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Save On Your Wheels!

Save Money And More With
Save Money and more with SAVE ON YOUR WHEELS! app in the Windows Store

Purposes Of The Application

Use the "Save On Your Wheels!" application while you're looking for that amazing new vehicle.

  1. Use this app while you're starting your search. See how much your monthly payment will be for a loan given the prevailing interest rates in your area.
  2. Take your tablet with you while you're out looking for the car or truck of your dreams. When you find one you like, you can snap pictures of it and email them to your spouse and friends--just to show off what you've found. And while you're at it, you can see how much the monthly (interest and principal) payment will be and email that to information as well.
  3. Once you've found that dream car or truck and know how much it's going to cost, you can shop the interest rate with several lenders in the area. (Be sure to see our Information Section below for more on this.) It's easy to use this app to see how much a half-percent cut in the interest rate will save you. (Betcha you'll be surprised!) This application will let you make these comparisons in a minute or two so you can know what's best for you rather than for the lender. (Read more about loan times and early payoff below.)
  4. Finally, take a few minutes and use the application to run a few early payoff scenarios. Can you pay a little extra each month? How about your annual bonus or income tax refund (if there is one--could you use part of that to make an extra payment?) Play "what if I" scenarios for a few minutes and see how you can, literally, save hundreds, even thousands of dollars. And, you'll see that you get out from under the loan in a much shorter time. Because the tool allows you to play "what if" games with paying the loan early, it can show you how to save a great deal of money on your loan. (Be SURE to read the section "Pay It Off Early" below.)

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Using The Application

To use this application:

  1. Enter the amount you need to borrow rounded to the nearest whole dollar. Only enter numbers 0-9, no decimal, commas, or other symbols.
  2. Enter the month and year when your first loan payment will be made. Enter the month as 1-12.
  3. Enter the interest rate percentage you'll be paying for the use of the money you're borrowing. This should be entered as 99.9 or 9.9 e.g., 3.9% would be entered as simply 3.9 with no percent mark.
  4. Finally, you must either select the number of years that repayment will require in the drop-down box, or you can move to the open entry box just to the right and simply enter the number of months for the loan. NOTE: If you're not using one of the so-called standard pay-back periods, you may HAVE to enter the number of months and this is normal.
  5. When you have entered the number of months, simply TAB to the next input block. The monthly payment amount for principal and interest will be waiting for you. Notice that you can right-click the screen to pull up App-Bars. In the right-top corner you'll find a button to "Copy Chart to Clipboard" and another to "Email-chart." Both of these will work at this point. In the lower-left part of the screen you'll see a "Full-chart" button. Click it and the full amortization chart will be generated and shown.

Once you've generated a full amortization chart, you can use the "What-If" button to see how much difference extra principal payments, even small ones, can save you over the life of your loan. You'll find this to be the most important part of using our Save On Your Wheels! application, so be sure to look into it and you'll be surprised at how much more quickly you'll get out from under your loan and at how much you can save. And you'll find the What-if Graph button produces a quick, easy-to-understand visual of the what-if's you've run along with a legend to explain the graph.

By now, you've probably noticed camera and photo buttons at the upper-left (on the App bars you saw after double-clicking the screen). If you have a built-in camera, give Save On Your Wheels! permission (see Permissions) to use your web-cam. Then you can use it to take photos of vehicles you like, or you can select an existing photo. You can then email your photo or share them with some of your other programs.

Finally, notice the photo-reset button. It resets Save On Your Wheels! to take other photos. In a similar manner, the Discard button will reset the loan amortization chart and the photo section at the same time.

An example of what the screen will look like when first used is shown below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

You can choose one of several color schemes to suit your taste or mood. Just use the standard Windows 8® Settings and then select the "Colorize" setting. Choose a color scheme you think you would like, then hit the go-back button at the top of the Colorize flyout. Here's the same screen image with the white/blue color scheme applied.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

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Each of the application's buttons is discussed above, so here's a screen image showing the application buttons available with the application:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

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Here's an image of the flyout where you can enter and specify your "What If I..." data. You can simply enter an amount of extra payment you'll make each month, then check the adjacent box to show you want to use this. You can then click the box to designate use of an extra payment at the end of each year or not. Once you've entered these and checked the boxes, you'll see that if you scroll the full chart to the bottom, it shows the original values as well as the effects and savings of the What-if data. But look one screen farther down and you'll see that you can also get a graphic presentation of your What-if scenarios.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

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ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

You can scroll down on the chart to see your What-if scenarios' results. You can also use the graphing button to see a screen like the one shown below:

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ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

Be sure to note the legend at the bottom of the graphing flyout. You can scroll it down to get a readout on each of the What-if options you've entered. (Only 3 are shown in this example image but you can graph up to 10.)

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ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

Use the online links provided for your convenience to find all kinds of auto/truck-related information on the web. Manufacturers' sites are in the first of three drop down boxes. Used cars are in the second. Appraisal, vehicle history, consumer protection, recalls, even child-restraint recalls are in the second of the three drop down boxes. The third drop down boxes lets you quickly and easily find auto insurance companies. Since this is a major source of cost when keeping an auto or truck, don't fail to use this resource and check for better prices.

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Helpful Information/Looking For A Used Car or Truck?

If you're looking at a used vehicle, there are several problem areas to be watched for. Because of the hurricanes and flooding that have taken place in the country, there are many used cars out there that have been submerged. Moreover, while many of these vehicles have been reported to the vehicle history listings compiled by the government, many have not and are, therefore, not known to the vehicle history listing services as problems.

How do you tell if a vehicle has been fully or partially submerged? First, look carefully for the water-mark "ring." This is a tell-tale mark that is almost impossible to remove from the vehicle. Second, look under the hood and, yes, under the car. A vehicle that has been submerged will show rust in unusual places--bolts, nuts, anywhere there is a bit of exposed ferrous metal, you're likely to see such effects.

Remember that water will seep into the oil system of a submerged vehicle. It will cause havoc inside electrical components, too. If you become semi-convinced that a vehicle has been submerged, run, don't walk, to the nearest exit and keep searching for the one you want--this is not it! While you're under the hood, look to see if some of the nuts, bolts, etc. show paint that's different than that on the corresponding components on the other side of the vehicle--a sure sign of body repairs, so keep reading.

There's always the unreported accident that left a vehicle severely damaged. Sadly, there are many who will repair the sheet metal and leave the vehicle looking nice. To the unsuspecting eye, it won't appear as if anything ever happened to the vehicle. But if the "frame" is bent, the car may not track properly and that means it will handle poorly and wear tires rapidly. But, it gets even a bit more confusing. Consider that most vehicles, especially automobiles, built now don't actually have a frame. Still, you can think of the points on the body where the vehicle suspension components attach to the body as being tied together by a "frame" of sorts. If this lower part of the auto's body is severely bent, in an accident, you can consider it as a bent frame situation. A bent-frame vehicle is a vehicle you don't want...keep looking.

So how do you know if a vehicle has been wrecked or not. We've already mentioned the repainted "stuff" under the hood. Make the same comparisons as you open the doors--check that the hinges and other hardware is the same on both sides of the vehicle. Next, you should site down the sides of the vehicle. Strange "ripples" indicate repaired body damages. This alone, is not enough to rule out the vehicle, but it is enough to warrant extra caution. You might want to have a thin handkerchief or other small piece of cloth along with a small magnet when you go looking for your vehicle. Put a layer of cloth between the vehicle and the magnet and go where the ripples are. See if the magnet sticks to the car's body--assuming it's not a carbon or fiberglass body, of course. (Fiberglass-patched bodies often have a rippled look in spots and they came that way from the assembly line so they represent an entirely different situation.) Fiberglass is most often used to make body repairs. The ripple is from the hand-work done to spread and use the fiberglass repairs and a magnet won't stick to it if it's very thick. Unfortunately, you always take two chances when you buy a car with fiberglass in spots. First, if the job wasn't done properly, the stuff will come loose from the sheet metal and fall out over time--bad, bad, bad. Second, the paint used to repair the vehicle may fade out differently than the factory paint thus making the vehicle look really bad bad, bad. See the pattern here? Keep looking unless it's really an extraordinary deal and even then, be wary.

But what if you suspect frame damage? Before you buy the thing, take it to a major BODY shop and ask them to inspect it. They may charge you a few dollars to do it, but abide by their approval or disapproval--they should give you a description of what they see that will convince you one way or the other.

Oh, and consider the fiberglass or carbon body for just a second. Don't even think about purchasing it until you have it thoroughly inspected by a body shop that's familiar with the body type that's involved. Even a mediocre body shop can hide severe damage on these cars so that the uninitiated can't recognize it.

Now what if you found no signs of submersion, major body repairs, or frame damage? What if you're really seriously thinking of purchasing this vehicle? Before you do, take it to a mechanic, or to someone who knows a lot about cars and trucks. Ask them to check it out. It won't take much time and it could save you from a serious mistake. If they find nothing wrong with it, it's probably a winner. Congratulations!

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Helpful Information/Looking For A New Car or Truck?

So you've decided. Your mind is made up. You're going to take the big depreciation hit of buying a new vehicle? (Look at what a low-mileage one or two year old vehicle of the exact same type would cost before you take this leap, then consider the payment for the brand new one versus the payment for the used one. Then consider the insurance, tax, and tag costs' differences. Think of that in terms of whatever your favorite passtime is. Ouch!)

OK, so for whatever reason you're set on a spanking new car or truck. Do this first. Sit down and calmly, patiently make a list of what your new vehicle needs to do BEFORE you go shopping. Does it need to haul a family of 5? A family of 3? The soccer team? Do you go off-roading? Really? (Getting into the neighbor's flower bed doesn't count.) Four-wheel drive costs money to buy, lowers gas mileage, and ensures higher maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Do you really need it? Do you love to listen to your favorite music while on the road? Make this list so you know what you really need...then go looking for that and don't buy a lot more than you need.

While on this subject, consider the GPS (global positioning satellite) systems that are built into some cars and trucks. First, consider that you can purchase a really good GPS unit at your local big-box department store for under $200. The ones built into your vehicle will cost you more like $2,000 and they're no better. Next, consider whether you will be driving more than one car/truck. The uber-expensive built-in unit can't move to your spouse's or your kid's car with you, but the under-$200 model can. Next, remember that ALL electronics units, built-in or portable, can quit on you. The built-in units usually (if not always) have no provision for backup of your "favorites" but the $200 units can be tied to your computer and backed up in case they have to be replaced. Finally, consider that the expensive built-in unit usually precludes a more extensive sound system that you really might rather have. Choose wisely so you get what will serve you better.

If possible, consider buying last year's model in September or early October when the manufacturers are trying to be rid of their existing inventory.

Now let's consider the "Green effect."

No test has ever shown that a tiny car being hit by a much heavier (read larger) car cares for its occupants as well as a heavier (larger) car or truck. We both hope that neither you nor your family will be involved in an auto accident, but they do happen every day. Tiny "green" cars and lots of life and health insurance might not be the way you'd rather go...or not! It's your decision, but do some homework before you purchase the snuff-can car.

If you're looking at a hybrid vehicle or, worse yet, an all-electric vehicle, ask the dealer to explain to you the warranty that the vehicle's batteries carry. Just ask, "How long before I have to buy new batteries and how much will they cost me? What's the warranty?" You'll get a bit of the old soft shoe, a bit of mumbling, side stepping, and/or a bit of song and dance. Think of it as entertainment. One major manufacturer says they warranty their batteries for "up to" 8 years, and they do replacements on a pro-rata basis using an expected battery life of 8 years. Now ask, "How will I know when they're ready for replacement?" More entertainment. Somewhere in there, if you listen carefully, you'll hear that, "Their performance will deteriorate over time."

Here's a bit of factual information. Batteries that last longer than 5 years? Don't count on it. So figure that whatever their replacement cost, if their prorated guarantee is for 8 years you'll probably pay at least 3/8 (almost 40%) of the cost of new batteries about 5 years from now...or you'll say the thing only lasted five years and decide to just junk it. While no one knows what gas prices will rise to as China and the under-developed world come to love cars and our own government tries to show that they know more than the markets do about how to run the energy and auto businesses, one CAN say that neither our 3/8 battery costs nor a 5-year vehicle life is likely to be a good deal, even if you factor in gas savings.

So, look at the gas mileage of vehicles. Compare not just their gas mileage but their original cost. If you're spending $4,000 extra to buy a car because it gets 5 mpg better gas mileage and you only drive 15,000 miles per year, it will take a lot of years to save the $4,000 plus the interest on that car...probably more years than the vehicle will be with you.

NEVER neglect to ask you insurance agent about the cost of insuring vehicles you are considering. There are makes and models that are known to cost far more to repair than others. Their insurance costs are, therefore, much higher than others of the same general size, cost, and type. Enjoy paying for insurance, do you?

And while you're comparing vehicles, know that the largest expense associated with buying a new vehicle is not gas, insurance, maintenance, etc. It is depreciation. Many people purchase a vehicle knowing they want to keep it only two or three years and that they won't put more than 25,000 miles on it. (If you can find one of these folks, let them know you want to buy their current vehicle for what the dealer offers them...you'll be way ahead.) Unless it is done for business reasons that pay, these folks take the worst financial hit possible each time they trade. You really don't want to be one of them, no matter how much you like the smell of a new car or truck. (The smell of financial freedom is MUCH sweeter.)

Finally, let us take just a second to tell you how much we appreciate your use of our software. Use it to save lots of money!

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Camera Usage

When you go out to look for a new vehicle or other property, a common phenomenon is that after you've looked at a few, they "run together" in your memory. You know a certain one was a favorite, but you just can't quite remember some of the details you need to know about. Moreover, if your spouse isn't with you, as sometimes happens, you may wish for a way to show a favorite to your spouse and then discuss it. So, we've included the ability (if your device has a built-in camera) to snap pictures and share them. Moreover, you can select a picture you took earlier and share it.

You'll notice that there are buttons in the upper-left of the screen. One of them is labeled simply "Photo." Touch/click it and you'll be asked to give permission for the app to use the camera: this is a standard Windows 8® feature so you should be familiar with it, but it looks like the image shown below. You just have to touch/click the Allow button to OK the camera's use.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software,Save On Your Wheels! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

Depending upon your device, you will see its options and you can snap a picture--usually by touching/clicking in the middle of your device's screen. (See your device's manuals and information for more on how it works.)

The picture you took will go into your Pictures folder, but you can select a sub-folder and you get to name the picture. An example of what this standard Windows 8® screen might look like is shown here:

An example of what the screen will look like when first used is shown below. Notice that you name the file at the bottom of the screen:

ITSBITS Save On Your Wheels, Catapult Garage, Burn The Mortgage! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

Be aware that if you cancel the operation, you'll see a screen something like this one. (If you cancelled it's not an error so just ignore it.)

ITSBITS, Save On Your Wheels,Catapult Garage,Burn The Mortgage! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

Once you've saved the image, your screen will show it, so it might look something like the screen image below:

ITSBITS, Save On Your Wheels, Catapult Garage, Burn The Mortgage! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

Of course, you can use the camera to take pictures of just about anything that interests you:

ITSBITS, Save On Your Wheels, Catapult Garage, 
Burn The Mortgage! Fixed-Rate Amortization Schedule Tool

And in a similar manner, there's a button to select an existing image from your Pictures folder. That button, also in the upper-left navigation bar, is labeled simply as "Select Photo." There's also a button to clear the image from your app so you can move forward with whatever you want to do next: this one is labeled as "Reset Photo."

But the most interesting button is labeled as "Share This Photo" and that's exactly what it lets you do--you can share the photo via other programs that reach out across the internet to other people--and that can be useful and/or fun, so don't forget to try it!

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Known Issues

As of program release, the only known issue is that the email client included by Microsoft® in Windows 8® ignores line-end characters (CR and LF) from other programs, thus running all the data passed in by another program together. At least two of their developer evangelists are aware of this problem and it has been referred to the folks in Redmond. As soon as a fix is available, we will render an update (if necessary) to take care of this problem.

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©2012 by ITSBITS, Incorporated...This applies to all information, graphics, and software on this site. The software is built using portions that are licensed and copyright by Microsoft Corporation. Button images used in the app and shown here are ©Syncfusion. Graphing portions of Save On Your Wheels! are ©Grape City 1987-2011. All rights in all jurisdictions, both foreign and domestic, are reserved by the respective copyright owners.