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This is where your path to financial freedom begins...

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Blog Posts (52)

  • The Best Car Buying Tips for First-Time Buyers

    Are you considering buying a new car but need help figuring out where to start? Choosing your first car is an important decision that can impact your daily life. When considering your options, weighing the pros and cons of buying a new or used vehicle or deciding if leasing is right for you is important. If you want to save yourself from making any financial mistakes and mishaps when buying your dream car, here are a few tips and advice you should consider when getting your first car. Tips for Buying a New Car Prepare to Buy a New Car Consider a Down Payment Find the Car That Suits Your Needs Is Buying or Leasing the Best Option Brush up on Your Negotiation Skills Before Buying a Car 1. Consider all the requirements and ensure you are fully prepared. a. Insurance b. Gas c. Your current monthly expenses d. A down payment e. Alternative transportation options 2. Research a vehicle once you can assess the items mentioned above and pay particular attention to your credit score, how much you can afford, and saving for a down payment. Once you have reviewed your finances, you can determine your budget for your new car. 3. Utilize 10% to 20% of your annual income to form a budget and include an additional 7% of your monthly fuel and auto insurance payment. Making a Down Payment on a Car The down payment you put on a car determines what paying for your car would look like. The more money you can put down, the less you will owe. Consider putting at least 20% of the purchase price for a new car and at least 10% down for a used car. The higher the down payment, the lower your monthly payments and interest rates. If you want to avoid paying a down payment, having a credit score of at least 600 can make you eligible for an auto loan. As an equivalent to the down payment, the higher your credit score, the smaller the interest rate on the loan. The dealership could offer you a 0% to 1% interest rate if you have excellent credit. However, it's important to consider your options and shop for the best interest rate that fits your financial situation. In the end, not putting a down payment on a new car will be more expensive in the future, given that monthly car payments are costlier. How much car can you afford? Use the car loan calculator to find out. Find the Car That Suits Your Needs The next step in purchasing a new car is determining which car best fits your needs. Whether new or used, every vehicle comes with distinguishable and reliable qualities. Evaluate desired safety features like fuel efficiency, reliability and maintenance, utility, style, and performance. New and used cars have benefits and disadvantages; buying either is fine if they meet your wants and needs. New vehicles are safer, more reliable, need less mechanical assistance, and are cheaper to finance. Used cars are ordinarily more affordable and have better resale value and insurance rates, though they have higher mileage and more wear and tear. Whatever car you decide to buy, be sure to learn about the car's history and its trade-in value, which can be used as a down payment and assist in paying for a newer car in the future. Should You Buy or Lease a New Car? Ask yourself if you want to buy or lease a new car. Leasing the vehicle means paying for it however long you have it, while buying means paying for the total cost. If you decide to lease a car, be mindful that you may get penalized for discontinuing a lease agreement early and not returning the vehicle in good condition. Furthermore, leasing a car has a limited number of miles you can drive, and there will be added fees for extra miles. Here are a few things to consider when deciding to lease a vehicle: The lease terms. Many different lease terms are available, so it's important to compare different offers and choose one that fits your needs. Some factors to consider include the length of the lease, the monthly payment, the down payment, and the mileage allowance. The lease fees. In addition to the monthly payment, other fees are associated with leasing a car, such as an acquisition fee, a disposition fee, and a lease termination fee. Understanding all of these fees is essential before you sign a lease agreement. The residual value. The residual value is the car's estimated value at the lease's end. This is an important factor in determining the monthly payment. Consider whether or not you want to purchase the lease at the end of the agreement or if you want out of the lease. If you decide to end the lease agreement, you will need to find alternative transportation that fits into your future budget. Negotiate with the Dealer Once you have made your way to the dealership, realize that negotiation is vital. Be assertive about what you're looking for and how much you are prepared to spend by having the dealer make the first offer, and let the dealer know that you're willing to leave if prices are not negotiable or attainable. Do some study on the vehicle, current selling rates, and the dealerships that offer it because it will strike you as informed and not gullible enough to pay above your budget. What's Next? Acquiring a vehicle can prove to be an extremely gratifying endeavor. It grants you the freedom to go wherever you please and can serve as a foundation for future investments, such as property, furnishings, additional automobiles, or even real estate. This decision can have a significant impact on your financial stability and pave the way for greater financial achievements in the future.

  • 10 Ways to Improve Your Daughter's Financial Literacy

    If you want to enhance your daughter's understanding of financial matters, I can offer several recommendations. These include establishing good saving and budgeting habits, educating her on the basics of investing, and encouraging her to explore different career paths that align with her interests and skill set. Consider enrolling her in a financial literacy course or seeking resources and tools to help her manage her money better. Taking a proactive approach to your daughter's financial education can help set her up for long-term success and empower her to make informed financial decisions. Tips to Improve Your Daughter's Financial Literacy Start Early Instilling good financial habits in your daughter from a young age is important. One great way to do this is by introducing her to basic concepts such as saving, budgeting, and the value of money. Encourage her to set aside a portion of her allowance or any money she receives as gifts into a savings account. Teach her the importance of setting financial goals and making wise spending decisions. By starting early, you can help your daughter develop a solid foundation for financial success in the future. Lead by Example As a parent, it's important to lead by example concerning household budgeting, bill payments, and saving for goals, especially regarding your daughter's financial education. Involving your daughter in these processes gives her a better understanding of how money works and helps her develop good financial habits that will serve her well in the future. Take the time to explain your financial decisions and reasoning to her, so she can learn from your experience and make better choices in her own financial life. Being open and transparent about your financial situation can help your daughter feel more confident and empowered when managing her own money. Open a Bank Account One way to help your daughter increase her financial literacy is to establish a bank account in her name. By doing so, you can teach her how to handle deposits and withdrawals, read statements, and keep track of her balance. In addition, your daughter can learn how to write checks, save money, and learn about compound interest. Teach Your Daughter Budgeting Skills To impart budgeting skills to your daughter, establish spending limits for various categories like toys, snacks, or even going to the movies. Motivate her to keep track of and assess expenses regularly. By doing so, she can better understand her spending habits and identify areas where she can cut back or save. Introduce Basic Investing Steps Educating your daughter about the world of investing is essential. Investing could include teaching her about various investment options such as stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, and mutual funds. It's important to start with simple concepts and gradually increase the complexity as she grows and develops a better understanding of these topics. With the proper guidance and education, your daughter can become a savvy investor and make informed decisions about her financial future. Encourage an Entrepreneurial Spirit If you want to cultivate your daughter's entrepreneurial spirit, one way to do so is by supporting her in starting a small business or taking on freelance work. It could be starting a lemonade stand, regularly bathing the neighbor's dog, or starting a grass-cutting business. These endeavors can be invaluable in teaching her the importance of hard work and managing expenses while earning money effectively. She will gain practical experience in these areas and the opportunity to develop her creativity and problem-solving skills as she strives to succeed in her chosen venture. Discuss Financial Goals Guide your daughter toward setting achievable financial goals. These goals include saving for various purchases, educational expenses, and retirement. Yes, I know she's young, but most employees miss out on retirement savings in their early 20s. It's crucial to teach her how to create a well-structured plan to help her achieve the objectives mentioned earlier. By doing so, you'll be setting her up for a financially secure future. Provide Your Daughter With Financial Resources When preparing your daughter for financial independence, provide her with the right resources. Exploring various financial resources such as books, websites, and podcasts can be an effective way to help her learn about personal finance. She can develop the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed financial decisions by encouraging independent learning. Whether it's understanding the basics of budgeting, investing, or saving for retirement, plenty of resources can help her gain the financial literacy she needs to succeed. So, take the time to research and identify the best resources for your daughter and guide her on her journey toward financial empowerment. Involve Your Daughter in Financial Decisions As your daughter progresses through life, involving her in significant family financial decisions can be beneficial. It could include major vehicle purchases, furniture, life insurance, investments, and financial planning. Involving your daughter in family financial decisions can impart a sense of responsibility and help her develop critical thinking skills. Through this process, your daughter will learn valuable lessons about the importance of sound financial decision-making and its impact on her future. Find a Professional Resource Seek the assistance of a financial professional if you need help. They can offer expert guidance and insights on various topics, from budgeting and saving to investing and retirement planning. In addition, attending financial education workshops and seminars can also be a valuable way to gain knowledge and practical skills in managing money. What's Next? Empower your daughter to take charge of her financial literacy. Provide her with ongoing support and guidance to ensure she has the necessary tools and resources for a successful financial future. By consistently imparting financial knowledge and skills, you can boost her confidence and prepare her to make sound financial decisions that will benefit her for years.

  • 4 Strategies for Navigating Financial Decision-Making When Women Earn More Than Their Partners

    In this article, we delve into the financial dynamics of relationships where women earn more than their partners. Four women, including a DebtCC spokesperson and a co-founder, share their strategies for navigating financial decision-making. From embracing goal-setting for financial success to adopting an income-sharing arrangement, these insights provide valuable perspectives on managing finances in a relationship. Tips on How Women Can Navigate Financial Decision-Making When Earning More Than Their Partners Embrace Goal-Setting for Financial Success Manage Finances with Multiple Bank Accounts Foster Transparency in Financial Discussions Adopt an Income-Sharing Arrangement Embrace Goal-Setting for Financial Success Learn from the wealthy and embrace the powerful combination of goal-setting and a growth mindset for achieving financial success. Imagine attending a networking event and engaging with a successful entrepreneur who has amassed significant wealth. They stress the importance of setting clear, specific, and achievable goals to guide your short-term and long-term actions. Goal-setting is not merely about envisioning success; it involves breaking down larger objectives into smaller, actionable steps. This approach lets you track your progress and focus on what truly matters. Moreover, they emphasize the significance of writing down your goals and regularly reviewing them to maintain motivation and momentum. By documenting your aspirations, you commit yourself to achieving them and reinforce your dedication to the pursuit of financial success. Loretta Kilday, DebtCC Spokesperson, Debt Consolidation Care Related: How to Begin the Process of Combining Finances Manage Finances with Multiple Bank Accounts Talking about money is a least favorite subject for many. One way to avoid it is by having multiple bank accounts. This method I have used for almost six years, and money is never an issue. Consider having: One bank account each where your money is paid into. This is your personal account. One shared account where you both agree on your input based on your percentage split. This account covers all your bills, so you never have to pester each other about them. Pay the total agreed amount of all combined household bills (plus a small percentage more to cover any surprises). (Optional) One bank account for fun money! You can both agree on a percentage amount to pay into the "fun" pot, which goes toward dinner, nights out, etc. The idea is to remove the day-to-day irritation of finances. Agree on your percentage inputs upfront and stick to it. If the earning difference bothers one partner—though it shouldn't—they're not reminded of it every month. Zoe Ashbridge, Co-Founder and Senior SEO Strategist, forank Foster Transparency in Financial Discussions We have a similar income, but my partner also identifies as female. The key to the success of our financial decision-making is our ability to communicate clearly, regularly, and effectively. We believe in open discussions about our financial goals, expenses, and savings. By being transparent with each other, we can make informed decisions that benefit both of us and strengthen our relationship. We've found that trust and mutual respect are crucial in navigating financial matters, ensuring that each partner's voice is heard and that we work together as a team toward a secure and prosperous future. Rachel Zimmerman, Performance PR Manager, Taktical Digital Adopt an Income-Sharing Arrangement An effective strategy we use is an income-sharing arrangement. Regardless of who earns more, we agree to share our incomes in a predetermined ratio. This promotes financial equality and ensures both partners benefit from the combined income. For example, if I earn more, we might agree to split our incomes 60/40. This approach challenges traditional gender roles and fosters a sense of partnership. It allows us to make financial decisions based on our shared resources rather than individual incomes. By embracing this strategy, we create a more equitable financial environment and work together towards our financial goals. Yoana Wong, Co-Founder, Secret Florists What's Next? Managing financial decisions can be challenging when a woman earns more than her partner. Here are some additional tips to help: Communicate openly and honestly about financial goals and priorities. Create a budget together and stick to it. Review your budget regularly. Discuss long-term financial planning, such as retirement and investments. Assign specific expenses where one partner pays for the rent and the other could pay for the insurance. Seek help from a professional resource. By following these tips and working together, couples can get on track to successfully manage their finances despite income differences.

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  • Wealth Building Coach | Harris Financial Coaching | Jacksonville

    Your Path To Financial Freedom Starts Here Let's Chat Welcome to Harris Financial Coaching! I'm Annette Harris, an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and a certified Financial Fitness Coach who can help you achieve your financial goals. I believe everyone deserves financial peace of mind, and I'm here to help you get there. ​ We'll work together to help you understand your financial situation, identify your goals, and develop a plan for your financial future. ​ Contact me today to learn more about how I can help you achieve your financial goals and embark on the journey of financial independence and success. Let's Chat! My Services Military Benefits As a military veteran, I understand the challenges of retirement, disability, and transitioning to civilian life. Let's work together to ensure you're prepared and can make informed decisions. Retirement How will you spend your retirement? Do you value tranquility, adventure, culture, or community? Let's envision your retirement together. Budgeting Managing a family budget can be stressful and overwhelming. Learn how to alleviate money-related anxiety and improve your family's financial well-being. Credit Management Let's talk about how to reduce your credit card spending. If you're constantly maxed out and using credit to pay for groceries, it's time to take control of the situation. Wealth Building Focusing on the positive aspects of your life and your future aspirations is important. Have you considered tracking your monthly expenses and creating a financial plan for the future? Imagine the possibilities of achieving financial independence together. Career Coaching Do you want to progress in your career but are uncertain what steps to take? Do you need further education, interview practice, a resume revamp, or are you transitioning from military service? Seize control of your career and income today! Learn More Check out the Blog Financial strategies, resources, and tactics for success. Read More Annette Harris What Financial Coaching Won't Do: It Won't Make You Rich Overnight What won't financial coaching do? I get many questions regarding what a financial coach can and cannot do for clients. 15 views Annette Harris The Benefits of Financial Coaching for Couples - For the Love of Money Have you struggled with talking with your partner about finances? Here are a few ways that working with a financial coach can help. 38 views Annette Harris What Does a Financial Coach Do? What does a financial coach do? Financial coaching helps you to: Develop an action plan; Change your financial behaviors; and even more! 37 views Read More As Seen In

  • Military Saves | Harris Financial Coaching

    MILITARY SAVES WEEK 2023: INCREASING FINANCIAL CONFIDENCE Harris Financial Coaching is a proud participant in Military Saves Week and has been awarded the Savings Champion designation for two years in a row. It's never too late to pledge to save for your financial goals. Transitioning Military Veterans & Financial Success Play Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Military Saves Pledge Compound Interest Calculator

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