless resources hurts children far more than it helps.  In their research, they found that children of millionaires that did not receive subsidies from their parents after leaving home were far more likely to become wealthy themselves.


To do a good job as a parent on money matters, you need not be a financial expert, but you do need to teach your children the fundamentals of dealing with their finances.  The most important ways parents can help their children with handling their money are:

  1. Set a good example – if your actions tell the story of sound financial management, your kids will certainly benefit from this
  2. Involve them in the conversation – rather than keeping your money discussions behind closed doors, let your children have a seat at the table and when they’re ready, let their voices be heard
  3. Expose them to reality – regardless of your current financial position, let your kids know about the good, the bad, and the ugly so they understand that life is full of ups and downs–particularly when it comes to money
  4. Let them stand on their own – barring a major catastrophe in their financial lives, refrain from subsidizing their lives and help them take greater personal responsibility in managing their finances

The bottom line with parenting and money is that you need to have an open and honest dialog with your children.  Prior generations have seriously missed on this teaching opportunity, so don’t let it slip by.  I can think of few greater disservices to our youth than treating them like lambs only to be fed to the wolves later.  If we’ve learned anything during this, the toughest recession in a generation, it’s that financial literacy is not optional.  Talk to your kids; they’ll be better for it.

Financial Illiteracy Series Part III – education’s shortcomings

If parents aren’t able to teach their children financial literacy, the next logical place to gain this important life skill would be the educational system.  Unfortunately, our system is so focused on core literacy that the topic of personal finance is virtually ignored.  In the end, the roots of education’s shortcomings are not in the skills or abilities of our teachers, but in the policies that our schools have adopted.

The K-12 System

As an example, my children are in the public school system where the state tests students each year to assess their learning in areas such as math, reading, social studies, and the like.  However, they no longer teach or grade handwriting the way they did when I was growing up.  The reason?  Handwriting doesn’t show up on any of the state’s exams.

The same is true of personal finance.  Since basic financial literacy isn’t tested, it isn’t taught, and it certainly isn’t learned.  The policy is to teach core literacy and personal finance simply isn’t part of the curriculum.

Sure, schools teach children how to count and might even have a class in high school dealing with business or economics, but this does very little in the area of financial literacy.  This results in a mean score on basic financial literacy exams of just over 50%.  In other words, we fail.

College Isn’t Much Better

Moving beyond high school, we see that even a college graduate that spent four years at a top flight school is just as likely to be financially illiterate as a high school graduate.  This is understandable for those with majors that don’t have the word ‘finance’ in it, but even a finance major can find themselves lacking in personal finance knowledge.

In reviewing the curriculum for finance majors at a number of colleges in the area, I found that all of them gave only a cursory overview class of personal finance.  The rest was spent on more general business courses and more detailed corporate finance topics.  This is fine for learning to earn an income in corporate finance, but wouldn’t it make sense to fit a detailed treatise of personal finance somewhere in the four year program?  Surely it would deliver more value than some of the electives offered.

Of course, the students in these programs are simply doing what the college or university is telling them to do.  Again, it’s a matter of policy rather than the ability to teach, resources available, or desire of the students to learn.  Students will do what these institutions require of them and little more.

Ultimately, this results in even our ‘brightest’ people going to school, earning a degree, and developing a great base with which to earn an income, but finding themselves in the uneasy position of not knowing what to do with their personal finances once they enter the real world.

Changes are Coming

This needs to change and fortunately for all of us, it is.  Some states and institutions are changing their policies to reflect the reality that personal finance is every bit as important to individuals as any other courses currently offered.  These changes are being implemented in a variety of ways and we’ll no doubt see some missteps along the way.  However, making small changes that give credence to the importance of financial literacy is the way that big problems are solved.


The educational system isn’t where it needs to be with respect to financial literacy.  Our system is among the best in the world at giving its participants the ability to earn a paycheck, but falls flat when it comes to teaching what to do with that income.  Here are some important things to remember about our system and how to improve it:

  1. Fill the Gaps – Assess your child’s curriculum to find what is missing with respect to personal finance and try to fill the gaps
  2. Support Change – If your child’s school is considering adopting personal finance as part of its curriculum, support the changes
  3. Advocate Literacy – Many schools simply won’t make changes until it is mandated, so become an advocate for financial literacy and get involved in the discussion
  4. Ultimately It’s on You – Even if the educational system you grew up in or your child is now in doesn’t do enough with personal finance, remember that it is always up to the individual to seek out the information and skills needed to succeed in life

Dirty Details Beginning to Surface

It’s about time these dirty details started getting some run in the press.  In an AP article, we finally have the story behind Bank of America’s takeover of Merrill Lynch.  If you were following this at the time, the professional community was scratching their heads thinking, “Why take on the risk and a horrible balance sheet?”

Well, as we now know, it’s because the government pulled out a gun (figuratively, of course) and put it to B of A CEO, Ken Lewis’ head, and told him to acquire Merrill or his career was over.  Of course, this was one of many extreme measures that the government implemented during a time when the economy was teetering on the brink of complete failure.

While I’m glad that we didn’t go Iceland and have our financial system completely fail, I’m also a little perturbed with the way in which we averted disaster.  Threatening the leader of a private company with his livelihood simply isn’t right and for my conservative friends, this certainly smacks of socialism.  Heck, it even sounds a little Cold War Soviet Union.

However, I’m not one to cry over spilled milk and I’m not a Bank of America shareholder, so my qualms are on principle and have no financial consequences.  Overall, I probably benefited from this action, but for the many folks that hold Bank of America stock, they have a very legitimate gripe in the fact that their company was forced to takeover an enormous pile of debt.  So what are they going to do?  Nothing…it’s the government after all.

Several years from now, there will be a slew of interesting books written about the closed door meetings that took place last year when the financial crisis very nearly became our undoing.  There will be more detailed accounts of bullying, shady accounting, and of course, greed.  When these details emerge, don’t count on public upheaval, but you can bet they’ll make the bestseller list.

All in all, the government did what was necessary and it was ugly, but you can count me as pleased the outcomes weren’t worse.