$479 per month please…

Car PaymentDave Ramsey has preached for years to not ever have a car payment.  He explains why all the time but day in and day out people go and sign for a new car payment.  We live in a society where if we can make the payment then it is okay to finance it.  Well, if you want to retire very comfortably then it isn’t okay.

According to a 2007 MSN article the average car payment in the United States is $479.00.  If you carry a car payment from age 18-68 you would spend $287,400.00 in car payments.  The average household income is currently around $40,000.00 meaning you could live over 7 years without having to work and live at a standard that the average American does.  If you were to invest that money you would be a multi-millionaire when factoring in for compound interest.

The Urban Country recently posted an article stating that the average American worker works 2 hours of their day just to make the car payment:

Imagine you could work 500 hours less every year. That works out to be an extra 12.5 weeks of vacation. Alternatively, imagine you got paid for an extra 500 hours of work each year, without having to work those extra 500 hours. That would work out to be an extra $11,000 every year for an average American making $22 per hour.

500 hours a year – or 2 hours each day – is roughly the equivalent to what the average American worker will work in order to pay for their cars (the average is between 1.46 hour/day and 2.90 hours/day depending on which data is used).

Want to get a little more disturbed?  The average car loses 65% of it’s value by the end of the 5th year with Kia and Suzuki brands losing 75% in that time frame according to Wired.

So, before you plunk down a $2,4000 down payment realize you could very well purchase the 5 year old model outright and not have a payment to worry about.

Now is a car payment worth it?

How much to pay for toilet paper…

toilet paperHave you ever paid attention to what you are actually paying for toilet paper and want to know when to stock up?  Check out this excellent article over at Save The Coupons.

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couponsCoupons are getting a lot more attention now then they used to thanks to television.  However, this can still be dangerous territory if you are not careful.  It is very easy to get sucked in to “getting a deal” and going out and shopping only to discover the same item on your shelf months later.  You never really wanted it but the deal was just “to good to pass up.”

That being said, you can get some really good deals on essentials like toothpaste, toilet papers, and laundry detergent if you pay attention to what you are buying and when you are buying it.  I am not going to go into the how-tos here as many sites already do this but I wanted to give you a list of my favorite places to check out:

A lot of these sites repeat information with each other but every now and then they will have exclusive offers or exclusive content.  Find your favorite one and have fun.

*Side Note:  Remember that some coupons and inserts are regional and not carried in all papers.  I have found that sometimes papers at the convenience store are missing one insert that the home delivery people received.  This is also true for advertising inserts – the advertiser only wants to pay for guaranteed deliveries.  So when you are looking at these sites cross check the information before going out.  I have missed a few deals thinking that all the stores carried something when it was a regional special.

Getting Coupons

Two major ways of getting coupons are buying the Sunday newspaper and printing them online.  You can get them online in a lot of places but here are the major players: