Other Wisdom Archive

Apple iPhone X: Will You Be Getting One?

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As announced recently, the new Apple iPhone X will be available on November 3, 2017 starting at $999.

[For those with deeper pockets, you can pre-order one here]

Which leads me to the following question…

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Use hashtags such as #giveaway, #sweepstakes, #contests, etc.

Want a Free Pumpkin Spice Latte This Weekend? Shopkick Can Help Make That Happen.

The highly anticipated Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has finally arrived. This weekend you can treat yourself to a FREE one by using Shopkick.

Shopkick, the shopping rewards app that lets users earn free gift cards for everyday shopping trips, has your plan to earn a $5 Starbucks gift card this weekend.
 
Here’s what to do once you’ve downloaded Shopkick:
  1. Invite 3 friends (And have them act. Get them walking into stores, visiting the mobile retailers, scanning products, whatever. Once your friends take an action you get 250 kicks/each.) = 750 kicks
  2. Walk-in to a few stores (Seriously, you just have to walk in to stores like American Eagle (35 kicks), TJMaxx (35 kicks), Carters (50 kicks), Fabletics (50 kicks), Charming Charlie (75 kicks), Aerie (100 kicks) and TONS more.) = 345 kicks
  3. During your weekend grocery shopping trip scan products in the aisle (i.e. Folgers Simply Gourmet Ground Coffee (25 kicks), Glad drawstring kitchen bags (25 kicks), Jimmy Dean Sausages (25 kicks), Purina Pro Dog or Cat Food (50 kicks each)) = 175 kicks

1270 kicks = $5 Starbucks Gift Card

Earn over 1,200 kicks this weekend when you walk in and scan. Plus, earn 4,400 more when you submit your receipts for select offers.

Remember that you can also earn kicks when you shop online at eBay, Groupon & more though the Shopkick app.

The Best Things To Buy In September

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Waiting until just the right moment to buy something is one of the best things you can do to save money.

Apple Products (iPhones)

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If you’re an Apple fan, than you probably know what September means.  If not, September is when Apple announces new products and generations of existing devices (like the iPhone) at their keynote event.

All the iPhone 8 Rumors You Need to Know

As a result, prices on current (older) models drop heavily as they are discounted to make room for these newer devices.

Look for nice deals at the Apple Store, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.

Bicycles

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September is a good time to buy a new bicycle, with many discounts to be found.  As the riding season is ending and with fall and winter approaching, retailers are looking to clear out current inventory so they’ll slash prices in order to do so.  Previous years models will be especially discounted.

If you’re considering a bike as a Christmas gift or looking to upgrade bikes for next spring, now is a good time to purchase.  Don’t forget to do your research first, however.

Your Guide to Buying a New Bike

Cars

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One of the best months to get a great deal on a car is September (especially Labor Day weekend).  As next year’s models begin rolling in, current year vehicles must be moved out to make way.   Besides large discounts, you’ll also see a number of offers designed to entice buyers, including zero down and 0% APR financing.

According to Autotrader.com, the last day of September is one of the best days of the year to negotiate a deal on a car.  TrueCar estimates that buyers save roughly 7.9% off the price of a car on this date.  To get the best deal, check out my money saving tips here!

Labor Day Sales

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Labor Day falls on the first weekend of September and brings with it some of the best deals of the season.  Many stores drop prices and offer deep discounts, especially on (summer) clothing and accessories.  Expect to see sales on warm-weather items such as air conditioners and outdoor furniture as well.  Be sure to check your inbox for notifications of discounts from your favorite retailers.

What to Expect From Labor Day Sales in 2017

Travel

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September is an “in between” or “shoulder” season, meaning summer traveling is winding down and winter getaways are still in the distance.  Except to see travel deals this month of up to 50% off!

Although Cheap Flight Day has just passed, you can still score some nice airfare deals this month.  Start buying your Holiday flight tickets now, as more options are available and they will only go up in price by mid-October.

Be sure to keep an eye on the best deals using sites such as Expedia and Travelocity.

Check out my full guide to saving money on travel!

Finding The Right Car For You, At The Lowest Price

This is a sponsored post, however, all opinions are mine.

Finding The Right Car For You

Are you looking for a new car (or your very first car) and feel overwhelmed with the vast array of choices in the market?  There are many factors to consider and many questions to ask yourself before even heading to the dealership to browse. This post will provide tips and advice for car buyers looking to identify the right vehicle for their budget and lifestyle.

Things To Consider Initially

First, you’ll want to take into consideration how much you can afford.  Make sure you have a budget in mind to help you stay focused on cars you can truly afford.  A good rule of thumb that I’ve heard from multiple sources is that your car payments should not exceed 20% of your monthly net pay (or in other words, the total value of all your vehicles should not be more than half of your annual income).  How much money can you put down on the vehicle?  Remember that the bigger the down payment, the lower your monthly payments will be.  Such websites as Cars.com have handy tools that can help you estimate your payments and how much you can afford.

Next, consider your wants and (more importantly) your needs.  This includes the many car features that are available to you.  Here is a list I’ve compiled that outlines such considerations:

Wants

  • Type of car
    • Sedan, minivan, compact car, convertible, coupe, etc.
  • Make and model

Needs (Focus on these)

  • Size / Space – How many passengers will you typically have?
  • Transport / Cargo
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Manual vs. Automatic transmission
  • Weather conditions

Features (What are your “must haves“?)

  • Luxury
  • Performance
  • Safety
  • Technology

Finally, determine whether you want to buy a new car or a used car.  Buying a used car will save you money and it can be hard to tell the difference between a new one if there’s not a ton of miles on it.   Consider, too, whether you want to lease or buy (this has been a very hot topic the past few years).  A lease allows you to put a more expensive vehicle in your driveway for less money every few years.  However, if you tend to keep your car until it quits, leasing isn’t probably your best bet.  Owning gives you more flexibility and usually makes more financial sense when interest rates are low.

Research, Research, Research

Now that you have a good idea of your budget and needs, and may even have a particular vehicle in mind, it’s time to do some research and planning. This is a critical step in the process (especially the pricing portion) and much of the information can be found online.  Without research, your vehicle purchase is more likely to lead to buyer’s remorse.

Before visiting the dealership, make sure you know the market price of the vehicle(s) you are interested in.   Both Kelley Blue Book and Truecar.com provide such information, offering a fair market value price and price range for a new or used car based on what others have paid.   Not knowing this information can be an expensive mistake.

Read what the experts and current owners have to say about a certain vehicle to discover it’s performance strengths and how it compares to others in it class.  J.D. Power and Cars.com offer such reviews and ratings.

Many websites offer side-by-side comparisons that are also helpful in choosing the right car that meets your needs.

Search the Internet, call around, and visit local dealerships to explore your options that are in your local area.  Be sure to compare quotes from multiple dealerships.

How Cars.com Can Help You Research and More

Cars.com

Cars.com is an excellent resource to use when looking for a vehicle, as they offer a ton of information to help make the right choice.  A comprehensive array of research tools and services can be found on their website such as the following:

  1. Find cars for sale/trade and sell/trade your own – Cars.com has a wide selection of new and used cars available for you to purchase.  You can even find a connected dealer near you, along with contact information and reviews. Cars.com gives you free, no-obligation new car quotes from up to 3 local car dealers.  If you’re selling your own vehicle, they help you to find its current value and offer valuable advice on how to sell it.
  2. Research car models – Even if you’re just starting your search, you can scroll down to “Browse Models” on the main page (or here) to view models by body style (SUV, sedan, convertible, etc.), make, price, and more. Cars.com also offers side by side comparisons where you can see how cars compare to one another.
  3. Service and repair – Get a service estimate, find service centers, get repair/maintenance advice, and find information on the latest recalls.
  4. Expert and consumer car reviews – Cars.com has the largest database of consumer reviews in the car industry. There are also bias free expert reviews on new 2017 models as well as on models dating back many years.
  5. Videos and reviews – The “Videos & Reviews” section is one of the best sections of the website. Watching the video reviews gives you a virtual dealership experience in a way, showing you the all of features both inside and outside of the car you are interested in.

Don’t forget to check Cars.com to learn more!

Test Drive Before Making Your Final Decision

You’ve done your research and narrowed down your choices.  It’s now time for a test drive.

Test driving a car gives you “peace of mind” that you’re making the right decision.  Doing so allows you to test out all of the features and get a good “feel” for how the car performs.

You will most likely be driving this vehicle daily, so it’s important that it fits your lifestyle and that you’re comfortable in it.

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(5) Other Money Saving Tips

Besides doing your research ahead of time, here are a few other ways to save money in the car buying process:

1] Pay in cash (if you can)

This is certainly not an option for everybody, but if you can pay cash in full you will eliminate monthly interest costs  and finance fees.  Monthly car payments are also eliminated.  Owing money on a car only makes it more expensive, with the value of your car only going down once you drive it off the lot.

You may also be able to get significant discounts by paying in cash, as well as more bargaining power at the dealership.

According to Cars.com, paying cash can also make it easier to sell your car when the time comes.

2] Best times to shop for a car

MonthAugust is said to be the best month to buy a car, as the highest discounts are offered and incentives are increased.  Honorable mention goes to December, when dealerships offer year-end discounts try to get rid of last year’s inventory to make way for new models.

Day of the week – According to TrueCar.com, the best day of the week to buy a car is Sunday, when there is lower consumer demand and higher incentive for dealerships to close out the week with strong sales.

Other – Salespeople may be more willing to offer better deals the last few days of the month, as they work on commission and often get bonuses for the number of vehicles they sell in a month.

3] Visit multiple dealerships

Especially if you’re looking at used cars, be sure to visit at least 3 to 4 different dealerships to see what financing, pricing, and service they have to offer.  Don’t be afraid to use dealership competition to your advantage.  With the rise of online sales, there’s no longer a need to spend valuable time haggling at a dealership.

4] Buy used

Buying a used car comes down to two main advantages: less depreciation and lower insurance rates.

As mentioned previously, cars lose value as soon as they drive off the lot.  Within the first year, some new models can even lose 20-40% in their value.

Also, a vehicle that is worth less money costs less to insure.

Overall, going the used car route is going to save you thousands of dollars with the elimination of fees, subsequent costs, and depreciation.

5] Don’t negotiate based on monthly payment

One question you are bound to be asked by a salesperson is “How much are you looking to pay per month?”  This is because they want to set the price based on the maximum monthly payment that you are willing to pay and will adjust this price to get you the exact monthly payment you’re looking for.  However, make sure you negotiate the price, not the car payment!

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Best of luck!  * Comment below with what things have made your past car buying experiences enjoyable and less stressful *

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