Things a Car Salesman Will Never Tell You & Why You Should Do Your Research First!

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017

(Sponsored post.)

There are so many things to consider when buying a new car. It is usually fairly stressful. And often high pressure, which I absolutely HATE! That’s a big part of the reason I choose to do my research online, well before ever heading to a dealership. My favorite site to visit? Cars.com, I’ll tell you more about why later. For now, read these things that a car salesman will never tell you.

1.  We have a promotion online right now that will save you extra money – Most dealers won’t mention their online specials when you visit the dealership in person.  Make sure you visit the dealer’s website to see if they have any online promotions.  Pay close attention to any fine print on the promotion to make sure that you will qualify.  Mention the promotion when you first arrive at the dealership.

You may want to scope out the websites of several competitor dealerships too.  If a competitor has a better promotion listed on their website, ask the dealer if they are willing to match the promotion.

2.  Take a night and sleep on the decision – Purchasing a new car is a very big decision.  Make sure you take time to think it over before you complete the purchase.  You should ALWAYS take a night to sleep on the decision.  If you still feel good about the purchase the following day, proceed with buying the car.  Always have the courage to walk away from a dealership, especially when the salesman is very pushy.

3.  You can take the car you are considering to a mechanic you trust before you buy the car – Not many people know this, but it could potentially save you some major headaches down the road.  If you have a mechanic you know and trust (my fave in Utah is Ray’s Garage), arrange to stop by with the car you are considering and ask them to inspect the vehicle.  If you don’t have a mechanic you trust, ask your friends and family which mechanic they would recommend.

4.  You should research finance options on your own before you visit – While many dealers offer their own financing or partner with other financing companies, the best financing on a new car may be available somewhere else.  Always check with your own bank or credit union first to find out the potential terms of a loan on a new vehicle.  You should also check out other banks and credit unions to compare rates, fees, terms, etc.  If you are well informed before you visit the dealer, you will be in a much better position to evaluate if the financing offered directly by the dealer is a good opportunity or not.

5.  I don’t know everything about the cars on this lot – Many car salesmen are trained in the art of selling, instead of being trained as car experts.  Instead of simply accepting the salesman’s answers to your questions, research the models you are considering extensively online before visiting the dealership.  Compare similar models.  Price shop online. Knowledge is power!

 

Buying a new or used car should always be an enjoyable experience. Or, at the very least, not a horrible one.  My best advice? Head to Cars.com. You can search cars for sale, read specs and reviews on any car out there, AND find dealerships that have the car you want. Do your research before you go! Believe me, you won’t regret it.



Discover a New Kind of Fundraiser With Pear

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015

soccer

Have you ever had some adorable children show up on your doorstep with a basket full of chocolate that they are selling for some blah blah blah fundraiser and it’s only $1 per bar? You can’t possibly say no to that angelic face so you grab a $5 from your wallet and send them off with a smile. Then the chocolate sits on your counter for six months until you finally throw it out? Yeah. Me too.

Or, is your child the one lugging the basket of chocolate around door to door flashing his pearly whites and dimples so he can sell a few more candy bars to support the team? When, really, your team gets around 40¢ for ever $1 candy bar your cherub sells. If you are like me you are beyond tired of trying to get friends and family to buy candy and wrapping paper and other items they don’t need. This is wear Pear comes in.

For absolutely ZERO money you can help donate to your child’s fundraiser! Seriously. ZERO money out of your pocket!! It only takes a few minutes of your time. Some of the tasks you can complete are sharing on FB and Twitter. You can also just answer a few simple questions. These tasks add up to actual dollars from your sponsor and can add up quickly for your team!

I signed up with Pear for my son’s soccer team. The entire process took about five minutes. I then spent around two doing some of the tasks and have already earned $10 toward custom shirts. And I spent none of my own money. I am ridiculously impressed with how easy the entire process has been. I can’t wait to see their cute little faces when we raise enough money to get them their shirts. You can see my fundraiser page below. Obviously I will be inviting more people to join so we can get those dollars up.

pear soccer page

Sponsorship details

Get your youth soccer team up to $1,000 toward Custom T-shirts, jerseys or uniforms for your team. How? By getting sponsored by RITZ BITS on Pear! To start your sponsorship, create a group page on Pear (upload a photo of your group; it’s super easy!) and invite friends to support your group. You have 10 days to earn up to $1,000. Best of all, it’s free! All your group needs to do is complete several online actions, such as sharing a Ritz Bits video on Facebook. The tasks are all short and can be completed within minutes. The more people who join in and engage, the more money your group can earn! Everything you earn, you keep. Get sponsored with Pear today!

 

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are 100% my own.



TurboTax Deluxe $38.99

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015

TurboTax deluxe

Hurry over to Amazon and you can get TurboTax Deluxe Fed, Efile and State 2014 with Refund Bonus Offer for only $38.99.



Pay ZERO to File Your Taxes With TurboTax!

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015


Ready to pay absolutely ZERO to file your taxes this year? Of course you are!
Absolute Zero. $0 Fed. $0 State. $0 to File. For simple returns with TurboTax Federal Free Edition. Start Now.



Key Ways to Save Money While Shopping Online

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014

Key Ways to Save Online Shopping

Author: Victoria Candland

Online shopping can be very tricky. Much of the time you find yourself spending way too much by accident and then the feelings of guilt ensue. In order to avoid breaking the bank, here are a few tips to help save your cash while perusing and purchasing from online stores.

Make a List and Stick to a Budget: Make a list of what you’re going to buy even before you get on your computer. This way you don’t catch yourself needlessly buying a 15th pair of flip flops or a second polka-dot umbrella even though you live in Arizona. It’s easy to get caught up in the sales and the ease of online shopping, but you must be disciplined and diligent. Stick to a strict budget.

Research Customer Reviews: It’s hard to find the right product when you can’t actually see it before you order. It might look classy and pretty in pictures, but could actually be junky and tacky when it’s delivered to you. Make sure to delve into what other people are saying about the product before you add that new camera or blender to your shopping cart. There are normally reviews on the site where the product is listed, but look at other sites for a second opinion as well.

See If Free Shipping Is Provided: Many online website merchants will provide free shipping if you pay over a certain amount. Consider purchasing one or two extra inexpensive items that you know you will use later to take you to the price needed to get free shipping. Even still, make sure to stick to your budget. Sometimes you can also get free shipping if you are a member of the site, meaning you have a profile. You might want to consider creating a profile if you frequent the website.

Use Promotional Codes and Coupons: A quick search of the web can get you several coupons and codes—you just need to invest the time into finding them. These coupons and codes are an easy way to significantly reduce the price tag of your order when you checkout. Unfortunately, many of the offers provided on coupon sites are just ads for sales and specials that lead you to another website rather than provide you with a code. You may need to do a little sifting through Google search to find real codes or coupons. If a retailer gives the option of entering a promo code when checking out, then it’s likely there are codes and coupons out there for the product.

Search Multiple Sites for the Same Product: Just like you need to do research for the promotional codes and coupons, you need to do research to find the best deal on your items. There are many deal sites that provide the lowest prices on top-brand merchandise like Nike or Tommy Hilfiger—make sure to compare several of these sites before buying your desired product.

Watch for Seasonal Sales and Clearance Bargains: You can plan purchases months in advance for big holidays like Christmas and birthdays. Add the items to your shopping cart months in advance to get the better price, but then wait to purchase—don’t click the “checkout” button yet. Check on the shopping cart each week and see if your saved items have gone down in price. Then buy the items that have gone down in price and enjoy saving money each week!

Get a Cash-back Credit Card: Many money-conscience people avoid credit cards like the plague. But if you pay back the money in full every month then you don’t have to make interest payments. Then you just reap the rewards of earning cash back every time you spend. If you’re on the fence about signing up for a credit card, remember that there is protection that comes with shopping with a credit card rather than a debit card. If something goes wrong with your purchase, a credit company is oftentimes more than happy to help you sort it out. When making the credit card decision, just make sure you do your research before choosing.

Online shopping can be a cost-effective, fun experience if done the right way—with thought, preparation, and research. Using these tips, you can become an expert on finding the best deals the web has to offer.

 

Victoria Candland loves finding ways to save and sharing them with others. She also loves to shop, but always with a budget in mind. She uses her professional writing skills and saving expertise to write content for Treasury Vault.



Guest Post: Making Your Dollar Stretch: Save Money and Still Have Fun

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014

Author: Mary Kremer

 

Are you looking to save some money this summer but don’t want to cut out the family fun? Do you really want to make that dollar stretch? Here are some tips to help you lower your bills, get out of debt, and still have fun this summer.

 

Reevaluate Your Spending

 

If you really want to save money and become financially stable, it’s important to assess your current financial situation and make a plan. Look at your miscellaneous spending and ask yourself some questions like:

  • Where is most of my excess money going?

  • Do I eat out/go to the movies often? Can I cut that number down?

  • Am I spending too much money on retail therapy? How much money should I realistically set aside for clothing, etc.?

  • How many memberships do I have (online or otherwise)? Can I cut any out?

  • How much money is spent during travel? Could I carpool or use public transportation?

 

You don’t have to get rid of all the fun in order to be financially stable. You can certainly set aside money to be spend on clothes, memberships, and nights out on the town. The key is to remember that these needs are secondary. Many people spend about 3-5% of their total income a month on “fun.” You can adjust what fits your family. Just make sure your necessities come first.

 

Bonus Tip: One of the best ways to handle your fun money is withdraw a certain amount in cash and keep it in an envelope designated just for fun. This will help you keep track of how much money you have actually spent. When the envelope is empty, you’ve run out of fun money for the month.

 

Cut Down Where You Can

 

It’s pretty easy to cut down on your secondary expenses, but there are some simple ways to cut down on your primary expenses as well. This summer, take a few extra steps and cut down on your utilities to save money. Try:

 

  • Keeping the window shades drawn at high noon.

  • Closing off vents to unused rooms. It’ll take a load off your air conditioner.

  • Making sure your house is properly sealed. Check your windows and doors for caulking or weatherstripping that needs to be replaced. This will keep cool air from escaping and keep your bills down.

  • Running an overhead fan at night when it cools down, instead of using the AC.

  • Keeping your oven turned off. Eat cool meals or cook on a grill if you want something hot. It’ll be fun for the family and it will keep your house cooler.

 

Get Out of Debt

 

Is your family dealing with excessive debt? Focus on getting rid of it this summer. That debt is eating up your fun money!

 

Are you afraid of being eaten alive by a debt collector? Stewart Hart, of Gravitate Financial, had this advice to give to those in debt, “The best option is to explain what’s going on. Debt collectors are just trying to bridge the gap between you and the creditor and come up with the best solution to pay the money back that is owed to them. Working out payment plans or settling are the best ways for the debt to not affect the debtor’s credit and make a bad decision worse than it needs to be.”

 

Find Fun Alternatives

 

You don’t have to cut family fun to spend less money! In fact, some of the most memorable experiences your children will have will probably be on a family campout or simple activity together. To help you figure out some fun things to do, here are a few alternatives that cost little or no money:

 

  • Have a barbeque! That’s right, I mentioned this before, but it’s a recipe for fun in the summer. Just grab a few hotdogs and burgers, heat up the grill, and spend some time outside with the family. You can even cook s’mores over a grill by wrapping them up in aluminum foil.

  • Grab some water balloons and start a water fight in the backyard. When you get tired of chucking balloons at each other, string some up in a tree and make water pinatas.

  • Make your own slip and slide with a tarp and a hose. It’s as simple as that.

  • Plan a picnic and take your family on a hike.

  • Go for a bike ride or visit a nearby park.

  • Research local activities. In the summer, many cities host movies or concerts in the park for free. They’re a great evening for families and they don’t cost a thing.

  • If you’re looking for an inexpensive vacation, visit a national park. Entrance passes to most parks are very affordable, and many parks have certain days during the summer when the entrance fee is waived! Check out their sites for more details.

  • When you want to go out to eat, dine on coupons! Look for local deals and dine smart.

 

Make it a Family Business

 

Stay committed to your plans by involving everyone. When your youngest children ask why you won’t be going to the amusement park, explain the basics of budgeting and tell them you’ll be going on a fun hike instead. If you’re willing to face the music and stick to a plan, your family can become financially stable and still have fun along the way.

 



Ten Ways to Live on Less

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014

10 ways to live on less

If you are like me you are always looking for ways to save a little more green without sacrificing comfort or sanity. So here are some tried and true ways to live on less.

Make a Budget: This sounds super simple, but many people don’t do this. Sit down with your bills and a calculator (or spreadsheet, etc.) and write out what is coming in and what is going out. Then see what is left to use for groceries, gas, etc. Put any extra in savings or toward debt. Then STICK TO YOUR BUDGET! It will be hard at first, but the payoff is totally worth it.

Say no to Cable (or downgrade to a lower plan): We recently signed up for a free trial month of Netflix. And have been really impressed with what is available. It has inspired us to downgrade our satellite service to the lowest possible plan while still keeping DVR (This is my MUST). This is going to save us money every month without us sacrificing any of our favorite TV shows. You can easily do something similar. Or, to save even more get rid of satellite or cable all together and do nothing or pay $8 a month for Netflix.

Pay Cash: If you pay cash for everything you buy you are less likely to overspend. Even using a debit card sometimes makes you spend more. Because you don’t have a specific amount allowed. If you have $50 to spend on eating out for the month and you take that out in cash you are going to think twice before grabbing that breakfast burrito.

Buy Secondhand: Everything does not have to be new. Figure out what is and isn’t okay to have used for you and your family and then look for deals. Need a stroller to cart your kiddo around? Check out a local thrift shop or an online yard sale group. Most of the time people can’t give them away, which means you can score one for next to nothing! Plus, people often donate brand new or almost new items to thrift shops. Which means you can save big without sacrificing at all.

Go Homemade: Lots of things are cheaper (and taste better) when they are homemade. Make cookies from scratch, buy fruit when it’s on sale and make freezer jam, give heartfelt, homemade gifts to friends, neighbors, and teachers for holidays and special occasions. All of these will save you cash and fill your heart.

Plan Ahead: This one can be HUGE. Make a list of those you need to buy gifts for in the next few months and keep an eye out for clearance deals and sales while out shopping. Then you can snag some great gifts on the cheap and save them for when they are needed. I absolutely LOVE the Target toy sale that happens in January and July. It’s the perfect time to stock up on gifts for my kids as well as the friends of my kids for parties and such. I also like to keep a few generic gifts on hand for when they are needed for a friend. And, of course, I snag these gifts when I can get a killer deal.

Embrace the Coupon Way: This is a no brainer, right? Coupons can save you hundreds of dollars every month. I used to spend about $600 a month on groceries. Since using coupons I have cut that down to $200 a month. That’s almost $5000 a year in savings! You can do it too. Or, if that sounds too daunting, just use coupons for things you already buy to save a little here and there. Those small savings will still add up and can bring your total outgo down more then you think.

Research: In the market for a new baby swing? Before running to Walmart to grab it (because OF COURSE they have the best deal) spend a few minutes on the internet. There are often coupons and I have found amazing deals online when looking. I probably buy online 80% of the time for bigger ticket items since that is where the best deals are.

Set Goals: This is often one of my favorite things to do. Think of things that are realistic and make a plan to attain them. I have found that putting pictures of vacation destinations, dream cars, etc. on my fridge or wall will help me to stick to my budget and remind me of why I’m doing the things I am. Keep your goal in mind and you will be more likely to spend less.

Make a Decision: Sometimes this is the very hardest part to live on less. You have to make the decision to do it. If you haven’t fully committed then no matter what plan you set out, it isn’t going to work. So make sure before you do all the work to make a decision in your head. You and your spouse need to be on the same page, but once the decision is made then anything is possible.

What are some of your ways to live on less?



How to Save Money on Your Current Bills

Posted by on Jan 2, 2013

Did you know you can get discounts and deals on services you already subscribe to?
An easy way I have found to save money is to occasionally call my satellite provider, phone company, etc. and ask about current deals and promotions. They almost always have something to offer me.

 

In the past I have gotten free HBO, Showtime, and Cinemax for 3 months, $10 off my monthly bill for a year, and 1/2 off my home phone for 3 months. There are way too many examples to list in one post so I won’t go on and on.

 

Most companies are great to work with and will be happy to give you any promotions they are currently offering just to keep their customers happy. Keep in mind that some companies will want you to renew your contract with them to get these deals. Just decide before you call if that is something you are willing to do or not. It’s a super simple and easy way to save a little extra every month.


*HOT* Open an ING Checking Account & Get $125 FREE

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012

You can get a $125 bonus when you open a new ING Direct Electric Orange checking account! You must open your account by November 25.

Here’s how to earn your FREE $125 bonus:

    • Visit the ING Direct website. Click on the ING Electric Orange logo in the upper left hand corner (you can also choose to open a kid’s account and get a $10 bonus)

    • Then click the Learn More link.
    • Next, click the Apply Now link under the checking picture.

 

  • Open an Electric Orange no-fee, no minimum checking account.
  • Make a total of 10 purchases within 45 days of account opening and your $125 bonus will be deposited on day 50.

 

This is an awesome way to get some FREE money! Becky and I have both had accounts with ING for a couple years and have been very happy with them. We both opened checking accounts during a similar promo and have had no problems at all. You won’t be disappointed!



Utah: FREE Home Buyers Workshop + Dinner

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012
Complimentary Dinner Workshop (Come Hungry)
Thursday – November 1, 2012 – 6:30pm
Go to http://www.utclass.com/ to Register
Maurilio’s Italian Cuisine
3078 West 7800 South
West Jordan, UT 84088
Topics:
Plan your Tax Return to Purchase your Home

Negotiate with Banks – Buy HUD homes below list – Close in 10 days – First Time Home Buyers – Available Home Grants – Down Payment Assistance – No Money Down Programs – Buyer Short Sales – HUD Homes – Bank Owned and Foreclosures – Home Steps and Home Path – FHA Loans – Zero Down Loans.
And check out the video below to see a little bit more of what the class is about.