Most consumers are under the impression that by waiting until the last few months of the year, they will be able to negotiate the most competitive price on their new vehicle purchase. While this may have been true decades ago, it is the exception rather than common practice in today’s marketplace. Why?
The main reason is that most manufacturers do not wait until October to launch new products. Today, they are introducing new products year round to drive consumers into their dealerships to shop. Historically, the auto manufacturers introduced their new vehicle lineups in October and huge rebates and incentives were introduced at that time to move the old inventory. Consumers, who were patient and willing to drive the previous year’s model, knew that they could wait and negotiate a lower price than at any other time of the year.
Further, with product introductions year round, year-end rebates are typically uncommon, but do come into play when manufacturers are trying to be the market leader in a particular vehicle segment. For instance, if the sales volume race between BMW and Mercedes is running close in November, December might bring retail incentives, usually in the form of a very competitive lease program, to help drive business so that one of them can proudly advertise “First Place” in a particular product segment. While this claim is typically unimportant to the consumer, the benefit might be a low monthly payment not otherwise available during the rest of the year.
For most consumers, however, shopping at year end should not be any different than shopping during any other time of the year. Here are 5 Quick Tips to keep in mind as you begin the process:
- Always start with a loan preapproval from your credit union. Knowing how much you are approved for, and being comfortable with your monthly payment, is critical to know BEFORE you go car buying. Remember, he who controls the financing controls the transaction.
- Use the resources you have at your fingertips. The Internet is an informative place to begin your research. There are many sites that will allow you to view pictures of new models and numerous owner forums that will let you know about product and service issues that you wouldn’t normally encounter before purchase. You can be in the know with very little effort.
- Buy a car magazine a month or two before you purchase to understand the state of the auto industry. If you read about a truck segment battle going on, watch for an increase in rebates and/or other retail incentives. Waiting a week or two to purchase may save you some money!
- Always test drive the vehicle BEFORE you purchase. Many consumers think they want a particular vehicle because of the styling, but driving it is the ONLY way to confirm that it FITS YOU. We do not recommend buying a vehicle sight unseen. Feel it, touch it, see it and drive it!
- Finally, if a professional and reputable car buying service is available to you, take advantage of it! Our credit union partners with Auto Advisors and they have assisted over 70,000 credit union members in Florida and Georgia with the purchase of a new or used vehicle. This service is a no cost member benefit of our credit union and we highly recommend you take advantage of their knowledge and expertise. You can reach them at 800.929.8971 or http://www.autoadvisors.com.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius. We hope you do what you love, but if not it’s never too late to start a career that truly matters to you. This post by NerdWallet shows you the best and worst jobs in America. Enjoy!
Labor Day and Black Friday aren’t the only days great for saving. It turns out the entire Fall season is a great time to buy big ticket items, incuding cars and wedding gowns. Head to the link below to see what else you can save big on this Fall (maybe even stock up on Christmas presents while you’re at it).
Achieving financial security before your 30’s
Diverse, tech-savvy and easily distracted are some ways to describe a Millennial, someone born between 1980 and around 2000. This generation experienced 9/11, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings. But maybe the thing that has shaped this generation and its spending habits would be the 2009 recession. Many of us saw how our families and friends were hit by this recession. Now Millennials are graduating high school, college, starting families and paying off those student loans we knew would come around about six months after college. Maybe you’ve thought about getting your first place, leasing a car, or investing in a mutual fund. Either way, it’s time to start budgeting for your future.
- Pay Yourself First
SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! Put the money away before you have the chance to spend it. Open up a savings account at different credit union and have some of your paycheck directly deposited to that account. You won’t even realize the money is gone until you remember once in a while and check the account.
- Good Debt v. Bad Debt
Many of us are taught to avoid debt at any cost. But what about when you need to pay for school or when you start looking for a home only to realize you haven’t built any credit for lenders to determine if you’re a good risk. There are two types of debt: the good and the bad. Good debt includes student loans, mortgages and business loans because they typically have lower interest rates and are considered an investment for the future. Bad debt is anything from credit card debt, car loans and personal loans. This debt has higher interest rates and can be prevented with a little smart planning.
- Employer Plans
It’s never too early in your career to think about retirement plans. Start putting money into your 401(k) every year. Many companies will match every dollar an employee puts in their 401(k) with around 50 cents. You might not be able to get this season’s sunglasses but you could be able to retire a few years earlier with proper planning. Retirement > Sunglasses
It’s all about budgeting. The 50/20/30 rule is great because you don’t need a certain salary to maintain it. It’s just an example to follow. Use these percentages to help you budget your lifestyle
- 50% goes towards essentials like housing, food, transportation and utilities. It may seem high but it gives you room to adjust and keep your budget in check.
- 20% goes toward your financial obligation such as savings, from retirement to emergency savings, and credit card debt.
- 30% towards whatever you want; entertainment, cell phone, cable and gym memberships. Anything that isn’t necessary to have will go in this section
These are just a few steps to maintaining financial security for all the Millennials out there. Good luck! To manage all of your finances with BrightStar Credit Union, go to Online Banking and use Money Desktop for all of your account to see where all of your money is going.
Beaches, barbecues, and the blistering heat is what we expect for South Florida’s summers. Wouldn’t it be nice to take a vacation and visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Of course it would be. But tapping into that savings account unexpectedly would make anyone a little nervous.
At BrightStar Credit Union, we want to help make all of your dreams come true. Whether it’s a road trip to Savannah, Georgia or flying across the world to Fiji. When you open a vacation savings account, you can set aside money to make your wildest traveling dreams a reality. Here are some tips that will help the most careless spender save for their next summer vacation.
- Establish a Budget
Creating a budget is easier said than done. When you’re budgeting for a vacation, expenses can range anywhere from food to flights. If you’re working with a smaller budget, consider a staycation. Naples and Marco Island are just a few beach towns in Florida that are a couple hours away with numerous things to do. If you’re working with a larger budget why not start saving for the trip of a lifetime. Your list of expenses will be a bit longer if you have to include flights and passports. (If you’re a shopaholic like me don’t be afraid to put a little money aside for those must-have vacation shoes.)
- Open a FREE Savings Account at BrightStar Credit Union
Now that we’ve established your budget it’s time to do something about it. When you open a Checkings Account at BrightStar Credit Union you get a free Savings Account that will help you set aside your hard earned money. As long as your balance is $25 or more in your Savings Account we’ll pay you interest at a higher rate than most banks. At BrightStar Credit Union, members receive full benefits which includes being an equal shareholder.
- Save Money Automatically
But what happens if you forget to transfer your money over? No worries my friend. Here at BrightStar Credit Union we will help you set up automatic transfers to your savings account that can take place weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. There’s no need to stress about when you’ll find time to head to one of our many branches across South Florida. BrightStar Credit Union offers FREE Online Banking where you can check your account activity and transfer more money.
Now that you have all of these helpful tips, head to you nearest BrightStar Credit Union with locations in Davie, Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderhill, Margate, Pembroke Pines and Pompano Beach. One of our Member Service Representatives will be happy to help you create a savings account for the trip of a lifetime.
Mark your calendar and plan to attend BrightStar Credit Union’s Free Financial Fitness Fair, Thursday, January 30, 5:30 p.m. Get on track for a healthier financial future. Free seminars, snacks and giveaways. Location: Walter C. Young Middle School (901 NW 129th Ave, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028). Click the image for more information.