Posts tagged with "finances"

Kaelen Felix illustrates truck article for 360 Magazine

How to Buy a Truck You’ll Cherish for Years

If you’re ready to finally pull the trigger and buy a new truck, it can be difficult to know where to start. On the one hand, buying a new vehicle is always exciting. However, you also need to be conscious of your budget and long-term satisfaction with the vehicle. 

Buying a new car is a big investment. Don’t rush your decision and end up making a mistake you’ll regret for years to come. We want to help.

Keep reading for our top tips on how to buy a truck you’ll love now and in the future. 

Figure Out Your Finances

One of the most important things to do before making a big investment is to take an objective look at your finances. How much can you afford to make on monthly truck payments?

Your budget needs to include other costs associated with buying a new truck. For example:

  • Sales tax
  • Auto insurance
  • Registration fees
  • Fuel costs
  • Regular maintenance and repairs

We also recommend getting pre-approved for an auto loan to make sure you’re eligible for the price range you’re shopping under. If your pre-approval comes up short, you may want to spend a few months improving your credit score.

Save for a Down Payment

One of the best ways to get approved for a larger loan with lower interest rates is by putting money down on your new truck. This is one of the most important steps of learning how to buy a truck the right way. The difference of a single percentile on your interest can account for thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Determine the Type of Truck You Want

When buying a new truck, you also need to take a little time to figure out what types of trucks are best for your lifestyle. For example, if you’re planning on using the truck as your primary means of transportation to and from work in the city, you’ll want something with excellent fuel efficiency. 

Alternatively, if you’re planning on using the truck for outdoor recreation activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping, you’ll want something a little more rugged. You will undoubtedly need a four-wheel-drive vehicle. 

Finally, consider hauling and towing capacities. Will the truck be towing a camper, boat, or trailer?

Decide What Features Are Important to You

Learning how to buy a truck that’s perfect for you means prioritizing your wants and needs. For example, do you want all the bells and whistles of high-end luxury models? These include things like smart entertainment systems, top-notch speakers, heated and cooled seats, advanced driver features, and more.

These models are more expensive but provide much more comfort, luxury, and convenience. 

Do Your Homework

Before buying a new truck, it’s vital to do a little digging. Lookup vehicle ratings and reviews.

Look at professional safety ratings from certified organizations. However, you should also see what other drivers have to say about the vehicle. Find customer reviews and testimonials from people who have the same truck you’re considering buying. 

For reference, check out this review on the Chevy Silverado.

Decide if You Want to Buy New or Used

Another important step in the truck buying guide is deciding if you want to buy a new or used pickup. There are pros and cons to both sides of the argument. 

New

Buying a brand new pickup means you’re getting a vehicle with no previous owners. It also comes with manufacturer warranties that will last up to 60,000 miles or five years. However, brand new trucks are much more expensive and can lose as much as 30% of their value in the first year.

Used

Alternatively, buying a used truck most likely means forgoing any warranties. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you’re buying from a credible seller to avoid buying a truck with pre-existing issues. However, buying used may save you thousands of dollars and grant you access to high-end models you may not have been able to afford new.

Certified Pre-Owned

Finally, there’s a happy medium between the two options. CPOs are slightly used vehicles that have been refurbished to like-new condition. They’re more expensive than traditional used vehicles but are given new warranties. 

Get the Vehicle History Report

Learning how to buy a truck used means getting your hands on the vehicle history report. This is especially important when buying from a private seller. The vehicle history report records vital information about the truck’s past, such as:

  • Number of previous owners
  • Locations of registration
  • Accident/repair history
  • Maintenance history
  • Factory recalls
  • Commercial history (used in a commercial fleet for rent or lease)

Technology has made tracking a vehicle’s history easier than ever. As such, it’s now virtually risk-free to buy a vehicle with s solid history report.

Take the Truck on a Test Drive

Last but not least, when buying a new truck, make sure you test drive it before you make any final decisions. For all you know, you may not even enjoy driving the model you’ve picked out. Make sure the truck feels intuitive, responsive, and easy to handle. 

Depending on the type of truck and what you’ll be using it for, you may want one that produces minimal engine noise and road noise. If the vehicle is used, make sure all the instrument panels, driver features, entertainment equipment, and other electronics work properly. 

Regardless of the temperature outside, ensure both the heating and the air conditioning work, as well. Have someone stand outside and check the brake lights, headlights, brights, turn signals, etc.

If you feel it necessary, consider taking the truck to a trusted mechanic for a full inspection. 

Looking for More Tips on How to Buy a Truck?

We hope our list helps you find the best pickup truck you’ll cherish for years to come. And remember, if you can’t afford the truck you want now, save up for a few months to make your dream a reality. Patience pays off. 

And if you’re looking for more tips on how to buy a truck and other auto-related news, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. We have an entire section dedicated to the auto industry for people just like you.

Basketball illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Projected NBA Revenue 

Data gathered by Safe Betting Sites shows that the NBA sponsorship revenue over the past decade amounts to about $9.24 billion. According to the data, the revenue is projected to grow by 159.33% between 2010 and 2020. 

Sponsorship revenue to peak during 2019/20 season. The revenue will be highest during the current 2019/20 season at $1.39 billion while during the 2009/10 season the revenue stood at $536 million. 

The revenue surpassed the one billion mark during the 2017/18 season when it stood at $1.12 billion and later grew by 15.89% to 1.29 billion in the 2018/19 season. 

From the data, the biggest growth was between the 2016/17 and 2017/18 season with a percentage increase of 30.08%. 

The coronavirus pandemic might impact the current season’s sponsorship revenue. According to our research report: “It is important to note that the NBA’s unprecedented move to suspend its season early this year due to the coronavirus had an immense cost as the league’s clubs collectively lost millions in game-day revenue for games canceled. This move might significantly impact the 2020 figures. However, the league is expected to resume later this month.”

Our research also overviewed sports sponsorship spending in the United States from 2014 to 2024. By 2024, the spending will grow to $19.8 billion, an increase of 27.74% from the estimated 2020’s figure of $15.5 billion.

By next year, the spending will stand at about $16.4 billion, which will later increase by  6.09% to $17.4 billion by 2022. In 2023, the spending is projected to stand at $18.5 billion.  Between 2014 and this year, the sponsorship has grown by 28.09%. From the data, the lowest spending was registered six years ago at $12.1 billion.

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Vaughn Lowery, Alejandra Villagra, illustration, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Reasons You Should Create A Financial Budget

To successfully manage your finances, you must create a budget and stick to it. This may not be easy at first, but it is a rewarding endeavor that will benefit your life. Getting a handle on your hard-earned money makes a huge difference in your lifestyle. Making a financial budget is necessary to live a full life because your choices can make or break you. Here are the top five reasons why you should create a financial budget.

Gives You Control

Your financial budget will give you more control over your money. You will know how much you earn, where every penny is going, and how much you need to save each month. Everything is enumerated, so there is no room for errors. With this roadmap, you have a clear grasp of all your assets and liabilities. It will prevent arguments and protect your relationships because everyone in your family is on board. You all have a clear picture of what is happening with your funds, which helps avoid misunderstandings and arguments.

Helps Attain Goals

A budget is akin to a blueprint that will help guide you into achieving your financial goals, both short-term and long-term. Whether it is setting funds enough for investments, buying a new house, saving money for your kids’ college tuition, or preparing for an emergency, having a definite plan on how to get things done makes you more efficient. You can prioritize your objectives, so you can readily devote your resources to the things that matter to you. With a plan in place, you can crush your goals without getting super stressed out. As the saying goes, people who fail to plan, plan to fail. If you want to hit your targets successfully, you must be willing to do your part.

Keeps You Honest

When you document all your expenses down to the last cent, it allows you to see how you are spending your money concretely. You don’t get surprised that your paycheck has been depleted at the end of each month. With this mindset, you avoid nasty overdraft charges and steep credit card feels. When you hold yourself accountable every day, there is less risk of impulse purchases that drain your savings. When you are true to yourself about your spending habits, you can quickly achieve your goals.

Helps Improve Your Habits

It is a terrible habit to spend more than you earn. This sets you up for a lifetime of misery because you will be immersed in debt. If you continue your bad habits, you set yourself up for financial ruin. By accounting how much you spend and making a budget for your needs, you will make better choices. With these in place, your warning bells will ring when you notice that you are headed in the wrong direction. Consequently, you can take the necessary steps to avoid trouble by inculcating good financial habits. Keeping a budget or financial plan also trains you to be more systematic and consistent with your record-keeping.

Deters Debt and Improves Credit

With a solid financial plan in place for yourself and your family, you are in complete control of your spending. You can make adjustments with your choices if your budget doesn’t cut it. You may also be able to determine ways to help address your existing debt. Moreover, your budget will prevent you from accruing more debt and entering a dangerous downward spiral. When you have your plan in place, you are motivated to pay your bills on time because you see the results firsthand. All of these elements work in conjunction to help you build a good credit score. Better credit gives you more favorable options to lean on during financial emergencies.

Final Word

Crunching numbers may not be as fun as going on an all-out shopping spree, but you need to be more financially responsible as this equates to a better overall quality of life. Having a financial budget prevents you from spending money that you don’t have. Crafting a detailed budget that everyone follows is the only way to achieve real security for your family. Apart from keeping your short-term spending in check, it also sets you up for a more solid long-term financial future.

360 magazine, save money, money, Alejandra Villagra

How to Save Money For What You Really Want

Whether you are looking to save money in order to clear your debt, purchase a new car, put a deposit down on a new home, stage the perfect wedding,or go on the vacation of a lifetime, these simple budgeting tips will help you save money. It might seem difficult at first, but the key is to look at it as a spending plan rather than a restrictive budget. You will not be quitting spending completely, instead you will be prioritizing some financial goals over others.

Make a Budget

A popular budget that many people use to save money is the 50/30/20 budget. 

  • 50% of your post-tax income is used for necessities.
  • 30% is devoted to things you want.
  • 20% is stowed away in savings.

If you stick to this spending plan, you should be able to save a lot of money over the course of a year.

Use Digital Tools

There are lots of apps out there to help you budget. Some banks automatically transfer money from your checking account to your savings account each time you spend. You will not even notice that the money is gone until you start to see your savings grow. This is great because it allows you to save money with the minimum amount of effort. 

Collect Your Change

Empty your pockets when you get home each day and put the coins in a money box. Checking down underneath the cushions on the sofa, or underneath your car seat are also great ways to help fill your pot.

Cut Down on Expensive Clothes

It is possible to spend vast amounts of money keeping up with the latest trends in fashion. However, the clothes are often overpriced and tend to go out of style very quickly. It is okay to splurge on something you really love occasionally, but for the most part you can get high quality clothing at sites like this for a fraction of the cost.

Plan Major Purchases

Always plan to make major purchases, such as household appliances, furniture, computer equipment or cars, during annual sale periods. Post-Christmas, January sales and Black Friday events are perfect for this. Another underappreciated tip is to wait two days before making a purchase, even after you have decided on which product you are going to buy. This helps prevent buyer’s remorse.

Remain a Stranger to Online Stores

A great way to limit the amount of money you spend online is to opt out of creating online shopping accounts. You are much less likely to make impulse buys if you are required to go through the arduous process of filling out all of your personal data and billing information each time you click through to the online checkout.

Make Your Own Gifts

The cost of buying birthday, Christmas, anniversary, and wedding presents for all the various people in your life can really add up fast. It is not only much more economical, but it is usually seen as more thoughtful and caring to make your own gifts to give to loved ones. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time creating arts and crafts, sites like this can give you the inspiration you need to make a great gift.

Be Your Own Boss – Tips for Starting Your Own Business

It sounds great, doesn’t it? No more 9-5 hours, forget the daily commute, and just work when you feel like it, but the reality of being your own boss is often very different. While choosing when to work, or not, is possible for some, there has often been a lot of hard work for them to get to that point. But, with now more people than ever declared as self-employed, it has never been a better time to be your own boss. If you are dreaming of quitting the day job, starting your own business and becoming your own boss, this guide gives you some tips on what you need to do.

Find the Right Business Niche

You might have some idea already about what area you want your business in, and that is great, as long as you play to your strengths. Pick a business niche that you are already knowledgeable about, because if you already have the expertise, then you are far, more likely to achieve success. Also, make sure you choose a business idea that you are really passionate about also. Otherwise, you might see your enthusiasm dwindle after a few months.

When deciding on a business niche, it is important to do your research and identify a gap in the market that your business can fill. It will be much harder to make a successful business if you are just doing what your competitors do. Offer something extra, and you will stand out.

Create a Business Plan

Having a solid business plan gives you a focused look at what your targets are for your business and the strategies to implement. Your business plan will have detailed information about your target market, and how you intend to sell to them. Not only does a business plan to keep your project on track, but it is also a worthwhile document to show to possible investors.

If you are not sure how to create a business plan, there are examples and templates you can use online, as a way to get you started. At first, your business plan might seem a little basic. But keep coming up with ideas and flesh it out as you learn. The more you learn, the quicker you will be able to grow your business.

Learn New Skills

So you might have a great idea for a business, but if you don’t know how to run a website or have any marketing experience, then that is going to be a weakness. You will also need to learn accounting skills to keep track of your business spending and keep records for tax purposes. Learn the basics before you start, and it will make running your new business much easier.

Finances

Financing a start-up business can be hard, so make sure you know exactly what you need to spend money on and what you don’t. It is a good idea to save up some funds before you start your business, to get you up and running.
If finances are tight, you could consider bootstrapping which where you build a business by only investing the profits it makes and keeping costs as low as possible, rather than spending a lump sum of your own, or an investor’s, cash. This might mean keeping your business small until you have raised enough to invest in growth, but you won’t be getting into debt to fund your business. If you are bootstrapping, it is often worth having another source of income to keep you afloat until your business is making more money. Don’t forget that you still have everyday living expenses to consider, so it might not be the right time for you to completely give up your day job. Try to begin your business alongside your regular job, or at least work part-time, so you still have a source of income.

Sometimes, new businesses face problems with cash flow, so you might have to supplement it with your own money. Or, you might be putting much of your own money into funding your business that you might temporarily be finding it difficult financially. If so, a short-term loan can be beneficial, such as from Bonsai Finance.

Entrepreneurial Mind-Set

Your attitude is what drives your business, so you need to get into the mindset of an entrepreneur to get success. That means having the will to succeed even when times feel tough. It also means having discipline in your working day to get tasks done and to also have the confidence to make decisions.

It takes effort and hard work to achieve anything worthwhile, but if you show up ready to work consistently, you will soon see your efforts pay off.

Don’t Overdo It!

Remember why you wanted to be your own boss in the first place? It was to get that work/life balance you have always dreamed of. So while it might be tempting to work all the hours you can to make it a success, remember to take regular breaks and days off. Too much work and putting pressure on yourself can lead to stress, and that is not productive for your or your business.

If you find yourself under pressure, delegate what you can. If you have clients waiting, call them to rearrange a time for completion of a project, or consider outsourcing work if you have too much.

Being your own boss gives you the opportunity to manage your own time, rather than being dictated to by regular employment. However, it does come with risks. If you get sick, you won’t get sick pay, there is no paid annual leave, and if you don’t make it a success, you could stand to lose any money you may have invested in it. Treat starting your own business with caution, but don’t be afraid to try! Every successful entrepreneur had to start somewhere, and most experience failure as well as success. If you believe in yourself and have the will to succeed, then you have already won half the battle.