Tips and Tricks for Buying a New Car


Ready to purchase a new car? Before you sign those papers, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Get your loan pre-approved. By having your loan approved ahead of time, you can usually save several percentage points on your interest. Do some research and look for a loan that will keep monthly payments down without stretching for too long.

Research new car prices. You probably know which vehicle you want, so take some time to check out the current value and the common prices of the vehicle before you head to the car dealerships. It’s easier to negotiate if you know the true value.

Compare prices. Check different car dealerships for prices. You could save quite a bit of money this way, which could be used to add some bells and whistles to the car, if you like.

Finish the paperwork before leaving. If you head home before the papers have all been approved, you may end up getting a call later that the financing didn’t work out. This can be used to get you to agree to less favorable contracts.

Skip the extras. You don’t really need things like fabric protection, paint sealant, etc. You can eliminate these and the cost from your payments and simply find a cheaper option later.

Buying a new car may sound complicated, but it involves a lot of common sense. As long as you know what you want and stay firm on it, you’ll get good deals.

The Top 3 Family Cars of 2015


Looking for good family cars this year? There are a number of vehicles designed to accommodate families, but some are better than others. Here are three of the best options.

Honda Odyssey

This vehicle is one of the top picks for family cars, thanks to the ability to add three booster seats to the second row if needed. Parents will also enjoy the built-in vacuum cleaner to get rid of pesky crumbs, as well all the extra cargo space.

Honda CRV

This compact SUV looks great and is perfect for those parents who don’t want to end up in the minivan category. However, the car is also very fuel efficiency, with 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway. It also has some features you’ll normally find in luxury cars and fits five people easily.

Buick Encore

If you live in a busy city, this tiny, yet spacious vehicle is ideal. It fits three children and two adults while still maintaining its sleek, SUV look. It’s also a luxury vehicle and even features its own mobile hot spot for easy online access when needed.

Depending on your particular needs, one of these three top family cars of 2015 is perfect for your family.

Top 4×4 Cars: Off-roading Never Looked So Good


Maybe you enjoy off-roading with 4×4 cars, or maybe you just live in a hard-to-reach place. Either way, these vehicles are some of your best options for tough terrain.

Toyota RAV4

Even if you’re headed off road, this car will give you the feel of a regular vehicle. You won’t even notice that you’re in 4×4 mode until you actually head through some actual terrain. On top of this, the RAV4 is a comfortable vehicle and one that gives you a nice, gentle ride.

Hyundai Santa Fe

The Santa Fe is notable for its confort level. This feels like any of your top luxury cars inside, with plenty of cargo space if you fold down the back seats. It’s also great for handling troublesome roads and heading off the beaten path.

Volvo XC90

With the ability to pull 2250kg, the XC90 is a pretty impressive vehicle. It’s one of the few SUVs on the market that is also a family vehicle, with the ability to place three booster seats in the middle row. However, kids or not, it handles very well once you leave the asphalt and is definitely high on the list of vehicles to buy for rough terrain.

It doesn’t matter what you’re planning on doing with your vehicle, these 4×4 cars are ready for action. Buy used and you’ll get a good deal on them, too.


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Hybrid Cars


Hybrid cars are rapidly growing in popularity, but there’s still a lot of misconceptions about these vehicles. Do you know everything about these green cars?

  1. Hybrid cars have longer warranties. These vehicles are so reliable that they usually come with a five year warranty, whereas regular vehicles come with just three years.
  2. The car parts tend to last longer. Hybrid vehicles use long-lasting parts which require less maintenance. Even the brakes are designed to avoid wear and tear.
  3. Save up to 35% of your fuel. The fuel efficiency of a hybrid isn’t just about using electric. The vehicles actually switch between methods as needed to give you optimum performance.
  4. Electric motors use nickel metal hydride batteries. What does that mean? These batteries can be recycled 100% and leave virtually no toxins behind. They really are green.
  5. Hybrid cars have been around since 1902. That’s when Ferdinand Porsche built the very first working hybrid. It was called Mixte.

Most car dealerships can help you choose the right hybrid for your needs, but the fact is, these eco-cars are here to stay. They provide bigger savings on gas, as well as considerably less impact on the environment.

How to Compare Life Insurance and Not Get Ripped Off


No one likes paying more than they have to for anything, especially life insurance. Unless you live dangerously, you probably won’t need your life insurance for decades to come. That’s why it’s essential that you compare life insurance policies and find the best option for your needs.

Start by choosing the type of life insurance you want to purchase. This will have a big impact on how much you pay. You’ll also want to decide the amount you need. In general, this should cover the main income earner’s wages for 10+ years, as well as pay off any debts, mortgages, etc. immediately. In fact, mortgage insurance may be a good option if you currently pay one. This way, if you die, the mortgage is automatically paid for, leaving your family in a better position.

Once you have a good idea of what you want, start checking out life insurance companies to find the best price. Since you have list of what you need in life insurance, it should be simple to find the price for the exact same coverage with several different companies.

It’s important to compare the same coverage so you can accurately decide which package is the best choice. There’s no point in comparing apples and oranges. You should plan to get quotes from at least 4-5 different companies so you have a clear idea of what to expect.

3 Hybrid Cars to Keep an Eye On


Hybrid cars are really coming into their own these days and there aren’t many companies that don’t offer a hybrid. Some new car designs, however, stand out from the rest and are worth watching if you’re in the market.

Ford C-Max
With a SUV style exterior, the C-Max is remarkably similar to the Ford Focus. With dual electric motors, the car is fun to drive and is currently being updated to offer even more capability. It takes just 7.9 seconds to go from 0-60 and has a top speed of 104 mph. Not bad for a hybrid.

Toyota Prius
Car dealerships are seeing an influx in interest in this vehicle. With its slick lines reminiscent of a sports car, this vehicle is best known for incredible mileage and a top speed of 115 mph. What it doesn’t have, however, is oomph in acceleration, but you’ll be saving so much money on gas that you might not even mind.

Chevrolet Volt
This smart looking vehicle gets around 50 miles on a full charge, but the real selling point is the fact that it drives like a gas engine all the time. It’s not incredible when it comes to acceleration, but is still more than enough to keep drivers happy.

Watch for the upcoming versions of these hybrid cars, too. New car innovations are constantly popping up and being added.

New Car vs. Used Car: Which is Better?


When you decide to buy a new car, the big question is whether to buy new or used. There are car dealerships for each option, so you might need to do a little research. Both have their pros and cons.

New Cars
Heading to a new car dealer can be exciting. There’s nothing like being the first person to own a vehicle and drive it off the lot. Along with that new vehicle smell, however, comes a hefty price tag. You’ll pay a nice amount for the privilege of being the first owner.

New vehicles will drop in value instantly, so it’s important to understand this when buying. On the plus side, though, there are financing options and you can choose the features you want included. There’s also a warranty.

Used Cars
In general, used cars will be considerably more economical to purchase than a new car. However, you can expect to pay cash up front if you’re buying from the owner. Certified pre-owned car dealerships will offer special financing.

While used cars are, well, used, they can still be in great condition. Look for vehicles that are still relatively new to get the best deals. Many car owners will sell off last years’ model in order to get the latest one, which means you can pick up a vehicle for a fraction of the price with low mileage.

While new means the latest and greatest, used can lead to more satisfaction. In the end, you choose.

Can You Afford a New Car?


Your vehicle may be great, but eventually, you’ll need a new car. The problem is, when you’re on a tight budget. Can you really afford to buy new? That depends on a number of factors.

Trade-in Value. Your current vehicle can be traded in, reducing the cost of your new car. It might not be enough for a luxury car, but you will be able to afford something at the car dealership.

Down Payment. The amount you pay up front will reduce your monthly payments, so it’s worth saving up and paying down what you can in the beginning. Your trade-in can count toward this, as well.

Taxes and Fees. When calculating just how much you’ll need to purchase your new car, keep in mind that there are taxes and assorted fees that will come into play, as well. If you are taking out a loan or doing car payments, don’t forget to plan for the interest, either.

Planning ahead and saving up or borrowing a little money so you can pay a larger down payment can make it easier to afford a new car. Be reasonable about what you can afford and run the numbers several times before you make a decision to avoid future issues.

Interest Free Credit Cards: What You Need to Know


Credit card offers are notorious for very high interest rates, so interest free credit cards are quite the catch. Or are they?

The zero interest rate is not permanent, so before you decide to take a company up on their awesome offer, you’ll want to find out how long the interest free period lasts. Some are very short, just a few months, while others are for the full year or even longer.

While no interest is definitely a good way to start out, particularly if you have a year to pay the card off, there are some down sides. First, you should be aware that any remaining balance on the card once your free period is up will be charged at a high rate of interest. Each card differs in how high they go with this rate.

These credit cards can be a good deal if you know how to handle them. Start out by choosing one that offers a relatively long period of 0% interest. You can then charge to it without worry, but keep an eye on your calendar so you can be sure to pay everything off by the end of the period. After this, it’s up to you whether you want to continue using the card or not.

Book Your Hotel for Less with These Simple Tricks


Who wants to pay full price for a hotel room? Whether you’re staying in a one star hotel or a five star motel, discounts are often possible if you know what you’re doing.

Ask for a discount. One of the simplest methods of reducing the cost of a hotel room is simply asking. If there’s no immediate discount, ask if they offer other discounts, such as:

  • AAA
  • Seniors
  • Teacher/Student
  • Costco or Sam’s Club
  • Military

Look for coupons. Check online for hotel coupons, especially for chain hotels. You may be able to save up to 20% on your room.

Book directly. When you go through a travel agency or site, you’re paying extra in most cases, to give them a commission. Instead, call the hotel or book directly on the hotel’s site to save money.
Find rates on your phone. Using your phone to search for the best rates can actually get you a much cheaper room. A number of travel agencies offer up to 40% off for mobile booking.

Work your charms. Be extra nice to the booking staff when you arrive and ask them if there is an upgrade available. You could end up with a better room for the same price as a regular room.

These tips and tricks can make your vacation more affordable and more comfortable.