Browsing Tag

adulting

Adulting Transition

Ultimate Guide to Getting Your First Car

March 4, 2022

Your first car could be one of your first major investments, and an important one at that. Having a personal car is a necessity nowadays because it is more convenient than commuting, especially if you are the type of person who has a lot of errands to do. But what should you consider when purchasing your first car? 

Type and model of the car

The type and model of the car are the first things you should weigh on because this one is a personal choice apart from being a practical one.

  • What type of car do you prefer?
  • Do you want a sedan or an SUV?
  • Do you need to use it for yourself only or do you have a family to consider?
  • Is it going to be for personal use or are you going to use it for a business?

These questions could lead to the type and/or model of the car you are going to get. If you still don’t have an idea of what you should buy, there are news articles that suggest the best practical cars in this season. For instance, here’s a US News article that suggests the most practical car options for the year 2021. But apart from practicality, this could also be just a personal preference. Would it be a dream car? It’s your decision to make. And after considering these, you can proceed to the next one—the price.

Price range and amortization

After choosing the type or model of the car that you want to purchase, it’s time to look around and check its price. You can go research different car dealerships near you and check if the vehicle you want is available there and how much they are selling it for. You may also review the car loan process beforehand to get all the details needed.

The best thing to do is to personally inquire and sort of get a customized deal that would suit your budget. Some car dealers try to adjust their rates depending on the capacity of the customer, considering other factors such as the amount of downpayment to be made, the length of the term, and the amount of amortization you could afford. It’s not bad to haggle sometimes.

Just remember that this is a major financial commitment and it could affect your credit score in the future. So you better make sure that you can commit to whatever deal you are going to get for your new car. 

Insurance and tax

Apart from monthly payments, your vehicle is also subject to tax. But there are vehicles that are exempted from tax such as old cars. There are also a few states that do not impose a tax on cars such as Delaware, Alaska, Oregon, New Hampshire, and Montana. You can purchase your car in these states, but you may still have to pay car tax if you move the vehicle into a state that imposes a tax on cars.

Car insurance is also important because accidents could always happen and it’s better to be secured rather than having to spend more later on. There are different types of car insurance and they vary depending on the state you are in. There is mandatory car insurance that covers your liability when accidents happen, and some options are for the damages your vehicle could get. There is also gap insurance where you get covered if the car gets stolen — basically, it prevents you from paying the whole amount of the car after it was stolen. 

These are just a few, basic pointers you need to remember when getting your first car, and again, just be reminded that purchasing a vehicle is a major decision and you should not be too quick when deciding what to buy and where to buy it from. Take your time and try to always look for the pros and cons before purchasing.

Adulting Student Life

How to Build Credit as a College Student

October 18, 2021

Going to college is all about learning, which includes your studies, but also gaining a better understanding of how to manage your finances. A key part of this is building your credit. 

According to Experian, the average FICO score — a type of credit score — in the U.S. in 2020 was 711, which falls into the good credit score range. Good credit can open up more financial opportunities during college and beyond, including more favorable loan terms and interest rates. 

If you want the benefits of having a healthy credit score, here are a few ways to help build your credit to above-average and excellent levels.

Apply for a student credit card

It can be difficult to qualify for certain credit cards when you’re starting to build credit, but student credit cards typically have less strict requirements. Even better, many of the best credit cards for students don’t come with annual costs and provide valuable benefits — which could include earning cash back on your purchases.

To find the right student card for you, consider the benefits and earning rates being offered. A card might be a good fit if its benefits and cashback bonus categories align with your spending habits and lifestyle.

Become an authorized user

You don’t have to apply and qualify for your own credit card to start building your credit. Many credit card companies allow for authorized users to be added to existing accounts. The account owner controls what the authorized user has access to, including having their own card connected to the account.

The benefit of becoming an authorized user is being able to build your credit with the help of the account owner. As long as the credit account is being used and paid off, you should see your credit start to grow. Talk with a family member or trusted friend about becoming an authorized user on their credit card account and whether it would make sense for you.

Use credit responsibly

An essential part of building and maintaining a healthy credit score is ensuring you always use credit responsibly. For example, it typically doesn’t make sense to carry a balance on a credit card because of high interest rates. Paying off your balance in full each month can help you avoid costly fees and interest charges and stay on track toward your financial goals.

It’s important to use credit responsibly so you can improve your credit score. Part of this includes budgeting for your monthly payments and making them on time — whether you open a credit card or take out a loan.

Add rent payments to your credit report

If you’re the type of person who has renters insurance and always pays rent on time, it could make sense to research and consider using a service to report your rental payment history. 

Rent payments aren’t often automatically included on credit reports, but certain services can help report your positive rent payments to different credit bureaus, which could boost your credit score. Since most college students are just getting started building credit, there’s no credit check for GradGuard’s Renters Insurance.

Consider a credit-builder loan

Apart from credit cards, you can also use loans, such as credit-builder loans, to help build your credit. With a credit-builder loan, a lender will typically add the proceeds to a secured savings account. You’ll make regular monthly payments toward the loan balance, and the money becomes available to you once you pay off the loan.

You have to pay some interest for the borrowed money, but this type of opportunity can be helpful if your options for building credit are limited. Many banks and financial institutions offer credit-builder loans.

Final thoughts

No matter your field of study, having a solid understanding of credit and its potential benefits can help shape your future financial decisions. And if you start building your credit now, you’ll pave the way for unlocking valuable financial opportunities down the road.

BIO: FinanceBuzz’sVP of Content, Tracy Odell, also held the same position at Student Loan Hero and has expertise in this subject, as well as all things related to college finances.

Adulting

Adulting 101: 15 Tips Everyone Should Know About

October 1, 2021

Let’s face it: Adulting is hard! How can you make your life smooth-sailing when transitioning from parent-dependent to living your life on your own terms?

When you were younger, you probably felt excited about the independence of adulthood. But as you entered this stage and went off to college, you probably realized you have to include home and health responsibilities, finance management, and some organization into the equation. 

It can seem overwhelming at first. Here are some tips to make adjusting easier as you handle your grown-up responsibilities.

Home

Tip 1: Clean Your Home Regularly

By regularly, I mean at least once a week. During your adulting years, you’ll experience more stress. Putting off cleaning your home will just make it worse. 

Cleaning your house regularly doesn’t just make the place tidy and organized, but it also clears your mind from too many worries. Vacuuming and mopping can be even more of a hassle if you put it off for a few weeks, so make it a habit to knock it out when you clean the bathrooms, counters, and other parts of your home.

As you declutter your house, you declutter your mind as well. 

Tip 2: Learn To Do Minor Home Repairs

You don’t have to be like The Fixer from Youtube. You just have to learn the very basics to fix minor damages quickly. 

You’ll also get to save some money you’d otherwise need to spend on experts for doing tasks you’ll later realize are so simple to do if you just did a little bit of digging on how to do it. 

Some of the things you can learn to do online are:

  • Clearing gutters
  • Patching small holes
  • Clearing gutters
  • Replacing light bulbs and light fixtures
  • Replacing a blown fuse
  • Turning off the main power supply if you’ll be out for a few days
  • Unclogging a drain
  • Plunging a toilet
  • Turning off the water supply
  • Replacing air filters

Tip 3: Learn Laundry and Mending Skills

Did you ever have a white shirt that turned pink after laundry? That doesn’t only happen in movies; it happens when you mix colored shirts and white ones in one wash. 

Or have you tried wearing a shirt that used to fit right only to feel extra tight after it went through the dryer? It happens.

To avoid those things from happening, here are some laundry skills you need to keep in mind:

  • Separate delicates, whites, and darks when washing
  • Do small loads at low heat when drying clothes to avoid shrinking
  • Use warm water or cool setting to prevent color bleeds
  • Hang delicates when drying to keep the cloth quality intact

Moreover, you’re bound to get ripped shirts, popped buttons, or broken zippers one day. Learn to do basic sewing, button, and zipper change. There are plenty of tutorials and how-to articles out there!

Health And Wellness

Tip 4: Learn To Cook

Relying on fast food, takeouts, and deliveries isn’t just unhealthy; it bores a big hole in your pocket. I’m not saying you have to avoid those altogether; you just have to minimize depending on them by learning to cook

You can either take a cooking class, ask your mom to teach you, download meal apps, or watch Youtube videos on meals you’d like to eat. 

Tip 5: Set At Least 30 Minutes Daily For Exercise

You don’t have to get a gym membership. A short walk, 15 minutes of light stretching, or a video-guided exercise on Youtube will suffice. 

As you grow older, you’ll start to feel aches here and there. Setting a few minutes of exercise a day keeps you physically agile and prevents sores you’d likely get from sitting all day. 

Tip 6: Schedule Annual Doctors Appointments

Taking care of your body now will save you from serious health complications down the line.

Scheduling appointments for yearly physicals, regular teeth cleaning, and eye checkups will help you catch anything early and get it treated before it gets worse.

Finances

Tip 7: Create A Budget

Unless you have an unlimited cash inflow, you’ll need to create a budget. It’ll help you prioritize spending on the essentials and put spending on wants in place. 

Spending like a king on the day you receive your pay or allowance will get you hanging by a thread weeks before the next allowance or pay arrives. 

Creating a budget also allows you to allot some cash for savings to have something handy for the rainy days. 

Tip 8: Save For At Least 3-6 Months Of Your Monthly Expenses

You don’t know when times will get hard. If you find yourself unexpectedly unemployed, an emergency savings fund will save you stress and potentially get you in debt.

Tip 9: Consider a Secondary Source Of Income

If your time allows for it, find another source of income. It’ll help you save larger amounts, pay off debts faster, or take a nice vacation.

Flipping burgers isn’t your only choice. If you have a creative eye, you can design comic books, magazines, or booklets then get it printed to be sold or as a portfolio to get clients. You can also do digital illustrations if you have a knack for it. Side hustles are everywhere if you look hard enough.

Tip 10: Learn A New Skill

Find a skill you’d like to develop and think of ways you can make money from it. 

The digital world offers a lot of potential, and it continues to grow since the demand for it in virtually all industries increases. 

Interested in photography? Learn it and create a website for it.

Always on social media? Learn social media marketing. 

Want to master writing? Learn copywriting or content writing SEO for eCommerce

If you can’t find a physical job right after graduating or want to quit your stressful 9-5 job, having an extra skill will ensure you’ll have other ways to fend for yourself. 

Tip 11: Get Insurance

There are tons of types of insurance, but for adulting, the best ones to get are life insurance, medical insurance, and auto insurance. Don’t forget tuition insurance if you’re still in college and renters insurance whether you’re living on or off-campus!

Getting insurance will ensure injuries or accidental damage are covered, and you won’t be shelling out a ton of money out of pocket.

Others

Tip 12: Plan Out Every Day And Stick To It

Wait. Before you say planning and organizing is not your cup of tea, hear me out first. 

You don’t have to be extra detailed about your daily, weekly, or monthly activities. That’s too overwhelming. 

Just jot down the most important things you need to get done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. 

You can take note of:

  • Homework
  • Meetings
  • Regular chores
  • Bills payment dues
  • And important events

This way, you won’t condemn yourself for missing events, forgetting to have some broken appliance checked, or being late and unprofessional in meetings. 

Creating a simple organizer or journal says a lot about your work ethic. When adulting, you always want to leave a good impression.

Tip 13: Acknowledge Your Limits

You are no superhero. Don’t spread yourself too thin by committing to too many meetups, work, and other activities. 

Thinking you can do everything will only lead to burnout. When you’re adulting, the world isn’t too forgiving when you break down from exhaustion, so make sure you get enough rest by acknowledging you can only do so much. 

Also, learn to say no. It’ll save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Tip 14: Take A Break

When everything is closing down on you, take a breather. It could be a weekend drive, a few days of vacation on a beach, a visit home, or a day of hiking near nature. 

Pulling away from your usual routine will help you think clearly of why you’re doing what you’re doing and get you re-energized to start your routine again. 

Tip 15: Keep A Routine Maintenance Of Your Car

Your car breaking down in the middle of nowhere or the middle of a busy street will take your stress to a whole new level. Towing and repairs can be costly too. 

To keep preventable breakdowns from happening, always do:

  • Regular oil change
  • Tire rotation/alignment
  • Filter change

Like learning minor repairs in a house, you should also learn to change a flat tire. It’ll save you time waiting for somebody else to do it for you and save you money for calling on a tire expert to do this simple task. 

Don’t forget about registration renewals too. The last thing you want is to pay for a ticket!

Conclusion

Adulting doesn’t have to be back-breaking ( figuratively and literally). Keeping these 15 adulting tips on your home, health and wellness, finances, and other areas will make your grown-up responsibilities worth taking, less stressful, and enjoyable. 

Other Student Life

10 Ways for Students to Celebrate Black History Month

February 14, 2021

February is Black History Month which is a time to reflect on the contributions of Black people in the U.S.

1. Educate Yourself

It’s always good to learn more and educate yourself on topics of Black History and issues that the Black community faces. You can find resources through your school’s library or also can find valuable content on YouTube or elsewhere online, such as David Ikard’s TEDx Talk The Dangers of Whitewashing Black History.

2. Donate to Black Non-Profits

Donating what you can to a non-profit that supports Black individuals is a great way to celebrate this month. Check out charitynavigator.org for a list of reputable non-profits that you can donate to this month.

3. Support Black-Owned Businesses

Check out these resources for locating black-owned businesses near you! It’s also valuable to note that instead of making a one-time purchase, make an effort to consistently support these businesses throughout the year.

4. Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to stay entertained and hear different perspectives throughout your day. These podcasts with Black hosts focus on a variety of topics, including 1619 and Code Switch.

5. Diversify Your Social Media Feed

Social media can take up a lot of your day. It’s easy to endlessly scroll but it’s also important to notice who you’re scrolling through. If you’re looking to diversify your feed and hear from Black creators, follow accounts like @ohhappydani on Instagram and @aliciagarza on Twitter.

6. Read a Book

Here are some books from Black authors that you can read this month. You can also team up with your friends and read it together and talk about it after. Don’t know where to start? Check out this list that includes Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am and The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

7. Watch a Film

Make it a movie night and pick a documentary or film that highlights Black history. Check out this list of must-watch documentaries from PBS, including Freedom Riders and Slavery by Another Name.

8. Support Black Artists

If you are looking to spice up your living space or for a unique gift, check out some of these Black-owned Etsy shops.

9. Sign Up For a Virtual Event

Check out an event that your school is holding in honor of Black History Month, even if it’s being held virtually due to the pandemic. It’s always a good idea to learn more through your campus resources and to participate in dialogue with others.

10. Stand By and Support Black Students on Campus

Find ways to support your school’s Black Student Union throughout the school year and be sure to stand by Black students amidst instances of hate that are occurring on college campuses.

Make sure to continue to uplift Black voices throughout the year, educate yourself and reflect.