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How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car

How Not to Get Ripped Off When Buying Your First Car

Cars aren’t something you change every week—once you decide to get your very first one, you should do it properly. There’s a lot of people out there who want to take your money and give you something not as valuable in exchange, which is why you need to be careful.

First of all, you should understand the fact that this project isn’t difficult and that anyone can get a nice vehicle. It doesn’t really matter if you’re not that knowledgeable when it comes to cars or not. That being said, you should go through the next six steps of buying your first car.

Limit Your Budget

You need to be realistic about this; so my suggestion is to give it some serious thought. When getting your first car, you should know that its price isn’t only about what the money you give to purchase it—owning a vehicle will add a certain amount of money to your monthly bills because you’ll have to pay for gas and repairs as well.

Therefore, when you’re trying to decide on a budget, you should make sure that you will be able to afford maintaining your new car.

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Decide On A Model

    Naturally, your budget will determine the quality of your car, but you should also think about what kind of model you are in need of.

    If you need a family car you should go with something spacious like a caravan or a van.

    On the other hand, if you need a vehicle for yourself to drive to work you don’t have to overthink; get something that doesn’t spend too much gas and that you find comfy.

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    This is the part of your project where you need to do research, so take your time so that you can learn about vehicle specifications in order to find a combination that works for you.

    Test Different Vehicles

    The best way to be certain about your decision is to test every vehicle that you consider purchasing. Do so several times per vehicle. Many people find it uncomfortable to go to the same car lot over and over again and ask to test the same vehicle; this is a feeling you need to shake off right away.

    This is not the time to be shy. Getting your first car is an investment into your your future and you should take it seriously, which is why you should get back and test different vehicles as many times as you consider necessary.

    Find A Nice Car Dealer

    Know that a car salesperson works on commission and it’s in their interest for you to agree on a bigger amount of money so that they can earn more. This doesn’t meant they are out to get you; it’s simply something to be aware of.

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    Know The Pros And Cons Of A Car Loan

    If you have credit issues, you should know that you’re not the only one (quite the contrary). So if you’re thinking about getting a loan for your car, make sure to get familiar with the pros and cons so that you know exactly what to expect in the future.

    Used Cars Need an Inspection

      When you set your mind on purchasing a used car you should put another thing on your to-do list: finding a good mechanic. The fact that a vehicle is used doesn’t imply that it’s not in good condition, but you should be extra careful about it and make sure that it goes through a thorough inspection by someone you trust before you sign anything.

      You May Need To Haggle

      I saved the most difficult for the end—this is something you either have in you or you don’t. If you’re like me and get embarrassed at the mention of money, you’ll need help with getting a car from someone who’s highly capable in negotiating for you and lowering the price until it’s reasonable.

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      I know this sounds scary when you lack the necessary experience—the only thing you need in order to complete this project successfully is time. When you take things slow, go through all of your options and do your research properly you will manage to get yourself a vehicle that meets your needs.

      Image Credit: Car in the snow via https://www.pexels.com/photo/car-road-snow-winter-12875/ Woman on car via https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-white-shirt-laying-on-green-car-hood-29842/

      Featured photo credit: Pexels.com via pexels.com

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      Published on November 8, 2018

      How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

      How to Answer the Tough Question: What are Your Salary Requirements?

      After a few months of hard work and dozens of phone calls later, you finally land a job opportunity.

      But then, you’re asked about your salary requirements and your mind goes blank. So, you offer a lower salary believing this will increase your odds at getting hired.

      Unfortunately, this is the wrong approach.

      Your salary requirements can make or break your odds at getting hired. But only if you’re not prepared.

      Ask for a salary too high with no room for negotiation and your potential employer will not be able to afford you. Aim too low and employers will perceive as you offering low value. The trick is to aim as high as possible while keeping both parties feel happy.

      Of course, you can’t command a high price without bringing value.

      The good news is that learning how to be a high-value employee is possible. You have to work on the right tasks to grow in the right areas. Here are a few tactics to negotiate your salary requirements with confidence.

      1. Hack time to accomplish more than most

      Do you want to get paid well for your hard work? Of course you do. I hate to break it to you, but so do most people.

      With so much competition, this won’t be an easy task to achieve. That’s why you need to become a pro at time management.

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      Do you know how much free time you have? Not the free time during your lunch break or after you’ve finished working at your day job. Rather, the free time when you’re looking at your phone or watching your favorite TV show.

      Data from 2017 shows that Americans spend roughly 3 hours watching TV. This is time poorly spent if you’re not happy with your current lifestyle. Instead, focus on working on your goals whenever you have free time.

      For example, if your commute to/from work is 1 hour, listen to an educational Podcast. If your lunch break is 30 minutes, read for 10 to 15 minutes. And if you have a busy life with only 30–60 minutes to spare after work, use this time to work on your personal goals.

      Create a morning routine that will set you up for success every day. Start waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier to have more time to work on your most important tasks. Use tools like ATracker to break down which activities you’re spending the most time in.

      It won’t be easy to analyze your entire day, so set boundaries. For example, if you have 4 hours of free time each day, spend at least 2 of these hours working on important tasks.

      2. Set your own boundaries

      Having a successful career isn’t always about the money. According to Gallup, about 70% of employees aren’t satisfied with their current jobs.[1]

      Earning more money isn’t a bad thing, but choosing a higher salary over the traits that are the most important to you is. For example, if you enjoy spending time with your family, reject job offers requiring a lot of travel.

      Here are some important traits to consider:

      • Work and life balance – The last thing you’d want is a job that forces you to work 60+ hours each week. Unless this is the type of environment you’d want. Understand how your potential employer emphasizes work/life balance.
      • Self-development opportunities – Having the option to grow within your company is important. Once you learn how to do your tasks well, you’ll start becoming less engaged. Choose a company that encourages employee growth.
      • Company culture – The stereotypical cubicle job where one feels miserable doesn’t have to be your fate. Not all companies are equal in culture. Take, for example, Google, who invests heavily in keeping their employees happy.[2]

      These are some of the most important traits to look for in a company, but there are others. Make it your mission to rank which traits are important to you. This way you’ll stop applying to the wrong companies and stay focused on what matters to you more.

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      3. Continuously invest in yourself

      Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. Cliche I know, but true nonetheless.

      You’ll grow as a person and gain confidence with the value you’ll be able to bring to others. Investing in yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, you can read books to expand your knowledge in different fields.

      Don’t get stuck into the habit of reading without a purpose. Instead, choose books that will help you expand in a field you’re looking to grow. At the same time, don’t limit yourself to reading books in one subject–create a healthy balance.

      Podcasts are also a great medium to learn new subjects from experts in different fields. The best part is they’re free and you can consume them on your commute to/from work.

      Paid education makes sense if you have little to no debt. If you decide to go back to school, be sure to apply for scholarships and grants to have the least amount of debt. Regardless of which route you take to make it a habit to grow every day.

      It won’t be easy, but this will work to your advantage. Most people won’t spend most of their free time investing in themselves. This will allow you to grow faster than most, and stand out from your competition.

      4. Document the value you bring

      Resumes are a common way companies filter employees through the hiring process. Here’s the big secret: It’s not the only way you can showcase your skills.

      To request for a higher salary than most, you have to do what most are unwilling to do. Since you’re already investing in yourself, make it a habit to showcase your skills online.

      A great way to do this is to create your own website. Pick your first and last name as your domain name. If this domain is already taken, get creative and choose one that makes sense.

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      Here are some ideas:

      • joesmith.com
      • joeasmith.com
      • joesmithprojects.com

      Nowadays, building a website is easy. Once you have your website setup, begin producing content. For example, if you a developer you can post the applications you’re building.

      During your interviews, you’ll have an online reference to showcase your accomplishments. You can use your accomplishments to justify your salary requirements. Since most people don’t do this, you’ll have a higher chance of employers accepting your offer

      5. Hide your salary requirements

      Avoid giving you salary requirements early in the interview process.

      But if you get asked early, deflect this question in a non-defensive manner. Explain to the employer that you’d like to understand your role better first. They’ll most likely agree with you; but if they don’t, give them a range.

      The truth is great employers are more concerned about your skills and the value you bring to the company. They understand that a great employee is an investment, able to earn them more than their salary.

      Remember that a job interview isn’t only for the employer, it’s also for you. If the employer is more interested in your salary requirements, this may not be a good sign. Use this question to gauge if the company you’re interviewing is worth working for.

      6. Do just enough research

      Research average salary compensation in your industry, then wing it.

      Use tools like Glassdoor to research the average salary compensation for your industry. Then leverage LinkedIn’s company data that’s provided with its Pro membership. You can view a company’s employee growth and the total number of job openings.

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      Use this information to make informed decisions when deciding on your salary requirements. But don’t limit yourself to the average salary range. Companies will usually pay you more for the value you have.

      Big companies will often pay more than smaller ones.[3] Whatever your desired salary amount is, always ask for a higher amount. Employers will often reject your initial offer. In fact, offer a salary range that’ll give you and your employer enough room to negotiate.

      7. Get compensated by your value

      Asking for the salary you deserve is an art. On one end, you have to constantly invest in yourself to offer massive value. But this isn’t enough. You also have to become a great negotiator.

      Imagine requesting a high salary and because you bring a lot of value, employers are willing to pay you this. Wouldn’t this be amazing?

      Most settle for average because they’re not confident with what they have to offer. Most don’t invest in themselves because they’re not dedicated enough. But not you.

      You know you deserve to get paid well, and you’re willing to put in the work. Yet, you won’t sacrifice your most important values over a higher salary.

      The bottom line

      You’ve got what it takes to succeed in your career. Invest in yourself, learn how to negotiate, and do research. The next time you’re asked about your salary requirements, you won’t fumble.

      You’ll showcase your skills with confidence and get the salary you deserve. What’s holding you back now?

      Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via unsplash.com

      Reference

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