How to Get the Best Price When Buying A Car

acura cars

When looking at buying a car, finding out its real market value is possibly the most important step – this should be done before you start paying too much attention to what the seller wants for it. Obviously, this step is more important when you are looking to buy a used car rather than a new one.

Determining a Car’s Value

To determine its value, you will need to look at the price of similar cars – try to compare the cars age, where it was made or assembled, its mileage, the condition of equipment and overall state. These aspects will help you to arrive at a somewhat accurate value of the car you wish to buy.acura cars

It is important that you find several sources for the price of the make/model of the car you wish to buy. This will give you some idea on how much you should spend on the car.

For the absolute lowest price that a car is worth, you could take a look at one of the many car buying companies (in the worst case scenario, you could always sell it to them).

Negotiating the Best Price

To give you some leverage when negotiating the price, you should ask a lot of questions and focus the conversation on any bad points. The questions ought to focus on mileage, features and options the car has, any history with accidents or collisions, the record of any past drivers, and availability of service records. They will help you to determine how trustworthy the seller is and if you can conclude the transaction with him.

Researching the options which are open to you in terms of financing is an important step which should be taken as well – if a zero interest loan would be available to you (as they often are when buying a car), utilizing this will help save you money in the long run.

If you’re thinking of getting rid of your old car at the same time, consider trading it in to get the best price. This is more applicable when you opt to buy from a dealership rather than non-dealers. A lot of research will have to be carried out when trading your car in so that you get value for it. This course of action requires similar effort to be put in just as if you are not trading it in. We recommend that you do not negotiate if you are under any kind of pressure – if you’re in a rush, the salesperson or seller will take advantage to sell at high price.

If you are going to get the best price when buying a car, you will need to develop your haggling skills and do it like a pro. Even if the seller claims that the price is non-negotiable, you should still offer less to the seller than the asking price. If the vehicle will need to be taken for repairs, you should deduct the costs from the price offered to you by the seller.

James is a freelance marketer, dedicated traveler, and occasional business blogger. You’ll often find him hanging around Manhattan, pretending to be cool.

Photo Credit:  Dougtone

Life Insurance: Something Is Better than Nothing

Today’s post is a part of Life Insurance Day (thanks to the dedicated work of Jeff Rose) . 

One of the biggest fears and reasons people don’t get life insurance is that they’re afraid that they are too expensive. They’ve heard from others that to get a reasonable amount of coverage they need to pay a lot of money.

The good news is that you can get life insurance for your family at affordable prices.

Look at Essentials

If you’re still deciding on whther or not you need life insurance, think about any dependents like a spouse or children that depend on your income.

  • Grieving: Losing a spouse/parent is life altering and your family needs time to grieve. If you don’t already have savings to cover the time off from work, you may want to include that with life insurance coverage.
  • Final Expenses: Do you have a general idea of how much your final expenses would be? We used the estimate of $15,000 for funeral expenses.
  • Financial Assistance: Do you want to leave money for your spouse and children to cover debts and help with future expenses?

You’re probably under insuring yourself, but if your options are getting some coverage that you can afford and skipping on getting any life insurance coverage, go for the lesser of the two financial evils.

 Go for Term Life Insurance

When faced with the choice of term and whole life insurance, going for term can give you more coverage for less premiums. In case you missed the post on life insurance and couples, term life insurance basically works like this:

Term life insurance is offered for a specific “term” of years – for example, 10 years, 20 years or 30 years. That means if you buy a 30 year term life insurance policy at age 30, you will be covered until you are 60 years old – if you die at any time during the term, your family will receive the benefits of the policy.

That means you should choose a term that you feel comfortable with for your coverage. The money saved from going with term life instead of whole life insurance can be used to pay down debts or to invest.

Shop Around and Save Money on Life Insurance Premiums

When we were shopping for coverage online years ago I was surprised at what I found. For less than $20/month I could get $150,000 in coverage with a 30 year term life policy.

Shop around for a deal on your life insurance policy because it can vary greatly. If you want a free quote try reputable companies like MetLife.

Thoughts on Purchasing Life Insurance

On a final note, please increase your coverage as your financial situation improves. The goal is to build your finances until you can self insure, but in the mean time get some insurance to protect your loved ones.

I’d love to hear from you. How many of you have a life insurance policy? How much do you have in coverage? Around how much do you pay for it?

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks

Mountain Getaway: Maximizing Weekend Trips

nc mountain trip

It’s been a busy year for us and our little girl, a year of many firsts. This summer we’ve had a lot of family and friends come over for visits. While it’s been incredibly fun to catch up with everyone, we’re a bit tired. We decided to change things up a bit and go out of town.

For us one of the best ways to recharge, have a fun trip, and not spend a ton of money is to go visit our friends out of town. This weekend we headed to the Western part of North Carolina to hang out with our friends at their mountain home. Looking for a way to enjoy a long weekend? Here are some tips for you to maximize your time.

Stay Relatively Local

This may seem counter intuitive, but staying within a few hours of your home can save you money while still giving you a chance to clear your head and relax. If you’re going more than 4-5 hours for your destination, not only are you spending a lot of gas, you’re also spending less time at the destination. nc mountain trip

The goal is to go far enough that it feels like in a different spot, but keep the driving manageable. While we remained in the same state, going to the mountains feels like we’ve traveled further and it has helped us to unwind a bit more.

Take Monday Off

If you already have Friday off go for it of course, but I’ve found that there is something extra rejuvenating about taking Monday off. Heading home on Monday also means we can get to our house and unwind a bit further. There’s no rush and many weekend ‘work fires’ (which typically aren’t vital) have been resolved.

Stay Disconnected

I’m not suggested cutting off everything, but not being tethered to a cell phone or computer can do wonders. Every time we do a trip to the mountains it feels like a lot longer and more relaxing because we’re semi-disconnected. If our friends and family have to reach us for an emergency they can. However emails and heavy online activities are heavily limited, both due to the area itself (not great reception) and by choice.

Thoughts on Road Trips and Getaways

I’d love to hear from you (and get ideas about future trips)! What have been some of your favorite trips recently? Do you go by yourselves or do you visit friends out of town?

Photo Credit: smkybear

No Cost Refinancing – Go For It?

money refinance

Happy to report a good change with Operation Refinance. My friend was able to spend some time calling and emailing lenders to find a deal that works. Getting some great responses from current and possible lenders, we decided to see which were the best offers.

No Cost Mortgage Refinancing – Not Free money refinance

One of the offers was a no cost refinance – well, it’s not really no cost. The catch was a slightly higher interest rate (.25-.35%) and the closing costs would be paid by the mortgage lender.

Another offer was a lower interest rate and paying half of the closing costs. As they are on a tight budget, they are leaning towards going ahead and taking the no out of pocket option.

Refinancing Offers Short Term and Long Term Benefits

Looking at the numbers, my friend comes out ahead with the refinancing. Not only can they lower their monthly payments, but they can also knock off time from their mortgage loan as they would be going with a 20 year fixed rate mortgage. They didn’t want to restart with a 30 year mortgage.

Getting a refinance that they can also save money over the life of the loan with interest payments. That’s because most of the money goes towards paying interest in the beginning of a mortgage. As the loan draws to a close, the payments increasingly goes towards the principle owed.

That means that the money saved can be used for other financial goals, including bumping up retirement contributions, paying off debt, or saving for the next car.

Thoughts on Refinancing

It looks like my friend will get back with me when they decide which offer to take. I wish them the best with the refinance.

I’d love to hear from those who have gotten a refinance recently. Were you offered a no cost refinance option? did you take it – why or why not? How was the process for you?

Photo Credit: sushi♥ina