4 Financial Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A Car

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Getting a new car is a big thrill, but often the high of purchasing a car is short-lived, as many car buyers make serious mistakes. Some end up overpaying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a car that doesn’t turn out to be how they expected. This is clearly backed up by a 2016 study which showed that most Americans feel shortchanged by car dealerships when purchasing a vehicle. So what mistakes must you avoid when buying a car? Sidestep the following major errors to be sure you get the wheels of your dreams.

1. Focusing too Much on Price                        

Among the significant concerns raised when people are buying a car is how to avoid getting ripped off. This goes to show how much emphasis people lay on the price of the car. Why not focus on getting the vehicle that meets your needs instead? It is in your best interests to place particular importance on whether a specific vehicle is right for you instead of just its affordability, which should be considered a bonus. If you find a brand new model that meets your needs but it is too expensive, you can go for a slightly used one. 

2. Underestimating the Full Cost of Ownership

Sometimes, the thought of you behind the wheel of that sleek car distracts you from asking practical questions regarding the purchase. In some cases, you come up with all sorts of justifications to buy the car. However, there are other things like maintenance cost, insurance, and perhaps the gas consumption based on the vehicle’s capacity, which cost money. You can afford the upfront price of owning that vehicle, but these other expenses may even add up to be more than the vehicle’s upfront cost. Therefore, assess your financial situation as well as these other considerations before buying the car.

3. Ignoring Financing Terms

Some people spend over three hours at the car dealership trying to get the salesman to cut the price down. Then they end up financing the car with no upfront payment or a specific interest rate, which potentially increases the vehicle’s actual worth. In simple terms, a bad loan can swiftly cost more than the savings you’ll earn in bargaining on the price. Except if you’re taking the car at zero percent or on low-interest fees, it is ideal to purchase a vehicle with cash upfront. Also, take the minimalist approach if you need to borrow, and get the best rate possible. In some cases, obtaining loans for auto finance has led to several disputes that required exceptional attorneys to survive legal battles. This is why you should take it seriously.

4. Thinking Finance at the Dealership  

You may be a master at the negotiating table, but be cautious when you are dealing with auto financing since you could lose all that you have saved on the vehicle’s price, and more. Failing to explore financing terms before heading to the dealership leaves you quite vulnerable. Salespersons are trained well to ‘manipulate’ any potential customer, so research your facts and know what you need to prevent the worst-case scenario. 

Purchasing a vehicle doesn’t need to be a hopeless encounter. Invest enough energy and time into deciding on a vehicle which suits your needs and that you can afford, and you’ll have a driving experience to enjoy for years to come.   

 

Top 6 Financial Security Tips For College Students

 

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Your college years are usually some of the best years of your life. They are an exciting time filled with fun, learning, and new experiences. Colleges provide the perfect environment for students to explore new things and transform themselves, and it is also the ideal place to learn valuable life skills for when they eventually leave. One such skill is how to take care of your finances, and your college years may just be the best time for you to plan on how to take charge of your financial future. 

In 2019, American student loan debts hit a shocking $1.6 trillion. Therefore, it is wise to start taking financial literacy seriously – sooner rather than later – in order to avoid being a part of this disheartening statistic. But how do you economize your resources as you work your way toward graduation? Juggling college and finances might not seem easy, but follow the tips below and you’ll be well on your way to being a pro.

1.Start Building Your Credits

Credit scores matter significantly to everyone as it shows your creditworthiness. In fact, the financial industry is shifting such that credit scores are becoming increasingly crucial to banking institutions and credit card companies. But what happens if your credit scores are nothing good to write home about?  Well, the chances are that it will affect your chances of securing financial opportunities such as loans from creditors after graduation. 

For example, some landlords will ask to see your credit score before providing you with housing facilities. Employers will also be more than likely to check your credit score before they give you a job, which could add more debt to your shoulders if it is low. So make it a point to start building a positive credit score well before you graduate from college. If you don’t have a credit card while in school, you can ask your parents to add you as an authorized user of their credit cards. You can also open a student or a secured credit card. Try not to get so excited about having money at your disposal that you overspend on unnecessary things. Instead, learn financial self-discipline, and it will pay off in the long run.

2.Avoid or Minimize Your Credit Card Debt

The cost of tertiary education can be very high, especially for students who attend private colleges. While partial scholarships can help you settle some of your college expenses, they don’t usually solve all your problems. As a result, students who attend expensive colleges are more likely to end up with insurmountable student loan debts. Many students graduate from college owing as much as $5000 in student loan debts. The good news is that government-backed student loans usually come with affordable interest rates. For example, if you sign up for federal student loans, government programs may help you pay off your debts without breaking the bank. You can also seek assistance from organizations such as the Debt to Success System, which help debt-ridden students to find relief.

However, the situation is quite different when it comes to credit card debts, as the interest rates are quite high. Until you can settle them, you may struggle with financial freedom or independence. Therefore, try to cut down your credit card debts before you graduate, especially if you want to create wealth after school. To build your credit score means you have to minimize your borrowing habits and pay off outstanding bills as soon as possible to avoid accumulation. When you cultivate this culture of zero tolerance for too much debt while in college, you will have a much better financial standing after graduation.

3.Learn How to Budget

Good budgeting skills are vital for building a great financial future. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter how much you make, but rather, how well you budget. To budget means to know how much you want to spend and how much you want to save. A practical account spells out your spending plan according to your monthly income, monthly expenses, and your savings. As you progress through the month, you can track your budget to see if you are on track. You may also want to ensure that you have enough money left over to put into your savings account after deducting your average monthly expenses from your salary.

The idea is to avoid superfluous expenses and save more money. As a student, you may want to factor into your budget categories of expenses such as books and stationery, accommodation, internet bills, tuition fees, and your food costs. You can also use budget-planning tools such as Mint to master your budgeting skills. When you get the hang of budgeting at college, you’ll be in a better place to handle financial responsibility post-graduation.

4.Set Up an Emergency Fund

Emergencies are unpredictable events that demand your immediate attention. The Covid-19 global pandemic is a perfect example of what a crisis looks like. When the viral disease showed its destructive face to the world in late 2019, people thought it would only be a short-term health disaster. Well, the coronavirus worked against all the odds and established itself as a business killer, shutting down companies and plunging the global economy into chaos. 

Suddenly, people who didn’t set up emergency funds found themselves with more problems, especially if their source of income was affected. Therefore, as a college student, you should take a cue from this and set up an emergency fund as a form of self-care. Basically, this should be your contingency plan against uncertainties such as economic downturns, health crises, and other unforeseeable circumstances that will require you to spend some money unexpectedly. 

You may be tempted to ignore emergency funds during your college years because you are yet to experience a major emergency. However, the reality is that emergencies and responsibilities multiply as you grow older. Learning the basics now will be helpful for later on when they carry more consequences and cannot be ignored. Additionally, it will teach you to stay strong during a crisis and avoid panicking at the last minute. The bottom line is that it is a step in the right direction towards financial security after graduating from college.

5.Learn How to Invest

Warren Buffet started investing when he was a teenager.  Now in his 90s, Buffet boasts a net worth of $80 billion. But the important part of this is that he actually acquired 90% of his wealth when he passed the age of 50. So, what does that mean for college students? It means that you should invest in your early days to reap the fruits of your labor later on. In fact, that is the whole point; investments do not yield interest immediately when they are made, and so the general rule of thumb is that the earlier you make them, the better. Unlike saving where money is just put away, investing enables the money to grow or multiply. This makes it a great way to safeguard against economic issues such as inflation.

Thankfully, in these modern days of numerous investment opportunities, college students can engage in this activity with very little capital. You cannot give the excuse that you don’t have enough to invest. For example, you may want to consider the advantages of Roth IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts). These are non-taxable retirement accounts that you can invest in. Remember to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the investment market as you near your graduation. That’s because this knowledge will help you minimize the risks involved in investing.

6.Plan to Get a Secure Job

Colleges are known for burdening students with tons of courses, some of which may not be relevant for the job market. Therefore, you have to ask yourself critical questions concerning whether you want to be a job seeker or a job creator. If you would rather be the former, you need to get a secure role – not just any job. Make sure to do your research about the industry you’re looking to join and how it will fare in the years to come. 

For example, some technologists are forecasting that automation will lead to a jobless future for some graduates. They believe that technology is turning the wheels of time, and it will take away a lot of jobs as machine learning and artificial intelligence progress. In advanced economies like the USA, robots have been taking over manual jobs for decades. MIT researchers have noted that “each additional robot added in manufacturing replaces about 3.3 workers averagely.” The petroleum industry is one that may witness disruption due to the introduction of electric vehicles. All in all, it means job-seeking college graduates must look before they leap. 

Learn, and have fun during your college years, but also remember that it’s a good time to make big decisions about your future. Be ready for new things, and if that means investing your little resources in big opportunities, do it for the sake of your financial future. These financial tips are just a few to put you on the right track.

Deal With The Disaster Scenarios You Can Face With Kids

When you have children, it’s fair to say that you might have to deal with a few major disasters as they grow up. Here are some of the issues to be aware of and the best ways to handle them.
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Trouble With The Law 

First, it’s possible that one day you have to deal with the fact that your kids are in trouble with the law. This could be something minor like skipping school or it might be more severe such as theft. Usually, children will receive a warning from the police rather than ending up in a cell. However, this is not always the case and you might require a bail bond. That can be great if you don’t have the cash needed to pay for bail. Leaving a child in lockup can be a very traumatic experience for them indeed. If you do experience trouble with the law, then it’s also essential that you get a top attorney. You need to fight for your child’s rights here, particularly if you think they did nothing wrong. 

 

Damage To Your Home 

Children both young and old can cause damage to your home. It might be pain on the carpet or a broken window. Sometimes a home can get completely trashed in an event like a house party. You can come back and find that the doors are off the hinges. Aside from grounding your children, what can you do to deal with this? Well, you might want to consider contacting your insurance company. They usually will cover damage like this if you have the right type of coverage. Whether this will be worth doing will largely depend on the level of damage and the cost to fix the issues. Alternatively, you could simply hire a repair team. They should be able to fix your home up in no time.

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Addiction 

Certain research reports do suggest that addiction is becoming more of a common issue in children. It’s worth noting that addiction does not simply refer to illegal substances. Children can get addicted to anything from games to food. If you think that your child is addicted, it’s important to take action as quickly as possible. The right action will depend on the level of addiction. They might need professional support or you may simply need to monitor them for a short while to get them back on the right track. 

 

Self Harm 

Finally, it’s important to note that self-harm is another form of addiction. Children gain relief from the endorphins released by their body when they injure themselves. It provides an immediate high, similar to taking a powerful drug. Self-harm is more common in girls but it can impact boys as well. Be aware that not all self-harm marks are left on the arms. They can be anywhere on the body and children will commonly choose a place that you think they won’t see. The best way to avoid issues here is to make sure that you are maintaining an open and honest relationship with your children.