Tuesday May 21, 2013
Recently a friend was complaining about how his transmission was going out again, for the second time in a year. He was trying to decide if now was the time to buy a new car. It brought back the memories of the last two summers, during which we had a serious of expensive car repairs and eventually, we had to buy a new car. Buying a car and taking a on a payment, if you do not already have one, can be a daunting process.
However, owning reliable transportation is necessary if you work and you do not live in an area with decent public transportation. Before you go car shopping, you need to review your budget and see what you can afford to buy. Ideally, you would have the cash saved up for the purchase, but this may not always be the case. Once you have your budget you should do these things.
- Shop for your car loan before you go shopping for your car. Your bank or credit union can offer you a car loan at a lower interest rate, especially on used cards.
- Dont be afraid of private sells. These can save you money because you are cutting out the middle man. If you do go with a private sell, have your mechanic check out the car before you buy it. This can save you money in the future.
- Get ready to sell your old car. Whether you decide you want to junk it or you can pass it on to someone else, it is important that you be able to sell it. You will usually get more than if you trade it in when you buy a car from the lot.
- Remember that used cars offer the best value. You are not taking the same depreciation hit if you buy a three year old car, and you will still have a reliable car.
Remembering these things will make shopping for a car much easier. Be sure that you stick to your budget, because car payments can affect your quality of life if you take on a loan that is too much for you. Start saving a bit for your new car each month too.
Monday May 20, 2013
There is nothing worse than to realize you need to come up with a large amount of money really quickly. It may be to pay an extra bill or to cover a car repair or to pay for a medical emergency. If you need the mone now, you may be looking for a solution that will give you the money and let you pay it back over a few months. In these situations it is better to use your credit card, rather than a payday loan or installment loan through a loan store. However, they may be your only option. After you deal with this situation you need to work to prevent it from happening again.
First you should set up a budget that allows you to save money each month. Then you should save up an emergency fund to cover these kinds of expenses. If you do not make enough to do this with your budget, you either need to drastically cut your spending or you need to work on ways to bring your income up through a second job or by getting additional training. It is important to plan ahead and prepare for your emergencies.
Sunday May 19, 2013
There are a million different types of emergencies, from health to financial to natural disasters and manmade tragedies. I don't believe that you need to spend your entire life wondering or worrying about the what ifs, or the what could happens. Things will happen, and sometimes they will be entirely out of control. Sometimes they may be the result of a mistake you made. There are few things that everyone can do to prepare for the times in your life when you are in an emergency situation. These steps can help you stop worrying and know that you are prepared to deal with what comes your way.
- Save up an emergency fund. This is a great tool. It can relieve a lot of stress to know that you have the money set aside to cover your current emergency. It can be used to cover hospital bills, car repairs, and job loss. When you are working on getting out of debt, you can save between $1,000 and one month's income. When you are out of debt, aim for a year.
- Put together an emergency kit. I actually think having several small kits can help. It's important to have one in your car in case you break down and you cannot get help right away. This is basic kit with water, a bit food that will not spoil and basic car repair tools. You may want one at your office with food and water to last you a few days. You should have one at home that you can grab if you need to evacuate quickly due to bad weather or a natural disaster.
- A two week food and water supply is also a good idea. This can be helpful if there is a natural disaster, because it can take sometime for things to begin operating normally. this will keep you from starving, and is especially important if you have young children at home. Do not forget food for your pets as well. This can even help if your whole family comes down with the flu or something similar.
- An emergency contact list. This can be in your phone, since you will likely want it to be with you as you leave. However, a paper copy can be helpful as well, in case you can't charge your phone, but you have access to someone else's or a pay phone. Keep a copy in your glove compartment and in your emergency kit.
What have you done to prepare for an emergency?
Saturday May 18, 2013
Your student loans can hang around for a long time, if you do not become proactive. Since borrowing money to pay for college has become so common, many people do not look at student loan debt, the same way they do at other debt. It is often just consider part of life, like rent or a mortgage payment, or even a car payment. But you do not need to hold onto to your student loan debt. You should work on paying it off as quickly as possible, with your debt payment plan.
If your student loans are overwhelming, you can consolidate them to lower the monthly payment, but you need to work out a budget that will give you extra money to pay towards your debt. Most people put their federal student loans at the end of their debt payment plan, because of the tax breaks and lower interest rates. This is okay, but they should be part of your overall plan. It is important to remember that you would have the extra money in you budget to spend on other things, if you were not paying it towards your student loans. the more quickly you can clear up your debt, the sooner you will have additional money to spend.