Category Archives: Personal Finance

How to Make Money on Your Old Car

Many car owners reach a point where their vehicle no longer suits their needs. The time comes we must say goodbye to our old clunkers, and if you have a beat up vehicle just wasting space in your driveway, it’s time to transform that old hunk of metal into a pile cold hard cash. Learn how to make the most money from your old car.

How to Make Money on Your Old Car

Trade It In

If you’re looking for ease, you can trade in your car at the dealership when you’re looking for a new one. It’s important to take your car’s age into consideration. The older a car is, the less trade-in value it will have. Before taking it into the dealer, be sure you do your research on a site like Kelley Blue Book. Keep in mind that if you owe more on your car trade-in than the dealer is apt to offer you, your chance of negotiation is much more difficult. When it comes to getting the most for your trade-in, timing is everything. If you live in an area with cold, rainy winters, don’t trade in a convertible in December. It’s important to stay up on the latest trends in cars, as the more desirable your style of car is at that particular time, the better deal you’re bound to get. If you’re buying a new car, don’t treat the trade-in as part of your purchase transaction. Always negotiate your new car purchase and vehicle trade-in separately, with the trade-in coming first.

Sell It Privately

To make the most money out of your car, your best bet is to attempt to sell it privately. There are definite drawbacks to this method. You’ll have to deal with your fair share of scammers, buyers that can’t seem to make up their mind, and a much longer timeline. However, if you’ve got time on your hands and have the patience for it, you can sell your car privately on sites like Craigslist for way more money than you’d get from a dealership or car buyer. Be sure to keep yourself safe and always meet with buyers in public, well-lit places. Car buying scams are common, so ensure you’re protected before meeting up with a potential buyer.

Sell It Online

Not looking to deal with the waffling private buyers and don’t want to try your hand at Craigslist postings? If convenience and speed is your top concern, consider selling your car online to a car buying company. Sites like www.carbuyerusa.com will provide you with an instant offer; just answer a couple of easy questions online and they’ll give you a number. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to take it—no questions asked. These companies take the cake in terms of convenience. They can often send a buyer right to your house to check out the vehicle and then haul it away on their dime the very same day.

Sell it For Scrap

If your car is far past gone, and you don’t think you can find a buyer willing to take it on, you can still get the most out of it by selling it off by parts. Unless you’re a car wiz, you won’t want to take it apart by yourself; improper removal can ruin the parts and make them impossible to sell. The most valuable salvageable parts tend to be the wheels, axles, lights, engine parts, and glass. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always sell your car to a junk yard, but know that you’ll be getting less of the value thanks to the convenience.

Sell Your Car For Scrap

If you’re looking for ways to make money off of a car you no longer need or use, keep these strategies in mind and turn that old beater into a small fortune. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Why the Average American Overpays on Phone Bills

Despite the availability of affordable monthly smartphone plans, many Americans pay way too much for smartphone service. If you don’t understand everything on your bill, keep reading to find out where you might be paying too much and how to fix the problem.

Two-Year Contract

The two-year contract isn’t fashionable anymore because it’s too expensive and too impractical for most Americans. Considering your smartphone needs might change in a month, being locked into a contract is hugely inconvenient. People believe smartphones are cheaper on contracts, but when you add up the total cost, savings on your smartphone model are eaten up when you factor in how much more expensive your monthly bill is.

A contract often pushes you into data, talk, and text options that you don’t really need. When you go with a month-to-month plan, you can change things at any time without paying early termination fees.

Paying for Extra Data

Take a hard look at how much data you actually use. Everyone’s data needs are different, so the next time your phone bill comes in, check how much you’re paying for versus how much you’re using. Data expenses get you in one of two ways: Either you only use a fraction of the data you pay for, or you consistently go over your data limit.

In the first scenario, opt for a smaller data plan. If you’re worried about going over, just remember that you can connect to Wi-Fi wherever it’s available so you won’t be using any data. In the second scenario, even Wi-Fi access doesn’t give you the data break you need. Switch to unlimited data on a trustworthy network, like T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network, to fulfill your data needs without making your bill skyrocket every month.

Paying Installments for a Phone

Save up for a new phone and buy it all at once. Paying monthly installments for a new phone is more convenient for many people, but you end up paying more for the phone. How? Many carriers will charge an “access” fee on your bill when you’re making your payments. Those fees add up and cause you to spend more on the smartphone than you would have if you’d bought it in one go.

Plus, sometimes people don’t realize that they’ve finished paying for their phones, yet their phone bill doesn’t actually go down. Don’t continue to pay for a phone that’s already paid off or allow your carrier to stick you with another charge once that debt is paid to keep the bill at the same amount.

Plan Includes Unnecessary Minutes

Are you paying for phone call minutes? How often do you talk on the phone? You probably don’t need as many minutes as you’re paying for. In many cases, you can switch the minutes in your plan for unlimited texts or unlimited data. Keep a low number of minutes for the times when you have to make appointments or call work. Ditch the rest. If you have a weekly phone call with a friend or family member, switch it to a free video chat service like Skype, Google Hangouts, or What’s App.

Phone Insurance

broken phone

Image via Flickr by rafael-castillo

The concept of smartphone insurance is a fantastic one: Add a bit to your bill and be protected if anything happens to your phone. Unfortunately, the reality is rarely as good as the dream. Time’s Money.com reports that because of deductibles, bad options for replacement phones, and other issues, smartphone insurance doesn’t offer the coverage you need to justify the added expense.

Your best bet? Get a quality case and screen protector to protect against accidental drops or falls. If your phone is less than one year old, check to see if the manufacturer offers a warranty. You don’t need insurance for many types of issues when your phone is under warranty; just be sure to read what is and is not covered.

Lots of carriers offer monthly smartphone plan options that have the features you need without charging you for the ones you don’t. Instead of sticking with the carrier you’ve always had, shop around a bit and discover what other options are out there.

How to Make Money Using Your Car

Most people tend to think of cars as expenses. You have to pay for maintenance, gas, insurance, and of course for the car itself. But did you know there are a lot of ways you can actually use your car as a source of income and use it to earn extra money?
There are all different kinds of money-making options when it comes to your car, whether you’re looking for a part-time gig to get some extra spending money for the weekends, or if you’re looking to quit your boring day-job and turn your car into your new office. Here are a few different ways you can start earning money with your car.

Drive for Lyft or Uber

If you have a somewhat newer car and some free time, you can make a lot of money using your car to drive for Lyft or Uber. Both companies have different requirements for how new your car must be, and this requirement also varies by state and city, so check into that if you’re considering driving for either company. You also won’t automatically be ruled out from driving if you have a speeding ticket or other infraction on your record, so don’t rule this option out right away if that’s the case.
Your income here can vary depending on your own goals and driving availability. You can drive full-time as your main job and make your entire paycheck using your car, or you can drive part-time or whenever you have some spare time and want some spare cash. It’s so easy to register to drive with either company that you might as well do it just to have the option on standby. That way if an unexpected expense comes up, you can take some passengers and boost your income temporarily and take care of your bills, or save up for that upcoming big purchase you plan to make.
Uber even offers a delivery option you can sign up for so you can choose to take passengers around, or deliver goods in your local area.

Delivery Drive for Local Retailers and Restaurants

You can really clean up by being a delivery driver. More companies than ever are setting up delivery services, either directly with the company or through a third-party delivery service. You’ll be able to earn a set pay rate, plus tips in most cases. Check with top delivery driver hirers like local pizza joints and other popular restaurants for delivery. Don’t forget about places like florists, too.

Drive for Amazon

Amazon has expanded its delivery by hiring local people to deliver in their own local areas. Check with Amazon Flex to get started and make money part-time as your schedule allows. There may be a wait-list in your area so sign up today and you’ll get put in the line-up to deliver as soon as a spot opens up.

Rent out Your Car

If you don’t use your car all the time, consider renting it out and making some money instead of just leaving it parked in your driveway. People will pay top dollar to rent a private car on sites like Turo, especially if you have something unique from what standard car rental places typically offer.
If you have a classic car, look into renting it out. People love classic cars for weddings, to showcase in auto shows, parades, and even Hollywood movies!

Rent Out Your Space

If you have a truck, van or SUV with a decent amount of room, you can easily make some extra money by renting it out to people who only have smaller vehicles or maybe no vehicle at all. Help people move on weekends or in your free time so it won’t affect your schedule. Put an ad in the local newspaper as well as an online resource like Craigslist to reach the most people. Whether you’re helping move whole houses or just being available to help someone pick up a big piece of furniture at a store and take it to a house, you’ll be able to make money just by having a more roomy vehicle.
Don’t forget to renew your ad when it expires so that you’ll always show up for potential customers, especially around popular moving times like right before college classes start, and in the springtime.

Get a Hybrid

Spending less on gas means more money in your pocket!