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Welcome to the 6th Post in my series of 101 Top Personal Finance Tips! You can find links to the five previous articles at the bottom of this post!
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26. Never Buy a New Car
Everyone has heard the stories that as soon as you drive a new car off the lot it's value decreases by up to several thousand dollars. Buying a used car allows you to avoid that problem. You can also get a much better deal on a used car by buying it from a real person. Used cars also tend to be cheaper to insure. Also, if you get a bit of a scratch on it emotionally it will be less painful.
I purchased my Toyota Corolla from a real live person for $1300, then paid another $200 for tires for it. I was able to pay it off in installments with no interest, and the car is in great shape and should last me for several years. Driving cars until they die of natural causes is the best way to get good value for your money.
Be sure to get a mechanic or another car competent person to check over the car you plan to buy before you take it home.
27. Brush Your Teeth
Prevention is the name of the game here. Brushing your teeth twice a day can really help you to steer clear of severe dental issues. My husband recently broke a tooth and had to have a root canal and a crown. This cost over $1000. Even if you have insurance, a tube of toothpaste is much cheaper than a co-pay. Take care of your teeth!
28. Switch to Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Although a little clunky looking, not only do CFL's use less energy, but they also last longer than ordinary light bulbs. According to the manufacturer, a CFL can save you as much as $185 on energy costs over the life of the bulb. They are now becoming available in a variety of shapes, brightness and light color. Have a quick look around your home and see how many light bulbs you have, then try and replace maybe one a week. They will pay for themselves in no time.
29. Pay Off Your Credit Cards
This is one of the biggest rules for getting out of debt. Stop charging on your credit cards and start paying them off. Paying interest on debt can be a huge money drain and can be emotionally demoralizing. To get started, try the snowball method. Be diligent and work hard and then all of the money that you are paying on your debt will one day be yours to play with.
30. Share Your Wireless
If you have a neighbor that lives close to you, consider sharing your wireless internet with them and splitting the bill. In my old apartment our neighbor got free wireless through his job and he was kind enough to share it with us. See if there is anyone around you that could do the same. Be sure to come up with a firm plan about how money will change hands and make sure you stay on good terms with them!
101 Top Personal Finance Tips - Part 4
101 Top Personal Finance Tips - Part 3
101 Top Personal Finance Tips - Part 2
101 Top Personal Finance Tips - Part 1