Category Archives: Autos

Reasons To NOT Buy That New Car You’ve Been Eyeballing

Maybe you recently got a bonus at work. Maybe your current vehicle broke down. Maybe you’ve got a savings account that is burning a hole in your pocket. Whatever the reason, you’re thinking about purchasing that fancy new car that you’ve seen slicking around town and is at the dealership with a red for sale sign on it’s windshield. Well, we’re here to tell that no matter how nice of a vehicle it may be, purchasing an expensive, brand new vehicle is not a good financial decision. We know, you want the car. But we want what’s best for your net worth. You should too!

It Is Not An Investment

Investments are assets that should have a decent chance of positive returns. Automobiles, on the other hand, will almost definitely not earn you money. Not only will you lose value on the car itself, you’ll have to spend a small fortune on insurance, gas, and maintenance. There are few transactions throughout the last 100 years where an individual sold a car for more than they paid for it (think classics, collector automobiles).

At Its Basis, A Car Is Merely A Tool

Vehicles are one of many methods of transportation. They are designed, sold, and driven with the purpose of moving people from one place to another. Sure, they’re a bit more intricate than hammers and screw drivers, but they only truly have one purpose. And you shouldn’t overspend if you don’t have to.

You Can Find A Comparable Used Car For Much Cheaper

And you’ll probably be just as happy with it. There are even some theories that people keep used cars for the same period of time that they would’ve kept a new one. You might buy a new car and keep it for five years or you might buy a 2 year old car and keep it till it’s 7 years old. You get the same utility, though- 5 years of use. Think about it, if we assume you buy a vehicle every 5 years, do you want the cheaper or the more expensive version? Well, do you want the new model or the used model? It’s basically the same question.

You May Not Even Need It

As we mentioned above, there are many methods of transportation. Think about your personal situation. Do you need a car or do you want a car? Many of us now live in urban cities where our jobs, food, entertainment, and shopping are all within a walkable range. The market is also shifting towards remote employees, making the need to get around much less demanding than it has been in the past. Even if you do have a commute, city busses, subways, ridesharing, and other public transportation could possibly save you thousands of dollars compared to that new car.

Lastly, And Perhaps More Importantly, You Can Put Your Money To Better Use

There are countless investments that could set your finances us for success that in the long run will bring you more satisfaction than a new vehicle. Put more into your 401(k). Put it towards a down payment for a house. Earn interest though peer to peer lending. Invest it in a crowdsourcing platform. Even moving the money to a low yield, albeit super safe, savings account will probably be better for your net worth than spending your money on a new vehicle.

How to Save Money on Car Repairs

How to Save Money on Car RepairsEveryone has car problems now and then, or maybe they just need to schedule maintenance on their vehicles. But we can all agree that care repairs are not cheap. In fact, they can be painful when unexpected. However, the following guidelines may help to save money the next time you need an oil change or tune-up.

Swap Services

If you are cash-strapped with little to spend on car services, and you know a great independent car mechanic who loves home-baked apple pie, offer to make a couple in exchange for rotating your tires. Some people swap services like housecleaning, pet grooming, and lawn care for car maintenance or repair so neither person has to pay cash.

Do it Yourself

Some vehicle services are not difficult to learn. The local college or vocational school may offer a basic auto maintenance class you can take to care for your car’s routine maintenance. You can also browse the numerous online how-to videos that show and tell you how to do things like replace a headlight, flush the steering wheel fluid, and check your brakes if you are mechanically inclined.

Clip Coupons

Many leading car shops and auto dealers offer regular coupons by mail or on their websites. Coupons may offer a complimentary first oil change to try their service as an introductory offer. A coupon of five oil changes may be sold for the price of three when you buy them together. Check regular community mailings and the local online or print newspaper for coupons or discounts.

Drive a Bargain

If you need a service performed and you can’t find a coupon for the car shop that you want to do the work, ask if a discount is available. Chances are they will give you a discount of ten to fifteen percent overall or on service, if not the products. Many auto shops are competitive and will give a discount if requested. You can also ask about low-interest or zero-interest financing on pricier services, as well as having only the most necessary work done at present, delaying secondary work until you have more money. Everything is negotiable, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Shop Around

It’s easy to get attached to a favorite oil change shop or auto repair business because it’s familiar or convenient. But to save money, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare pricing, which you can do online or by phone. You can also compare websites and check the local Better Business Bureau to see if shops you are considering have a low or poor rating. Ask friends or coworkers who drive well-maintained vehicles where they have work done, and then contact the business to see if a referral discount is available.

Needing a brake job or a radiator flush is not something to look forward to. But it can be managed financially with creative thinking and planning. Start setting aside a monthly amount toward car repairs and maintenance if you are not already doing so. Even twenty-five dollars per month will come in handy the next time you need a repair or service for your vehicle.

How To Live In Your Car Without Anyone Noticing

How To Live In Your Car Without Anyone NoticingSo you just got canned, sending your financial situation into a tailspin. Next month’s rent is looming, your fridge is essentially empty, and you promised to take out a lady friend this Friday — what do you do? Tap into your savings? Sell off your valuable goods? Get a loan? Those may seem like quick ways to get instant cash, but do they benefit you in the long run?

Well, don’t fear, for there is one often-overlooked option to keep you afloat during your personal financial crisis: living rent-free in your car.

I know, I know, you’re used to the modern luxuries of 2016, but I’m here to convince you that temporarily giving up a few those comforts and living in your vehicle can go a long way in terms of getting your finances in order — and the good news is you can do it without anyone you know noticing. Here’s some helpful information on how to get by until a new job rolls around:

Get a Gym Membership

This first step is essential — the hardest part about living in your car is the obvious lack of restroom facilities. Getting a gym membership, preferably one that is open 24/7, is a great way around this problem as it gives you access to both a toilet and a shower for a low, monthly reasonable price. This way, you can keep up with your personal hygiene routines and skip out on looking like a hobo to your friends, family, and potential new employers. And hey — you also get an air conditioned place to work out in as well!

Cost: $30-$50 a month at gyms, $10-$20 a month or possibly free at college campuses

Make sure your car can generate the electricity you need.

Let’s face it, in today’s world, we’re all plugged in all the time, and there’s no need to change that. Using the combination of a good cigarette lighter converter and a portable solar battery, you’ll have the tools to charge nearly anything: your smartphone, laptop, or iPad. They can even be used to power small, 12V cooking appliances, such as a portable skillet or water heater. Just make sure to balance out your electricity consumption with charging your vehicle’s battery with its alternator.

Cost: $20-$40 for cigarette lighter converter, $70-$100 for portable mini solar panel, $30-$40 for skillet

Keep your car optimized for living in it

A truth about living your car is that you’re going to be in a much smaller space than you’re accustomed to. While living in a windowless, spacious van is ideal, most people won’t have one of those and will have to settle for their four-door sedan. The best way for living in one of these is to come prepared and organize your belongings — designate a sleeping area and make it comfortable, buy yourself a small cooler to keep drinks in, stock up on dry foods, use your trunk as a closet, make sure to find a few discreet parking spots you can stay in overnight, keep relevant documents on hand, have a first aid kit, and invest in a good flashlight.

Cost: $30 for mini Coleman drink cooler, $30-60 for flashlight, $20-$25 a week for gas, food varies greatly depending on appetite

Don’t forget about your mail

This may seem obvious, but living in a car might make you forget that you’re a member of society that receives tons of junk mail and a few bills monthly The best way to get your mail without an address is renting a post office box. Remember, you have to do this before taking the start living in your car because you must provide the post office with an actual address. If you’re unable to take out a PO Box, see if a friend will let you use their home address as your new one.

Cost: $8-$12 a month for PO Box