How to finance an auto purchase

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Asian car driver woman smiling showing new car keys and car. Mixed-race Asian and Caucasian girl.
Asian car driver woman smiling showing new car keys and car. Mixed-race Asian and Caucasian girl.

Paying the full payment for a new or used car is often not possible for most. Luckily there are financial institutions that can assist you to get the vehicle you’ve always dreamed of. When obtaining your auto financing, it is best to not approach your car dealer and instead obtain auto financing from a financial institution.

You should look at allocating 20% of your disposable monthly income for your car payment. This will include all other expenses like insurance and fuel costs as well. It is best to avoid long-term car loans, as you will pay a lot in interest, instead, choose one for 3-5 years.

Payment in cash – When you visit a car dealer to look at your options, it is a good idea to tell the dealer that you will be paying in cash and this will signal to your dealer that you are not interested in dealer or manufacturer financing. Informing the dealer early on about your payment plan will also prevent the dealer from padding the deal for extra profit. This method will also give you the ability to focus on the features and the price of the car and not worry about the monthly payment figure.

The purchase price – Avoid opting for a car lease, which is similar to a car rental. At the end of the lease, you will pay more to buy the car, than a similar used car. Look for pre-own factory certified cars. This is a smart choice as it means that the car has been inspected, fixed and is road worthy.

Tips to Save on Credit Card Processing

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woman-paying-with-credit-cardThe costs for small business credit card processing can add up pretty quickly if you’re not careful, but there are some things you can do to try and lower those costs.

Review Your Contract

Most payment processing companies will require you to have some kind of contract filled out in order to process your new account. Usually, these contracts hold you to a period of about two years and contain language that defines your fee structure. Pay close attention to any discounts, to be sure you can meet the requirements to utilize them, and make sure your account is setup properly to take advantage of the fee structure.

If you have the option to utilize phone support during setup, do so.

Reduce Fraud Risk

Payment gateway services process transactions at a set rate, but fraudulent transactions can cost money when they are reversed. Get too many of these transactions and it may even trigger removal of your merchant account. If you become a high risk, reducing your fraud risk will eventually help to correct that status and get lower fees on transactions as well.

The best way to stop fraud? Swipe as many of your customer’s cards as possible!

Shop Around

If your first option is to go to a bank, then definitely shop around. Banks usually contract this processing to another company, so you’re paying extra fees to cover those costs and using a branded terminal. Why pay those extra fees if you can just go to the source yourself? Shopping around will ensure you find a contract with a good fee structure, and discounts you can actually use.


For more than 20 years, Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. has been the easiest and most affordable solution for accepting credit cards online.

Financial tips for young adults

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eharperfinanceUntil personal finance becomes a subject in high school or college every young adult needs to learn how to manage their finances. Unfortunately, most don’t and as a result go out into the world without any idea on how to manage money. Here are a few tips to get your started:

Learn self-control

It is important to learn the art of delayed gratification. It will make managing your finances and saving money that much easier. Credit cards make it very easy to buy something immediately, even when you cannot afford it. Avoid those traps and only buy something that you have the money for. If not, then save up and buy it.

Setup an emergency fund

One of the smartest mantras in personal finance is “pay yourself first”. Regardless of how much your commitments are, always put away something. The starting point is your emergency fund. Set yourself a target of an emergency fund that will cover your expenses for three or six months. Once that target is hit, then look at other saving accounts.

Start saving for retirement

Thanks to compound interest, the sooner you start saving the less money you will have to contribute to hitting your retirement targets. The sooner you hit your retirement target the sooner working becomes optional and you can do anything else you want. Some companies provide retirement plans for their employees. This is beneficial as the money goes in pre-tax and some even match your contribution.

Six ways to protect you and your clients from financial fraud

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eharprefinanceBusinesses should learn to protect themselves and their clients from financial fraud.  Here are six tips and tricks that can help you and your clients secure your financial future.

For you;

Reconcile your accounts – You should make the time every month to personally review your accounts, although an accountant my handle your financials. You should do this by calculating a list of financial formulas each month and review the information against the previous months/years. This way if there are any large changes, you can look into the information in more detail.

Look at your credit report – Use online services to review your credit report to identify any fraudulent behavior.

Set up alerts – Alerts through mobile banking will give you up to date information on how your money is being spent. Apps such as Dasheroo and PowerWallet are good, to give you accurate information. These apps are also accessible through your computer.

For clients;

Inform your clients of mismanagement – If you hear of any mismanagement in the industry, inform your clients by email or mail.

Back up your notices – If you have sent an email or mail notice, it is good practice to call your clients over the phone and recheck if they are aware of the notification.

Sample notifications – Save samples of notifications that can be quickly amended and sent to clients. This will save you time and avoid errors that can be made when writing fresh content.

 

5 Financial tips for young adults

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eharprefinance.Most young adults are clueless on how to manage their money and most often find themselves living an existence of barely managing from one paycheck to the next. Here are 5 financial tips for young adults that will leave you comfortable and prosperous.

Learn self control – It is important to learn the art of delayed gratification. Instead of buying an item on credit as soon as you want it, try saving up the money and buying something straight off. Use your credit card only for emergencies and for the special offers that they provide.

Take control of your own financial future – It is better to understand how to control your money better, than letting your family or friends dictate your financial future. Read a few books on how to make the most of your personal finances.

Know where your money goes – Budgeting is a very good way to understand where your money is being spent. Once you understand where your money is going, you will understand that making small changes can make a big difference at the end of the month.

Start an emergency fund – It is good to pay yourself first, so that you have some money saved in case of an emergency. Set aside a percentage of your earnings, which are transferred from your account automatically to a savings account every month.

Start saving for retirement now – Saving up now for your retirement, will mean that you will have a stable income once you get old and are unable to work

3 Best online Banks of 2016

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eharprefinance july 2016Online banks provide you with the ease of doing your banking with less visits to the bank. This gives you the flexibility to complete your transactions in a very short time, in the comfort of your own home. Here are the 3 best online banks that have been selected on the basis of their fees, interest rates, yields and customer service.

Ally Bank – Ally bank is one of the best online banks, mainly because they have no maintenance fees on checking, high savings and CD yields. They also offer 24/7 telephone customer service support with live online chat and a mobile app. You can also use any Allpoint ATM for free. If you use another ATM the bank will reimburse you up to $10 for any ATM surcharges.

Bank5 Connect – Bank5 Connect is known for its competitive rates, no monthly checking fees and great customer service features. Although the bank does not offer 24/7 customer service, they do provide live online chat features, a mobile app and remove check deposit. You can also use any ATM and bank surcharges up to $15 will be reimbursed.

EverBank – With attractive rates on its checking, savings and CD accounts, this is a good choice for people who have funds of $1,500 or more. With 24/7 phone customer support, no monthly maintenance fees and no ATM fees, this is good bank to consider. The bank will also reimburse all ATM fees, if you have over $5,000 or more.

5 of the best items to buy from best buy

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eharprefinance june 2016The store’s slogan read “Expert service. Unbeatable price.” The best buy chain also claims that with more than 1400 stores at present that it “offers expert service at an unbeatable price more than 1.5 billion times a year.”

This is definitely true in a variety of products, specially on electronics. Here are the 5 best deals at best buy.

Televisions – Best buy is mainly an electronic retailer and therefore offers the best deals on televisions. Most deals will give you 25% off plus free shipping. For a further discount, look at buying your TV during thanksgiving or black friday. Apart from this, best buy offers a price match guarantee on local and online competitors.

Major Appliances – If your looking to purchase your next major appliance such as refrigerators, dishwashers and washing machines, best buy will give you the lowest price. If you are unable to pay the full value up front, the store offers 18 months no interest financing for purchases over $599.

Apple Products – Best buy is a certified retailer for Apple products and the store offers greater discounts than the Apple stores.

Video Games – The store has a gamers club for the best pre order deals on new games. Most discounts range from $10- $20.

Four-Hour Flash Sale – At least once a month, best buy slash their prices on a four hour flash sale. This sale is only available for online purchases.

7 ways to save money at Costco

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eharprefinanceCostco is a retailer that will give you the best prices and the most savings. However, save even more at Costco with the tips below;

Split bulk items with a friend – If you are living alone and have little space, it can be hard purchasing and storing in bulk. But you still can enjoy the savings at Costco, by buying in bulk with a friend and splitting the packages.

Look for Costco coupons – Check your monthly coupon book as well as your Costco mobile app for items discounted. Clipping coupons are not necessary, since the cashiers keep copies of the coupons at their registers.

Shop summer closeouts before the season is over – Stock up on summer essentials at the end of the season. For example, items like barbecues, beach chairs and camping equipment are marked down up to 50%.

Non-members can access Costco discounts – If you do not like to spend the annual Costco membership, you still can have access to the pharmacy, immunization services, eye and hearing exams and eat at the Costco food court (if it’s located outside of the store).

Buy discounted gift cards and movie tickets.- There are discounts in restaurants, movie tickets and local attractions. For example, you can get a coffee bean gift card worth $100 for $79.99.

Take your lunch break at the Costco food court.- If you have forgotten to bring your lunch a good affordable option can be found at the Costco’s food court.

5 ways to save money at Walmart

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eharprefinanceWalmart has been providing over 260 million customers with low prices daily. If you are looking to make further savings on your Walmart purchases, here are 5 strategies that will help you get the best prices.

Walmart’s price matching policy – Walmart will match any price from stores in your area. To make use of this policy, the items should be identical and be in stock at the other retailer. This method is a great way to save on perishables such as fruit, meat or other items such as paper. The store will also match prices from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com and TigerDirect.com for home goods and other items.

Online prices in store – As a policy the Walmart.com prices will be matched for in-store purchases. To get your priced reduced, pull the better price on your phone and show it to the cashier when checking out.

Saving catcher app – If your too busy to check the prices of competitors, you can use the Saving Catcher app. You just need to scan the receipt with your app and compare competitor advertised rates. If the item you purchased is cheaper elsewhere, you can be credited in Savings Catcher Reward Dollars. These can be redeemed as Walmart gift cards.

Free shipping from Walmart – To get free shipping at Walmart, spend upto or more than $50 which will incur a charge of only $4.97. To get around this fee you should have your online purchase, shipped to your local Walmart store.

Tips for the first time car buyer

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eharperfinanceBuying your first car, can be filled with a lot of uncertainty. Investing in a car is a big responsibility and it is important you get it right the first time. Here are a few tips to help with the process.

Establish your budget – You should first know how much you can afford monthly, for your car loan. Start with looking at your cost of living, which should include food, accommodation, entertainment, fuel, car insurance etc.

Transportation needs – Figure out what your main transportation needs are and what you will need to transport. If you are using your car for travelling to uni and work on most days, you could opt for a 2 door hatchback.

Prioritize your wants – Your first time car, will not be your only car. Therefore, invest in a car that fits your needs now. Try to stay away from the expensive models with the pricey extras.

Research – Do your research on models you intend to buy. Online research is quite extensive and would give you a good idea of the pros and cons of the car you intend to buy.

Find a dealer – Locate a dealership and speak to a sales person. Find out what models are available within your price range.

Test drive – Take your car for a test drive. This is a great way to get a feel of the car and identify any features you might want added.

Price – Look at the Kelley blue book fair purchase price. This will give you an accurate idea of what you should be paying for your car in your area. You could also speak to a credit union separately or at the dealership.