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car buying

Big Thing Budgeting in 7 Ways

How to Budget for the big things, use what I call Big Thing Budgeting.

  1. USE BIG THING BUDGETING TO GET OUT OF A MOUNTAIN DEBT: CREDIT CARDS, MEDICAL BILLS, PREDATORY LENDING

For Individuals, Couples and Small Businesses, you can get out of a mountain of debt if you focus like a laser beam on getting debt-free. It is not easy, but it is possible.

It will first require that you stop buying anything you don’t need. Get rid of the “I Got to Have it Syndrome”.

Start by keeping a log and inventory of your buying habits. Then slowly start to purge spending you don’t need to do. When you take an inventory of your buying habits, you will be surprised at the amount of unnecessary buying you do.
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Second, you must start paying off one thing at a time in a big way but pay on other bills at the same time. Start with the smaller bills, pay extra to those bills with the most you can afford, then pay a small amount extra to principle to your other bills — at the same time.

Big Thing Budgeting Shaves Thousands Off Your Budget       -Lois

You will see bills drop off one by one. Now, for the larger bills, you may have to start selling things you don’t need. From cars to yard sells, is where you can sell things you don’t need.

  1. BUDGET TO BUY A CAR

Save money for your next car while your current car is in good shape. Then, research the cost of the car you are interested in. Set a budget, then go through the internet and your local newspaper to see prices and figure out monthly payments, if you plan to finance. If you don’t plan to finance, you will see how much you need to save and for how long, to pay cash.

Consider buying a certified used car at a new car dealer or a one-year-old car from a new car rental agency. Make sure you know the new car prices and options on a new car so you can compare it to a new-used car with options.

Use Kelly blue book or kbb.com, to check for cars that are good for buying as used cars. You can also check for general pricing of new and used cars.

Ladies, don't get cheated buying a car.

  1. BUDGET TO BUY A HOME

Home buying requires doing a lot of research to discover 1. how much you can afford to pay for a home, 2. how to find a good mortgage company, bank, or credit union. The best place to start is your local credit union or bank due to the savings in fees, cost and time. 3. How to buy a quality home, and 4. How to get it properly inspected – some inspectors work for the realtors, so many won’t tell you when you the home you are interested in has major problems.

Therefore, it is best to contact tradesmen directly, like electricians, plumbers, roofers, and carpenters to get a fair assessment of possible home repairs.  Most of them will do an inspection in their specific area for a small fee.

Use at least 2 of each kind, so you can get a consensus as to what is wrong.  You can then budget for the down payment and escrow cost to purchase your next home.

Therefore, it is best to contact tradesmen directly, like electricians, plumbers, roofers, and carpenters to get a fair assessment of possible home repairs.

There is a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Buy Cars, Homes, and Education       -Lois

Most of them will do an inspection in their specific area for a small fee. Use at least 2 of each kind, so you can get a consensus as to what is wrong.  You can then budget for the down payment and escrow cost to purchase your next home.

Make sure you know exactly what your payment will be in regards to your loan. What will your payment be with Principle+Interest+Insurance+Taxes? You can also do mockups of an imaginary home to calculate what you should pay.

Ask friends or family what they pay for insurance and taxes for a home you are interested in. Taxes vary from state to state, you can also search your state websites. In some states, taxes go up as home values increase, but in others, the taxes stay the same.

Dream your best home - secrets to successful car buying tips for women

  1. BUDGET FOR VACATION

Don’t put your vacation on a credit card when you can save a little all year and pay cash for your vacation. It is as simple as that. Budget in transportation, food, lodging, tours, and shopping.

If you want to go on the cheap, vacation where you have family members or friends who live in or nearby vacation spot. Pay your family member to stay with them, or cover their restaurant costs and meals. Do the math, and see what works out.

  1. BUDGET FOR COLLEGE

Some people are obsessed with the “best college syndrome” due to the college propaganda machine.

If you have unlimited money, you can go where you want. But, if you must depend on financial aid, which usually includes substantial student loans, that is not an option. If there is one thing you want to keep as low as possible, is student loans.

Since there is 1. never a guarantee you will get a job in your field or keep it, 2. There is not a guarantee you will get a job that pays in accordance with your student loan 3. you can’t file bankruptcy on student loans.

Because of these items 1-3, you should keep student loans as low as humanly possible. That means avoiding high priced schools and high-priced areas to live in for college. The least expensive schools are community colleges, and state colleges and universities.

There are some colleges that are priced like state colleges and universities, but you must do your homework and compare all cost. Private colleges and universities are unreasonably high cost and they have a lot of hidden costs, which makes the total difficult to calculate.

The for-profit schools offer quick learning and high prices. Today, some of them are now calling themselves non-profit due to the unpopularity of the for-profit model.

Private colleges and universities are unreasonably high cost and they have a lot of hidden costs, which makes the total difficult to calculate.  The for-profit schools offer quick learning and high prices. Today, some of them are now calling themselves non-profit due to the unpopularity of the for-profit model.

The for-profit schools do massive advertising on television and the internet, this is your main clue. All colleges and universities have their cost listed on their websites. Make sure you find these costs and know exactly what you are getting into before you consider any college.

Your total student loan balance should not surpass your first years’ salary.  Example: If you plan to be a teacher and your first year’s income is $25,000, your student loan should be capped at $20,000. Understand the details of student loans with the eBook on student loans.

Don't stop thinking about your finances

  1. BUDGET TO PAY OFF STUDENT LOANS

There ae people all over Pinterest bragging that they paid off $60,000 of student loans in 5 years. This is possible due to re-amortization. When a loan is amortized to 20 years by your loan servicer, you can amortize it to 10 years by paying extra to principle every month.

If you have a 10-year loan, you can knock it down to 5 years. You can live tight, give up the finer things in life, and knock down those years with extra payment to principle.

You have to check your statements to make sure the extra payment is added to principle and you have to state that on your check, they will always try to put the extra to interest, even though it makes no sense. Big Thing Budgeting is essential when it comes to student loans, if not done correctly, these loans can follow you to your grave.

You have to check your statements to make sure the extra payment is added to principle and you have to state that on your check, they will always try to put the extra to interest, even though it makes no sense. Big Thing Budgeting is essential when it comes to student loans, if not done correctly, these loans can follow you to your grave. Learn more on my instagram.

  1. PREDATORY LENDING

Understand the way predatory lending works such as car title loans and payday loans. Why are many cars confiscated with a car title loan? Why do payday loan balances go from $500 To $3500?

I would have to write another article for an explanation, but a car title loan can easily double or triple if the money isn’t paid on the date due repeatedly, and a payday loan gets a rollover when the employee does not have the money to repay the loan on time.

Both problems push the balance way up over the top.  The most effective way to pay off these loans is to stay away from predatory loans. Using predatory lending is probably the direct opposite of using Big Thing Budgeting, don’t get caught in the predatory lending trap. Predatory lending also includes car title loans, unsubsidized student loans and high interest car loans.

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Home buying the right way take skill

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Big thing budgeting in 7 ways, budgeting for a home and other things

Your 3 Investment Stops To Start Investing

Don’t Let Negative Thinking Place You in Investment Stops, Start Investing Now

Here are 3 investment stops to start investing money for retirement, savings, vacation or just a rainy day. It is essential if you want to ever retire, you must know how to invest.

The 3 Major Investment Stops

I don’t have enough money to invest.
I have to pay off my bills first.
I have money to invest, but I am afraid.

What is stopping you from starting to invest? Three of the most common investment stops are listed above. What can you do to start yourself to invest?

There are many inexpensive ways to start investing. You can open an investment account with a broker that sells shares or partial shares of stocks.

You can open a mutual fund account with a mutual fund company that will allow you to start with a small amount of money. And finally, you will have to shed some old baggage about investing, for example, “I will start investing when I get my bills paid off,” or “I am afraid to invest.”

Start With the Right Investment Priorities:

Invest in the right car
Invest in the right home
Learn comprehensive investing in mutual funds, credit scores, budgeting,
saving money, and student loans. Learning low debt strategies is essential.

You don’t have to have a lot of money to start an investment account.

There are mutual fund companies that will allow you to start an investment account for as little as one hundred dollars. You can add as little as twenty-five dollars a month.

The monthly additions work to significantly increase your account due to dollar cost averaging.  Low-cost, low-risk mutual funds have a tendency to be less complicated than stocks. But, low-risk dividend paying stocks of stable companies are a good research vehicle as well as mutual funds.

There are companies that will allow you to invest in a few shares or partial shares of stock starting with as little as eight dollars a month. Then, adding eight dollars a month to your account to purchase these shares or partial shares of stocks .

I have to pay off my bills before I start to invest.

It is a good idea to have your debt well under control before you start to invest. The interest rates on outstanding debts sometimes are in excess of the interest rates on investments. Coupled with compounded interest, high debt payments can be excessive.

There is an easy way to invest after you have your bills under control, that is to treat your investment as “just another bill.” Before you know it, you will have a significant investment account.

Do you have plenty of money to invest, but you are simply afraid? I think the term for that is, “fear of the unknown.” That is probably the easiest investment stop we address in this article.

Study the investment tutorials in my eBook and course; Step by Step Car Buying Tips for Women, that can save your financial life. You can download it instantly, and the eBook is practically free, the price is so low.  

Then, you can go on to understand high level home buying tips, so you buy the best house for the best prices.  Now move on to my free discovery session and enjoy the preponderance of money information there.

Use these 3 investment stops and invest with the right knowledge

Lois Center-Shabazz | Money Strategist | Personal Finance Coach

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Buying a New Car, The Pros and Cons

Buying a New Car

There are many pros and cons to buying a new car. Below, I attempt to outline some of the most important factors to consider before you decide which car is best for you.

NEW-CAR DEPRECIATION

Depreciation is the value cars loose after you drive them off the lot, different cars depreciate at different values. Some cars have a high depreciation rate, and some have a low depreciation.

Potential new car buyers research the depreciation schedule of the car you are interested in.

Depreciation will not affect you much if you plan to keep a car for several years, and you will eventually get the value for your car. But if you change cars in a few years you will be affected and may even lose money.

The pros and cons of new car buying, it takes skills

In the past, if a new car was in an accident you could lose money due to the difference in what you owe versus the depreciated value, this happens if you don’t put down a large down payment.

Now, there is something called gap insurance, that you can purchase when you buy your new car and put down a low-or-no down payment. Gap 
insurance doesn’t always work, but it sometimes helps.

There are many ways you can research the depreciation of the car you are interested in, by searching the many car analysis websites, before you decide on a car.

According to Edmunds, one on the many car analysis websites, on average a new car loses 11% of its value the minute you drive it off the lot.

During the first 5 years, the average car depreciates by 15%-25%. After five years the average car is worth 37% of what you paid for it at the dealership.

THE MOST EXPENSIVE WAY TO BUY

A new car is the most expensive way to buy a car when you consider the price of the car is at the top, and you must pay new car warranty service.

Insurance is the most expensive due to the loan value and replacement cost, and car registration or taxes are at its highest.

The ultimate guide to car buying for women
FIRST YEAR WARRANTY SERVICE

New cars have a warranty for the first year, and most have additional warranties for major items that go on for 5 to 10 years. To keep your first-year warranty active, you must get warranty inspections, usually about every 3 – 6 months. 

Maintenance schedules vary according to make, model, and car manufacturer, your dealer will give you the maintenance schedule.

A major area many inexperienced new car buyers forget to include in their budget is the cost of the new car warranty service.

Get this information from the car dealer, before you decide on your car. Some new cars have a hefty new car warranty service.

The cost of the new car warranty service is what causes financial problems for many inexperienced persons.

Find out what the new car service cost before you purchase a new car. It is required to keep your first-year warranty in effect.

RECALLS OR LEMONS

There are those who think if they buy a new car, they will have the perfect car with no problems. That is not true. Pay attention to the recalls on new or near new cars.

You can research the recall schedule for the car you are interested in. One person, I talk to about car recalls told me he was forced to park his near new car because he kept getting recall notices.

He got a total of 37 recalls by the time I talked to him and simply did not have the time to take the car to the dealer at that time.

If these recall issues are not resolved, it can cost thousands of dollars in repairs down the line if the car is passed on to someone who does not check for the recalls.

It may also make the car unsafe to drive if the recalls are not addressed.

LOW MAINTENANCE VERSUS HIGH MAINTENANCE CARS

Low maintenance cars have two advantages. One, they don’t take a lot of your time. Two, they don’t take a lot of your money. Constant unexpected major car repairs are a large part of budget busting.

You can look up car maintenance history on cars at all the car analysis sites. New cars with high maintenance schedule should be avoided, this is another hidden cost.

During the car note period and after the warranty period, a high car maintenance bill could cause you to park it until you have maintenance money.

A low maintenance car is a more affordable option. Some cars have a high repair rate as near new cars and some have low repair rates as used cars.

If the potential owner maintains a regular maintenance schedule, with regular oil changes and tune-ups, and when something goes wrong it will be taken care of early.

Long Term Performance

Some cars last for several years without major problems some only last a few years. Check out the long-term performance of your car to see if you have a high maintenance car that requires a lot of repairs as a used car.

New Car Research

There are websites all over the internet where you can research new cars for cost, depreciation, new car repairs, warranty cost and just about anything else you need to know.

The following come to mind – Edmunds, consumer reports, Carfax, Kelly blue book (kbb), and many more. The important thing is that you do your research before you buy the car.

–Helpful Tools–

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

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Big Thing Buying of Homes, Cars and Student Loans for Women

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Fantastic Finances Poll For a Personal Finance Bounce

Help Us Create a Great Fantastic Finances Course for You.

We’re VERY close to finishing our long-awaited Fantastic Finances Course For a Personal Finance Bounce.

I have been working on this online course for more than four years, but I am finally going to wrap it up. I will be releasing it in September. This very short fantastic finances poll will help us help you get the right course.

fantastic finances pollThis course will be entirely focused on “Support and Positive Financial Change”. It will include eight weeks of printed pdf’s, 8 complete personal finance books by Lois Center-Shabazz — in the form of downloadable eBooks, video tutorials on 8 crucial personal finance topics, a guide to create your Most Valuable Finances (MVF) profile, a complete course outline to guide you through the Most Valuable Finances Course, a Facebook support group, and a weekly live question and answer session with Money Pro and course founder,  Lois Center-Shabazz.

It is going to be a complete brain dump of everything we know about “Support and Positive Financial Change”.

We are going to cover all the ways that we use to generate our support and positive change zones, and we are going to show you exactly how we change those zones to increase your net worth and financial IQ for life.

HOWEVER, we need your help. Before we finalize everything and send it off to the web course portal, we need to make sure we have covered everything. So please help us create the right online course with this Fantastic Finances Poll For a Personal Finance Bounce

This is where YOU come in. Please take a few minutes to answer this super-short survey — there is only one thing we want to ask you.

YOUR POLL QUESTION: What are YOUR top two questions about Support and Positive Financial Change that we absolutely NEED to answer in our Fantastic Finances Training Course? —->
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How to Buy a Car From a Private Owner

BUY A CAR FROM A PRIVATE OWNER 

HERE ARE 3 OF THE MOST USUAL WAYS CAR BUYERS BUY A CAR FROM A PRIVATE OWNER

The main things a buyer needs to look for is legal ownership, that the car has DMV registration, and a car that has no outstanding recalls or major mechanical problems.

If the car has major problems the seller should disclose all problems with the car, so the asking price will be based on the true value of the car.

Just as I have recommended before it is important to get the VIN# and license plate of the car. The first research with these items should be with your local department of motor vehicles – they will verify the legal ownership and registration of the car.

You can follow up your research with the online services that give you information about the car via the VIN# and license number.

Here are 3 of the most common ways to buy a car from a private owner:

  1. BUYING FROM A CLOSE FAMILY MEMBER, NEIGHBOR, OR FRIEND

The best opportunity is when you buy a car from a person you are close to because you are more likely to be familiar with the functions and mechanics of the car.

Also, a family member or close friend will be more likely to let you know what the true status of the car is. Even if you know the person well, it is still important to verify the status of the car–it’s ownership and legal status.

Learn car buying skills like a pro

  1. BUYING FROM A NEWSPAPER AD

This is a little more complex way to buy a car from a private owner who you are not familiar with. The verification process is crucial in this situation.

It is rare but, there are those who sell cars that don’t belong to them. They use false identification and sell stolen cars that have not yet been reported, or through some other process.

Because of the many ways strangers can sell illicit cars, it is important to take your time and go through a verification process. Start with asking for a driver’s license and car registration that match, before you look at the car. Make sure the car is insured before you test drive it.

  1. BUYING FROM SIGNAGE ON A PARKED CAR

Some cars are left on the side of the road by their owners with signs “for sale”. Those that are parked in the driveway of the owner’s home is the best bet because you have their address, if it matches the registration, it is most likely their car.

If it is parked on the side of the road, it may or may not belong to the seller. So, be cautious and go through the verification process.

Make sure you 1. See the seller’s driver’s license, 2. See the car registration, 3. Take the VIN#, 4. The license plate number on the car – all this should be taken to the DMV and other verification websites. Of course, again, make sure the car is insured before test driving it.

The ultimate car buying course for women

Buying a car from a private owner can be tricky, some have been found to be stolen, and some are simply bad cars. Remember to always get these cars checked out by a mobile mechanic.

And, make sure the VIN#, which appears in the lower corner of the front windshield always matches the car description.

From the VIN#, you can also get the history of the car such as reported car accidents, totaled out cars that are patched, flooded cars and history of owners.
An excerpt from the eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Car Buying for Women” by Lois Center-Shabazz

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency
Personal Finance: Author, Blogger, Course Creator, Money Strategist

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The ultimate guide to car buying for women

The ultimate guide to car buying for women

3 Surefire Ways to Save Money on Car Buying

How to Buy a Car From a Used Car Lot For Women

Buy a Car From a Used Car Lot

If you must buy a car from a used car lot, here are some helpful suggestions to protect your safety and your finances.

1. RESEARCH CARS THAT PERFORM WELL AS USED CARS

Before you think you can buy a car from a used car lot, especially if it is five or more years old, do a search for a similar make, model and year online. Find out 1. what buyers and dealers are asking for that make and model with x number of miles on the car, 2. What is the maintenance history of the car from frequent breakdowns to cost,  3. How long does this type of car last without major problems?

With this knowledge, you won’t be inclined to overpay for a car on a used car lot, since you know the maximum you should be charged. Used car dealers get their cars from various sources, 1. Some are from car auctions where cars are rejected by new car dealers, who take used cars as trade in’s for new cars. 2. Some cars are purchased directly from sellers, 3. Some cars are obtained illegally – this is where VIN# and license plates are important to investigate.

Learn car buying skills like a pro

2. SHOW ME THE CARFAX AND DMV REPORT

If the used car dealer tells you that you don’t need a Carfax, DMV or other reports with your car, go elsewhere. The Carfax report, as well as other reports, can tell you if you are looking at a bad car. I consider it a bad car if it has been in an accident–and was considered totaled, or a  flood, or has an excessive number of owners, or if it has a questionable title.

Make sure you take a picture of the VIN# with your cell phone ( it is on the lower windshield), then you can go home and get your own Carfax report and check with the DMV that the car has not been reported stolen or severely damaged. Periodically stolen cars find their way onto used car lots.

3. DON’T BUY A USED CAR FROM A USED CAR LOT UNTIL YOUR MECHANIC CHECKS IT OUT

This sounds like a lot of trouble, but it can save you a lifetime of pain and financial loss. There are mobile mechanics you can pay to meet you at a car lot and look at the car you are interested in. Make sure that mechanic goes over the car thoroughly. If it is in bad shape, listen to the mechanic. Some dishonest used car lots sell badly damaged cars that look ok on the outside.

Some used car lots sell certified used, with an expensive warranty, but they are known for not certifying their cars. Have your own mechanic certify the car before you think about buying it, if your mechanic says the car is ok to purchase, consider putting the certification money in the bank, so you can fix it as needed.

The when you buy a car from a used car lot and get and purchase a warranty, a certified warranty can cost as much as $2000 or more.


4. IF THE CAR YOU ARE INTERESTED IN IS LESS THAN 5 YEARS OLD

See if a car less than 5 years old has the original manufacturer’s warranty with it. Many cars are sold with a 5 year or 10-year manufacturer’s warranty on the powertrain. The original manufacturer’s warranty could be voided for many reasons, including if the original owner did not take the car in for warranty servicing during the first year or if the car was in a bad accident or flood.


5. Women, Please Take a Man With You

Ladies, don’t go it alone. I was told growing up not to purchase a car alone. Especially a used car because, unfortunately, there are still far more men who study car maintenance than women. Many men will know immediately when a car is started if there are serious problems. If not after starting the car, they can see if there are things under the hood that signal major problems.

With this said, please take a Dad, a brother, a best male friend, a boyfriend or husband when you feel that you have to buy a car from a used car lot. Unfortunately, I have a few very sad stories of women who went to buy a car at a used car lot alone and the results were disastrous.

Save Money, Don't Get Cheated When Buy a Car


6. IMPORTANT NUMBERS TO CHECK ON A USED CAR

The VIN# tells a lot about a car. You need it to verify that the car is in sellable and buyable condition with the car report services such as carfax.com, Kelly Blue Book, or kbb.com and your state, DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). The next most important number is the license plate.

These numbers will tell you if the car is registered to the current owner which should be the used car dealer. I know a few people who found out their car was not registered to their used car dealer after an accident or ticket.

They found out the 30-day temporary registration was never valid, and they never got their “pink slip” or legal ownership paper. If you don’t get a “legal registration” in 40 days, contact the car dealership, then the DMV.

The car should be registered the same day you purchase it at the dealership if it is a legitimate dealership. There was a recent news story where people had new – used cars confiscated from their driveways, the VIN# on their cars were traced to a stolen car ring, but each of the individuals purchased their car from, what they thought, was an honest used car dealership.

Don’t be in a hurry to buy a car from a used car lot, take your time, check it out.

Every used car is required to have a “Buyers Guide” affixed to the car window, it gives information such as a no dealer warranty, or dealer warranty. Read the “Buyers Guide” sticker on the window carefully, when it says “as-is” that is what they mean, as the car may not run after you leave the lot, but you do have 3 days to rescind your contract, so get the car inspected quickly.

Far too many people never read the sticker on the window called the “Buyer’s Guide”, and pay for their negligence later.

When you buy a car from a used car lot the process is very serious. You must know that the car lot has a good reputation and sells good, legal car or you could suffer for years to come with a bad car, a bad loan or both.

Excerpt from the eBook “The Ultimate Guide to Car Buying For Women” by Lois Center-Shabazz

Lois Center-Shabazz | Course Delta Agency

Interested in a Free Discussion about how I can help you with Fantastic Finances? Let’s Chat – Make an Appointment Here

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Resources: Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Finance Protection Board

Get Resources: The Free Personal Finance and Small Business Tools

The ultimate guide to car buying for women

The ultimate guide to car buying for women

buy a car from a used car lot