Four Ways to Put Your Tax Refund to Work

Tax season is upon us. The filing deadline has come and gone, and some Americans have already received their refund. With an average refund of $3,000, you may be looking for some ideas on how to use that cash and make a smart investment at the same time.

Here are 4 ways you can put your tax refund to work for you:

Pay Off a Small Debt

Put your tax refund toward paying off a high-interest credit card. Start with the credit card that has the highest interest rate. Doing so will save you much more money in the long run. If you have already paid off your credit card debt, think about making an extra payment on your school loans, car payment or mortgage.

College Fund

Thinking about booking a big vacation? Consider smaller day or weekend trips for the family and invest surplus cash in a fund for future education. Look into 529 plans and Coverdell Education Accounts; these investments offer potential tax benefits as well. Saving for your children's college education now reduces the chances your kids will face heavy student loan debt down the road.

Retirement Savings

As tempting as it may be to purchase that brand new 80+ inch curved TV, consider making small adjustments in your savings plans that will reap huge benefits later. Increase contributions to your 401K plans and take advantage of the matching opportunities your employer has in place. If you already invest in a 401K, think about contributing to an IRA or Roth IRA account.

Home Improvements

Small investments to your home can increase its value tenfold. With the wide range of improvements you may be thinking about – from a new tile backsplash to a new garage door, consider investing your refund in a home standby generator. In fact, the return on installing a standby generator is even greater than adding a bathroom!* Power outages can strike at any time and standby power means immediate restoration of electricity to your home. Cummins home standby generators are safe, permanent backup solutions for your home. Connected to your home’s gas line, they automatically turn on the moment an outage strikes and run powerfully, quietly and efficiently until the outage is over. They’re simply the best choice for backing up your home and ensuring your peace of mind.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Protecting Your Pet in the Summer Heat

Protecting your pet in the summer heat

The summer season is a great time for you to enjoy spending time with your furry friends, however don’t forget the challenges it may bring. Here are six tips to keep your pet safe in the summer heat.

1. Never leave an animal in a parked vehicle. Cars heat up very quickly, and as the temperature rises, your pet runs the risk of suffering from heat exhaustion or a fatal heat stroke. Also, leaving animals in cars is illegal in several states.

2. Keep your pets hydrated. Dogs can become dehydrated very quickly, so make sure they have access to plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot outdoors. You can even add ice cubes to their water. Regularly check to make sure their bowl still has water. 

3. Not all dogs are good swimmers, so supervise them around pools. Be sure to rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from their coats. Don’t allow your dog to drink pool water; the chlorine and other chemicals could make your dog sick.

4. If your pet will be outside, ensure there is a shady place where they can escape the sun. Keep their water bowl in a shady area as well. When taking your dog out for a walk, be careful not to over-exercise them. Avoid hot surfaces such as the asphalt because it can burn your dog's paws. Keep walks to a minimum during the hottest times of day or better yet, reserve walks for the cooler hours.

5. Take extra precautions for pets with health issues - overweight or elderly dogs are more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures.

6. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion such as panting excessively, weakness, seizures, lethargy or diarrhea. If your pet is suffering from heat exhaustion, their gums and tongue may also appear to be bright red. If your pet is displaying any of these symptoms, take them to the veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic immediately.

In addition to posing a danger to pets and people alike, extreme temperatures can also trigger power outages. Installing a generator or back-up power supply will help ensure you have power to cool your home and keep your pets comfortable in the event of a power outage. 

Prepare for the worst and have peace of mind during severe weather and install a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Six Last Minute Hurricane Prep Tips

Tropical trees in a storm

The 2018 hurricane season is shaping up to be much quieter than 2017; to date, four named storms have formed, including subtropical storm Debby forming in the Atlantic on August 7. While hurricane season runs June 1 through November 30, storm activity normally peaks in August and September. 

Earlier in the season, we shared ways you could start to prepare for hurricane season. In the face of imminent severe weather, there are still a number of ways to prepare now before a storm hits.

1. Secure outdoor furniture including umbrellas or decor such as bird feeders and hanging plants, as they can become projectiles during high winds. Bring these items into your home or store in your garage. If you can’t move the items indoors, use a strong rope to tie them down. 

2. Falling trees or flying debris can damage cars during a hurricane or other severe weather. Try to position cars close to your home on the lesser side of expected winds and away from trees and power lines. This can help provide protection from the storm. 

3. Keep your cordless devices such as tools, flashlights, cell phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and portable electronic games charged and ready. Check out our tips for maximizing your smartphone battery. 

4. Keep your blinds, curtains and shutters closed, as this reduces the chance of debris entering your home. This can also help keep glass out if a window shatters.

5. Check your current flood insurance policy. Flood insurance typically takes 30 days to go into effect, so it may not be too late to purchase or upgrade your policy. 

6. Severe hurricane damage can include power surges and ruptured gas or water lines, so it’s important to locate your cutoff switches and valves and know how to turn them off in the event of an emergency.

It is important to prepare for hurricane season every year, and having a plan for an extended power outage will help to circumvent a lot of issues you could face. Installing a generator or back-up power supply ensures you will have power in the event of an emergency. 

Prepare for the worst and have peace of mind during severe weather by installing a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Protecting Your Home Against Power Outages This Hurricane Season

Cummins Home Generator

Power outages caused by a natural disaster can affect millions of people for days, even weeks, at a time.

Meteorologists are predicting a quieter hurricane season for 2018, but that doesn’t mean that you should skip out on preparing your home for severe weather - it only takes one. So how do you select the right type of generator to ensure that you won’t be without power in the event of an emergency?

Learn more on the FLASH blog: https://protect-your-home.org/2018/07/30/protecting-your-home-against-power-outages-this-hurricane-season/

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Prepare Against the Aging Power Grid

Power lines

The U.S. electrical grid is made up of a massive network of power plants, transmission lines, and distribution centers. This electrical grid must balance the supply and demand of energy that powers everything from buildings, industrial facilities, schools, and hospitals to your home. 

Nearly 75% of those transmission lines and transformers are more than 25 year old, and most of the grid infrastructure is built above ground – making it susceptible to extreme weather. In the summer, power outages increase as heatwaves and storms wreak havoc on the power grid. Power outages can mean no air conditioning, spoiled food and damaged appliances.

Few high-risk areas are truly prepared to face the effects of a powerful storm or extreme weather. In 2003, rising temperatures in Ohio led an overloaded transmission line to sag and scrape against an overgrown tree. This caused an outage that spread to New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Michigan, and even parts of Canada. The result: the largest blackout in human history with 50 million people losing power for up to two days.

Is the infrastructure in your area prepared to stand up to storms? Probably not.

Energy providers sometimes conduct rolling brownouts or blackouts to ease the strain on the power grid. These temporary outages are spread across different service areas to ensure no customer is without power for longer than another. 

As the demand for power continues to grow, and the aging U.S. grid is stretched to capacity, many Americans will be vulnerable to power outages. 

It’s important to prepare for both unexpected and planned power outages like rolling blackouts. Consider installing a Cummins home standby generator to help protect yourself and family during an outage. The generators are connected to your natural gas or liquid propane lines to automatically deliver power quietly and quickly during a utility outage. 
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Redirecting to
cummins.com

The information you are looking for is on
cummins.com

We are launching that site for you now.

Thank you.