Monthly Archives: February 2015

Construction Projects and Gas Prices: Plan your budget accordingly

If you have a construction project planned, you may want to adjust your projections to include the impact that will be felt from rising gasoline prices. As the price of motor fuel goes up, so does the price of goods and services that have to be transported to your job site, and that translates into higher prices for construction.

Almost everything related to building projects runs on gasoline. If it costs more this year to fly business passengers across the country in jets that run on gasoline, that also means it will cost more for you to have your construction workers drive back and forth to the construction site each day. Next time you pass one of these gigantic dual-wheel extended cab pickup trucks with the tool box mounted on the back, consider how many construction workers drive commute to and from building sites in those big gas guzzlers. Those workers have to pay for their gas, and if they are getting hit hard in the wallet, they will have no other reasonable option than to pass the higher cost along to you, in the form of higher hourly wages. But not only labor costs more when gas prices spike. In fact, relative to the cost of raw construction materials, labor costs are affected very little. The real impact on your budget will be felt when you go to the lumberyard or home improvement store to buy supplies.

Many of the supplies used to build homes have to be shipped all the way across the country. And many of those supplies are made in factories or manufacturing plants that operate heavy machinery using you guessed it gas and oil. So if you are ordering, for example, power tools or generators that run on gasoline, and those are made in a plant that uses gas to fuel its machinery and then ships the heavy tools to you by truck, you are paying for gasoline several times over. It begins to add up a penny and a dime at a time, and can soon send you over your budget. Truckloads of concrete blocks, sheet rock, lumber, and fencing whatever materials you need to build your house, they are probably coming to you thanks to gasoline-powered transportation. And they may have built-in gas costs even before they are loaded on the truck.

If you have construction plans, dont wait for prices to stabilize. You are better off breaking ground now, while the potential spike in cost per square foot is still a topic of armchair speculation. By the time gasoline hits four dollars a gallon, it will be too late to reconsider your options. But plan ahead, and add another 25-30 percent to your overall budget, to make sure that you leave yourself a comfortable margin of error, in case the costs you listed suddenly go higher. And try to lock in contract agreements for prices of labor and materials now, so that they cant fluctuate with the price swings that might happen between now and your completion date. That way, if gas prices stabilize, you will be way ahead of the game and might end up with some surplus capital to invest in upgrades or other amenities you didnt think you could afford.

Auto insurance & the internet – a marriage made in

Auto insurance & the internet – a marriage made in Heaven!!

The internet is all about information, and, more critically, the ability to compare facts, data and information from several different sources quickly and efficiently.

Arguably, as a direct result of this simple fact, nobody has felt the effects of a potential customers ability to find, check and compare such data than companies trying to sell services (as opposed to products) online.

Unlike a physical product, a service is not tangible, you cannot pick it up, feel it, or touch it. Thus, a service provider needs to supply the maximum amount of information, because the more information the potential customer has, the more confident he is likely to be when making the buying decision.

What better way to do this than via the worldwide web?

A perfect example of this is the automobile or car insurance marketplace. In the past, if you wanted to get the most competitive quotation for your car insurance, you had to shop around by trudging from one insurance broker or companys office to another, or by getting on the telephone to do the same thing.

The problem with this was that it was often difficult, if not impossible to know whether you were truly comparing like with like. There were (and, to a large extent, still are) so many potential variations from one companys policy to another that it was almost impossible to know whether the two policies that you were comparing really did offer identical levels of protection and benefits.

This was not always a bad thing. For example, all car insurance companies tend to load the premium (i.e. charge extra) for young drivers to be included on a policy, which can be bad news for parents using the family car to teach their son or daughter to drive. However, Company A may define a young driver as someone below the age of 18, whereas Company B will use a threshold of 21 years of age.

If your child was 19, the chances are that Company A will be the best bet in these circumstances.

In other words in the old days, it was absolutely necessary to read the small print, to avoid ending up with a automobile insurance policy that really did not meet your requirements, although it appeared at first as if it did.

Coming right back up to the present day, whilst the small print is still extremely important, the internet has effectively ensured that it is no longer so small! It is now possible to make meaningful and accurate comparisons of exactly what two companies are offering with their car insurance policy at the touch of a button.

You are still shopping around but you are doing it at our own speed, from the comfort of your own home.

In this way, the internet has made finding the best car insurance a far less stressful business than it was in the past, and has also guaranteed that the policy you buy is absolutely the most suitable for your own circumstances. To read more,