4 Things You Didn’t Know About Buying Premium Gas

As you head to the gas pumps to fill up your tank, you might thinking, “You get what you pay for.” That is usually equated with a product that would best be described as “cheap.” If it falls apart after one use, you chalk it up to “getting what you paid for.”

Does that hold true with gas? Is the more expensive premium gas better for your car? It is time to break down the four things you didn’t know about premium gas.
1. Premium Gas Equals Better Mileage. True or False?

False. If you were to break down the chemical compound of premium gas — and why wouldn’t you? —you would find it has what is referred to as a “higher combustion threshold.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t automatically mean better gas mileage. You could put the pricier premium gas into your average car and there would be no discernible difference with regard to gas mileage. Why is that?

Because that wonderfully high combustible gas only impacts the mileage when you’re going at consistently high speeds. We’re talking racetrack speeds. Since you’ll never be riding at those speeds — — right? — you won’t see any improvement on your odometer that would justify the 30 cents more per gallon cost of premium gas.
2. Regular Gas Will Ruin a Premium Engine. True or False?

False. The panic many premium-gas car owners have relates directly to their warranty. If they don’t follow the “directions on the label” to the letter, they could blow out the engine and not get it fixed for free.

Not so fast. Premium gas is meant to optimize a car’s engine performance. Optimized covers a broad spectrum of performance. Regular gas won’t have an effect on that high-end engine.

Of course, when an engine knocks, it could be a sign you are using the wrong level of gas. But one fill-up with the “cheap stuff” isn’t going to mess with your engine.
3. Premium Gas Is Always the Highest Level of Octane. True or False?

False. Typically, there are three options to choose from at the pumps: low, mid and high octane. You’ll find those numbers consistent throughout your state because it has been regulated thusly.

What happens when you cross state lines? Things change. Your state’s high octane could be 90, but across the border, it pops up to 92. Does that mean you have to spring for the 92? Nope. If your car has been running smoothly on 90, keep it at 90 octane.

Why I Don’t Do Things For Free And You Shouldn’t Either

If you listened to my podcast or have been following my social media accounts this week then you know I’ve been talking a lot this week about the importance and value of investing in yourself. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or are an entrepreneur the more you invest in yourself, your skills, and your knowledge base the more marketable you make yourself.

If you work in corporate America and are working your way up to success then you are already aware that at the very least you need some sort of college degree just to get your foot in the door. If you want to be an executive or lead an organization then you definitely have to invest in a post graduate degree and you have to have years of experience under your belt. No matter which way you look at it, education is the key to that corporate gateway which is why post-secondary education is such big business.

I, for one, have spent tens of thousands of dollars to work at a corporation that neither motivates me or speaks to the things I am most passionate about. To date, I have amassed almost $90,000 dollars in student loan debt to work at a job that is not aligned with my dreams and passions. Yet and still, when I was unclear about my future and the direction I wanted my life to take, I invested in my education. Why? Because even though at the time I did not know what my purpose in life was I knew I wanted a “good” job

Fast forward some years later, I am now in my late 30s and I am very clear about what my future looks like. I am no longer wasting time or money on things that are not directly aligned with my dreams and passions. I live in my purpose every single day and I’m very aware of the things I am investing in. I am very intentional on what I spend my money on and am now investing in workshops, residencies, classes, books, and conferences that will not only increase my knowledge base and improve my skills, but also allow me to network with individuals doing the same things. Putting myself in the same room with those who are doing what I’m doing or are interested in hiring people with my skills and knowledge, is key to growing my business and it should be what you’re doing too.

6 Easy Ways To Boost Your Home’s Resale Value

First time home owners know that buying a home is one of the most important investments that you can make. And while signing the papers on your first home can feel like putting down roots in your perfect pad, the reality is that most millennial homeowners end up moving multiple times, due to changing family and career factors. That’s why your home’s resale value should be a primary focus right from the get-go.

Couple with 3 house symbols – choice concept. They are sitting down, smiling, both casually dressed and holding green, blue and red house symbols which could represent also environmental conservation or home ownership, or property development.

Selling a first home can seem even more stressful than purchasing one, but these simple tips on boosting your home’s resale value can go a long way in removing the stress from the equation. That’s why we’ve partnered with H&R Block to bring homeowners a guide to home improvement projects with the best return on investment. Whether you’re looking to sell now or in the distant future, knowing how to boost your property value is a great investment in your future.
1. Landscape Wisely

Like a good haircut, a yard should frame the face of your house in the most flattering way possible. After all, your yard is wholly responsible for your property’s first impressions. While it’s pretty obvious advice to keep your lawn mowed and weed-free, certain outdoor renovation projects are more likely to add value than others.

Forget about add-ons like a pool or hot tub, which can signal to potential buyers more maintenance than enjoyment. Instead, focus on the classics. Making sure your yard has a couple of healthy, thriving trees is a trusty way to boost your home’s resale value more than you may think. Check out the National Tree Benefit Calculator to see how trees in your zipcode affects property values, stormwater runoff, and other homeowner considerations. You’ll also want to landscape with native plant species, which will boost your home’s value without adding significant maintenance costs. When considering whether to tackle a yard renovation project, think about whether it will appeal to most people. A deck? Yes. A hedge maze? Not so much.
2. Refresh Your Front Door

If you’ve wowed house hunters with your stellar landscaping, the next place their eye will travel to is the front door. And it plays a big factor in your home’s resale value. In fact, according to a Cost vs. Value report conducted by Remodel, replacing an outdated entryway can have one of the biggest returns of any home improvement you could do yourself. Update the appearance of your whole home with a door that uses modern materials and a new color scheme.

8 Ways Your Tax Refund Can Wait For You

With tax season upon us, many are wondering how to get the biggest bang for each buck of our refund. Save it for a rainy day? Take that trip your family’s been talking about? The list goes on. It’s one of the few times each year that we find ourselves check-in-hand and uncertain of how it would be best spent. Sound familiar? If so, consider investing that refund back into your career! Studies show a strong correlation between job satisfaction and overall happiness, so every dollar invested in furthering your career is a dollar well spent all-around.

1. Take an online course for a specific skill.

This doesn’t mean you have to shell out thousands of dollars or return to school full-time. These days, there are tons of online courses available, many of which are free or low in cost. If there’s a particular skill set that is well-regarded in your line of work but absent from your resume, now is the time to add it. Whether it’s a technical skill (e.g. software, statistics) or a soft skill (e.g. management, leadership), learning a new skill can boost your confidence, impress prospective employers and command a higher salary. Don’t forget to add it to your resume.

2. Attend an industry training or trade conference.

Whether you work in a common industry (e.g. healthcare, finance), or one that is a bit more obscure (say, underwater hospitality), nearly all industries have trade conferences, expos, trainings, and other events where you can network, pitch, sell and brush up on your field-specific knowledge. For just the cost of registration (and maybe associated travel), you’ll meet prospective clients, business partners and mentors. Plus, you’ll learn what’s brand spankin’ new in the industry, which you can leverage in the name of a promotion.

3. Buy a modern, well-fitting suit.

We don’t advocate blowing through your entire refund check on all the latest fashions, but there is one item of clothing that is a must in every professional’s closet: a modern, industry-appropriate, well-fitting and comfortable suit. Even if you don’t believe that style matters in your particular line of work, a sharp suit can make a strong impression and boost your self-confidence at the next interview, business meeting or networking event. Have at least one neutral-colored, clean and pressed suit, ready to roll at all times. You never know when the next opportunity will arise.

Volkswagen Pleads Guilty In U.S. Court In Diesel Emissions Scandal

Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) pleaded guilty on Friday to three felony counts as part of a $4.3 billion plea agreement reached with the Justice Department in January over the automaker’s massive diesel emissions scandal.

VW general counsel Manfred Doess made the plea on the company’s behalf after he said at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Detroit that he was authorized by the board of directors of VW to enter a guilty plea.

“Your honor, VW AG is pleading guilty to all three counts because it is guilty on all three counts,” Doess told the court.

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox accepted the guilty plea to conspiracy to commit fraud, obstruction of justice and entry of goods by false statement charges. Doess said the criminal acts occurred in Germany and United States.

Under the deal, VW agreed to sweeping reforms, new audits and oversight by an independent monitor for three years after admitting to installing secret software in 580,000 U.S. vehicles to enable it to beat emissions tests over a six-year period and emit up to 40 times legally allowable pollution.

An assistant U.S. attorney, John Neal, told the court that the emissions scheme “was a well thought-out, planned offense that went to the top of the organization.” He said VW could have faced $17 billion to $34 billion in fines under sentencing guidelines.

Volkswagen agreed to change the way it operates in the United States and other countries under the settlement. VW, the world’s largest automaker by sales, in January agreed to pay $4.3 billion in U.S. civil and criminal fines.

In total, VW has agreed to spend up to $25 billion in the United States to address claims from owners, environmental regulators, states and dealers and offer to buy back about 500,000 polluting U.S. vehicles.

The German automaker halted sales of diesel vehicles in late 2015 and has said it has no plans to resume sales of new U.S. diesels.

The Justice Department also charged seven current and former VW executives with crimes related to the scandal. One executive is in custody and awaiting trial and another pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate. Five of the seven are believed to be in Germany and have not been arraigned.

German prosecutors are also investigating.

VW chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch said Monday the company expects to broaden disciplinary action beyond the two dozen employees it has already suspended.

As part of its U.S. emission settlements, VW agreed to spend nearly $3 billion to offset excess emissions and make $2 billion in investments in zero emission vehicle infrastructure and awareness programs over a decade.