Monthly Archives: September 2015

Finding the Right Term Length for Your Auto Loan

Time magazine recently published an article warning consumers about the pitfalls of the new 8-year auto loan.  Although it may seem that the more affordable, lower monthly payments outweigh any risk associated with the longer-term loan, there are several factors to consider.  First, how long do you plan to keep your new car?  If you typically purchase a new car every 6 years, then taking out an 8-year loan is not a good idea because you would still owe on the car when looking for a replacement.

Second, how much will the car be worth in 5 or 6 years?  Car values depreciate every year and you do not want to wind up owing more than what the car is worth.  Third, how much can you afford to pay monthly?  If you can afford the monthly payment of a 5 year loan, then you should opt for the shorter term loan.  In the end, this option could save you thousands of dollars in interest.

Additionally, prepare before shopping for a car.  Know how much you are willing to spend, what monthly payment you can afford, and what type of loan you are willing to consider before visiting any dealerships.  Research what type of car best fits your needs and budget.  Is a new or previously owned car the best option?  If buying a used car, be sure to check the history of the vehicle.  Is it better for you to buy or lease?

Finally, don’t be afraid to negotiate.  Dealers often expect to negotiate with consumers.

-Kathryn M.

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Fun Money Management Apps & Games for Kids

The best way for children to grow into adults who practice good habits is for them to learn those habits at an early age. There is a lot of focus from the White House and in the media about teaching healthy eating and exercise habits. Unfortunately, there isn’t as much focus on the importance of teaching children good money management skills.

Children, however, can benefit greatly from learning how to budget and the importance of saving at an early age. Since these skills are not always the most fun to practice, it can be difficult to engage children in learning them. Thankfully, the internet provides us with many resources to help teach money management skills to children in innovative and fun ways. A few fun and free money management apps and online games are:

1. P2K- for IPhone, IPad, and IPad touch

2. Kids Money- for IPhone, IPad, and IPad touch

3. Save! The Game- for IPhone, IPad, and IPad touch

4. Kids Farm – for Android

5. Rich Kid Smart Kid (http://www.richkidsmartkid.com/ )

6. H.I.P Pocket Change (https://www.usmint.gov/kids/games/)

Try these apps and games out and have fun with your kids while learning about budgeting and saving!

-Kathryn M.

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