Fall Road Trips From St. Louis, MO

Fall road trips
Fall Trips With Buddies

Before the weather gets too cold, you’ll want to enjoy the sights of St. Louis. Here are some fall road trips you can take while the weather is still nice.

Castlewood State Park

This gorgeous park isn’t too far from St. Louis and features views that are hard to beat. Hiking trails are scattered throughout the park, and all deliver wonderful views of Ballwin’s winding rivers.

Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

If you want a view that will impress, check out this state park in Ironton. Trails will take you up to mountain peaks, which deliver a view of the beautiful fall foliage for miles.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways

It’s not all about foliage or mountains. In Van Buren, you’ll find the Ozark National Scenic Riverway, which takes you on a gorgeous walk along the river. Trails like the Chubb Hollow Trail feature unique foot bridges and winding pathways though the trees.

Mark Twain National Forest

Want a slice of history with your road trip? Named for the famous author of Tom Sawyer, the Mark Twain National Forest winds through dense trees in Rolla and drops you directly into nature. Ample campgrounds on the property mean that you can make it a weekend trip.

Now is the time to take advantage of the beautiful fall scenery in St. Louis, MO. Hop in your car today and make a getaway and let all of us at Gateway Easy Auto Credit Help how you liked it!

DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids

Have a Happy Halloween with these DIY Halloween Costumes

There is no denying that kids love Halloween. Everyone gets to dress up in fun costumes and, best of all, you get free candy by going door-to-door. But, as a parent, you know that costumes can be expensive and they often fall apart after just one or two wears. To save some money, and likely come away with a higher quality, try some of these DIY Halloween costumes.

  • Raining Cats and Dogs. For this simple costume, all you need is an umbrella, a raincoat, and boots. Then, tape small cutouts of cats and dogs all over the umbrella.
  • Twister. If your child is a giant ball of energy that leaves a mess in his or her wake, dress them up as a tornado. You will need a hula hoop, two large gray t-shirts, fabric glue, black tulle, a stapler, twigs, and dark gloves.
  • Tomato. As an alternative to dressing as a pumpkin, try something red this year. This costume uses an oversized sweatshirt, so no sewing required.
  • Mermaid. Using bubble wrap, cupcake liners, and a few other materials, you can turn your little girl into a shimmering mermaid.

What do your kids want to dress as this year? Stop by Gateway Easy Auto Credit and show off your costumes.

The Best Ways to Save Money

 

Ways to Save Money

Looking for the best ways to save money? At Gateway Easy Auto Credit Help, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite tips and tactics for saving money. Whether you simply change your eating habits or set entirely new goals, there are a few things you can do to go from red to the black in the books in months.

According to Regions, one of the first things you should do is set new savings goals. It might sound simple, but setting realistic goals at least once a year will increase the likelihood that you save more money—even if you don’t meet your goals. If you’re looking for a new car, for example, set a goal to save up for the down payment by creating a savings timeline.

Next, stop smoking and cook at home. These are easier said than done, but quitting smoking can save most people about $3,000 per year. Over a decade, that’s enough for a new car. Ordering takeout is also expensive in the long run, one reason you should learn how to cook healthy, nutritious meals at home.

Above all else, start paying off your debt. Packing a lunch and setting goals can go a long way, but few things do more damage than rampant debt. Pay off the accounts with the highest interest first (usually credit cards), and seek a certified financial advisor if you think you might be in over your head. These are just some of the many things you can to do save money over time.

Free Fun Spring Activities

The arrival of spring is the perfect reason to get out of the house and enjoy everything nature has to offer. Finding activities that are both fun and affordable can be a pain though. Fortunately, some common activities are fun for the whole family and won’t cost much, if anything at all. Here are some free fun spring activities suggested by us here at Gateway Easy Auto Credit Help!

  • Have a Picnic – Heading out to the park for a picnic is a great way to enjoy the warm weather, spring breeze, and renewed nature. It’s also a great way for the family to get outdoors after being stuck inside all winter. Planning a picnic is the perfect way to get your mind off of spring cleaning as well!
  • Get Some Exercise – The warm weather has finally arrived which means it’s time to start getting in shape for summer! Grab your running shoes and head out for a jog. Take along the family dog or run with a partner so you have someone to motivate and vice versa!
  • Fly a Kite – If there’s one classic spring activity that never grows old, it’s kite flying. Flying a kite brings back plenty of nostalgia for adults and is plenty of fun for kids. Grab some string and head out to an open area to take advantage of the wind!

Tips for Spring Cleaning

The spring season has finally shown its face which means now is the perfect time to start (or continue) your spring cleaning. Starting the season off with a clean home (and car) is a great way to jumpstart your entire year. Here are some helpful tips for spring cleaning from us here at Gateway Easy Auto Credit Help!

  • Doormats – Your doormat serves as the first welcoming pad to your home. Visitors wipe their shoes on it all year long. If you have a doormat inside and outside, then odds are you value cleanliness. Unfortunately, doormats don’t clean themselves. That means doing so during spring cleaning will leave them fresh and welcoming to visitors all year round. Simply shake them out then throw them in the wash.
  • Ceiling Fans – No matter how high you place a ceiling fan, it will still collect dust throughout the year. Most homeowners realize this immediately after turning on the fans during summer. Dust knows no boundaries which means cleaning the ceiling fans and vents are a necessity to those who value a clean home.
  • Lights – Lights and light fixtures tend to gather dust around the same rate a ceiling fans. That can cause major problems, especially over the dinner table. Take a duster and leave your lights squeaking clean for the spring season!

Saving Money in the New Year

As 2017 begins, you may be thinking about what you want to accomplish this year. If saving money is on your list, we think that is a great idea. However, saving money in the New Year is easier than it sounds. If you’ve already started your savings quest, but are looking for ways to give your savings account a boost, here are a few tips.

Saving Money in the New Year

  • Save unexpected money. If you get an extra bonus at work or come into some unexpected cash, use the rule of thirds. Put one-third towards your debt, put one-third into savings, and use the last third to pay for something you want now.
  • Ditch your plastic. If you find you don’t have enough willpower to avoid spur-of-the-moment purchases while at the store, switch to paying with cash. Only bring as much as you want to spend that day and leave your cards at home. You’ll only be able to spend a finite amount.
  • Pay for your future. Saving for retirement is something everyone should be doing. Experts recommend putting at least 6% of your income towards retirement. If your company offers a retirement plan program, enroll as soon as you can. They might even offer matching contributions.

What are your favorite ways to save money?

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How to Save Money in 2017

Save Money in 2017

If you have a resolution this year to save money, we’re here to help. Saving money can be a lot harder than it sounds. We’ll share a few tips to help you save money in 2017.

  1. Have a specific goal. Instead of just setting a generic goal, like, “Save money for a new car,” instead it needs to be measurable and achievable. Turn your goal into, “Save $5,000 for a new car.”
  2. Make a budget. In order to save money, you need to stop spending it. Look through your bank transactions for the past few months to see what you’re spending your money on. Then, see where you can make cuts and divert that money into savings.
  3. Save automatically. If you get a regular paycheck ask your payroll department if you can automatically divert a portion of your paycheck into a specific savings account. You could also see if you can do automatic deposits through your bank.
  4. Have an emergency fund. To avoid dipping into your savings, start an emergency fund that is earmarked for actual emergencies, like medical bills, big car repairs, home repairs, etc. Experts recommend to start with at least $1,000.
  5. Reward yourself. As your savings increase, reward yourself when you reach specific milestones, and, of course, when you reach your final goal.

What are your savings goals for 2017?

5 More Ways to Help Save You Money

tips on ways to help save you money
tips on ways to help save you money

Saving money is something most people try to improve at over time. There are literally hundreds of ways to save a buck and some are more obvious than others. We’ve covered it before but here are five more ways to help save you money from us here at Gateway Easy Auto Credit Help!

  1. Appliances – Buying energy-efficient appliances might cost more now but they’ll save you energy for years to come. That’s a good amount of money saved. Research what you’re buying before heading to the store to avoid getting smooth-talked by a salesman.
  2. Air Filter – Cleaning your car’s air filter takes a few minutes assuming you follow the instructions in your owner’s manual. A clean filter can improve fuel economy by up to 7% which adds up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the life of your car.
  3. Cancel Memberships – Do you really need that gym membership you’ve used once in the past year? Probably not. By cancelling memberships you don’t actively use, saving money can easily add up into the hundreds. You can always renew the membership later.
  4. Generic Brands – Nine times out of ten, a generic brand item is the same quality as the store brand. The main difference is how the product is marketed rather than the product itself. More often than not, a generic brand is cheaper than a store brand.
  5. Stay Home – If you find yourself eating out often, try to cook at home instead. You’ll be amazed at how much money you save in a short period of time.

5 Ways to Help You Save Money

Ways to Help You Save Money
Ways to Help You Save Money

Saving money is something everyone likes to do, especially if you’re running on a tight budget. Even small amounts add up over time and that can become a significant chunk of money in the long run. Here are some ways to help you save money from us here at Gateway Easy Auto Credit Help!

  1. Customer Rewards Programs – Free to sign up for, retailers often offer customer rewards programs. Create an email address specifically for those programs, sign up, and check the account for coupons, discounts, and other rewards before you head to the store.
  2. Make a List – Before you head to the store, make a list and stick to it. Doing so will help avoid buying unneeded food or other various items. You might end up eating less junk food as well!
  3. Turn Off the TV – Turning off the television will help lower your electricity bill as well as eliminate exposure to advertisements. You could take the next step and cut cable altogether to save even more money.
  4. Drink Water – A great health benefit, drinking water can help you eat less and spend less money on food. Eliminating soda is a great way to save money.
  5. Go Dark – Leaving lights on doesn’t have much impact on a bill-to-bill basis but it does add up over time. Turn out lights you don’t need and consider changing to more efficient bulbs.

Good Test Drive Tips for Beginners

Helpful Test Drive Tips
Helpful Test Drive Tips

Looking to buy a used car? Whether you’re looking at a pre-owned vehicle on a dealer’s lot or being sold by a private party, it’s important to take your potential new car for a spin before buying it. Here are some test drive tips to help ensure that you’re getting a quality car before you buy it.

First, before even getting into the car, take some time to inspect it. Are the tires worn? Is there a fluid leak? Make a point to open and close all doors, including the trunk, and make sure all of them lock and unlock. Check for rust along the doors or under the carpet. After turning on the engine, open the hood and listen for any unusual noises, and get behind the steering wheel to ensure all the accessories and buttons work properly.

When you are actually driving the vehicle, make a point to take it on a nearby highway or other road with a speed limit above 60 mph in order to observe whether it vibrates or shakes at higher speeds. The steering wheel should not shake or pull to one side. Check for smooth shifting, strange noises, and make sure the brakes are responsive and quick.

Keeping these test drive tips in mind when you go shopping for a used car can prevent you from buying a fixer-upper that’ll end up being more trouble than it’s worth. A quality vehicle can come at a great, affordable price without any problems.