Tips to Save on Insurance - Las Vegas Edition

As we at College DownTime are based in Las Vegas, we figured we would do a little piece on some of the mostly-unknown tips to saving on car insurance. This is especially important for registering your vehicle in Las Vegas, as the city is deemed "24/7 driving," meaning the insurance companies want to charge you for more insurance since LV has constant traffic. Let us get started.

1) For married folks: Combine your individual cars onto one policy. This is fairly standard, but it is still surprising to hear of folks complaining how marriage ADDS more costs than it saves. Read up.

2) Where you live: Las Vegas has quite a few areas that have a higher crime. If you live in a high-density neighborhood, you WILL be paying more. Congestion means more money. Hint: Don't move to North Las Vegas if you have the choice. This site lists crime per area in LV, use it.

3) Pay ahead of time: If you pay the full 6-12 months at once, you get a slight discount. This is usually somewhere around 1-3% with a good company.

4) Deductible amount: Know what you are covered under and decide if you want to opt for a higher deductible. Higher deductible means less per month, but more if you actually need to use your insurance. Depending on where you live in Las Vegas, this could be terrible to do.

5) Pass driver's education: Show your little certificate if you are a student and usually you will get 5% off. This could be your best way to save money fast.

6) I can drive: Always be the driver of your car. Unless you are tighter than Joanie and Chachi, do not pan your keys off to someone.

7) Where you park: If you live in an apartment or complex that uses a garage, put it on your policy. You will get quite a bit off due to less risk of vandalism and weather.

8) Show off your degree: There is a good chance a college degree will lessen your costs.

9) Work and play: Live close to your workplace, it will make you less stressful and most companies lessen your insurance rates.

Overall, there is always the standard: Don't drive stupid, update your vehicle, keep it registered, and don't steal gas. I know we all have genius ideas on how to get away with it, but you'll lose your license way fast. Though if I were to steal gas, I'd frame someone explicitly and get out of the state ASAP.

Always carry extra DNA and clear tape with random fingerprints, there is always a use.

Update to Stock Tips

Some of my trading funds had cleared up a bit (meaning I sold before I lost my shirt), and now I am back to researching and gathering information for my next trade. I have yet to make a Scottrade account for the Level 2 quotes (and I'm not even sure if Scottrade's L2 is good for penny stocks) so I was in need of some other way of knowing the real-time price of a stock I am watching.

Vantagewire was the easiest one I found to work well enough. All I had to do was fill out a generic form, answer a couple questions as to what kind of trader I am, and then I activated my account. Now note that it is not exactly what a true L2 platform is, but it is close.

Once you login, all you have to do to find the real-time PPS of a ticker is enter the ticker symbol, click Depth/L2, and refresh the page every time you want to check the real-time PPS. It is basically an easy work-around to paying $20-30 a month, especially if you are a casual trader like myself.

It might occasionally be 1-2 minutes behind, but that is considerably better than Yahoo Finance or OTCBB's 15 minute lag time. The website can also be unresponsive occasionally, so be prepared for a drop in communication once in a while.

Beer Bottle Caps and DownTime

You were aware of your drinking habits years ago and until recently, you did not know how to express them to others. Especially folks you just met who have no idea your idea of a fun time is, well...gee, I can't remember. I know it had something to do with something.

Time to actually do something with those bottle caps you were collecting for three years. Stop chucking them at one another in an attempt to see who can fit the most in the bowling ball girl-boobs.

Ideas we will most likely be putting to use next semester:

1) Making a doormat. Arrange the caps in whatever design you want and decide if you want to put them into the ground, embed into a carpet-like material, or make a resin mold. If you really want to make it interesting, use a few bottles in the design as well.

2) Make a beer cap curtain. You know those cheesy, beaded curtains every Hollywood fortune teller has? Yeah, make one out of beer caps and cord. All you have to do is drill two tiny holes in each cap and string it through. Or be lazy and duct tape them on, I will never know.

3) Make a poster. Arrange your bottle caps in a design, get some resin, smooth out the surface and put a picture hanger on it. Done.

4) Play checkers. Paint half black, half red. Voila! You have a checkers set now.

5) Switch out your bass guitar tuning pegs. Take two of your caps, superglue them together, covering the peg. Works best with a bass, but a regular guitar might work if you're careful.

6) Play cards with them. Note: This works with Pabst Blue Ribbon only. Collect the whole set!

This will probably have secondary posts in the upcoming semester, so cheers to the beginning! Stay sharp y'all.

Relaxing with Pink Floyd Outside

Well after a hard day of tasting and tending to my mead, I figured I had earned a beer. But should it be a beer inside or outside, I thought to myself as I slowly stroked my beard. Well, there is a massive heat wave going on, humidity levels are through the roof, and inside is at least slightly cooler than the porch.

Outside it is. That is a Honey Brown you see, check out the Liquor Log for info.

With some downtime on my hands, I set up my Bose Wave radio and connected my tuneskies. As Wish You Were Here was playing though, I noticed the radio wasn't exactly outdoor friendly, save for garage usage. It is also the same one I use for gaming when I set it up. But it really does not have much bass to it. Sure it tweets like a parakeet, but how can I hear a zombie coming behind me? They don't tweet, they snarl.

Well, what speakers do I need? I'm looking for something heavy and in a manageable-size. I was looking for outdoor speakers as well as something to possibly use in the garage. I don't have a real amp out at college either, so if the speakers had some definition I could just hook up my POD amp and use the speakers as a make-shift amp. Time to go searching, back in a bit.