Are you Ready for a New Car?

Whether you’ve had the same car for a number of years or are looking to buy your first one, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself before taking the next step and buying a new car.

How are your Finances?

 

One of the first things you should look at when considering whether or not you’re ready to buy a new car is if you can realistically afford it. In addition to the actual car payments, you’ll need to have enough contingency money set aside to cover any unforeseen expenses and you’ll need to check how much your insurance is going to cost each month.

How are you planning on financing your new vehicle? Have you already been pre-approved for a loan through your bank (the best option) or are you planning on getting financing directly through the dealership? What about your down payment – do you have enough saved up or should you wait a few more months until you’ve got a more comfortable savings buffer?

Have you done your Research?

 

Make sure you have a list of vehicles you’re interested in rather than just focusing on one specific make or model. As dead set as you might be on a certain vehicle right now, you may be surprised to discover that it doesn’t feel like the right fit when you finally see it in person and/or take it for a test drive.

What is the environmental impact of the vehicle you’re interested in? Assuming you’re not buying an electric or hybrid vehicle, how much will it cost to fill the tank with gas? Are there any promotions or deals online that could help you save some additional money? Have you considered buying a used car or leasing a vehicle rather than buying new?

Remember to expand your reach beyond just the dealerships immediately closest to your home. On top of doing price comparisons online, visit and speak to different dealers to ensure you’re getting the best deal

If you’re still uncertain, a good rule of thumb is to see what the general consensus is online from other owners of the vehicles you’re considering buying. While you should never take the word of a stranger on the internet as gospel, reading reviews can be a great resource when you’re trying to narrow your choices down.

You’ll know your done researching when you’ve found a short list of vehicles that appeal to you aesthetically, that complement your lifestyle, and that fit comfortably within your budget.

Continue reading “Are you Ready for a New Car?”

How to Save Money when you Live in the City

save money city

Whether you live in the city yourself or just hear the people you know complaining about it, calling Toronto (or any other major city) home can be a huge drain on your budget. Between skyrocketing rent and mortgage prices, parking costs, taxes, food, and entertainment, living downtown can do a number to your bank account each month. We know living in the city costs more than living anywhere else, but what can you do to keep yourself under budget?

toronto

Why is Living in the City so Expensive?

Let’s start with the easy question. As mentioned above, the typical expenses that tend to hit city-dwellers the hardest are rent/mortgage payments and car costs (for insurance, gas and for parking).

Toronto recently overtook Vancouver to become the most expensive city in the country to rent a one bedroom apartment in; it’s pretty clear where a huge chunk of the average city dweller’s income is going each month.

Continue reading “How to Save Money when you Live in the City”

What is Credit Utilization?

credit utilization

Payment history is an easy enough term to understand, but what about credit utilization? While you may be familiar with the concept of a credit score and how it’s important to make yours as strong as possible, most people don’t truly understand the key factors that contribute to building and maintaining said score.

credit utilization

There are 5 core factors that credit bureaus take into consideration when calculating your score:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Credit Utilization (30%)
  • Age of Credit (15%)
  • Mix of Credit (10%)
  • Credit Inquiries (10%)

Continue reading “What is Credit Utilization?”

What NOT to do When Buying a Car

buying a car

Whether it’s your first time buying a car or not, here’s a list of the things you should avoid before buying a car.

Don’t Spend More than you Have

Being able to budget well is a really important skill to possess – especially when it comes to keeping your own financial situation in check. Buying a car is a big investment. You can’t just cross your fingers and hope you’ll be able to make your payments each month.

Continue reading “What NOT to do When Buying a Car”

So You Bought a Lemon

bought a lemon

You’ve just shelled out thousands of dollars for a new car. You’ve been assured by the dealership that it’s a fantastic vehicle and you won’t have any problems. But then you’re driving your kids to school and your car just … stops working. Or even worse, you’re on the highway on the way to work and your car breaks down apropos of nothing. The worst case scenario for every new car owner has come true for you. You bought a lemon.

Continue reading “So You Bought a Lemon”