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How To Haggle For A Used Car

haggling for a used car

Hopefully this will be my last post about used cars for a while. Like it or not, most of us have to drive, which means the occasional need to shop for a car. Since one of our lines in the sand is to never again buy a brand new car or have a car payment, it made the hunt a bit more challenging, but I think the end result turned out well. Let me say that I hate haggling. It’s more fun to pick up dog poo, but sometimes you have to step up to the plate if it means saving thousands of dollars. These are some tricks I used to haggle for a used car. Know What Kind Of Car You Want There are so many makes and models of cars available that it almost boggles the mind. Saying you want a car just doesn’t cut it. Thankfully the internet has all kinds of reviews and specifications so people can check out vehicles that fit their needs for reliability and affordability. In our case, we narrowed the choices to a Honda Civic or Accord. We also wanted a 2010 or newer model. I preferred the Accord since it’s the ...

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Cheapest States To Raise Kids

cheapest places in the US to raise kids

Ask 50 people their opinion about the best places to raise kids and you might get 50 different answers. Some people would lop off their left arm before leaving one of the coasts for the Midwest. Most Southern people I know would not move west of the Mississippi if they were offered a million dollars. Looking from a purely financial viewpoint, lets look at some of the cheapest states to raise kids. New Mexico Ah, the Land of Enchantment! I used to live in New Mexico and we currently reside only 40 miles from the border, so I’ve had some first hand experience with this state. To be honest, there are some armpit worthy parts of New Mexico. The state has a high teen pregnancy rate, lots of poverty, and was ranked as one of the worst economies in the US last year. Why on earth would anyone choose to live in New Mexico? Despite those disappointing statistics, New Mexico is not all that bad, IF you look at certain areas of the state. Research, health care, aerospace, energy, and technology jobs are available. New Mexico offers very lucrative tax incentives for businesses. That’s why Virgin Galactic, Intel, and many ...

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Don’t Blow Your Tax Refund

wise things to buy with tax refunds

According to the Internal Revenue Service, 75% of tax payers will get a refund this year. Since the average refund is almost $2800, it’s time to start thinking about how to put that money to good use. A tax refund is not a windfall or a gift from the government. It’s your money, earned from work, that Uncle Sam has been holding all year long. Don’t blow your tax refund by treating it like found money. Pay Off Debt One of the best uses of a tax refund has to be paying off debt. While government won’t be paying any interest for holding your money, you’ve likely been paying interest to your creditors. Having a couple of thousand dollars to throw at credit card bills or high interest loans can be a huge morale boost for those struggling to get out from under their debt. Start Or Top Off An Emergency Fund We all know that not having anything in savings for emergencies is often the reason people go into debt. Most experts suggest saving at least three months of necessary expenses, but that number often seems too overwhelming for people who live paycheck to paycheck. Even having $500 or ...

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Are Energy Efficient Appliances Worth The Cost?

saving money with energy efficient appliances

When we built our house almost 11 years ago, it was really fun to pick out all new appliances. We chose higher end, energy efficient models thinking we’d be kind to the environment and save all kinds of money on utility bills. Plus, stainless steel is really pretty and modern looking! Our refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and microwave/hood priced in at around $5000 back in 2004. We also spent about $1600 on a new washer/dryer set that was supposed to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. So 11 years later, were the energy efficient appliances worth the cost? How Much Would Cheap Appliances Have Cost Back Then? I honestly can’t say for sure how much cheap appliances cost in 2004. We were not in a saving money mindset back then, but I would ball park the cost at around $2000. We could have also bought a basic washer dryer set for around $500-$600. How Much Have We Saved on Energy Costs? That’s a really hard thing to speculate since we’ve never seen an electric bill with non-energy efficient appliances, but according to the calculator at energystar.gov, our appliances save an average of $85 per year on water, gas, and electricity. ...

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Planning Ahead To Save Money On Kid Expenses

paying less for kid's expenses

While I don’t really believe reports that say raising a child costs $245,000, I think most people would agree that having children is expensive. Without a daughter, there would be no spending on dance lessons, organic milk, and pediatric dental visits. I won’t complain about those costs because we wanted a child. Whatever we spend on her is worth it a million times over. That doesn’t mean I want to spend more than necessary. One way we save money on kid expenses is by planning ahead. Buy Winter Clothes For Next Year Right Now One thing I’ve learned about buying kid clothes is not to buy right before the season you need them. It’s not that big of a deal for summer, but winter garb can be expensive if you live in a cold climate. Between snow pants, boots, gloves, hats, and coats, it’s easy to spend a few hundred dollars paying full price. Right now is the perfect time to buy winter gear for next year. We just found a pair of good quality snow boots at 60% off. There is a little bit of guessing about sizes, but if it’s too big, they will eventually grow into it. ...

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