Monday, February 2, 2015

Tips When Buying A Used Car

Buying a used car can save you a ton of money on your next vehicle. But with that comes risk as well. Minimize your risk by taking a look at these 5 easy steps on how to locate, price and negotiate.

Build a List of Cars You Want 

Avoid going into the process with only one car in mind. Put together a list of 3-5 makes and models that have you interested. Remain flexible, and you will have the best chance to find value in your price range.

Check the History of the Vehicle 

By using the vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate, you can access history reports about any car you would like. These reports often have information that is crucial to the buying process. If the report is negative, try looking for a completely different vehicle.

Give it a Test Drive 

Trying out the car in person is your best bet to seeing if it is in good condition. It’s also your chance to see if it fits you right. Is it easy to get in and out? Is there enough room? How about the visibility? These are all vital to the final purchase of the vehicle

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate 

People usually tense up when it comes to negotiation. Head into the conversation relaxed and make sure you are comfortable with the seller. Start with a low offer, but make sure it’s not too outrageous. Make sure you know exactly how high you will go before talks begin. Be patient, but never be afraid to walk out.

Close the Deal 

Before you make the final purchase, keep in mind that you have just bought a used car “as is”. That means there are no promises or guarantees after the sale is finished. After you have completed the purchase make sure the old owner has transferred title and registration to you. Also, make sure you update your insurance policy as soon as possible.

Team up with Financial One Credit Union to get a great interest rate and repayment options on your next used car loan! We provide helpful, member-focused service throughout the entire process.

Wherever you are, wherever you're going, we're here to get you there!

Money Saving Valentines Day Tips

Between the flowers, fancy restaurants and extravagant gifts, Valentines Day can end up being one of the most expensive days of the year. Making the perfect plans for you and your loved one can be nice to think about, but when you measure the costs, sometimes you can end up biting off more than you can chew chasing the movie-based romantic dream. This Valentines Day, keep in mind some of these money saving tips.

The Flowers:

Flowers are a quintessential part of the big day. When purchasing flowers, keep in mind that the longer they are kept cool, the longer they will last. Try not to buy flowers from venues that are outside, or kept somewhere too warm. Also, when buying flowers online, pick them up from the store. Most delivery trucks are not refrigerated and you never know which stop your flowers will be on. Look for tight bulbs in bouquets, cut the ends of the stems off after a day or two and use the food!

The Dinner:

Rule #1: stay away from restaurants! Most places are nearly impossible to get into without a reservation a month in advance, and when you do get in they can be crowded, loud, and anything but romantic. Instead, pick another area of your home to have dinner. Sprinkle some flower petals on the floor, light some candles, and even a delivery pizza will seem much more intimate and romantic (not to mention lighter on your wallet!)

When it comes to the dessert, go for something light after a big meal. A small sorbet does wonders. Also, most people do not know the difference between good champagne and bad champagne. If you really want that extra boost for the evening, go for it, but we say skip the fancy bubbly.

The Gifts:

In times when DIY is all the rage, try out some new gift ideas made with your own two hands. A card hastily picked out from hundreds of options at a grocery store won’t hold a candle to one written in your own handwriting with construction paper hearts pasted to it. If you do go for the extravagant route, research before you buy. Online sites may say they are certified, but you cannot be sure of what you are getting until it arrives.

This Valentines Day, try something a little different. Saving money doesn’t have to mean skimping on the one you love. Try something new as a couple that you have never done before. You just might end up making memories far more special and any “store-bought” day will never be able to compare.