If there’s a silver lining about not going out as much… saving money. Word on the street is that we’re all saving 3 times more than we have in the past (despite all those online purchases). So what else can we do to save $$$?
The gang joins special guest Liz Paulus, M.Ed., CAP of College Bound AZ to talk about saving dough. Liz helps get under privileged kids to college… for free. Steve talks about how to save on auto repairs. Felecia shares savings around the house. Matt… Matt talks about Calk… too much we think. Join Us!
- Change your car’s oil twice as often as the manual recommends.
- Save money on your utility bills with some quick maintenance while you’re at home during COVID.
- Help a kid go to College with College Bound AZ
Save Money on Car Repairs and Maintenance
Today we talked money-saving tips: for your car and for your home and how to use that saved money to help other people.
What money-saving things can you do to keep your car on the road longer?
- Install a new thermostat: so many problems come down to the thermostat. The average cost is $18-40, with about 20 minutes to 2 hours of labor. So, don’t wait until something goes wrong with it. Replace it when it shows signs of going bad. Friendly has seen some bad outcomes — including blown engines — from not replacing the thermostat.
- Should you replace a car that needs an engine? There’s a lot that goes into that decision. Do you still have payments to make on it? What we see at Friendly, is that people with major repairs go and get approval from a car dealer. But you need to watch the interest rate. You can end up under water with essentially two cars under one loan at a high interest rate. That can kill you financially. So, take a good hard look at getting the existing car back on the road.
- Change your oil! Change your oil! Change your oil! That’ll save you tons of money in repairs. One of Matt’s customers brought in a BMW that needed a turbo replaced because he didn’t change the oil for 15,000 miles. That ended up being a huge expense (the dealer wanted $9000!). Friendly got it done for about half that. Change your oil twice as often as the manual recommends.
- Get a second opinion. If the dealer is trying to sell you something, go to Friendly and get a second opinion. But get a good second opinion, not one from your high-school buddy.
- Don’t make decisions based on price. You might save a few bucks now, but poor parts and poor service can result in pricier repairs without a warranty.
- Use regular unleaded gas. You don’t need that premium petro. The detergents are the same in all levels.
Saving Money on Your Home
How do you save money on your house? Home Depot and Lowes stocks are through the roof because people are improving their homes while they’re stuck at home. Even then, people are saving money.
These things will save you money on your home:
- Change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector. If your home has gas, get a carbon monoxide detector!
- Put fans in every room. It will save you so much money and make you more comfortable.
- Change your AC air filters. It is dusty here in Arizona, and those fill up fast. Get those changed! Also get your AC unit served before summer and before winter. You don’t want to pay for emergency repairs in the peak of summer.
- Add insulation to your attic. That’ll save you money and make your more comfortable. There’s the equivalent, on average, of a 2-foot square hole in your house due to the missing insulation.
- Insulate your garage door. For $60, it’ll really reduce the heat in your garage.
- Add weather stripping. Check your windows. Even on new homes, you need to check that stripping and make sure you’re not leaking air.
- Cellular shades. They’re not like blinds. It’s one piece of material and really keeps the sun out.
- Consider UV treatments on the windows, too. Lined drapes work, too.
- Caulk is your friend! Caulk your windows and your bathroom.
So, while you’re stuck at home, look around and see if there’s anything that can be tightened up, sealed, or insulated. It’ll save you money on your electricity and water bills!
More ideas are coming next week, so tune in again!
Helping Students Move On To College in Arizona
Liz, with College Bound joined in to tell us about her organization. They help kids get fully prepared for college. When they become seniors, they partner with the East Valley Institute of Technology to work with these students to make sure they are prepared for everything from applications to student aid.
Students are often surprised to find that there are scholarships available. If you’re Pell Grant eligible and have a 3.0, you can get a scholarship to ASU! Pell Eligible is a financial-based designation.
Most of the students that Liz works with are economically challenged. The other major school in Arizona (in Tucson) also has such a program, so there are two major universities with programs for Pell eligible students.
They’re also finding out that kids need a lot of technology — from computers to bandwidth to web cameras — to even do a college application. So, they’re helping get this technology to the students.
The road to college is uneven in Arizona. Here, there is a 900:1 ratio of students to counselors. The kids are not getting the guidance they need.
Liz also helps kids decide what the best next step is for them. Maybe it’s a 4-year university, maybe it’s a community college.
College bound is sending 54 students to ASU, tuition-free!
The Un-Gala is an online event in October that has both silent and live auctions. This is the big fundraiser for College Bound AZ. It’s also an opportunity to recruit kids who want to go on to college. Text CB20220GALA to 76278 to register! There are some awesome “prizes” that you can win at auction.
This money helps these kids move on to college. When COVID hit, Liz heard from kids who didn’t have computers and were struggling to finish school and apply to college. She heard from one young man who was applying for aid. This kid got stuck in the second step of applying for aid, which required information from the IRS. He couldn’t do it. Liz got a power of attorney from him and had his IRS info that day! She uploaded it, and a week later he got his aid — the Obama Award. Today, he’s at ASU, in the dorm, with room and board, for the next four years.
These kids go on to be contributing adults, making our community better. One of their students even ended up at the Smithsonian! They have other kids who are now rising to leadership positions.
Until next week, Drive Friendly and Stay Healthy Arizona!