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Money for a Car: A Guide to Auto Financing
Pn Reddy

Nobody wants to be the dumb buyer in a car buying deal. You have to be smart or you end up losing more money than you ought to. It is a very common scheme among car buyers to first get money in order to buy a new car.

The term is called "auto financing" and it simply means how you pay for a vehicle. You can finance a car by taking out an auto loan to own a car, in which case, you have two options: You either use the money from the loan to buy the car, or use it for lease.

If this isn't your first time buying a car, you might already know that the salesman or your car dealer will be checking your credit report before starting with the negotiations. But this is not the only way you can go to get that new car of yours. The seller will try to sweeten the deal and offer you special car finance situations in exchange for throwing yourself totally at his mercy. That is not a path you have to choose.

The key is preparation. Knowing what auto financing options you have before you get to the dealership will mean that you can take charge of your credit and take charge of your car loan.

Just remember, when you negotiate with the salesman for the most favorable auto loan, nothing is permanent until you have it in writing. So haggle and then haggle some more. Once negotiations seem to be over, that's when the sales contract is prepared.

Inflated Interest Rates

To have the deal agreed upon by you and the salesman be put in writing in a binding contract is top on the list of the things you must do involving auto financing. Often involved at this part of the procedure is to determine monthly auto loan payments based on an interest rate. Now, as you well know, the interest rate varies from car buyer to car buyer. Your credit is only one of the factors and if the interest rate a car buyer qualifies for is inflated, then the dealership can make extra profit off your loan. That's just one of the pitfalls in auto financing.

Independent Auto Financing

When you have the approved auto financing option on hand, you can then proceed with the deal as a "cash buyer" so to speak as you already have the cash in hand from the loan and you are just buying the car from the dealer with that money. Car salesmen prefer customers to be "monthly payment" buyers as this makes it easier for them to obscure the total cost of the vehicle, to the detriment of your savings. So wizen up and take that independent auto financing option available.

Set a Price Range

Having a budget is the sensible thing to do. If you set a sensible price range for yourself, then you have less reason to go beyond that range and succumb to the temptation of overspending. If you're really firm on that budget, no amount of sales talk can sway you. One good tip is to ensure that your monthly car payments and related expenses do not exceed about 20% of your monthly net income.

Discounted Financing vs. Rebate

Here's the dilemma to car buying: Many dealers offer an option between discounted financing or a rebate, but not both. Discounted financing means that you get zero-percent financing while rebate means that you get a certain amount of cash some time after purchase. The common error many car buyers make is that the zero-percent loan will deliver the most savings. But will it really?

Get the Cash Rebate

In most cases, it's better to get the cash rebate and apply it against the purchase price of the vehicle. If you already have a pre-approved car loan, then that's even better because you have positively no need of extra financing from your dealer. Just use your car loan to finance the car and let the rebate handle some of the charges.

You will have to choose how long you want your lease to be and how much you're willing to pay upfront. The obvious choice, of course, would be to pay as little as possible, but be sure to weigh other options as well. After that, the car is yours for the period stipulated in the lease contract.

There are several other different plans those car buyers like you can adopt in order to make the most out of your money and reduce costs at the dealership. Understanding the credit process is just one way of being a smart buyer.

For more information on auto financing and car loans, visit:

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Beyond Fear: Living Your Life Courageously
Julie Farmer

Poetic types often mention Henry David Thoreau's wise words about the importance of living "deliberately" and with courage, yet too many of us let fear hold us back from living our best life. Dr. Harriet Lerner, a relationships expert and best-selling author of *The Dance of Fear*, notes that feelings like fear, anxiety, shame and anger, can be a great ally, whenever we use them to make the necessary changes in our life. In this post, we present some of her thoughts on the nature of courage and the importance of using it in our daily life:

Being courageous does mean being fearless:

If asked to mention someone you considered courageous, you may very well mention the friend that climbs mountains, skydives or otherwise engages in high-risk sports and daring adventurous. Lerner notes, however, that courage is not about leading a 'high-risk' life; a homebody who never ventures from their home, she says, can be just as courageous as someone who is constantly hopping on a plane, since a person's experiences at home can be rich, complex, mysterious and challenging.

A person can be very brave in the way they communicate with others or in the way they stand up to make their community a better place. The vital point to consider is that 'courage' does not mean the same thing to every person; for some, getting into a plane may be their biggest fear; for others, it may be standing up to a boss or asking for a raise. Don't blame or be overly self-critical with yourself if you do not fit into somebody else's pattern. Look for ways you can live your own life more courageously; don't constantly compare yourself with others or you will always find someone who makes you feel like you aren't up to scratch.

The first step towards living courageously is defining your goals, values and beliefs:

Your intuition can be a big help in helping you define the steps you need to take to live more courageously. Have you been putting off an important conversation with a friend or family member, or delaying getting back in shape after a long hiatus from your workouts? You probably have a little voice inside telling you exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals; listen to it and act on it and you will begin to feel more courageously and more 'deliberate' in your way of being.

Sometimes courage can be about silence:

We have spoken of the importance of being courageous in communicating with others, yet as Lerner notes based on her own experience, sometimes courage involves not speaking and stopping yourself from making a tense situation worse, even when the temptation to do so is at its strongest. Courage can be about biting your tongue and learning to listen, instead of trying to convince another person that you are right.

Accept fear as an important ingredient of change:

Author, Martha Beck, once noted that "fear is the constant companion of anyone who is living his destiny." Whenever you take a risk and do something different in an effort to improve our change a situation, accept the fear that comes with it. If you feel fear, it is a good sign that you are moving forward.

Don't make avoidance part of your lifestyle:

Whether you need to speak to someone about a past hurt, or to talk to your boss about a necessary change at work, don't make avoidance your crutch. It is okay to take the time to think of how you can calmly broach a subject with others, but try to give yourself a reasonable time limit to do so. This way, you can heal any harm that has been cause to your relationship, and progress in a positive way.

Courage can be 'ordinary' yet extremely admirable all at once:

Whether it involves saying 'sorry' for something you have said or done; stopping yourself from criticizing yourself or others; or simply putting on your running shoes to get back into shape after many months of inactivity, courage can be life-changing despite involving a 'small' gesture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to embrace a more courageous lifestyle... what steps do you think you will take to start living a courageous life?

Related Topics, What is the Secret to Reducing Self-Criticism?, An Exclusive Interview with Harriet Lerner, 5 Life-Changing Acts of Courage, An inspiration interview & giveaway with Harriet Lerner, 10 Steps to Remarkable Relationships: Improving -Communication and Understanding in Anxious Times, 10 Tips for Building Courage and Resilience to Survive and Grow