How To Save Money On Your Next Car

An Unbelievable Used Car
Your Next Used Car

Not all of us can afford a new car every couple of years. So, for those of us in the used car world, I’ll share some wise words on how to buy your next used car.

First of all, don’t always rely on your local car dealer to sell you the best used car in the market. And secondly, rushing through your next car purchase is a disaster waiting to happen. Plan at least a month in advance so that you have plenty of time to make your decision. Peruse through your local ads and classifieds on daily basis. Look for cars with minor damages or sellers looking to cash in urgently. These cars can either be repaired for a very cheap price or will be worth buying directly from the owner. The primary reason for this is that the car dealer will always make a few thousand profit doing the same thing as I’m asking you to do. So, why not cut out the middleman and his profit by purchasing directly from the owner?

Once you have set your mind on a particular car, take it to a talented nearby mechanic to examine it more closely and assess how much it will cost you to have it back to its new shape. Add this cost to the owner’s final sale price and compare it to the price of the same model sold at your local dealership. If there is only a thousand in difference, purchase your car from the dealer that offers a service warranty, or has done some professional damage repairs on the car. Most car dealerships don’t buy wrecked cars, while others only buy damaged cars from insurance company and bank auctions. If this is the case, you certainly save thousands in repairing similar cars yourself than going through your local car dealer.

And lastly, while buying a used car, always Google the serial number of the car. Google will show you the car’s history in the market, wrecks, auctions, etc. including at times precise pictures of the previous damages. Be sure that the cars you set your mind on doesn’t have any damages to the frame. The frame can never be repaired back to new and it can be detrimental in even a minor wreck.

Once you get a hang of this, you will always keep looking for a better car and ultimately become a pro-car dealer yourself and change out your car like you do your shoes, while making money between selling and buying new cars, just like a few of my close friends.

Buying Your Next House the Smart Way

Nice Modern House
Buying Your Next House

A number of my friends have made some bad mistakes when purchasing a house. After guiding them through a new purchase, they have asked me to publish the same for others in their position. So, what should you look for when buying a house? I’ll tell you how:

1) As much as the owner or the real estate agent may want to deter you from doing this, ALWAYS check under the house, this holds the key to major structural damages of the house. Always ask to see the columns of the house and carefully examine it for any cracks, whether it has been covered up or still on it. And check for any inconsistencies in the columns such as whether it looks crooked, leaning or covered up heavily. If so, run before the house falls on you.

2) Examine the house for cracks in the walls that run all the way down to the beams. If the walls are cracked sideways or only halfway down the wall, there is no concern of structural damage. However, if it runs down the entire height of the wall, it most-likely has beam damage that can be repaired and may ultimately cause further damage and bring down the house on its knees.

3) Turn on the faucets to check whether running water makes any sounds in the walls, whether it be a rattling sound or a screeching sound. This can hint to major plumbing issues that can ultimately lead to breakages.

4) And always compare the size of the columns against the size recommended by your municipality for seismic zones if you are in such an area. If seismic activity doesn’t top your list of concerns, there may be mitigations in place for other natural disasters that your area is prone. Always check with your municipality for such mitigation measures before you go out looking for house on a hill or on a beach.

I hope this helps.

Inculcating Saving Habit in Children

Saving habit in Children

You might have bought many toys for your kid. A toy is a great learning experience. But it does not last. How many of the toys your parents gave you have you been able to preserve? None I guess. However you might still have the first financial gift – the traditional piggy bank. Am I right?

Giving financial gifts to children is the new trend in these times of change. It is not only long-term but also makes them learn finance which will help them in the future. Here are a few financial gifts you can give to your children.

Piggy Bank

This is the traditional gift. I have all the piggy banks from childhood, and believe me I could pay my first semester fees of my Management degree from the savings. It instills a saving habit from an early age which is a great help later.

There are many options available for you to buy. There are piggy banks which have separate compartments for coins and notes, and also piggy banks which can tell you how much money it contains. It is a fun way to save and learn the basics of money management.

Monopoly

A game that teaches you how to buy and sell profitably. I got this gift on my 12th birthday and boy I loved it. I used to play for hours and the lessons that I got helped me greatly when I started my real estate business. The game is a great learning tool.

Make sure to get this game and gift it to your child. It will help him learn basic financial tricks without much effort.

Saving Bonds

It is a pure financial gift. Just buy a bond which matures at an important stage of your child’s life. It can be for paying the college expenses, or buying his first car. I am sure he will love this gift.

Stocks in a famous company

This is a gift for your teenager. Buy him a few shares in a famous blue chip company. Then make him learn how to trade online and understand the broker. It will help him learn the basics of terms used in the stock market.

It will go a long way in your child becoming a smart investor. So, go ahead and make him learn the tricks now.

Saving tips for Energy Bills

Paying a lot on Energy Bills?

You are always paying a lot when paying the electricity bills. Is it not? It takes a major chunk of your earnings. Today we will learn some tricks which will help save on this particular regular expense.

  • Look for air leaks in your house and seal them off – Yes they cost you up to $ 100 dollar monthly. In summers the air conditioning and in the winter the heating. You just need to be creative and seal off those air leakages to save a lot annually.
  • Buy Energy Star Electrical Equipment – Energy star ratings are going to save you not only on the electrical bills but also protects you against mishaps. Now you will not need voltage stabilizers for refrigerators or Televisions if they are Energy Star rated.
  • Insulate your Roof – I did this to my home and now save $1200 per year on cooling and heating costs. It makes your home cosy and also saves you $100 per month. Nice is it not? Use polypropylene roof coverings to make it water proof also. This will add strength to your home structure as an additional advantage.
  • Change you cooking stove every two years – However meticulously you maintain, gas stoves will have to be replaced every two years. The old stove adds to your energy bills by the way of wastage. A new stove will save enough on gas bills to become free in six months. Hence it is worth changing.
  • Be a smart and green user – Turn off fans and lights or other electrical equipment when not using it. Also cook on low flame to decrease your gas bills. It is good for the environment too and you are helping yourself and the world as a whole.

Saving on Mortgage

Saving Money on Mortgage

It is not easy to save money on mortgage. You will have to pay the agreed amount. That is what you think, right. The first step towards saving money on your mortgage is to change this mindset. You try to save on package fee, but the package actually give you discount. It can vary from great offers on credit cards or on insurance premium. There are other ways too:

  • Offset account – A great way to save money. The savings account will pay the interest of you loans and you will save on it. A great way to save money for people on only interest mortgage period.
  • Talk to bank – Banks are keen to grab new customers. But due to increasing competition, customer retention is becoming very important for banks. Just drop a hint to your loan adviser and visit the bank. Your loan interest rate will be reduced even if it is very minimum.
  • Check loan statement – Banks can sometimes levy fees they should not, or charge for bounced installment when they actually went ahead on time. Rectifying these small errors will save a lot of money and keep you credit scores healthy too.
  • Get your mortgage reviewed periodically – Even mortgage requires health check ups. Review your loan periodically so that you can get better options. More often than not you will get better deals and lower interest rate.

Following these simple rules and tricks can save a lot of money. So just be smart and save money on your mortgage.

3 Tips to Save on Grocery

Buying grocery item is a regular thing. With rising food prices it is one of the most expensive expenses. I had an insight last week and checked out. What I found out was enlightening. We spend almost 25% of earnings on grocery items. If not managed properly this head of expense can drive you crazy.

Save on Grocery
Save on Grocery

 

However with a little care and paying attention to small details can save you a lot. So what are these little secrets. There are no secrets, they are just small actions.

  • Shop on weekdays – Weekends are generally crowded times. Everybody goes for grocery, and surveys show that the average price of items is a bit higher. They also have some really promising discounts on weekdays. Shopping for grocery on irregular days i.e. weekdays can save you almost 10% on bills. Believe me I have done this and saved.
  • Go to the store with a list – It is very common to buy articles you do not need. The best way to tackle this is to jot down what you want. Then you need to stick to the list. You can buy articles not on list, but do not waver too much. This helps you to avoid spending extra on things you do not need at the moment.
  • Shop Monthly – If you make it a habit to shop monthly for your grocery items you can save a lot of money. The more you visit the store, the more you are drawn into impulse buying. So the idea is to limit the visit to the store.

Cut Down on Crippling Medical Expenses

Seeing we’re on the topic of saving on essential investments such as your car and home, did you know you can still enjoy good health while cutting down on health costs? Enjoying good health is coming at quite a price these days. Everyone is cutting down on things that aren’t absolutely essential. Of course, there are loans available, and companies like Simplecash make it all the more easy, but still one should know how and where to save money. The cost of private medical care for instance has become higher than ever. A comprehensive medical scheme can put you back quite a bit each month. This can be stressful, if as a healthy individual, you hardly ever visit the doctor. Why not do what many people are doing and scale down to a hospital plan to save money. The money you would have put towards a comprehensive plan, you can now put into a savings account and use it towards medical costs when needed.

health insurance
If you don’t suffer from any chronic diseases, a hospital plan may be all you need and you can have extra money in your pocket. Yes, when you’re much older and more prone to chronic conditions, you may need a comprehensive medical plan.
Do research and shop around. Find a hospital plan which suits your needs and doesn’t come with the high premiums of a full medical scheme. Maintaining good health is your own responsibility. Just like we’ve had to cut down on luxuries when we do our grocery shopping, we can still enjoy quality health services, but at a much more affordable rate too.

Save money on your taxes

A significant portion of your income goes towards paying taxes. Now, this is an inevitability and a portion of the taxes you pay will eventually come back to you in the form of infrastructure and public services. However, if you are smart, you will be able to save on the amount of taxes you have to pay.

Tax Refunds in New Zealand

There are a number of things you can do to save on the amount of taxes you are paying and you can do this the year around. You will be able to save money on taxes if you have made any donations to charity this year. You will also be able to save some money if you have saved some money for your retirement or if you have had to spend money for your medical expenses.

You will have to keep track of all your expenses, and keep the receipts in case you want to use them to get a tax rebate. You will have to do your research in order to find out if you will be eligible for any of the tax exemptions as well. This might sound like a lot of work, but it will help you save quite a bit of money over the years!