Archive for

AMC Gremlin – History of the World’s Ugliest Car

The AMC Gremlin was produced and sold in 1970. The day it was introduced happened to be April 1st – April Fools day. It happened to be ill-received, as many thought it was nothing more than a bad April Fools joke. However, the folks over at American Motors Corporation couldn’t have been more serious about the AMC Gremlin.

AMC had created the Gremlin to be an affordable compact car that still had some power under the hood. It was conceived off of their once popular Hornet model, which worked as a platform for the development of the Gremlin. However, the Gremlin was built to be much smaller and economical.

It was created to compete against imported compact cars. Being an American made car AMC believed they had created a worthy opponent. Buyers on the car lot thought otherwise, as AMC’s sales of the Gremlin reached a modest 26,000 in its first season on the market.

From 1970-1978 The Gremlin was re-designed to keep up with new demands. As each new model was introduced, reception of the Gremlin seemed to increase, as AMC was seeing a moderate growth in sales every year.

Perhaps it was the hatchback design that brought buyers to its door, or perhaps it was just the odd look of it. To most people, the Gremlin looks ugly. Even magazines like TIME gave it a horrible review, and frankly calling it one of the ugliest cars they’ve ever seen.

To a collector though, the Gremlin is a gem. It represents one of the first leaps towards economical driving. Its small design and fuel efficiency was perhaps years ahead of its time. The fact that it encompasses all of these things make it a desirable piece for any car enthusiasts collection.

Downsized From Corporate America? 7 Steps To Succeed Big Without Paying A Dime

You worked hard for your money for a decade or two. Maybe three. Suddenly your company
downsized, or you were fired, or your health declined. In any case, you found yourself no longer
employed, yet still have the same bills. Aside from your ego reduced to the size of a molecule, you
feel confused, bitter, and sometimes hopeless.

There is another way to look at it. Though it sounds trite, for certain, this ending is your new
beginning. Now is the time to do just what you wanted to do in the first place with your life. But
wait, you still have the same bills. What about that new German car in the carport? What about
the fact that you have gone green and will only ingest organic foods now? What about wining
and dining clients, friends, and associates?

I am not going to paint a rosy picture of what to expect. A lot of it depends on various factors such as savings, return on your investments, are you a trust-fund baby? Do your friends and family have resources and willing to help?

In my case, none of the above happened. A few friends helped out, but I was terrible at saving money and didn’t know investments from rock climbing.

Here were the steps to starting over from scratch:

1.Downsize Think about selling the suburban home, furniture, and take a modest apartment. I am single and this will not work for everyone. You may decide to keep your house and find another job to pay the notes. I did not have that luxury as my health turned into an official disability. In any case, one’s level of living may decline. Get it in your mind this is not the end of the world. In fact it is a chance to truly show your resourceful/creative self.

2.Budget your life and lifestyle: I made a small office in my apartment and put my computer there. My biggest “luxury” was now cable Internet. I adopted a rescue dog to keep me company and remind me of what was important. I had a living creature for which to care, and I could not take off on a jet any time I had the urge.

3.Research: I studied everything I could about online businesses. Since I happened to be a cartoonist, I found POD (Print On Demand) manufacturers willing to try my images on such products such as t-shirts, mouse pads, buttons, magnets, posters, and other items that people love to purchase on the Internet, mainly because they cannot be found elsewhere and they are considered valuable collectibles by many. I realize not everyone is a cartoonist. Maybe you are a plumber or banker or psychologist. In any case, you now have a skill that can be purveyed as information on the Internet. The Internet is now where people go mostly for information. Long gone are the days of newspaper for their major news source.

4.Research More: Just a little research is not enough. You are embarking on a whole new career journey. Read all the major trade magazines online. Read articles from major online ezines like EzineArticles.com and Helium.com and others on your topic. Google “how to launch a newsletter on banking or law or whatever field you were in. You are still in it actually, but now you are simply in it in another form. A purveyor of information. Possibly a creator of goods.

5.Look at POD Printing stores. You can sign up free. You may have slogans, art or both that can be sold on various products. Such companies include Printfection, Zazzle, Cafepress and others.

6.Try making some products and learn about article marketing, blogging, and PPC advertising (pay per click).

7.Write an e-book on what you know and sell it on Clickbank (they specialize in digital products)

There are many other things you can do to stay afloat and stay in the game during this period of time. You may find you never want to go back to “corporate America”. There are now more than
30 million Americans working in home offices according to statistics.

And guess what. These people are the ones creating the most jobs, while the large companies continue to downsize. It might be time to re-evaluate what “security” really is.

The rules are simple: 1. Believe in yourself 2. Organize 3. Act

Saving Money For Your First Home

For many people, buying their first home is only a dream. They simply can’t come up with the money for a down payment. But if they really looked at how they spend their discretionary income, there may be several areas where they could adjust or cut back and still enjoy life.

Everyone will have their own methods of changing their spending habits. It will still take time to save, but it can be done. Here are some ideas for saving money, one bit at a time towards the big picture – your new home.

Many of these tips are as old as time, but if they are followed, you will see the numbers start adding up in your savings account.

- If you have a gym membership and don’t use it regularly, cancel it. You can buy inexpensive DVD’s for home workouts.

- Stop buying specialty coffees every day. Choose a small or medium size of regular blend or bring a thermos of your favorite coffee from home.

- Take the bus to work. This may get you lower rates on car insurance.

- Collect and use coupons. It really works!

- Take your lunch to work.

- Ask for a reduced rate on your credit card.

- Pay off your credit cards every month.

- Pay for basic cable channels only.

- Rent movies instead of going to the theatre. Homemade popcorn is better anyway!

- Read magazines online, at the library or your doctor’s office.

- Find a bank that offers no fees on checking accounts, without requiring a minimum balance.

- Pay car insurance semi-annually, or annually to avoid extra charges.

- Stop smoking! This can add up to hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year.

- Choose a slower Internet service that is less expensive.

- Sign up for free customer rewards programs. This saves money and gives you free goods on a regular basis.

- Write a shopping list and stick to it. Do not go grocery shopping when you are hungry.

- Invite friends over instead of meeting at a restaurant.

- Make your favorite dish and freeze portions. This also helps when you don’t have time to cook.

- Shop at consignment stores for clothes and household items.

- Your local dollar store has everything from greeting cards to socks, and sometimes food that you buy regularly.

- purchase cards, wrapping paper and gifts for the following year after the holiday at half price, even Mother’s day and Valentines Day.

- buy generic or house brand products. It is often made by the same manufacturer as the name brand, but costs less.

- become an expert at mix and match wardrobe purchases.

Another trick is to set up a Finance Journal and record your spending every day. You may be surprised to see where your money goes every month. How much of that could have been put in your savings account to buy your first home? It doesn’t take long, and soon you’ll be picking out new paint, or furniture for your very own home.