"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

"I think there is beauty in everything. What 'normal' people perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it."—Alexander McQueen

Financial decisions

Important Financial Milestones to Prepare For

Life is filled with special moments worth celebrating. Some of these important events can drastically impact your finances, so you’ll need to be financially equipped to handle these changes. From getting into college to buying your first home, here are some tips for successfully navigating these major financial milestones.

Car

Purchasing a car is a right of passage for many. However, they can be quite costly both to buy and maintain. These financing options may help you get the car of your dreams:

  • Buy Second-hand: Brand new cars lose almost 20% of their value once they’re driven out of the lot, so you’re bound to find a good deal on any of the used cars for sale. Insurance prices and maintenance costs are also bound to be much cheaper for a secondhand car than a used one.
  • Auto Loan: Refinancing your mortgage is a smart way to afford a car. If neither you or your parents have a mortgage, a car loan will do. Auto loan lenders often offer low-interest rates and flexible payment plans.

College

Not everyone is lucky enough to have their parents pay for their education. If you don’t qualify for a scholarship and if you want to avoid having to pay off loans, there are plenty of alternative solutions to help you fund your degree.

  • Grants: Most states, colleges, as well as the federal government give out college grants that don’t require repayment. These are often awarded on the basis of financial need.
  • Work-Study or Part-Time Jobs: Plenty of colleges offer you work-study jobs either on or near your campus to pay off your tuition. If you don’t qualify for this scheme, you can consider finding a part-time job such as tutoring, babysitting, or dog walking to earn some extra cash on the side.
  • Community College: When it comes to your education, you get back as much as you give to it. It doesn’t matter if you go to an ivy league college if you won’t make the most of your time there. Community college can give you as many worthwhile experiences as an ivy league college can for a more affordable price.

Wedding

A wedding is a momentous occasion that can siphon a big chunk of your finances if you aren’t prepared for it. Here’s how you can fund your special day.

  • Save: There’s no time limit on engagements, so you can take as long as you need to save enough money until you’re prepared to afford your wedding preparations.
  • Gifts: This option depends on how much your loved ones are willing to give, if anything at all. You could also request for cash donations as gifts on your wedding day to cover a bulk of the cost.

Home renovationHouse

Becoming a homeowner is a challenging yet rewarding experience. The most difficult thing about it is figuring out how to pay for a house. These options can help ease some of the burdens of a home purchase.

  • Government Programs: Take your pick from the many government-assisted homeowner programs available to you. Some benefits you may receive include assistance with closing costs, financial bonuses, and reduced down payments.
  • Mortgage: A mortgage is the most common way to finance a home purchase. Make sure to improve your credit score before you apply for one as this will ensure that you’re eligible for a variety of buyer programs and lower mortgage costs.

Make the most out of these special milestones by making sure you’re financially prepared to navigate whatever life throws your way.

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