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Did You Know Car Financing is Negotiable?

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Today we have a guest post from the Car Negotiation Coach offering advice on car financing. The Coach’s blog provides people with practical negotiation strategies and financial advice on car purchases. Whenever one of my friends buys a new car, I always ask them what interest rate they got on their car financing. And it always surprises me how little effort they put into finding a competitive rate. It’s often a percent or two above the best rates available at the time. They devote time and effort to researching car prices, driving around to several dealerships, and trying to drive a hard bargain with salesmen. But once they get what they believe is a good price, they put down their guard and consider the deal done. When they walk into the Finance office, they just take whatever rate the Finance Manager offers them. What most people don’t realize is that shaving off a couple of percentage points of interest can make a huge difference and car financing is negotiable. For example, a $15,000 loan with a rate of 7.5% paid over 5 years results in a monthly payment of $300. That same loan with a rate of 9.5% would have … Read more

Spending Less Than You Earn

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I hit on the main ways of diagnosing your financial health in this past post.  I’m going to use Wednesdays to go further in depth on each point since I truly believe that financial health leads to less stress and happier lives. The first point was to spend less than you earn.  This means that the money you have going out needs to be less (hopefully a lot less) than the money you have coming in.  Constant, overwhelming debt is not healthy for you or your future. List Your Income and Expenses In order to spend less than you earn, you need to know how much you earn and how much you spend.  I’d suggest writing down your known monthly income and expenses first.  Then spend a whole month adding anything you missed to that list.  Not only will this be a definitive picture of your spending and salary, but it will give you a great start on beginning a budget as well. Ways to Widen the Gap If you are not where you want to be once you’ve seen this list, you do have options: 1)  Decrease your spending. 2)  Get a better paying job. 3)  Find other income sources. Decrease Spending … Read more

Fit in a Fun Friday – Expensive Dreams

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My friend Desiree is an astronomy addict. She and her husband, Mitch, were the ones who took me to the George Observatory a few weeks ago to take my first real look at Saturn. She also found out that she could do way more star-gazing for free if she joined a few astronomy clubs in and around our area. At her first meeting, they showed her a close-up of the moon like she had never seen before on a 42” screen attached to a Takahashi telescope. She’s now jonesing for this $18,000 astronomy machine… The weird thing is, even though I’m a frugal, money-hoarding squirrel, I think she should get one if it would truly enhance her happiness. I greatly value happiness. I also believe that money can be used as a tool to achieve greater contentment. Being in the poor house doesn’t lead to peace of mind, so I also highly value budgeting. So, I suggest saving for a HUGE splurge the same way you’d save for anything else. Set aside a certain amount of money from every paycheck for the item of your dream. Desiree could be the proud owner of a Takahashi in 5 years or less … Read more

The Fun Stuff in My Budget

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Today, Mr Credit Card from is going to talk about the fun things in his budget. He has also compiled his thoughts on the best credit cards offers available today if you looking for one. Hope you enjoy this post Your budget serves many purposes. The most obvious one is to plan how much you intend to spend your money on different things. Budgeting is such a useful tool to know where your money goes and helps you decide where to put your limited resources to good use. However, very often, budgeting feels like to drag especially if you are looking to reduce debt or squeezing every cent to make ends meet. But as the title of this blog suggest, budgeting can be fun too! So in this post, I would like to touch on some of the fun things that I budget and plan for in our household’s budget. Saving For Vacation – This one is a biggie for us. We take a couple of family vacations every year. And we try to see different places each year. Our budgets for vacation vary every year depending on the circumstances. Normally, we have to save for airline tickets and … Read more

The BFS Way to Diagnose Your Financial Health

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Are you financially fit and healthy? Take this quiz to find out if your finances are up to par. I did ok, not great. What's your score? Diagnose your financial health with me!

There seems to be all sorts of ways to measure your financial health, but here’s the list of points I’d keep an eye on: 1)  Am I spending significantly less than I earn? If I’m not, I’d take a look at my spending, make a budget, and cut the unnecessary expenses. If that didn’t fix it, I’d look into getting a better-paying job or at other income sources. 2)  Do I have a solid emergency fund? If I have at least 3 months of expenses (preferably 6 months or more), I’d move on. Otherwise, I’d start funneling cash into an emergency account. Even starting with $50 a month is better than no backup fund at all. 3)  Am I saving enough for retirement? I’d take a look at a few retirement suggestions and figure out if I’m on track. If I’m not, I’d look into my options. Do I have a 401k, IRA, or a Roth IRA? Would one of these work for me? 4)  What kind of debt do I have? If I do have some, I’d make a little list and see what I could eliminate. I’d start paying off high interest debt like credit cards before attacking car … Read more