7 Important Things To Do For Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Savings Time is upon us. This is the magical time of year when we spring forward our clocks an hour and bask in the extra hour of sunlight every evening until November.

The original intention was to help save money on electricity and energy costs during our waking hours, but that is no longer the case. In fact, we actually use more energy in the form of gas in our cars due to the extra hour of daylight.  Studies show that people are more apt to go out for dinner or shopping when it is light out as opposed to staying in when it is dark.

Aside from the reason for Daylight Savings Time, here are some semi annual tasks that can be taken care of in your vehicle, in your home, and in your life.

Check Tire Pressure – As the seasons change, so do the temperatures outside.  Hot and cold temperatures can cause a change to the air in your car’s tires.  During the winter, you can experience a 1 degree of PSI loss for every 10 degrees colder the weather is.  The opposite happens in spring and summer.

So if you added air to your tires in the winter when the air pressure warning light came on, your tires can become over inflated as it gets warmer in the spring.

Rotate Tires – As you drive, the tread on your tires can wear down differently if they are on the front or back of your car.  Regularly rotating your tires can help even out the wear and increase the life of your tires.

Check, Clean, or Replace Vehicle Air Filters – If you get regular oil changes, the technician will let you know and try to up sell you new filters.  For domestic vehicles, these filters should be changed every 30,000 to 45,000 miles.

On a semi-annual basis however, at least clean the filters and have any large debris removed. Read over the owner’s manual in your car to determine when to replace the filters.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries – In your home, the batteries in your smoke and CO detectors can be a matter of life and death.

The need for smoke detectors is obvious. You don’t want to be sleeping while the house is burning down around you.  Carbon Monoxide is colorless, odorless, and lethal gas.  Besides headaches, there are few warning signs that you are in a dangerous situation if the batteries in your detectors are dead.

White Vinegar Dishwasher Cycle – Help remove odors and residue by keeping your dishwasher clean.  How do you expect to clean dishes in a dirty dishwasher?

The process is simple. Use white vinegar and fill 2 coffee cups about ¾ of the way to the top.  Place 1 cup of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher in a fashion that you do not spill the vinegar.  Do the same on the bottom rack.  The wash cycle will spill out the vinegar throughout the cycle.

Charity Donation Sweep – For many, donating to charity is not about having deductions on your taxes, it is about helping others and reducing garbage in the landfills.  In fact, if you rent your home or are married, it is increasingly difficult to get donations to help on your taxes.  The standard deductions are getting so high, that taxes should not be the motive.

With every time change, find some items you no longer need. This will be easy if you have kids who are constantly outgrowing their seasonal clothes and toys.  Take everything that is still usable and donate it to the charitable organization of your choice.

Order Annual Credit Reports – You’ve tuned up your ride; you’ve done some spring cleaning; now it’s time to maintain your personal information by ordering your free annual credit reports.  Go to the websites of the 3 major credit bureaus to order the copies you are entitled to every year ~ www.equifax.com, www.transunion.com, and www.experian.com.

Regardless of whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit, you NEED to do this! Not only could your credit score and history determine if you get hired for work or a 2nd job, it can also increase or lower your bills.  Insurance is a prime example of something with lower prices for a higher FICO Score.

You also want to make sure your identity has not been stolen. This can cause unwanted legal action or delays with your tax refund.  It is worth the effort to start eliminating problems before they cause major issues down the road or like not getting your tax refund next year after someone falsely filed a tax return under your Social Security Number.  They only need your name, date of birth, and Social Security information to cause IRS refund delays of up to a year.

If the only thing you do when the time changes is spring your clock forward or fall back, it can cost you in the long run. These recommendations can be performed any time during the year, but the time change is a good annual reminder.