Make Sure Your Used Car is Really a Good Deal

Make Sure Your Used Car is Really a Good Deal

Avoid a lemon with these simple tips

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Buying a used car is often touted as a great way to save money. But that's only true if you don't get a lemon.

If you get the wrong used car, you can spend far, far more in repairs than you ever expected. Here are some ways to avoid a lemon – and really enjoy your great deal!

See if a Warranty is Available

Some used cars are sold "as is," but others have limited warranties. If a warranty is available, research it carefully so you know what's covered and what's not.

A warranty can give you a lot of peace of mind regarding future breakdowns and repairs. Of course, that's not something you can rely on alone – you need to take other steps as well.

Test Drive the Car – Quietly

When you test drive a car, you can get a good sense of how it rides. However, it's also important to listen. And that means being quiet during the drive.

Odd knocking? Squealing belts on starting? Rattling during driving? You need to hear it all.

So don't have the radio on during a test drive – although make sure it works – and don't talk too much during the trip. Just relax, feel, and listen.

Look the Car Over

Check the car inside and out. In the engine, things should be pretty grease-free with no sign of corrosion. Watch out for wet spots, which may indicate leaking, along with melted wires and blackened tubes, which may be a sign of a previous fire.

You should also look for obvious condition issues in the interior and exterior. Dents, scratches, rust, tears in upholstery, and missing knobs are all red flags. You may not think they are a big deal, but they are an indication that the car hasn't been cared for overall.

Have a Mechanic Check it Out

Finally, take the car to an independent mechanic to have it looked over. If you have a mechanic you know, that's a good start. If not, ask your mechanic to suggest someone in the area.

It's important not to have the seller "check it out" for you, or go to someone they suggest. Unfortunately, the world is a crazy place, and you can't trust everyone.

You may have to pay a fee for the look over, but it's a small price to pay for knowing whether you're buying a used car that's good or a lemon.

Buyer Beware – But You Can Get a Great Deal!

If you've done your due diligence, you can buy a used car with confidence. It's a great way to save money and have a reliable vehicle that will last several years!

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Somehow, I Ended Up With The Best Roommate Known To Man

I've truly been blessed.

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College can be a very stressful experience to prepare for. From orientation to selecting your classes for the semester, your responsibilities quickly pile up. On top of all that, you also have to find somebody who you will be sharing a room with for your first year of college.

After not sharing a room with my sister for several years, I was worried about going back to splitting a living space with someone else. Immediately after I finished submitting my application to finalize my commitment to Temple, the stress of finding a roommate sunk in. Rooms in the residential hall I wanted were filling up quickly, and I still didn't have a roommate.

I was trying to find a roommate, but everybody seemed to already have their living situation figured out. However, one day, I received a message from a girl named Tori. Little did I know, she would become my best friend. I saw her profile prior to on RoomSync, an app for finding roommates, so I was really excited when she messaged me.

We didn't meet until move-in day, which made me a little bit anxious, but right from the start, everything clicked. We have lots of similar interests and living standards. Even though our majors are totally different, hers being biology and mine is English, that didn't stop us from being friends and enjoy spending time with one another.

In just the first weekend, Tori discovered that I hadn't seen a lot of movies that I should have seen growing up. From that point on, she created a list of various movies, and every weekend we watched at least one movie together. I don't think she has shown me a movie that I haven't liked yet, and I'm so glad that we started this tradition.

On top of movies, Tori has also expanded my music taste, which is a very hard thing to do. I couldn't be happier that she introduced me to Dean Lewis and Noah Kahan and then persuaded me to go to their concert in October with her. In general, she has got me more into music and is increasing my knowledge about music overall.

As well as going to a concert together, we also recently went to see my favorite Youtubers when they came to Philly. When we found out that Cody Ko and Noel Miller were going on a comedy tour and coming to our city, we immediately planned to buy tickets. It was a night full of laughs, and I'm so happy I got to spend it with her.

Tori Ploesch

Having a random roommate who is also your best friend is rare. I've heard a lot of horror stories about random roommates, but I honestly can't picture not being friends with Tori. Along with being an amazing roommate, she is incredibly selfless and caring. Her focus is always on helping people, and I admire her for all the hard work she puts into everything she does.

Being surrounded by people in the College of Science and Technology, I know it isn't easy. Because I have a strong dislike of science, I give major props to Tori and her friends in CST. I'm so happy she is studying something she's truly passionate about and will love doing in her future career. Whenever I meet people that want to pursue a career in science or the medical field, I immediately give them immense credit. It's extremely difficult to take that career path, and I'm already excited for Tori and her ultimate success.

College is a time for making new friends that will last even after you stop going to school together. Even though I'm only in my second semester, I know I can trust Tori with anything, and she'll be there for me when I need her. I also know that she'll be 100% honest with me when I need guidance or advice.

I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to Tori for messaging me to room with her. My college experience has been incredibly positive thus far because she has been with me through it all. I'm extremely grateful for the way things worked out because I couldn't have asked for a kinder roomie.

Thank you, Tori, for not just being an incredible person and roommate, but my best friend as well.

P.S. I can't wait to bake with you in our apartment together next semester!

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How to Fail in Business – When You’re Really Trying

You can try so hard - and mess it all up. Learn how not to!

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I've been working my business full-time for almost four years. Despite my hard work, my business very nearly failed.

I made a lot of mistakes that lead to this. I want to share those with you, so that you can learn from what I did – and have better success than my business has had.

Wait Too Long to Make the Leap

I was in a very comfortable, stable, and BORING day job. I had dead-ended in my career years before I finally had the courage to leave.

68% of employees in corporate jobs are disengaged. I was one of those folks. I had my business as a side-hustle, and it provided additional income. But I waited three years before I took my business full time!

Why?

Honestly, I let fear and security win the day – until I was truly desperate and HAD to leave. And unfortunately, that led to my second mistake.

Leave Your Job Without Savings

So, while I was comfortable, I wasn't building my income. I let myself get lazy – even though I had a business on the side. It was very difficult to prospect at night when all I wanted to was veg.

Plus, at the same time I was running my side-hustle, I was dating and eventually marrying my husband. That took a lot of energy, and I was more interested in spending time with him than in building my uncertain business.

As a result, when I finally reached my absolute limit and finally gave my two-week notice, I didn't have a cushion saved up. I had a retirement account – and I used it entirely the first year of my business.

Not recommended.

Fall For All the Marketing

I'll tell you the honest truth. It's really hard to resist the temptation to spend like crazy when you have your own business.

I had excellent credit. (HAD.) As a result, I was approved for a strong credit limit on my business credit card. And I took full advantage!

A lot of this had to do with the fact that I fell for a LOT of marketing messages. You know all the folks that say, "I built my business 1000% in one month using these five strategies?"

They're lying!

If I had realized that MUCH earlier, that alone could have helped my business stay a lot more healthy.

Here's the dirty truth – they grew their business 1000% by preying on the uncertainty of beginning business owners like you. They'll give you some generic strategies in their course – assuming you even finish it. But your results will not be theirs, because you're not following the REAL business model.

I also liked the feeling of traveling to business conferences. And those conference hotels are NOT cheap. I whipped out the credit card, oblivious. Oh – and business conferences are one more giant sales pitch. Don't fall for it.

Finding Your Footing

I made all of these mistakes, and my business is still alive. It's very rough and my family is in a deep hole. At this point I only qualify for the types of credit cards Bonsai Finance recommends for folks with bad credit. But I'm still kicking!

A lot of what I did to right the ship was to get back to my core service – freelance writing – and stop chasing every other "success story" out there. I started ignoring the marketing messages. I stopped believing the "I can show you a way to easy money," lies.

If you've found yourself struggling in your business, you may be making these mistakes. Hopefully this article has given you some clarity so you can see the way out!

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