Major Life Decisions Involve Major Purchases

Major life decisions involve major purchases. The older you get, the more hefty your financial burden becomes as you begin to divert investing in expensive shoes and takeout and instead start to save for life’s most costly necessities like rent, utilities, education and automotives. When it comes to weighing our options for which apartment to rent, what gas company to use, or what car to buy, we need all the help we can get.

Major life decisions involve major purchases. The older you get, the more hefty your financial burden becomes as you begin to divert investing in expensive shoes and takeout and instead start to save for life’s most costly necessities like rent, utilities, education and automotives. When it comes to weighing our options for which apartment to rent, what gas company to use, or what car to buy, we need all the help we can get.
Car buying is no easy task. In fact, it kind of sucks. But in order to get your dream car you have to jump the hurdles of seeking out your perfect vehicle to be able to make the most financially sound decision, while also keeping in mind all the necessary features you are looking out for with the automotive. This can be be difficult to do for a person who does not have a background in the relevant expertise, and in order to compensate, we look to outlets we consider our only options to help us make our purchase decision. These options include an online automotive database that presents information on a screen, or an in-person car dealership/showcase owned by car dealers with a primary agenda to make money.
Sure, there are both pros and cons between both options. It’s important to weigh both factors in when you’re deciding between how to research your automotive options. In fact, to make it clearer, below is an extensive list of both the perks–and downsides– to using both an online autobase and an in-person car dealership.
1. SHOWROOM/ DEALER’S LOT
a. PROS
i. your potential automotive options are physically in front of you for a review or test drive
ii. Dealers readily available to answer any questions or concerns
iii. Variety of makes and models
iv. Price negotiation occurs regularly
b. CONS
i. Dealers focus monumentally more on the sale than on helping you find your ideal car
ii. Dealers may also hide certain defects the car has to be able to sell it at a higher value–making the buyer completely oblivious to money going down the train in the near future due to their car needing frequent and expensive repair.
2. ONLINE AUTOMOTIVE DATABASE
a. PROS
i. buyer can review the cars from all over the world instead of considering only local options
ii. Open 24/7; doors never close online, so a review of your proponents can be done anytime of day, week, month or year
iii. On-screen side-by-side comparisons of different vehicles present all relevant information right before your eyes with the simple click of a button
iv. Buyer faces absolutely no pressure to buy a car he isn’t completely set on, as in-person dealers often use sales tactics that coerce customers into making a purchase that breaks the bank for a vehicle that does not meet their specific needs.
b. CONS
i. You are online. There is no way for you to sit in the driver’s seat of the car, smell the seat upholstery, kick the tires before buying, etc– many buyers prefer to have hands-on time with a vehicle before making a finalized decision. This means no test-drives either.
ii. Prices are firm instead of being up for negotiation.
For a purchase as expensive as an automotive, doing sufficient research from reliable outlets is vital to leading a responsible financial life. So seeking out help from a car dealer who wants to suck up as much money as he can from you– or referring to an online automotive database that doesn’t always provide you with enough information to make a final decision on a car as seeing it in person would– are kind of counterproductive.
What if there were an outlet that combined the two outlets we have for automotive research, taking their best variables and eliminating the aforementioned downsides? Cars.com does just that. With absolutely no pressure from a sleazy car dealer, users have access to an extensive platform of cars that fit their exact needs–and can even locate where those very models are being sold locally. You’re also told upfront the best features of the car–but also the dents and scratches it has they may render it less valuable. There are even various outlets for car buying advice for users to refer to according to their individual needs. The best thing about Cars.com? Users have full access to all of its features at absolutely no cost.

Saving Money? Don’t Drop Your Auto Insurance

Times are hard and everyone’s always looking for ways to pinch a penny. Some may even be a little tempted to let go of their auto insurance policy. Before you even think about doing this, don’t do it! Everyone is having a hard time with bills and such, but cutting something like auto insurance would only cause you to spend lots and lots of money later on. Then you’ll realize it was a big mistake, but by then it will be too late.

Auto Insurance Laws

In every state, it is required by law that all drivers carry auto insurance for their vehicles. Some people think that they can drive about without auto insurance without getting caught. Although, many go a while without authorities finding out, but eventually they get caught. — up until the point of getting into an accident that is. There’s really no telling what will happen, especially when you’re driving with other people on the road. There could be a person falling asleep, driving drunk or just not paying attention to the road. No one can truly avoid getting into an accident; even the most careful of people can’t predict other drivers. It is a crime to drive without auto insurance and in most states, you’re required to show proof of auto insurance whenever asked for it. There are even random checkpoints, which everyone is checked whether you’ve done something wrong or not.

Verification of Auto Insurance

In many states, there are surprise auto insurance inspections that take place. When this takes place, you are required to mail in proof of insurance that shows you had coverage on the day the letter was sent. If you’re caught without auto insurance, it’s too late.

Penalties You Could Face without Auto Insurance

Driving a vehicle without auto insurance could leave you faced with grave penalties. If you aren’t maintaining your auto insurance, you could be slapped with a big fat fine. It could also result in your license becoming suspended or you going to jail. Then if you’re caught out on the road without it, it’s possible that your car or license plate could get impounded if you are unable to pay the fines associated with the penalty. Once you pay the fine, you’ll get back your car or license plate. Another fee is also required to be paid to reinstate your auto registration. In some unfortunate events, individuals have had all of these penalties happen at one time.

Car Insurance is Your Protection

Not only will you be protected from the various penalties that can be applied to you if you drive without auto insurance, but auto insurance is also a great way to protect you in a car accident. Without it, you’d be left to pay for the damages yourself, whether you’re at fault or not. Having proper auto insurance coverage will ensure that you’re able to pay for the damages done to the other vehicle, as well as yours. You don’t want to be without a vehicle if your car gets totaled and likely you don’t want to be harassed about money by the other motorist you were in an accident with.

Finding Cheaper Auto Insurance

Your best bet would be to find auto insurance that is more affordable. If your current auto insurance policy is too much, consider changing your liability limits and the deductibles to lower your premium. For instance, you can raise your deductibles and lower your liability limits to help lower your auto insurance rate. If this doesn’t lower it enough, then begin shopping around for other auto insurance companies. You can browse through the web for comparison websites that will allow you to review various insurers that fit your criteria. Once you’re matched, you should look at the coverage offered, along with the rate; not just the rate. The down deposit, monthly premium amount and total should be reviewed. See if it is something that you can handle paying.

Just keep in mind that if you do raise the deductibles and lower the liability, you will be responsible for paying the deductibles out of pocket and up front. Just be extra careful when you’re driving around, in order to avoid accidents as much as possible. Whenever you’re able to afford more coverage, feel free to add more on because you don’t want to drive around with minimal insurance for too long. Never know when you’ll be involved in an expensive accident

Why Crowdfunding is a Bad Idea for Restaurant Financing

Whoever came up with the phrase “labor of love” either owned a restaurant, or would certainly feel right at home in the restaurant sector. Indeed, whether the challenge is to keep inventory and supply costs low, maintain proper staffing levels, keep demanding customers happy, or fend off and endless stream of competition, life as a restaurant owner is more of a calling than a vocation. You’re either totally immersed in it, or it’s wiser to check out now and find another career path.

Of course, you’re made of strong stuff, and as such you have every intention of ensuring that your restaurant survives, succeeds and thrives. And that means sooner or later (or perhaps right now), you’re going to need restaurant financing to cover a temporary cash flow shortfall, or cover a long-term expense that boosts your profitability and competitive advantage. And while there are some good options available to you (and I’ll highlight those in a moment), right off the bad you should cross crowdfunding off your list. Here’s why:

  1. You probably won’t get the funding you need.

Forget about the inspiring success stories you read about on the web, or hear about on TV. The overwhelming number of businesses (restaurants and others) that try to generate financing through crowdfunding fail to come even remotely close to their target. There’s simply too much competition, and trying to piece together a major cash infusion through $50 and $100 pledges at a time is usually an exercise in frustration – and futility.

  1. It’s not funding — it’s a trade.

Although it’s called “crowdfunding”, as PC World points out, it’s not actually funding because you aren’t borrowing the money. You’re making a trade, which means in the long-run your total cost of borrowing might become excessive and unsustainable.

  1. You don’t know who might be lending you money.

Having a good relationship with your lender (or lenders) is important, since issues and opportunities will come up down the road. But with crowdfunding, you can’t pick up the phone or send an email and have a meaningful conversation. The most you can do is post mass updates on your campaign page, website or through social media, which is hardly strategic.

  1. Your reputation is on the line.

With apologies to Shakespeare: hell hath no fury like a crowdfunder who believes that they’ve been scored (whether they actually have or not is beside the point, it’s all about perception). As such, if you decide to change direction – not because you’re avoiding commitments, but because you need to steer your restaurant in the right direction – then expect anyone and everyone who has even pledged $1 to become hostile, and shred your reputation online and offline. Remember: the vast majority of people who pledge money through crowdfunding aren’t experienced lenders or disciplined investors. They’re just everyday, ordinary people who might not even know how to plan their own personal finances, let alone know how to run a complex restaurant operation.

Moving Forward

If crowdfunding clearly isn’t the answer for your restaurant financing needs, then what is? Well, unless you have flawless personal and business credit, have been in business for at least two years, have ample collateral, and can afford to wait several months to get the cash, then your best move is to enter the alternative lending marketplace and explore a working capital loan, merchant cash advance, or business line of credit.

Any of these options can give you the quick funding infusion you need at a reasonable cost, so that you can continue your “labor of love” – while you boost competitive advantage, sales and profits.

Who Will Trump’s Health Plan Affect the Most

President Trump’s new healthcare plan has come under scrutiny. There are going to be winners and losers. The winners are mainly the rich because they’ll see a cut in how much they spend. But there are losers elsewhere. Let’s take a look at the five groups who’re going to lose out the most.

  1. The Poor Who Will Lose Insurance

Low-income Americans were able to get health insurance for the first time under Obamacare. But this new healthcare plan will pull insurance for these low-income Americans. The poor are set to be without health insurance, and early estimates indicate that up to 20% of all Americans could be without a health care plan. This amount would rocket to levels higher than those in the Bush years.

  1. The Low-Income Americans Who Struggle with Premiums

Low-income Americans who can afford insurance will be struggling to pay higher premiums. Under the proposals, insurers will be able to charge more than ever before. And it goes further than basic healthcare Humana dental insurance will also go up in price. The nation’s oral health is sure to suffer under the new plans because many low-income Americans are expected to get rid of dental coverage to pay for more traditional coverage.

  1. Anyone with a Pre-Existing Condition

Obamacare stipulated that insurers couldn’t discriminate against anyone with a pre-existing condition. Now insurers will be able to discriminate again. They won’t necessarily refuse to insure anyone with a pre-existing condition, but they will make it excessively expensive. It means that many people with lifelong illnesses are going to either pay up the money or live without coverage.

  1. Citizens Who Live in the Poorer States

The new bill will shift the burden for health care from the Federal government to individual states. Many poorer states won’t have the money to cover everyone. To counter this they’ll tighten eligibility and cut many benefits. Citizens living in the Mid-West will certainly find it harder and more expensive to get covered under this new bill.

  1. The Elderly Will Lose Coverage

The elderly have always had it tough because of their perceived higher risk among insurers. Obamacare did not completely deal with this, but it made it easier for the elderly to get coverage at an affordable price. President Trump intends to make it harder than ever for the elderly to get the healthcare they need by rolling back expansion plans for Medicaid and other similar programs. The elderly will find it more expensive, and if they are living on a low, fixed income they may have to get rid of their medical insurance policies entirely.

  1. Healthcare is About to Changeand Not for the Better

The rich and the young are those who will see decreases in their insurance premiums. Those who need this coverage the most, however, will find it tougher in the coming years. Millions of Americans will have little or no access to good healthcare under the new bill.

What do you think of the Trump bill to repeal and replace Obamacare?

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Major Life Decisions Involve Major Purchases

Major life decisions involve major purchases. The older you get, the more hefty your financial burden becomes as you begin to divert investing in expensive shoes and takeout and instead start to save for life’s most costly necessities like rent, utilities, education and automotives. When it comes to weighing our options for which apartment to rent, what gas company to use, or what car to buy, we need all the help we can get.

Major life decisions involve major purchases. The older you get, the more hefty your financial burden becomes as you begin to divert investing in expensive shoes and takeout and instead start to save for life’s most costly necessities like rent, utilities, education and automotives. When it comes to weighing our options for which apartment to rent, what gas company to use, or what car to buy, we need all the help we can get.
Car buying is no easy task. In fact, it kind of sucks. But in order to get your dream car you have to jump the hurdles of seeking out your perfect vehicle to be able to make the most financially sound decision, while also keeping in mind all the necessary features you are looking out for with the automotive. This can be be difficult to do for a person who does not have a background in the relevant expertise, and in order to compensate, we look to outlets we consider our only options to help us make our purchase decision. These options include an online automotive database that presents information on a screen, or an in-person car dealership/showcase owned by car dealers with a primary agenda to make money.
Sure, there are both pros and cons between both options. It’s important to weigh both factors in when you’re deciding between how to research your automotive options. In fact, to make it clearer, below is an extensive list of both the perks–and downsides– to using both an online autobase and an in-person car dealership.
1. SHOWROOM/ DEALER’S LOT
a. PROS
i. your potential automotive options are physically in front of you for a review or test drive
ii. Dealers readily available to answer any questions or concerns
iii. Variety of makes and models
iv. Price negotiation occurs regularly
b. CONS
i. Dealers focus monumentally more on the sale than on helping you find your ideal car
ii. Dealers may also hide certain defects the car has to be able to sell it at a higher value–making the buyer completely oblivious to money going down the train in the near future due to their car needing frequent and expensive repair.
2. ONLINE AUTOMOTIVE DATABASE
a. PROS
i. buyer can review the cars from all over the world instead of considering only local options
ii. Open 24/7; doors never close online, so a review of your proponents can be done anytime of day, week, month or year
iii. On-screen side-by-side comparisons of different vehicles present all relevant information right before your eyes with the simple click of a button
iv. Buyer faces absolutely no pressure to buy a car he isn’t completely set on, as in-person dealers often use sales tactics that coerce customers into making a purchase that breaks the bank for a vehicle that does not meet their specific needs.
b. CONS
i. You are online. There is no way for you to sit in the driver’s seat of the car, smell the seat upholstery, kick the tires before buying, etc– many buyers prefer to have hands-on time with a vehicle before making a finalized decision. This means no test-drives either.
ii. Prices are firm instead of being up for negotiation.
For a purchase as expensive as an automotive, doing sufficient research from reliable outlets is vital to leading a responsible financial life. So seeking out help from a car dealer who wants to suck up as much money as he can from you– or referring to an online automotive database that doesn’t always provide you with enough information to make a final decision on a car as seeing it in person would– are kind of counterproductive.
What if there were an outlet that combined the two outlets we have for automotive research, taking their best variables and eliminating the aforementioned downsides? Cars.com does just that. With absolutely no pressure from a sleazy car dealer, users have access to an extensive platform of cars that fit their exact needs–and can even locate where those very models are being sold locally. You’re also told upfront the best features of the car–but also the dents and scratches it has they may render it less valuable. There are even various outlets for car buying advice for users to refer to according to their individual needs. The best thing about Cars.com? Users have full access to all of its features at absolutely no cost.

Saving Money? Don’t Drop Your Auto Insurance

Times are hard and everyone’s always looking for ways to pinch a penny. Some may even be a little tempted to let go of their auto insurance policy. Before you even think about doing this, don’t do it! Everyone is having a hard time with bills and such, but cutting something like auto insurance would only cause you to spend lots and lots of money later on. Then you’ll realize it was a big mistake, but by then it will be too late.

Auto Insurance Laws

In every state, it is required by law that all drivers carry auto insurance for their vehicles. Some people think that they can drive about without auto insurance without getting caught. Although, many go a while without authorities finding out, but eventually they get caught. — up until the point of getting into an accident that is. There’s really no telling what will happen, especially when you’re driving with other people on the road. There could be a person falling asleep, driving drunk or just not paying attention to the road. No one can truly avoid getting into an accident; even the most careful of people can’t predict other drivers. It is a crime to drive without auto insurance and in most states, you’re required to show proof of auto insurance whenever asked for it. There are even random checkpoints, which everyone is checked whether you’ve done something wrong or not.

Verification of Auto Insurance

In many states, there are surprise auto insurance inspections that take place. When this takes place, you are required to mail in proof of insurance that shows you had coverage on the day the letter was sent. If you’re caught without auto insurance, it’s too late.

Penalties You Could Face without Auto Insurance

Driving a vehicle without auto insurance could leave you faced with grave penalties. If you aren’t maintaining your auto insurance, you could be slapped with a big fat fine. It could also result in your license becoming suspended or you going to jail. Then if you’re caught out on the road without it, it’s possible that your car or license plate could get impounded if you are unable to pay the fines associated with the penalty. Once you pay the fine, you’ll get back your car or license plate. Another fee is also required to be paid to reinstate your auto registration. In some unfortunate events, individuals have had all of these penalties happen at one time.

Car Insurance is Your Protection

Not only will you be protected from the various penalties that can be applied to you if you drive without auto insurance, but auto insurance is also a great way to protect you in a car accident. Without it, you’d be left to pay for the damages yourself, whether you’re at fault or not. Having proper auto insurance coverage will ensure that you’re able to pay for the damages done to the other vehicle, as well as yours. You don’t want to be without a vehicle if your car gets totaled and likely you don’t want to be harassed about money by the other motorist you were in an accident with.

Finding Cheaper Auto Insurance

Your best bet would be to find auto insurance that is more affordable. If your current auto insurance policy is too much, consider changing your liability limits and the deductibles to lower your premium. For instance, you can raise your deductibles and lower your liability limits to help lower your auto insurance rate. If this doesn’t lower it enough, then begin shopping around for other auto insurance companies. You can browse through the web for comparison websites that will allow you to review various insurers that fit your criteria. Once you’re matched, you should look at the coverage offered, along with the rate; not just the rate. The down deposit, monthly premium amount and total should be reviewed. See if it is something that you can handle paying.

Just keep in mind that if you do raise the deductibles and lower the liability, you will be responsible for paying the deductibles out of pocket and up front. Just be extra careful when you’re driving around, in order to avoid accidents as much as possible. Whenever you’re able to afford more coverage, feel free to add more on because you don’t want to drive around with minimal insurance for too long. Never know when you’ll be involved in an expensive accident

Why Crowdfunding is a Bad Idea for Restaurant Financing

Whoever came up with the phrase “labor of love” either owned a restaurant, or would certainly feel right at home in the restaurant sector. Indeed, whether the challenge is to keep inventory and supply costs low, maintain proper staffing levels, keep demanding customers happy, or fend off and endless stream of competition, life as a restaurant owner is more of a calling than a vocation. You’re either totally immersed in it, or it’s wiser to check out now and find another career path.

Of course, you’re made of strong stuff, and as such you have every intention of ensuring that your restaurant survives, succeeds and thrives. And that means sooner or later (or perhaps right now), you’re going to need restaurant financing to cover a temporary cash flow shortfall, or cover a long-term expense that boosts your profitability and competitive advantage. And while there are some good options available to you (and I’ll highlight those in a moment), right off the bad you should cross crowdfunding off your list. Here’s why:

  1. You probably won’t get the funding you need.

Forget about the inspiring success stories you read about on the web, or hear about on TV. The overwhelming number of businesses (restaurants and others) that try to generate financing through crowdfunding fail to come even remotely close to their target. There’s simply too much competition, and trying to piece together a major cash infusion through $50 and $100 pledges at a time is usually an exercise in frustration – and futility.

  1. It’s not funding — it’s a trade.

Although it’s called “crowdfunding”, as PC World points out, it’s not actually funding because you aren’t borrowing the money. You’re making a trade, which means in the long-run your total cost of borrowing might become excessive and unsustainable.

  1. You don’t know who might be lending you money.

Having a good relationship with your lender (or lenders) is important, since issues and opportunities will come up down the road. But with crowdfunding, you can’t pick up the phone or send an email and have a meaningful conversation. The most you can do is post mass updates on your campaign page, website or through social media, which is hardly strategic.

  1. Your reputation is on the line.

With apologies to Shakespeare: hell hath no fury like a crowdfunder who believes that they’ve been scored (whether they actually have or not is beside the point, it’s all about perception). As such, if you decide to change direction – not because you’re avoiding commitments, but because you need to steer your restaurant in the right direction – then expect anyone and everyone who has even pledged $1 to become hostile, and shred your reputation online and offline. Remember: the vast majority of people who pledge money through crowdfunding aren’t experienced lenders or disciplined investors. They’re just everyday, ordinary people who might not even know how to plan their own personal finances, let alone know how to run a complex restaurant operation.

Moving Forward

If crowdfunding clearly isn’t the answer for your restaurant financing needs, then what is? Well, unless you have flawless personal and business credit, have been in business for at least two years, have ample collateral, and can afford to wait several months to get the cash, then your best move is to enter the alternative lending marketplace and explore a working capital loan, merchant cash advance, or business line of credit.

Any of these options can give you the quick funding infusion you need at a reasonable cost, so that you can continue your “labor of love” – while you boost competitive advantage, sales and profits.

Who Will Trump’s Health Plan Affect the Most

President Trump’s new healthcare plan has come under scrutiny. There are going to be winners and losers. The winners are mainly the rich because they’ll see a cut in how much they spend. But there are losers elsewhere. Let’s take a look at the five groups who’re going to lose out the most.

  1. The Poor Who Will Lose Insurance

Low-income Americans were able to get health insurance for the first time under Obamacare. But this new healthcare plan will pull insurance for these low-income Americans. The poor are set to be without health insurance, and early estimates indicate that up to 20% of all Americans could be without a health care plan. This amount would rocket to levels higher than those in the Bush years.

  1. The Low-Income Americans Who Struggle with Premiums

Low-income Americans who can afford insurance will be struggling to pay higher premiums. Under the proposals, insurers will be able to charge more than ever before. And it goes further than basic healthcare Humana dental insurance will also go up in price. The nation’s oral health is sure to suffer under the new plans because many low-income Americans are expected to get rid of dental coverage to pay for more traditional coverage.

  1. Anyone with a Pre-Existing Condition

Obamacare stipulated that insurers couldn’t discriminate against anyone with a pre-existing condition. Now insurers will be able to discriminate again. They won’t necessarily refuse to insure anyone with a pre-existing condition, but they will make it excessively expensive. It means that many people with lifelong illnesses are going to either pay up the money or live without coverage.

  1. Citizens Who Live in the Poorer States

The new bill will shift the burden for health care from the Federal government to individual states. Many poorer states won’t have the money to cover everyone. To counter this they’ll tighten eligibility and cut many benefits. Citizens living in the Mid-West will certainly find it harder and more expensive to get covered under this new bill.

  1. The Elderly Will Lose Coverage

The elderly have always had it tough because of their perceived higher risk among insurers. Obamacare did not completely deal with this, but it made it easier for the elderly to get coverage at an affordable price. President Trump intends to make it harder than ever for the elderly to get the healthcare they need by rolling back expansion plans for Medicaid and other similar programs. The elderly will find it more expensive, and if they are living on a low, fixed income they may have to get rid of their medical insurance policies entirely.

  1. Healthcare is About to Changeand Not for the Better

The rich and the young are those who will see decreases in their insurance premiums. Those who need this coverage the most, however, will find it tougher in the coming years. Millions of Americans will have little or no access to good healthcare under the new bill.

What do you think of the Trump bill to repeal and replace Obamacare?