Monday, May 30, 2005

Take over a lease and save thousands

When was the last time you were paid money to lease your vehicle?


If you are in the market for a car lease and would like some extra money in your pocket, think about taking over an existing lease.

The savings can be significant, and at times include cash incentives from individuals looking to get out of their lease contract.

Assuming an existing lease can help you save in a couple ways:

- Avoid up front lease cost’s which can add up to thousands of dollars.

- Benefit from lease take over incentives, often people are willing to pay a Cash incentive to get out of the lease (hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the value of the vehicle.

By assuming an existing lease, simply pay the monthly fee, adhere to the mileage restrictions and you can save a significant amount of money and, perhaps even get some cash back.

If you pick the right lease you might even make more money by purchasing the vehicle at the end of the lease period. Depending on the resale value of the vehicle and the cost to buy the vehicle at the end of the lease, you may benefit from a vehicle that can be worth a few thousand dollars more than it will cost you to buy it from the leasing company.

With the right lease deal, you can actually come out ahead on your vehicle rather than ripped off, like most people do when it comes time to get a new car.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Understand Your Low Low Monthly Car Payments

As vehicle prices became more expensive, automobile leasing made the leap from business owners to individuals. Leasing allows people to get a newer, more expensive vehicle with lower payments than you would if buying it.

While leasing is ideal for businesses and those, who are self employed as they can write off lease payments against income, leasing can be a very expensive option for those who cannot take advantage of the tax write off.

When you lease a vehicle, you are essentially renting it for an extended period of time with the promise to stay within a pre set mileage limit while maintaining the vehicle in good shape.

Leasing has appeal to the dealer because they are selling you on a low monthly payment that is easier to accept than a large purchase price that is closely scrutinized and haggled over.

As people accept the monthly payment presented by the dealer, they overlook the many components of a lease that can be negotiated to lower your lease costs.

Before you jump into the endless cycle of automobile lease payments, look closely at your options and understand the terms of your lease to ensure you are getting the best value and that you avoid severe end of lease charges for miles over your limit.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Mortgage Insurance?

There are many options when it comes to protecting your home with insurance.

One item to look closely at is "Mortgage Insurance".

Anyone who has this sort of policy should look closely at the fine print.

Those policies offered by the financial institution holding your Mortgage often only cover the remaining balance of the mortgage and not the total value of the house.

Compare these plans to an Insurance policy offered by a third party and you are likely to find that you are better off to go with another policy.

Third party policies often:
  • have lower premiums
  • provide better coverage
  • pay out higher values
Look closely at why your financial institution is bundling insurance with your mortgage and you will see that it is an easy upsell, but one that is quite costly to you both in the short term and long run.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Calculate Interest Savings!

We have just loaded an Interest Rate calculator to the Save Money Now website.

Use it to compare the impact of varying rates, amortization periods and payment frequency on your debt and see what impact these variables have on your total interest payments.













Saturday, May 21, 2005

Investing in future savings...

After reading a recent article on the future of gasoline reserves there appears to be cause to consider investing in hybrid vehicles today in order to avoid price shocks in the future.

If you are considering a new vehicle it may be time to take a serious look at the alternative fuel sources.

Friday, May 20, 2005

How can you guard against rising interest rates?

Open Variable Rate Mortgages have proven to deliver significant cost savings in recent years but, as interest rates begin to creep upwards what can be done to guard against rate spikes?

If your Open mortgage allows you to pre-pay any amount anytime without penalty, now is the time to consider a hedge strategy that will allow you to enjoy the lower interest benefits of a variable rate, and protect against rising rates in the future.

Most banks will give you a pre-approved fixed rate mortgage guarantee for between 90 and 120 days, assuring you the pre-approved rate regardless of what happens to mortgage rates over the next 3- 4 months.

To protect yourself from looming interest rate hikes, visit your bank’s competitor and ask for a pre-approval on a 5-year fixed rate mortgage. Then, keep a close eye on the Prime Rate and the bond market. If rates increase tomorrow, you can exercise the fixed rate option and move your mortgage across the street, at yesterday’s rate. If rates don't move up the way you thought, do nothing and start the process over in a few months to guarantee you are covered in the case of interest rate hikes.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Drive Savings...Gasoline savings add up

Fluctuating gasoline prices provide a great opportunity to save money on a regular basis.

While nobody really understands exactly how prices at the pump are managed, we have all seen prices fluctuate between stations and even by day of week.

Depending on the market you live in, these variations are significant%-10%- 20%. Does your Bank account generate those kinds of returns?

While a few cents difference may seem insignificant at a time when you really need gas, being conscious of discounted prices and "buying on the dips" is an ideal way to put more money in your pocket.

Without changing your driving habits or buying a new vehicle here is how it adds up:

Hi today : Cleveland OH $2.29/gallon Toronto Ont $0.861/L
Lo today: Cleveland OH $1.85/gallon Toronto Ont $0.749/L

Savings: $0.44/gallon $0.112
Savings ROI 19.2% 13%


For the real impact of these savings, factor in your income tax rate and multiply it by the saving.

eg: income tax rate of 32% results in a savings of $0.112/lx1.32=$0. 1256/L x55L/week(one tank of gas for a VW Beetle)= $6.96 per week savings or $359.22 per year.

Depending on your vehicle and how much you drive, this savings can be substantially more.

There are a number of sites like www.gasbuddy.com where you can find the best gas prices in your area

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

EBay Importers....Save 600% on Customs Fees

Every one buying off of EBay is looking for a great deal but, if you are purchasing good from another country be careful of customs clearance charges and duty which can eat into your savings.

Shipments of goods between Canada-The United States-Mexico are subject to the North American Free Trade Agreement. This is good news as it eliminates duty on goods produced in North America and a number of foreign produced goods.

While NAFTA eliminates the duty, there is still a need for goods to be cleared through customs.
It is these customs charges that can vary widely and depending on the value of the product, represent close to an additional 100% of the purchase price.

If you can afford to wait a little longer for your goods to be delivered, then you can save up to 600% on the customs fees (not bad for the sake of a couple of extra days).

To get these savings you should use the US/Canadian postal service rather than a Courier company.

Customs Clearance charge(on top of freight) through a major courier is roughly $35.00
US Postal Service...$5.00
Savings 600%

Both Canada Post and USPS offer shipping services that allow you to insure the package and track shipment.

When you purchase something for $40.00 and are presented with a service charge from the courier for $30.00 more than the alternative, it hardly seems worthwhile shopping cross boarder.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Caution with Credit Card Balances

Check the fine print of your credit card agreement


Understanding the terms of your credit card can save you hundreds of dollars in hidden fees generated through the interest calculation method.



Pay off your Credit Card Balance BEFORE you use it again.

Do you carry a balance on your credit card?


Recent changes at some financial institutions will make it even more difficult to pay off your balance and will keep you paying HIGH INTEREST RATES longer.



The latest tactic by banks has changed the traditional grace period provisions on new purchases. With some Cards, anyone who carries a balance will be charged interest on new purchases from the day
of purchase this is a significant shift that will cost you a great deal.

To undertstand the impact of this shift, look at how the grace period works for those who pay off their balance:
Purchases made are interest free until the due date. (approximately 30 days use of money interest free to you)


For those carrying a balance, even if it is minimal new purchases could now accrue interest from date of purchase.
This gives the card company approximately 30 days of interest before your payment is due.
Say you make $1,000.00 of new purchases while carrying a balance, you can expect to accrue an additional $16.00 (estimated)in interest.


Clear up past due credit card balances

If you are carrying a balance, now is the time to bring all those outstanding balances up to date and restructure your Credit Card use.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Beat Down Your Taxes and Save

One of the biggest obstacles to building wealth is taxes. We have all heard the old adage about death and taxes, causing most people to be complacent with their tax bills. With others more than happy about getting a "Tax Refund" at the end of the year.

Keeping on top of your tax situation is important gives you an opportunity to get the Government's hand out of your pocket and keep some of your own hard earned money in it.

The result is, there are people who invest the time to maximize their allowable deductions and effectively keep more of their money than another's who make the same amount.

Hints to reduce income tax:
  • Ensure your employer has accurate information regarding family structure. New additions to the family can lower your taxes deducted at source and increase your take home pay.
  • Maximize allowable deductions... Education,child care expenses, home business expenses, investment losses and a range of other legitimate deductions serve to lower your taxes.
  • Consult a tax planning specialist (a tax deductible expense) and focus on activities that generate income tax savings.
With effective tax planning, it is possible to lower your tax bill and generate an ROI of 20-50% or better.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Watch the Pennies and the Dollars will follow...

Every day, small amounts of money "leak" out of our pockets.

While they are barely noticeable to most people they can add up to significant amounts of money and represent a great opportunity to generate massive returns on a simple investment of a little bit of time.

If you keep in mind that $1.00 in your pocket after tax is really $1.20-$1.50 you can see how taking the time to find savings in your daily expenses can generate significant returns in excess of 20-50% with no risk.

This site will provide you with tips on personal finance that will help you understand where you can painlessly generate savings that will improve your overall financial health.
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