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Want a Good Money Management Strategy? Buy a Used Car
My father is a fairly well-to-do businessman. As a kid growing up, I never understood why Dad never bought a new car. He always came home with a used car and I thought it was because we were poor. As an adult, I now understand that buying a used car was part of Dadís overall wealth planning strategy. Did it work? Well, heís retired comfortably, wealthy, and still driving used cars.
Now, as a kid, I had no idea what depreciation meant. Now that Iím older and wiser I realize that once you drive your new car off the lot, the value drops dramatically. Generally speaking, a new car can lose 30% of its value in the first two years of ownership. To my Dad, this was clearly a waste of money. So, why not buy gently used, and let someone else swallow the 30% loss?
Dad had a theory about good money making habits; pay cash for things that depreciate and use credit for things that appreciate. A car depreciates so if you can, pay cash. Things like real estate, antiquities, art and investments appreciate so, for these things itís OK to borrow money.
I have yet to own a new car. Iíd like to someday but invariably, I inherited my Dadís logic on money management. So recently I paid cash for my gently used Cadillac. It may not have had that new car smell but, it felt new, it had low mileage, a great history, and I fell in love with the experience of driving a Cadillac. And, because Iím self-employed, the car and all the expenses are a tax write off. Should I ever get land on hard times, I donít have to worry about the vehicle as a burden. Itís an asset that I can sell at any time.
Before you buy new or used, have a look at the financing options available to you and decide which option makes more money making sense to your current situation. Whether you are paying cash, leasing or financing, you really need to research how a new or used purchase helps your overall money management strategy.
For example; for people with a poor credit history due to divorce, bankruptcy, a business failure etc, a car loan may actually help you repair your damaged credit. I makes both short term and long term sense to work with a reputable used car dealership that can help you achieve your credit repair goals. A good cash down payment will help keep those monthly payments lower, and a small manageable monthly payment plan will go a long way to helping rebuild your credit.
So, if you are buying a used car, here my ten top tips to consider before you go shopping:
1. Have clarity on what you can afford. Know your budget!
2. Should you need financing, make certain you know what you are cleared for before you go shopping!
3. Save up your money for the deposit and have the deposit ready in case you find what you are looking for!
4. If you know the make and model you want, call your insurance company ahead of time to get a quote to make certain this is in line with your monthly budget. For example: 2 door cars are often considered sports cars by insurance companies, and may be much more expensive to insure over a 4 door family vehicle.
5. Make sure you buy from a reputable dealer
6. As a rule of thumb, look for cars with low mileage. I recommend under 60 thousand km.
7. Test Drive your car to make certain you love it! Check everything: body condition (check for rust), high speeds, low speeds, wiper, radio, air conditioner, heater, reverse, engine, sunroof etc. Make certain it has all the likings you want!
8. Once you found the car you love, get the vehicle checked out by a reputable mechanic. Make certain they check for rust, evidence of accidents, or any major parts that could result in being a potentially expensive problem such as engine, suspension, steering, brakes, tires, etc. Ask about the vehicle history and warranties.
9. Be knowledgeable about the price. Research the price on the web or via other dealers to make certain you are getting a fair price.
10. Finally, make sure you negotiate. It never hurts to try and negotiate even if youíre not any good at it. Chances are youíll get a deal just for asking.
About the Author: Posisitive money attitudes and persoanl wealth strategies are what Paul Tobey teaches as a motivational speaker. You can learn how to fix bad credit repair and how to get a bad credit car loan.