How to Buy a Car Online – My Carvana.com Experience

How to Buy a Car Online – My Carvana.com Experience

I bought a car from Carvana.com and it was the easiest, most pain-free experience I’ve ever had. Now understand, I’ve only bought two cars in my life from a dealer. This purchase makes three times but it was totally different from what I experienced and even what my daughter recently experienced a few months ago when she bought a car.

The car-buying experience is notoriously long and according to an Autotrader survey, only 1% of consumers enjoy their experience. The average person spends three hours in the dealership to buy a car with a 56% satisfaction rate. You could do so much in that space of time. Might as well bring a book or get some work done.

I had been thinking about buying a car because my 13-year old car, a 2004 Honda CRV named Taffy, is hanging on by a thread. Well not really. It’s in good running shape though it needs a tune up and new tires. It was hit in an accident a year ago and technically totaled because the value of the car is less than the cost to repair. It is still damaged in the back and there is likely some structural damage but it keeps going. It is time to retire her. It’s the kindest thing to do for her after her faithfulness all these years.

The Search for a Car Begins

I work in the auto industry so I have access to deep discounts for a new car. I can lease for next to nothing but I couldn’t help but think about how reliable my old Honda has been for the last 13 years. I just can’t imagine another car doing that well. I hesitated to buy a car outside the Honda or Toyota family (my daughter has a Toyota) so I waited and prayed about it a bit more. I waited for the right timing, a hunch, a still small voice to tell me to go ahead and go to a dealership. I never got the feeling to go so I waited a bit longer. I got the control number to buy a car below invoice and I’ve had co-workers tell me they would let me use their family and friends discount. I thanked them and I waited.

Checking Out Carvana.com to Buy a Car

One day at my desk Carvana.com flashed through my mind. I went to the website and signed up for an account. They did a soft credit report pull and I could see the available cars, how much the monthly payment would be, and the down payment. There were quite a few $0 down payment cars on the site which was shocking to me. These were quality cars with great ratings. I could see how much I’d have to pay monthly.

I went home and called the Carvana to ask questions. I wanted to be sure there would be no bait and switch tactics if I decided to pursue purchasing a car. The representative said the financing was 90% or better accurate. There would be no drastic difference. I asked a few more questions about how long it would take for the financing to be completed. It would usually be within 24 hours. I asked one or two other questions and then I ended the call. They assured me they would answer any other questions I had.

Taking the Plunge

The next day I chatted with a co-worker during lunch. I mentioned that I was still using Lyft to get around and that I planned to buy a car in a couple of weeks. We talked about the kind of cars that were available through the company and even looked a few in the parking lot that other employees owned. I went back to my desk and felt the nudge to go back to the Carvana site. I logged in and looked around. I asked God which car should I choose. I kept looking and then I saw a Honda CR-V EX-L. It was a 2014 model with one scratch on the hood but it was otherwise perfect.

The website is designed to give you a 360-degree view around and inside the car as well as under the hood. This car had great features including seat warmers, satellite radio ready, USB and Bluetooth connections. The engine was a nice size and it had a sunroof and leather seats. The color is also nice too. The price was within my budget range and it was $0 down payment. Perfect! I added to my saved vehicles then added a second CR-V along with a Buick that I had my eye on. The Buick was only 2WD but the Honda was 4WD so that bumped out the Buick.

I kept searching but came back to the EX-L model. A voice said to buy it so I clicked the Get Started button. From there it was smooth sailing.

 

 

The Easiest Car-buying Experience Ever!

It took less than 30 minutes to do everything from start to finish. I went through the steps and then uploaded my proof of income. The next page asked me when I wanted to pick up the car. Wow! This was too easy!

There was an address for me to pick up the car but I clicked the delivery button instead. I could choose a date within two days and a time. I had two time slots to choose from so I chose the 6-7pm time slot. The next screen asked me to review and sign the contract or download to review. I waited until I got home to review and sign. I couldn’t believe how easy it all was going.

About 15-30 minutes later I got an email requesting proof of residence which I sent then shortly after that I go another email saying my delivery was confirmed. What!?!?!?!

Insurance Obligations

The next step was to get insurance on the car so I would have proof when the car was delivered. I planned to get insurance the next day but Providence had other plans. My insurance company called me 5-10 minutes later about my current car and setting up the safe drive feature. I said I would do it that weekend and then I told her I would need to put another car on my policy. A few minutes later I had insurance on the new car. It was all so easy.

I am over the top excited about the new car and still in disbelief about how easy the process was from start to finish. There was no haggling, waiting, worrying, or anything that looked stressful. I would absolutely, positively recommend that all my friends buy a car this way. Carvana made the car buying process stress-free and amazingly fantastic! I know I’m using a lot of adjectives but it was freaking awesome! Ok, so back to the story…

Car Delivery Day

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My car was delivered two days later on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The poor lady (Jamaica) who delivered the car got all wet but she was a trooper and had a great attitude. My car was gently rolled off the hydraulic lift and driven up my driveway. I had to sign the paperwork to get my tag and title mailed to me. This is one of my favorite parts; not having to go to the DMV to register my car. Yes!!!!

Jamaica gave me a goodie bag and the keys to my car. She was there less than 15 minutes and I had my new car to drive around for seven days to be sure I liked it. On day five Jamaica from Cavana called me and asked if everything was still going well. I absolutely loved driving my car around and enjoying the new car smell.

Since I didn’t request a return or exchange the car is mine. My first payment was in one month and I can pay it online. There is no pre-payment penalty if I want to pay it off. I just call to add extra payments to the principal so I get the credit. This is a great way to pay down a mortgage payment too.

Buying a car with Carvana was the best buying experience I’ve ever had. I know I said this already but it truly was. My daughter bought a car a few months before I did and it was a 4-hour process!! Ugh!!! She was blessed beyond belief but the time spent in the dealership was soooo loonnnggg!!! For her next car, we will definitely buy online.

How to Get over the Intimidation of Buying a Car Online

I realize some people may be a little intimidated with buying a car unseen. You don’t get to test drive it or spend hours waiting for a finance manager to call up 10,000 finance companies (just kidding) to accept your application. You may or may not get a friendly, helpful, and genuinely interested person on your side.

The things that made my car buying experience amazing are:

– I had an idea of what I wanted in terms of specific type of car and amenities
– I had been monitoring my credit over the previous months so I knew what the possibilities were for financing monitoring my credit over the previous months so I knew what the possibilities were for financing
– I am comfortable buying things online
– The return policy was acceptable to me
– I trusted God through the process to lead me to the right car
– I know the value of buying a gently used car over a brand new one
– I am good at making a choice once I have all the answers I need to make an intelligent decision
So, if you are comfortable with doing the things I did you can buy a car online too. If you have a problem with unknowns, then this might not be for you. If you are scared to do anything outside your comfort zone this might not be for you. If you are suspicious about every doggone thing, this is definitely not for you.

If you have a million and one hang-ups about life in general, this is not for you. You will make yourself miserable and worry yourself sick throughout the process. I’d recommend you get some serious help and call on Jesus for that… Seriously you are making your life a living hell with that kind of drama. Buying a car or buying a trip, home, or anything that is going to change and/or enhance your life should not cause you pain.

If you have questions about my Carvana car buying experience shot me a message or leave a comment below. If you are in the market to buy a car then head over to Carvana.com and see what the possibilities are.

6 Ways to Save More Money Every Month

6 Ways to Save More Money Every Month

If saving money was easy, everyone would be doing it. Unfortunately, the excuses for not are easy to stack — what with mortgage or rent, utilities, kids, student loans, pets, food and just the slightest social life, it can seem like there isn’t a penny to spare.

The trick to saving more is to make it simple, make it automatic and make it something you never have to think about. Still not convinced you can hack it? Check out some of these easy ways to save more every month and you might be surprised how much your bank account grows.

1. Sign Up For an Account That Automatically Saves For You

Many banks make it easy for customers to save these days by doing it for them automatically. For example, enroll in Bank of America’s Keep the Change program and for every purchase you make using a Bank of America debit card, the bank will automatically round your purchase to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference from your checking account to your savings. How easy is that? Check with your own bank to see if they offer a similar program.

2. Automate Your Savings Yourself

If you’re more of a “do-it-yourself” kind of person, automate your savings yourself by signing up for a monthly transfer directly from your checking into your savings account. You’ll know the transfer is coming every month, which will make you feel good, but you won’t have to go in and physically make the transfer yourself, which will feel even better. If you can, try setting up multiple savings accounts for your different goals (i.e. house, travel, emergency, etc.). By purposefully diverting your hard-earned money into specific buckets, you’ll feel more like you’re working toward an actual goal, rather than just generally saving for a rainy day.

3. Use a Financial App to Track Your Progress

If you find that it’s hard for you to save because you aren’t seeing your progress at any given time unless you log into multiple accounts, there’s an app for that. Download a budgeting app and you can connect all of your banking in one area for ease of use. Don’t feel comfortable with an app? Your bank may offer something similar on their website. Now every time you make a purchase, put money into savings or take cash out of the ATM, you’ll be able to see exactly how your money moves have affected your current savings, goals and budget.

4. Make the Most of Your Credit Cards

If your current credit card isn’t garnering you some type of rewards, it may be time to make a switch. These days, credit cards offer such great incentives through rewards programs, so unless you’re prone to carry a balance on your card from month to month (rewards cards can come with higher annual percentage rates, which can cut into any rewards you earn), you could be missing out on some serious savings. If it’s pure cash that you’re interested in, check out Credit.com’s guide to finding the right cash-back rewards credit card.

5. Learn to Haggle

Remember, cars aren’t the only things you can haggle over. Check with your internet and cable provider and call your cell phone company to see if the price you currently pay is the best they can do. Ask for discounts on items in the grocery or retail stores, too. Take the difference between what you would have been paying and the final price you end up with and stock it away in savings.

6. Avoid Paying ATM Fees

You might think ATM fees aren’t worth worrying about, but those quick trips to the ATM can really add up. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to avoid paying ATM fees.

Remember, you’ll save money on everything from your mortgage and auto loan to credit card interest if your credit scores are good. If you don’t know where yours stand, you can find out by taking a look at your free credit report summary.

Looking for more ideas on how to save each month? Check out these 12 ways to lower your cellphone bill. 

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 6 Ways to Save More Money Every Month appeared first on Credit.com.

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How I (a Single Mom) Went from $6.25/hr to $108,000 a year!

How I (a Single Mom) Went from $6.25/hr to $108,000 a year!

You’ve heard the stories about how people went from rags to riches. Well, this is not exactly that kind of story, but it is my true story of how I went from making minimum wage ($6.25/hr) to 6-figures. It took some time to accomplish this so hooray for me. Fortunately for you, if you are just starting your journey of single motherhood you can cut the learning curve by a few years.

Here is the first part of the story and the first step for you on the path to greater wealth, health, and happiness for your and your family. It doesn’t matter how broke you feel, how bummed out your bank account looks, or how screwed up everything feels right now. If you take the time to clear the cobwebs and a few dollars to invest in yourself you can be making six-figures in half the time I did (or better).

To hear the rest of the story and exact technique I used to move from mediocre minimum wage to a sexy six-figure income keep reading.

I’ve created a masterclass for you to sit in on from the comfort of your home.

You don’t have to worry about getting a sitter, finding a parking space, or struggling through hours of textbooks or homework.

I give you everything you need to begin your journey toward successfully changing the direction of your life so you can start making more money than you ever made before.

The only thing holding you back is maybe fear and the only person holding you back, is you.

Here are the details about the Masterclass

What you’ll learn:

  • My mindset and decision-making process for going from minimum wage to six-figures
  • How to shift your money mindset
  • How to create a money master plan
  • Seven Steps to Success

Class Start Date:

Anytime (If you enroll by June 7, 2017, you will receive 50% off the course)

What You Will Get:

  • Lifetime access to the class
  • Updated information and modules
  • Secure Discussion Forum
  • Access to the brand new Six-Figure Single Mom Facebook Group
  • Bonus Expert Interviews
  • Discounts on other classes

Your Investment:

This masterclass is a small investment of $49 but the results you will get if you take action and copy my process will return you that money 100 times over!

Think about what you can do with that money:

  • Move into a better home and neighborhood instead of being afraid to walk from your car to apartment because of the riff-raff
  • Drive a better car instead of worrying the old car is going to break down on you
  • Send the kids to better schools instead of being frustrated they are around bad influences or getting sub-par education
  • Take a vacation or multiple vacations a year
  • Open a real savings account instead of relying on the change jar
  • Start a business to put even more money away for college or to finally work for yourself
  • Pay for all your child’s favorite activities instead of making excuses for why they can’t get involved
  • Never worry about paying the bills in full every month instead of making payment arrangements or robbing Peter to pay Paul
  • Go to the movies and buy popcorn, drinks, and candy instead of waiting until it comes out on DVD

There are so many things you can do with more money. I’ve only named a few that I’ve personally experienced since I’ve started bringing in more income.

Are these reasons enough for you to enroll in the course? if you are on the fence just look into the faces of your kids and let them be your motivation.

Here is the link to enroll in the course: 6-figure Single Mom Masterclass

Remember, if you enroll by June 7 you will get 50% off the enrollment fee. Instead of paying $49 you will only pay $24.50 when you enter coupon code 50off. Don’t wait because on June 8 the price will return to $49.

 

Manifest $10k by Cassie Parks Video Interview

Manifest $10k by Cassie Parks Video Interview

I had a fun interview with Cassie Parks, author of the new book, Manifest $10,000 recently. She shared a few tips with me about how to manifest $10k that I know you can use and take action on. It will surprise you how easy it is to attract more money in your life. Watch the interview and her her tips.

I was excited to do this interview because a couple of years ago I manifested $9,000 into my life. I promise you, it won’t come in the way you typically think, but that’s the beauty of it all. Money doesn’t have to be a struggle if you can learn how to release the old way of thinking.

I also want to mention that Cassie has a program you can join to help you manifest $10k. It is only $1 to join then you simply donate 10% of what you manifest. How awesome is that! There is no excuse for you is there?

Connect with her at CassieParks.com or at Manifest10k.com. You can buy a copy of her book at Amazon.com or enter the Manifest $10k Book Giveaway to win one of three copies of the book!

 

 

Enter to Win a copy of Manifest $10k by Cassie Parks

Listen and/or download the audio version

How to Make Summer Camp Fit Your Family’s Budget

How to Make Summer Camp Fit Your Family’s Budget

Last summer, the New York Times ran a piece about families who can’t afford summer camp or other programs for their kids. It highlights a problem for many working parents: Summertime care for kids is expensive.

This is especially true if your kids are in public school during the year. You suddenly go from paying nothing to have your kids cared for all day to paying a whole lot of money. Many parents may not have much choice but to find summertime childcare.

If this is the boat you’re in, here are a few ways to find a summer camp for your kid and options that may make it more affordable.

1. Check Online for Summer Camp Options

These days most states and major metropolitan areas have parent blogs or magazines devoted to the local area. In my local Indianapolis, for instance, we have Indy’s Child magazine and IndywithKids.com. Both feature a listing of local summer camp options.

Chances are you can find something similar for your area. If you can’t, there are national resources, too. The American Camp Association has a database for finding day and overnight camps in your area. It leans towards ACA accredited camps, though it will list some not accredited. When I ran it for our area, it turned up some but not all the options I know are available. Still, it could be a place to begin your search for a summer camp.

2. Choose a Less Expensive ‘Base Camp’ Option

One thing that makes summer camp expensive is the specialized options. I’ve seen sports camp, Lego camp, technology camp, horse camp and more. If your kid goes to these specialty camps for the summer, you’ll undoubtedly spend more money.

However, many local YMCAs, schools, daycares, churches and city parks programs offer more traditional summer camps. Our daughter’s daycare, for instance, offers a school-aged summer camp program where they hang out at the daycare for much of the day, but also take trips to local parks, libraries, and pools. It’s nothing spectacular, but it’s safe, fun, affordable childcare.

If you can find an option like this, build your summer around it. Then you can splurge on a week or two of more expensive specialty camps for your kid.

Where do you find these less expensive options? Check out the following:

  • YMCA: The Y runs summer camps all over the U.S., and sometimes offers a sliding scale fee to make things more affordable. While they offer more expensive specialty camps, most local Y’s also offer traditional day camp options.
  • Churches and religious centers: Many churches and religious community centers offer summer-long day camp options that are quite affordable.
  • Schools: Local schools with before- and after-care programs may transition those into affordable summer camps with fun activities for kids.
  • Parks and recreation: City and county parks and rec departments also run summer camps, and these tend to be more affordable than other options.
  • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: If your child is a scout, look into their summer camp options. These are often overnight options, but they tend to be very affordable.
  • Local businesses: Sometimes local businesses offer summer camp-like programs that are for mentoring older kids who may want to become entrepreneurs. These camps may be based on an application process, so be on the lookout well ahead of time.
  • Local colleges: Often local colleges and universities provide camps as a way to get their own students teaching, leadership and coaching experience.

3. Consider a Nanny Camp

Can’t find any affordable summer camp options in your area? Consider putting together a “nanny camp” with friends or neighbors. This is basically a summer-long nanny sharing program.

You’ll hire a nanny to take care of a reasonable number of kids — say four or five — and the nanny can do some summer-camp activities, like going to local parks and pools. This works best if the kids in the nanny camp are around the same age, and if you can provide the nanny with a safe way to get the kids around town.

4. Ask for Assistance

If you can’t afford even the least expensive camp option on your list, ask for financial assistance. Many summer camps offer scholarships for enrollment fees. Sometimes the information about these options isn’t easy to find, so ask about it. Even if you feel like you make too much money to qualify, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

You should also check for discounts. Some camps offer early registration discounts, and others will give you a reduced rate if you pay for the whole season at once. Tons of summer camps also have sibling discount options, which is why it often makes sense to enroll your kids in the same summer camp.

Making summer camp fit into your family’s budget can be tough, especially if you’re not already used to paying for full-time childcare. But there are plenty of excellent, affordable options out there if you just know where and how to look.

Cards for Camp?

You may be tempted to apply for a credit card to earn rewards for your summer expenses. If you do, be sure to check the terms and conditions so you know what you’re getting into. Also, make sure to check your credit to make sure you’ll qualify. You can view two of your scores on Credit.com.

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