How to Buy a Classic Car on a Budget

Whether you love Ford Galaxie or the Ford Mustang from 1964 is more to your taste, it is clear that classic cars are something that every car lover needs to have in their collection. Buying a classic car can be daunting for the first time, especially financially. Here are our top tips on how to buy the perfect classic car for you:

  • ·         Know the marque you want: Car brands are unique and they come in different shapes, sizes and colours. Mercedes-Benz classic cars are different to Ford classic motors. Payday loans online can help you afford an expensive marque but don’t overlook classic car marques that are affordable such as Mini Cooper and Leyland. The right marque for you will ensure that you start on the right foot for your classic car journey. Sports cars from marques like Mini tend to be good choices because they can be bought on a budget.
  • ·         Assign the right budget range: It’s no good to have a strict budget to classic cars, instead what you should do is have a range of cash that you would spend on the cars themselves. The budget range is recommended to be what you can afford taking into account the cost of actually running the car. Be sure to also have emergency cash available for the car in case you run into problems.
  • ·         Find an affordable mechanic: One of the most important things to do is find a mechanic that you can afford. A good mechanic is like liquid gold – you need to keep them at all costs. Contact your local mechanic and see if they work by retainer which means that you pay them a set amount each month. This is particularly important if you have your eye on exotics such as Lamborghini and Ferraris.
  • ·         Pick simple colours: Believe it or not, classic cars that come in bright, saturated colours are more expensive than ones in simpler shades. If you want to cut the cost of buying a classic car, think of neutral colours like grey, white and black.

5 Financial Things Every Couple Should Consider

This post is close to my heart as I just got married last month! They often say that money is one of the biggest factors of divorce, and the cause of most arguments between married couples.  My wife and I wanted to make sure we avoided being one of those ugly statistics, so we tried to work out the financial aspects of being married prior to actually being married.  Sure it tooks us a few days of sitting down and hammering out the details, and probably a few arguments in there as well, but we came up with an amicable arrangment that we are both happy and pleased with.  Allow me to give you a heads up on the five financial things that every couple should consider.

Credit cards are always looked at poorly, but in fact, they can be a positive thing.  If you are financially disciplined you can charge all of your monthly expenses to a credit card that provides reward points, and then pay it off it each month.  It’s free money for spending on things you were already going to purchase.  My advice is that you simply consolidate your credit cards as opposed to having your own, this way you can track your spend collectively.

Most of us already have bank accounts, it’s just that we have our OWN bank accounts.  The first weekend we were married, my wife and I decided that we needed to own a joint bank account.  After all, we now shared a mortgage, two car payments, student loans, etc., it only made sense that we have a central account from which to pay all of our bills.

Spending money can be a touchy subject.  Certainly one person makes more than the other, yet you still want to be fair and equitable.  The solution to how much spending money each person gets is less important than the fact that each person is happy with the solution!  Our choice was to disregard who made more than the other, and to equally share the disposable income with each other.

Do I drive a new car, a used car, or simply keep my current car?  We actually are both slaves to leasing vehicles, and during our engagment we both had to turn in our old vehicles.  This posed the question, how much do we spend on new cars?  This was a fairly simple and friendly conversation, but the important thing was that we need to agree on if we would lease, buy, used, or new.  These are decisions I’ve never thought about having to share before.

Before any happy couple decides to combine finances the first and foremost topic should be debt!  Not simply a discussion on avoiding new debt, but rather the level of debt each person is currently carrying.  It is true that there isn’t much you can do about it now, but honesty and disclosure is vital in an relationship.  Make sure you are open and honest, if you don’t have any debt that is great, however many people carry credit card debt or student loans, and it’s best to let your partner know of these financial obligations sooner than later.

 

Tips for Reducing Household Expenses

No one has an immunity against inflation. With the rate the cost of living is going up and the uncertainty of holding on to one’s job, it is very important to reduce expenses to keep one afloat. For the majority of families, the big bulk of their expenses go to maintaining their household. There are fixed and semi-fixed expenses that you really can’t do away with but can somehow manage.

Buying a House

If you’re not yet a homeowner and is considering buying a house, a practical consideration would be to prepare a comparative expense profile of your possible choices. First in the list would be the mortgage payment as this is something that would be in your list of expenses for a very long time. If you can, try to get a smaller loan so you can do away with mortgage insurance. Location would determine real estate taxes and the general cost of living. If you’re considering buying in an exclusive suburb, be prepared in shelling out serious money in keeping that lifestyle. Exclusivity and its attendant perks are good but they come at a price. Consider also if the location is prone to flooding, earthquake and other natural calamities as this would seriously affect the insurance of your property. Commuting to work is a recurring expense. When buying a property, consider its proximity to your place of work as this would determine your commuting expenses and the time you would spend in the commute. Other areas worth looking into are ventilation, heating, electricity and water expenses. These all affect each other and can be managed beforehand with enough foresight.

Existing Homeowners

If you already own a home there are still ways you can cut your expenses. Here are some practical tips.

  • Check the weather forecast.  If rain is expected, turn off the automatic sprinkler.
  • Make your own household cleaning solution. Aside from being more economical, it is earth-friendly. An example would be using baking soda in cleaning kitchen tiles.
  • Save on gas by carpooling to work. When going on an errand, plan trips carefully so you would target more errands on a single trip.
  • Buy in bulk. Use the coupons that you find in the newspaper. For products that you regularly buy, the manufacturer may have printable coupons from their website.
  • Take advantage of free samples. Most manufacturers send free samples. Try them out to see if you will like them. They may come as less-expensive replacement of the items you regularly purchase.
  • Reuse old items. Before throwing out a ratty towel, consider cutting them up into cleaning rags.
  • Cut down your electricity cost by line drying your clothes instead of using the dryer.
  • If you have a yard, plant your own vegetables and herbs. It will save you from buying them from the store.
  • Replace incandescent lights with fluorescent bulbs. 

Staying afloat during financially-trying times is challenging to most of us. It is therefore practical and wise to think of ways we can manage these tough times.

 

 

Securing and Maintaining a High Credit Score

Getting a high credit score on your credit card has advantages. You will be offered exclusive benefits. It would be easier for you to secure a loan and you will be given a lower interest rate. Getting a high score and keeping it is not very easy. Most people fall into debt traps that makes them struggle financially and thereby affect their credit standing.

Here are some ways that can help you keep your credit score at a favorable level, at least:

  • ·         Awareness on the factors that affect your score – Know your credit card activities well so you will have knowledge of what affects your score.  There are five elements to take note of – how much you owe, credit mix, payment history, recent credit and credit age. Not all activities affect your score. If you pay your utilities via your credit card this would not have a say on your credit score; meaning, it would neither affect nor help your standing. Know which activities matter and be conscious of it.
  • ·         Try to keep a low balance – Most credit card holders develop the bad habit of treating it as a loan that they can pay “someday”. These are the ones who do not pay their credit card statement in full thereby passing off the balance to the next month and incur additional charges. This habit would be detrimental to your credit standing even if you settle your obligations in full at the next billing statement. Try to settle in full your monthly credit card statements or, at a minimum, keep your balance within 30% of your assigned credit limit.

 

  • ·         Pay bills without delay – Aside from settling your monthly billing statement in full, it is of equal importance that your pay them without delay if you want to maintain a high credit score. It is true that some bills don’t get recounted to the credit bureau but delayed payments may found their way into your credit report.

 

  • ·         Be smart in managing your debts – Your credit card history is not the only one affecting your credit record. Your other financial activities are reported to the credit bureau and these affect your credit standing. Included here are your credit lines and loan balances. Be responsible in paying your loans. If you have unsettled debts, this will be bad for your credit standing. If your creditors see that you cannot manage your personal finances, you will lose credit points. It is therefore wise to be prudent and responsible not just in your credit card use but in all your financial transactions.

 

Getting a copy of your credit report is highly advised. You may get them from one of the credit bureaus. Look into it to see if there are errors. Watch for the mistakes you commit and avoid further mistakes to ensure a good credit standing.

How to Save on a New Car

If you’re in the market for a new car there are certain things that you need to know in order to not get fleeced.  A car is one of the biggest expenses that you will have and any way to cut down on this expense is a great idea. You could, if you do it right, literally save thousands of dollars with the tips below.  So, without further ado, let’s take a look at how to save money when buying your next car.

First, if you’re reading this I’m going to assume that you’re not extremely wealthy.  If you are go read the Wall Street Journal!  Ok, for the rest of you here’s the biggest caveat to buying a car; never buy a new car!

Did that kick you in the gut?  It should. Buying a new car is one of the biggest mistakes that people make and costs thousands of dollars more than buying a quality used car. Did you know, for example, that the minute you drive the car off the lot it depreciates by about 15%?  How about that, after 2 years, those numbers can go as high as 40%?!

The average 2 year old car, excluding strange situations, is almost as nice as a brand new car except for the smell. It rides well, handles well and most of the major parts are still in excellent shape. Plus most have warranties that extend to the new owner (if certain conditions have been met) which means that you’ll have a car that costs 30 to 40% less but looks and drives like new. That could mean a potential savings of $3 to $6000.00 depending on the make and model you choose.

If you do purchase new never buy extended warranty plans. Most new cars today come with exceptional warranties that will cover you for at least 5 years.  Purchasing extra warranties is a complete waste of money.  In fact, car dealers came up with extra warranty plans as a way to increase revenue, not to help their customers.

Cash is king when buying a new or used car.  Car loans are some of the most overpriced of any loans on the market and can cost you literally thousands of extra dollars a year. If at all possible pay in cash or pay a large down payment to keep your loan amount low.  When you can’t pay cash you need to fight like a person possessed to get your rate as low as possible.

Finally, be prepared to walk away.  This sounds silly and indeed it is silly to have to play such games but it could save you a LOT of money.  If the salesperson thinks they ‘have you’ they probably do.  Don’t let them have you by walking away if you don’t like the deal.  There are plenty of other car dealers around that will work to get your business and give you what you want.

They say a sucker is born every minute.  If you don’t want to be a sucker use the advice above when it’s time to get your next set of wheels. Good luck and safe driving.

Store Credit Cards: Pros and Cons

 

There seem to be any number of credit cards available today. Banks and building societies have always been the traditional suppliers, but increasingly individual retail stores are offering customers credit card finance options. So what are the positives and negatives about signing up for a credit card?

Pros

Discounts

Applying for a store credit card is a simple way to get a discount on your shopping. Companies will make these discounts a prominent part of their strategy to gain customers and promote brand loyalty. If you use a shop often, a credit card supplied by that store can help bring down the costs.

Promotions

To entice customers to take up the credit card, stores will often offer special promotions only open to card holders. These may take the form of extra discounts on purchases during certain periods or a greater accumulation of points on a reward scheme for using the card.

Credit Rating

Store credit cards are generally fairly easy to sign to. This means that individuals looking to increase their credit rating have the opportunity to set up a line of credit.

Limits

Credit cards offered by retail companies will usually have a very low minimum spend limit. This is particularly true of cards offered by supermarkets, who realise that people may wish to use their card for a quick shop. It means that you are more likely to be able to keep a lid on your spending without having to add extra unwanted items to reach a higher spending threshold.

Links

If the store credit card is co-branded with a financial supplier such as MasterCard or Amex you may be able to attain discounts and other benefits at other retail outlets. Be aware, however, that co-branded cards often have higher interest rates as they represent a greater risk for the issuing store.

Cons

Interest

Store credit cards are renowned for having high interest rates. These rates can often be 20 percent or more. This is not a problem if you are assiduous about paying off all your balance at the end of each month, but this is not always possible, particularly at times such as Christmas. If you are not sure that you will be able to clear your balance every month, store credit cards are not the best option as the interest payments can quickly mount up.

Temptation

A store credit card is another spending temptation. Particularly with the discounts offered, it can be hard to keep track of your spending, as opposed to, say, cash or a debit card.

 

 

Smart Money Management is Key to a Happy Life

Tracking your personal finances may prove to be overwhelming. Keeping thorough records of what you are spending your money on can help you avoid financial difficulties down the road. You can do this with such new tools available as online banking, but you have to remain aware of the flow of your money.

When you are getting ahead financially you should start to save and not spend. You can prevent this by strictly following your current budget. Do not let your finances suffer like before.

You can save lots of money at home by learning how to cut your own hair as well as that of your family’s. There is no question that a trained hairdresser will do better, though that can cost you a lot. After investing in some basic equipment, cutting everyone’s hair will not cost you anything!

If you’re currently married, make sure that the spouse that has the best credit is the one that applies for loans. If your credit is poor, you can build it back up by paying off credits each month. When both of you get your credit score to a good level, then you’re in a position to get new loans but make sure to spread out your debt in an even way.

Swap out your old incandescent light bulbs with the highly-efficient new compact florescent lamps. These bulbs will save you money and save the environment at the same time. CFLs also last longer than traditional light bulbs. Also, you will be saving money by not having to constantly buy new bulbs.

You should try to pay off your debt as fast as possible, and do not apply for any new debt either. It’s simple, really. Stop adding new debt to your credit cards and work toward a steady reduction of existing debt. Staying consistent will help you to reduce your debt and find freedom with your personal finances.  The one exception to taking one new debt are loans that help you to consolidate and make one monthly payment.  This can sometimes be a benefit for someone who is able to be more financially disciplined going forward. If you are interested in a personal loan, click here to apply now.

You can save money by eliminating fast food stops for convenience. Saving money is easier when the ingredients are bought and cooked at home; there is also appreciation for effort taken to create a home-cooked meal.

You can better understand where your money goes when you write down how much you spend every day. Though writing in a book that can easily be put away so you don’t see it often will allow you to forget about it and not use it. If you list your expenses in a noticeable area, such as on a marker board, this may help. You will see it often throughout the day so the message stays fresh.

Erasing your financial debt is the first step you must take when you want to improve your credit rating. Cut back on spending and pay off debts, loans and credit cards. You can decrease your monthly expenses by eating at home and spending less money on entertainment. Packing your lunch can save you big bucks. If you want to get out of debt, you’ll need to reduce the amount you spend.

Try working from home if you want to save money. The cost of traveling to work can be expensive. By spending money on gas and going out for lunch, you could end up spending a third of even half of your paycheck prior to even getting it.

Use a big wall calendar to map all your monthly payments, billing cycles and due dates in one easy area. This can help ensure that you never make a late payment. This is easier when you budget and you will avoid late fees.

When you keep track of your spending, you can avoid many overdraft fees, and will be able to tell ahead of time if you are going to run out. If you monitor your own money, it will help you to feel more confident about your personal finances

Trading Options for the Inexperienced: 3 To Consider in 2012

The terms trading and investment are vague and diverse, and have different connotations within a range of alternative fields. When it comes to the open financial market, they can also be applied to a number of different money making vehicles, each of which offer their own distinct challenges, benefits and dangers to inexperienced traders across the globe.

This is why the first step as a novice trader is to consider the multitude of options at your disposal carefully, and select one that allows you to simultaneously minimise your risk while maximising any potential profits. While this may seem like a grand aspiration, it is possible with dedication, patience and a keen willingness to learn.

ŸÂ  Spread Betting: Spread betting is one of the most popular forms of trading in the financial market, and there are various underlying reasons for this. Essentially, it is a derivatives product that enables you to trade the individual price movements of a number of financial markets, and this includes currencies, shares and physical commodities. Offering the option to both go long when you buy an go short when you sell, it is possible to trade conservatively and guarantee a financial return regardless of the condition of the market. Like any form of trading it is not entirely risk free, but it is at least an option that helps to minimise an investors gamble.

ŸÂ  Forex Trading: The foreign exchange market is the single largest trading platform, and one of the most unrestricted and versatile for inexperienced investors. Offering minimal transaction costs, outstanding liquidity and the opportunity to earn significant returns based on margin, it has emerged as a core favourite among investors with a desire to make an impact within the financial market. It also gives traders the chance to profit in any market conditions and on your chosen currency pairs, in an environment where there are no limitations of daily transactions such as those associated with the futures market.

ŸÂ  CFD Trading: Trading CFD’s is another viable option for newcomers to the financial markets, most notably because of it’s risk management features. When you first establish your CFD trading account, you have the option to customise it fully and place stop losses and limit orders on each transaction that you make. These are your exit strategies in times of need or in the aftermath of a poorly judged investment, and allow you to minimise any potential losses that you are faced with. Given that you are bound to make mistakes as a first time investor, your ability to manage the consequences of your errors will go a long way to determining your eventual success.

Choosing the Right and Most Profitable Option

These options all offer genuine benefits to aspiring or independent traders, and it is your task to use your existing market knowledge as a key decision making tool. Although they are not entirely risk free, they each boast a degree of flexibility and liquidity that allows for largely unrestricted trading, and ultimately soften the financial blow of any mistakes that are made through the course of learning.

Insuring your Rental Property

Home rental can be quite a sticky situation!  I work with several people who opted to rent their first home rather than sell it off.  Mostly due to the declining property values in the area I live in, it just wasn’t feasible to sell your home the last few years.  Renting can really be a good idea for those interested in building up additional equity, selling at a higher value, getting out from an underwater mortgage, and simply owning an investment property into retirement.  That being said, it comes with its share of headaches as well.  Unfortunately, there are many unsavory renters out there that will inevitably damage your home, fail to pay rent on time or at all, and sometimes both!  This is why cheap rental insurance, or cheap landlord insurance as it’s called in the U.K. , is essential and vital to securing the financial security of your rental property.

Rental insurance isn’t for renters anymore, it’s also for the homeowner to secure his property.  Renters that fail to come up with their rent, and thus are forced to leave, may become disgruntled and wreck your property.  The variety of services are quite vast, and can cover a new landlord, and there are special discounts for homeowners with several rental properties.  Rental guarantee insurance is another great feature.  As I said earlier, renters can be dishonest and shady at times, and there are great lengths they can go to avoid paying their monthly rent.  This rental management company, and insurance providers ensure that you receive your monthly rent regardless, and even during lull times when your property is vacant.

Real estate can be a great investment, especially in retirement, but it’s also a highly illiquid one.  Make sure you secure this investment just like any other.

How to Save on Gas Money

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 1:  The sign...

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 1: The sign for a BP filling station in Westminster on February 1, 2011 in London, England. BP has reported a loss for 2010 of 3.1bn GBP, this is the first time the oil giant has made an annual loss since 1992. This compares with a profit of 8.6bn GBP for BP in 2009. The dramatic difference can be largely attributed to the 25.3bn GBP set aside by the company for charges relation to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill last year. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

Many people don’t think there is any way to save on gas for their car, as they believe that the price of gas is out of their control. While that may be true, there are still plenty of ways to save on your gasoline bills. Some are easy, some make sense and some might surprise you, but all will make you happier when you see those savings at the end of the month.

Purchase your gas in the morning or late in the evening when it is the coolest.  As crazy as this sounds the cooler it is the more gas you get when you buy. The reason is you’re charged by volume and when its cooler gas takes up less volume and you get more in your tank.

Get an app for finding the cheapest gas stations, like Gas Buddy.  It’s free, updated hourly and will give you the locations of all the stations closest to you so you can go where the price is best.

Avoid overfilling your tank. Amazingly if you fill your tank too high the gas can actually slosh around and out of your tank while you drive. When the pump clicks the first time, stop pumping.

Your car does not need to be warmed up for a long time to function correctly. This wastes a lot of gas. Indeed less than a minute is perfectly fine.

When you stop for more than 30 seconds turn off the engine.  Idling for a minute uses the same amount of gas as starting the engine, and idling for 5 minutes or more can actually use more than a quarter gallon of gas.

Driving at 55 will actually save you money if you can deal with the nasty stares.  Just drive in the slow lane please.

Use the AC at higher speeds. It will save you more money than opening the windows due to wind resistance.

Using these few tips can actually save you up to 10% on gas and, if you travel a lot, that can add up to a lot of money fast. Use them and watch the gas savings start to pile up. (Pun intended.)

Enhanced by Zemanta
SEO Powered By SEOPressor