How Much Would You Replace If You Lost Everything?

Post revision: I wrote this post after seeing images of the horrifying wildfires in California.  This prompted me to think about what would happen in a similar event.  It turns out that someone in the personal finance community was right there.  They were safe but lost everything.  There’s actually a few different posts tied to this topic.  I’m honored to be among them.  See the bottom of the post for the ‘Chain Gang’ on this topic.  

There have been a lot of disasters around the world lately.  Earthquakes.  Hurricanes.  Wild fires.  In each of those tragic situations, many have lost everything.

I live in Michigan.  Many would never consider this a great destination.  Summers are beautiful but short. Because it’s practically surrounded by water, winters are often gray and slushy.

But one thing we have going for us is that we’re not a big target for any natural disasters.

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What Factors Determine Auto Insurance Pricing?

Shopping around for car insurance can be confusing.  Finding one that best suits your needs (and budget) can be just as intimidating.  What you have to realize before you even begin, however, is that while companies often differ in regard to the premiums that they offer to you.  There are several factors that will automatically result in you having a higher or lower premium.

Demographics

Your age, gender, marital status, and where you live can all affect your auto insurance premiums.  If you’re under the age of 25, you’re statistically more likely to be in a car crash.  Insurance companies will put a higher premium on your policy.  However, if you are a student, many insurance companies will offer you a discount.  Don’t forget to ask about that if it applies to you.

In terms of gender, this is often tied in with age—specifically, young men tend to be in more crashes compared with young women.  However, the opposite is the case for the older cohorts.

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Personal Finance For Young Adults

When you’re out on your own for the first time, it can be easy to live life to the fullest and avoid making a financial plan for the future. While it’s important to have plenty of fun while you’re in college, it’s absolutely vital that you form solid personal finance habits for the future. If you’re hoping to establish a bright financial future, consider the following tips regarding personal finance for young adults.

Avoid Going Out Every Weekend

College students often find that their weekly budget is completely decimated by the end of a long night of partying. While exploring local bars can be a blast, it’s never a good idea to make it a weekly habit. If you love being social with your friends but you’d like to save money, be honest and open about the fact that you’re trying to conserve cash. Instead of going out for drinks every weekend, host a game or movie night at your apartment.  Make it BYOB to really save some money.

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Thinking Of Switching Roadside Assistance Carriers

Having roadside assistance is important to us.  Though it’s been years since we’ve actually used it, the fact that we tow a couple of thousand miles per year makes it something we want to have.  Plus, I know that the minute I cancelled, we’d have something happen!

One mainstay I’ve had in my ‘adult’ life is that I’ve carried AAA for roadside assistance.  I actually have been covered since I got my license, which happens to be 25 years.  So, you’d think I’d want to celebrate by sticking around, but I think it’s actually time for a change.

Our Current Roadside Assistance Coverage Through AAA

AAA offers three levels of coverage.  We had a hybrid between two options.  I was covered under the mid-tier option which covered not only towing and services for regular driving, but also for our RV.  It also allowed both to be towed for 100 miles before additional charges kicked in.  My wife was covered under their basic plan which covered basic towing up to five miles.  Because she drives in the Metro Detroit area, and I do all the RV driving, this worked great.  And, we signed up with a discount on the family option.

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Life Insurance – Because Dying Is Not So Abstract Anymore

“We’re not the young people here at work.  When did that happen?  Now we worry about things like…life insurance!”

As we were discussing careers, a colleague and I lamented this thought.  I remember back when I started and was working with people all older than me.  They were all people with spouses and kids and mortgages and real responsibilities.  I was the young kid talking about going out, showing them how to do the Macarena (it *was* 1996) and not worrying about much else.

Now I look around and I’m in the group with the spouse and kids and mortgage and all the other responsibilities that go along with it.  How quickly does it all happen?  In the blink of an eye.

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Scoring a Deal: Common Car Insurance Quandaries to Be Aware Of

Car insurance can be extremely confusing. There’s of course basic coverage and protection to have.  There are also additional items and sub limits that you need to be aware of. Not every motorist’s situation will call for additional coverages or higher than minimum protection.  However, you never want to guess with insurance coverage. After all, it’s designed to protect your financials in case something unexpected happens.

Here are some of the more common options that you should be considering with your car insurance situation:

Uninsured and Underinsured Car Insurance Coverage

The law says that every driver must have car insurance.  Still, there are many people who drive without.  Additionally, there are countless more people who are covered but underinsured.  These are scary thoughts.  What if your car is worth $30,000 and when someone slams into you, you find that their minimum coverage only covers $15,000?

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