How to Negotiate Your Way to the Best Deals

How to Negotiate Your Way to the Best Deals

Negotiating is a skill that is essential to life. It is important to effectively communicate with the people we work with, the people we live with, and the people we shop from. You can get the best deals if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort. Here are some skills to know when negotiating your way to the best deal.

Gather Information

One of the first things you should do as a buyer is do your research, no matter the thing you are looking to buy. For example, you should be prepared with a few questions when buying a car from a dealer. Gathering information may sound like a thankless job because it takes a lot of time and effort, but it is worth it because it makes you more knowledgeable as a buyer, which in turn, allows you to get better deals.

Be Bold

Confidence is important in negotiating. If you’re not confident, the seller can usually tell, and you’ll likely end up having to spend more money on the product you’re buying. Don’t be demanding, but do be confident. You’re the one with the power as you are the one purchasing the buyer’s product. Be willing to make an offer first, as people are frequently hesitant to initiate a price. Being confident allows you to maintain your ground and it can allow you to achieve better deals.

Take Your Time

When negotiating, don’t be in a rush. If you can, take someone with you that you can counsel with, as it is helpful to know you’re not making negotiating decisions on your own. As you negotiate, take your time to think of responses to their offers. When you’ve concluded the meeting, and are still up for negotiation, if you can, ask for some extra time to mull it over or discuss it with other people before you officially conclude negotiations. Taking the time to think about your purchase will give you greater power as a buyer and will help you avoid rushing into hasty purchasing decisions.

Gaining the best deals is something that you can do, even though it might take you outside of your comfort zone. Do your research, be confident in the negotiating process, and take your time as you negotiate. You can be a good negotiator and secure the best deals, but only if you put in the time to practice negotiating skills.

Read this next: Green Tax Credits You Should Take Advantage Of

3 Preventative Home Maintenance Tasks That Can Save You Money in the Long Run

3 Preventative Home Maintenance Tasks That Can Save You Money in the Long Run

Being frugal is a good thing. However, if that prevents you from performing a maintenance task, this could result in a much more expensive repair down the road. When it comes to maintaining a home, you want to do all you can to prevent serious problems from happening. Doing so can help you save money and keep your house nice and well kept.

Repave the Driveway

Unless you are experienced in working with concrete and asphalt, this may be something you want to hire a professional to do. One of the main points of performing maintenance on the driveway is to prevent having to redo the entire driveway. This can be done by using a sealcoat. There are several benefits of sealcoating your driveway that you don’t want to miss out on. This can help prevent cracks and other serious damage. If that starts to happen, it can become very expensive to repair.

Clear and Clean the Gutters

People often forget to clean their gutters and don’t realize how dirty they are. If you let them get too dirty and clogged, you can deal with major problems. Clogged gutters lead to water pooling on your roof. Not only could this lead to water damage, but this is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests. This is a task that you can do yourself. The best way to clean your gutter is with a power washer. The heavy stream of water will wash away all the dirt, twigs, and leaves that have built up in your gutter over the years.

Drain Cleaning

Every couple of years, you should hire a plumber to come in and clean your drains. This will get rid of any debris and sludge that is starting to clog your pipes cleared out. If you don’t clean your drain, you may wake up one day to find that your pipes are clogged, and your sewage line is backing up. That is a smelly, unpleasant, and expensive mess you don’t want to deal with.

If you are on a tight budget, it may be difficult to spend money on home maintenance and repairs, but it can save you from a lot of heartache in the future. It will be much more difficult to finance the larger repairs that will come if you ignore the problems early one. By repaving the driveway, cleaning and clearing the gutters, and cleaning your pipes and drain, you not only will save yourself some time, but also money down the road.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Keep Spending Down During Your Home Remodeling Project

What Families Should Know About Saving Money on Car Insurance

What Families Should Know About Saving Money on Car Insurance

Car insurance is meant to keep families safe while on the road, whether you’re traveling or going on a Sunday drive. Although it’s necessary, car insurance can get pricey, especially if you have multiple children who need to be added onto your plan. Car insurance doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg, there are several ways your family can save money on car insurance.

Finding the Cheapest Plan

When looking for a car insurance plan, it is essential to find a plan that is cheap, but also covers all the things that you need. Some people decide to go with a plan that gives them close to maximum coverage but is slightly cheaper than the full coverage. Some find it worth the risk to have minimum coverage. Whatever the plan though, it’s a good idea for you and your family to know exactly what it covers and what is expected of you. Remember to discuss with your family what your needs are when looking for a plan, and then decide what plan best meets those needs.

What You Can’t Control

There are specific aspects that you can’t control when it comes to insurance. There will be certain factors, such as gender, age, marital status, and location that will affect your rate. For example, if you have a teenage son who gets his driver’s license, you will have to pay an increased rate for him to be on car insurance. Sometimes the price might increase on your premium due to fluctuations in the insurance market. While you do the best you can to find the cheapest and best insurance for you and your family, remember that circumstances may change from what you initially buy.

Look for Discounts

Another piece of information to keep in mind when searching for a car insurance plan is that sometimes insurance companies will offer discounts for car insurance policies. These can be offered for a variety of reasons, such as being based on your driving history or simply coupons that are sent out by a car insurance agency. Be on the lookout for discounts as they can decrease your monthly payment.

When searching for car insurance, remember to find a plan that fits your family’s needs first. Then you can search for one that is affordable and possibly find discounts that decrease your monthly payment. Car insurance doesn’t need to be a hassle, but it is a necessity to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.

Here’s another article you might like: What to Keep in Mind When Budgeting for Your Family Road Trip

Green Tax Credits You Should Take Advantage Of

Green Tax Credits You Should Take Advantage Of

As Kermit the Frog has often told us, “It’s not easy bein’ green,” and for the energy-conscious consumer, that can be true as well. Energy efficiency often comes at a hefty price tag. Electric cars and hybrids are pricey when compared to their gas-guzzling cousins, and home improvements like solar panels are often quite expensive at the time of installation. Fortunately, taxpayers can get some relief in the form of tax credits for their energy-saving efforts.

Electric Car Credits

If you purchased an electric vehicle in 2019, you were more likely to be able to take advantage of the current Federal EV Tax Credit. For some models such as those made by Tesla and General Motors, the credit has already been phased out. However, the full $7,500 credit still applies to vehicles manufactured by Ford, Nissan, Toyota and BMW. You’d better buy fast, though, because these models will also be phased out after each of them sells 200,000 plug-in vehicles in the U.S. If you’re interested in one of them, the full rebate is still available, and the popularity of electric cars and plug-in hybrids remains unabated.

Solar Credits

Installing solar panels on your home is one of the most popular green improvements. The federal government will give you 26% of the total cost of the system you install. In addition, many states and even local governments provide rebates, tax credits and other incentives to install solar. If you’re interested in this green technology, contact a reputable company to discuss affordable solar panel installation.

State and Local Credits

There are many additional tax credits and rebates available to green consumers. You can view a scorecard that ranks how “green” your state is. Most states also have information on their government websites regarding energy-related tax credits.

You can also check with your local utility companies. Many offer free energy audits of your home. These services will tell you what improvements you can make. They are sometimes accompanied by rebates from the power company if you purchase goods or services through them or if you provide proof of upgrades made based on the results of the audit. These improvements might be anything from increasing the insulation in your home to installing a more energy-efficient water heater.

Whether you choose to purchase a new electric or hybrid vehicle, solar panels for your home or just some new, energy-efficient appliances, do your research. No matter what green buying decisions you make, be sure to get credit where credit is due.

Is this your first time filing taxes? Read our tips for beginners here.

How to Protect Your Loved Ones Financially When You Pass Away

How to Protect Your Loved Ones Financially When You Pass Away

Death is an inevitable part of life, one that should be carefully planned for. Among other considerations, it is important to set up a few precautions to financially protect your loved ones when you pass away. There are three things you’ll want to make sure you have in order before you pass away.

Life Insurance

Death is both a tragedy and very expensive. Between the cost of funerals, grave preparations, and other incidental costs the expenses can easily rack up. Having a life insurance plan can help offset some of these costs as well as go towards repaying any debts you owed in life.

Term life insurance can be a less expensive option that might suit your needs and circumstances better than general life insurance. Term life insurance includes different time length options depending on your particular needs. The insurance company will pay your beneficiaries if you die during the policy’s term, in exchange for a monthly fee to the insurance company to keep your policy active. If you are working in a high-risk environment, a term life insurance policy for the time you plan to work in that field may be a good option.

Write a Will

Writing a will is essential to ensuring that your assets go to the right people after your passing. It also makes the process of dividing your assets go much faster than leaving it for the state to decide. When writing a will, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. Make sure the will is legally binding, which requires signatures from you as well as two witnesses not listed in the will. It may also need to be notarized, depending on your state laws. Keep your debts in mind when leaving large assets to your loved ones such as houses. If you are still paying off a mortgage or auto loan, make sure the person you leave the asset to can financially handle taking over repayment.

Name an Executor

Just because you die doesn’t mean your finances don’t need to be properly managed, and the carrying out of your last wishes won’t just happen on its own. Part of estate planning involves the creation of a will and naming an executor for your estate. An executor is someone you name to help ensure your last will and testament is carried out properly. Without one named in your will, the state will usually name your spouse or eldest next of kin as the executor, whether or not they are prepared or trustworthy enough for the position.

With these three things taken care of, your assets will be in good hands after your passing, and your loved ones will be protected from the debts left behind as well as potential fraud that may occur in the ensuing chaos of sorting out your assets.

Read some more great financial tips in this article: How Your Family Can Save Money on Food Each Month

How You Can Save Money When Looking for a House to Rent

How You Can Save Money When Looking for a House to Rent

Looking for a house to rent can be a headache. The process can drain your time, energy, enthusiasm and wallet. However, a few smart moves can make your search much more pleasant and less demanding. Here are three ways you can save yourself effort and disappointment during your search for your next rental home.

Create a Budget With Room for Hidden Costs

Because the rental prices of properties are so varied and the additional costs associated with the process aren’t always obvious at a glance, a budget will help you stay on track. According to Oz Moving, when you sign a lease for a place to live, there are other expenses besides the rent. You’ll have to take into consideration the application fee, security deposit, pet deposit, moving expenses, and more. These incidental expenses will vary from one house to the next. However, these expenditures are unavoidable facts of life. Having a structured budget can help you stay focused on the big picture so that these little costs don’t catch you by surprise or drain your money.

Compare Prices of Similar Properties

According to FirstKey Homes, comparing prices of different houses helps you avoid rental scams. Unfortunately, there are people out there trying to get over on unsuspecting renters, so you must do what you can to protect yourself. Houses in the same neighborhood should be priced around the same amount if they’re similar in size and features. You may even be able to ask some of the residents what they’re paying as well as other pertinent questions. Sure, that’s personal information, but you’d be surprised at the amount of helpful information you can get from potential neighbors.

Consider Different Locations

You’ve heard it before: The most important factor in real estate is the location. Certain houses are going to be more expensive simply because of where they’re situated. This also means that associated costs may be more expensive. If you find that renting a house in a particular neighborhood will simply cost too much, try a neighborhood a few blocks or miles away. You’d be surprised at how fast prices can drop with distance.

It’s true that a search for a house to rent can be exhausting. However, if you follow the tips outlined above, you can significantly reduce the amount of effort, time and money you’ll put into it. Remember to set a budget for yourself, compare similar houses and consider different locations. You’ll be able to settle in sooner and feel more comfortable.

Read more great money-saving tips in this article: What You Can Do to Save Money on Everyday Household Items