Archive for October, 2010
The Savings Plan by Sammy Rabbit
It is smart to have a money plan and do all you can to work that plan. It is smart to know where you want your money to go so it gets there and just doesn’t end up anywhere. That’s what a plan can do – help you put your money where you want to. If you stick to it, you can do it.
Here are a few things to know about plans: A good plan is in writing. A good plan is clear and easy to understand. A good plan has a start and an end date. A good plan includes small steps. A smart person puts energy, enthusiasm and pep into working each of those steps. A smart person reviews their plan regularly. A smart person gives their plan time to work. A smart person adjusts their plan when they know for sure the plan is not working.
Anyone can have a plan and smart people do. So should you. You are smart too. You can do it! Now, go get to it!
PFCU has lots of ways to help kids save. Check out the Kid’s Club at www.pfcu.org and become one of Sammy’s Pals!
Make your Savings Plan today! Download and print your goal setting sheet for free.
Learn more about Sammy and his mission to help kids get in the habit of saving money and make dreams come true at www.itsahabit.com
© 2009 The It’s a Habit Company, Inc.
Finding the Right Vehicle for You
For most of us, a car is one of the biggest purchases we will ever make. Choosing between all the different makes and models can be overwhelming. A little self- assessment and research can help ensure you get the right car for your lifestyle.
Think about your driving needs. Do you drive mostly for work? Do you have a long commute? What is your typical passenger load? Do you transport a lot of cargo? Taking inventory of all of your driving situations, not just a breezy drive down the coast on a weekend, can help ensure that you find a car that will serve you well no matter how you use it. Mentally go through your routine and make note of times you wish you had more room or that a door opened a different way. Write each item down and rank each line item under the categories on a scale of one to ten, ten being especially important. You’ll want to look for features in your new vehicle that address these issues.
- Utility-If you rack up a lot of miles, fuel efficiency will be especially important to you. If you have a large family, you will want a vehicle that transports everyone comfortably. Do you have small kids? Make sure it will be easy to get a car seat in and out. If you frequently take clients to lunch, you may not want a two door that requires acrobatics to climb into the back seat
- Price-Know up front what you can afford and be sure to factor in insurance, maintenance and fuel costs. A manageable budget can go a long way towards narrowing down your car search.
- Fuel efficiency-Hybrid, heavier vehicle, or something in between? Factor in the actual cost of fuel for a typical month based on mileage estimates (look online for posts by actual drivers to get real-life mileage figures)
- New or used? If you change cars often, you can end up owing way more than your car is worth rather quickly, especially if you buy new all the time without putting a large amount down. This is because brand new vehicles lose a lot of value as soon as you drive them off the lot. Newer used vehicles can save you a lot of money while still being under warranty.
- Style-Sedan? Sports car? SUV? Truck? Is color important to you? Leather seats? Hi-tech sound system? Sun roof? Figure out what is a luxury item you can do without vs. a necessity.
- Reliability-Check consumer ratings and online posts
- Brand-Cars with similar features can vary greatly in price from brand to brand. Sometimes different auto-makers build different vehicles on the same chassis, or even sell what is essentially the same vehicle as another manufacturer with a different name or slightly different look-but a huge price difference. Online investigation of cars you are interested in can reveal these industry ‘secrets’.
- Handling-Test drive a few vehicles that offer the features you want. When test driving, check for visibility, acceleration, ease of maneuvering, brake response, comfort, road noise, anything from your list above that is important to you. Imagine yourself driving the car day in and day out for years. Pay attention to anything that bothers you. Don’t settle on anything you ranked seven or higher on your list. Do you know someone who owns a model you are interested in? That is obviously a great way to get valuable information and, perhaps, a pressure-free test drive opportunity.
Don’t forget the financing. After all, you’ll be making payments well after you make your purchase so make sure your car and your monthly payment meet your needs. PFCU offers the same low rates on new or used vehicle loans. Visit us at www.pfcu.org for current rates or to get preapproved.
Oh yeah, and be sure to bring us a picture of your new PFCU –financed vehicle!