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How to Negotiate with Car Salesmen and Get the Best Deal

How to Negotiate with Car Salesmen and Get the Best Deal

    Like lawyers and dentists, few people actually enjoy having to deal with car salesmen.  They’re a necessary evil that often leave consumers with a bad taste in their mouths because of the tactics they employ to get people to purchase a new vehicle.  Coming out of the negotiations with a new car and a great deal on it can happen, if you go about things the right way.

    Secure Financing Ahead of Time

    When you’ve decided that it is time to buy new vehicle, instead of heading straight out to the dealership, visit your local credit union or bank and secure financing in advance.  Car dealers make a lot of their profit on financing deals, and you can save a lot of money by getting your auto loan through a reputable third-party ahead of time.  Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to head out to the dealership and take a look at the vehicles, although it is a good idea to do some research in advance and figure out which ones you might be interested in.

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    Go In Well-Rested

    You’ll want to make sure you’re well-rested on the day that you go to pick out your new car.  Don’t go when you’re rushed or overtired, or after a long day at work.  You need to be 100% there mentally if you want to come out of it with the best deal possible.

    Ask to See the Invoice

    Once you’ve found the car you’d like to purchase and the dealer takes you into his office or cubicle to begin the wheeling and dealing, ask to see the invoice.  This will tell you all kinds of information about the car, but most importantly, how much the dealership paid for it.  Keep that figure in mind as you negotiate what you’re willing to pay.  Sure, they’re going to make a profit, but knowing that number can help you lead negotiations in the direction of minimizing their profit and lowering your overall cost.

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    Just Say “NO”.

    The first thing that you need to know when it comes to negotiating the price of the vehicle you’re interested in purchasing is that “NO” is your best weapon.  Arm yourself and be prepared to use it, possibly even multiple times. Don’t let them strong-arm you or sweet talk you into something that you would not be comfortable with. Take a cue from my 18-month-old toddler and say it like you mean it (head shake optional).

    Let Them Come at You With an Offer

    The dealer will ask you some basic information about yourself, such as your name, address, and so on.  Answer honestly.  Most will start off the price negotiations by asking you how much you’d like to pay per month.  An appropriate answer to this question that will throw them off their game is “I’d like to pay zero.”  You might get a chuckle or a “wouldn’t we all” type comment before the salesman resumes his attempts to get you to provide him with a magic number that you’d be willing to pay them each month for the privledge of driving the vehicle of your choice.  They might ask you what you are paying now.  If your car is paid off, answer “Zero.”  If you are still making payments, give them an honest answer. Do not make the mistake of giving them a price you’d be willing to pay each month.

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    For your best chances at scoring a good deal, make them come at you with an offer.  No salesman would tell you that the amount per month you’re willing to pay is a lot higher than the deal that you could possible walk away with.  Car salesman get a minimal salary for hanging out at the dealership, but can make their riches in the commission they earn by selling cars. Their goal is to maximize their commission and the profit for the dealership. Your goal is to minimize their commission and the profit they make to get the best deal on your new vehicle. Get them to give you a number, and when they do, it’s time to begin negotiating.


      Bring an Extra Set of Keys

      If you will be trading in a vehicle to help offset the cost of the new one, don’t leave home without taking two sets of keys with you.  One tactic that dealers try to employ during the negotiations process is to look at your car and then kidnap your keys.  If you bring along second key they can’t hold you hostage.  Just make sure to give them the key that is a cheap copy, not one with a fancy key-fob or remote.  The idea is, if negotiations go sour and they try to hold you captive while hanging on to your keys, you can walk right out the door without having to worry about getting the key back.  They’re not expecting this, and will chase after you with promises of a better deal.

      Inform the Salesman That You Already Have Financing & Finalizing the Deal

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      Do not, I repeat, DO NOT inform the salesman in advance that you’ve already secured financing.  Keep this a closely guarded secret until the time is right.  If they know that you already have financing, it will change the way they deal with you.  The time to make the big reveal is once you’ve agreed on the final price of the vehicle.  Your credit union loan or other third-party auto financing will likely have better rates and terms than what the dealer is offering. At this point, pull out your calculator and utilize your financing details to figure out how much you’ll be paying in the end.  More than likely, it will be less than what you would have paid had you used dealer financing.

      Conclusion

      Follow this advice and I guarantee that you’ll walk out of the dealership with not only a new car, but also the satisfaction of knowing that you got the best deal you could have gotten. It feels a lot better than getting screwed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars.

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      Last Updated on January 2, 2019

      How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

      How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

      Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

      Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

      Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

      This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

      Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

      What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

      Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

      When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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      How It Leads to Financial Improvement

      It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

      Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

      Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

      It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

      Types of Personal Finance Software

      When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

      Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

      For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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      Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

      When to Use Personal Finance Software

      So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

      Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

      1. You Have Multiple Accounts

      There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

      If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

      Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

      2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

      Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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      There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

      With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

      3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

      Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

      Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

      Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

      4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

      Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

      You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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      How to Get Started

      From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

      Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

      It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

      When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

      Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

      Final Thoughts

      Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

      In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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