Category: Money matters

Some car buying tips to share

“So, before we actually make up our mind to buy a car – whether a brand new one or second-hand – I’ve started to look around for car buying tips, in hopes to avoid pitfalls and end up with a bad car deal.”

Hubby’s car broke down yesterday.

Correction – the company car that hubby is driving broke down yesterday. And he had to take a ride on a colleague’s car back home and to work this morning.

This car has been misbehaving quite a bit over the past two weeks. It broke down once last week, the company’s car mechanic couldn’t find anything wrong, and the car somehow miraculously was up and running again later.

Finally, it’s officially dead yesterday, ha! A different car mechanic found the problem and the car is now undergoing some part replacement process.

Oh, well, what you can expect from a car that is almost 5 years old. The last time the car gave us problems we took it as a sign telling us to come back to KL. This time, perhaps it is trying to tell us, “Time to buy your own car!” πŸ˜›

Hubby definitely needs to get a car of his own, but would want to delay it for as long as possible. Because times are tough nowadays, and buying a car is like the last thing one would want to consider. But sometimes we just can’t avoid it. A vehicle has become a necessity in every day life.

So, before we actually make up our mind to buy a car – whether a brand new one or second-hand – I’ve started to look around for car buying tips, in hopes to avoid pitfalls and end up with a bad car deal.

Came across some car buying tips online, and have them listed here as a reminder for myself (this blog has sort of become my little note book of important things, ha!).

10 tips to buying a car

  1. Take note of the right time to buy a car. In case you are not aware of it, there is a so-called β€œright time” to buy a car and that is when new models start to come in. This is the period between August and November. If you will shop for a car within this period you can make sure that you will get the newest models.
  2. Be prepared with persuasion techniques of sales agents. Do not feel pressured to buy a car.
  3. Ask agents about unadvertised sales.
  4. The Internet is a good place to shop for cars.
  5. Most prices are negotiable so you be better be prepared to negotiate when you go to a car dealer.
  6. Avoid going to dealers during the weekend because that’s the time when most people usually buy cars.
  7. Go during the middle of the week instead when agents will be more eager to close a deal.
  8. Go to a car dealer near the end of the month when dealers are trying to meet sales goals.
  9. Bring a car expert with you if you are not that knowledgeable with cars.
  10. Take your time. Remember, a car is a major purchase.

FYI, these tips came from an insider…yeah, an ex-car salesman! There’s a book he wrote and is called Taking the House Edge. I don’t own a copy of the book, but you could check it out at if you want to learn more tips on buying a car.

Some money saving ideas – for myself

Hubby got a shock when the electricity bill arrived — the total electricity we used over the past 6 weeks past the RM100 mark! Our average monthly usage used to be around RM40. Hubby isn’t very happy about this, but agrees that it is inevitable because the current hot weather is just too unbearable that it is impossible to get a good night sleep without the air-conditioner on.

Looks like our household expenses are not likely to go down if the weather continues to be like this. We have to try to save money through other ways. Not sure if we are able to stick to these money saving ideas, but I’ll just jot down some money saving tips here to constantly remind myself of our very needed money saving plan.

1. Cut down trips to shopping malls
You know how money can be spent like splashing water when you are in a shopping mall, say, on a Saturday. Lunch, a bottle of water, afternoon snack, movie perhaps, magazines, or some stuffs from the DIY shop. More often than not I walked out of the shopping mall spending and buying with more than I planned to. πŸ˜›

2. Stock up
Shopping for groceries and household items is still necessary. Always keep an eye on offers or best buys on goods like shampoos, toothpaste, cooking oil, instant noodles, hair cream, shower gel, peanut butter, toilet rolls etc, things that you use everyday and can keep for a while.

3. Switch of that light
Utilities are expensive and monitoring how they are used in the house can help save a lot. Since we can’t sleep without the air-conditioner on, we have to save on the other, e.g. turning lights and fan off when leaving the room, pull up the curtains to gain natural light for the rooms during the day. Probably should replace all light bulbs with the energy-saving ones.

4. Dining at home
Eating out can be expensive or cheap, depending on where you go. But to cut down expenditure and for the sake of eating healthier meals, it is still best to eat at home and stop eating out. If you are lazy to cook and want to eat out, why not opt for eateries in your neighbourhood; their menus are cheaper than restaurants or eateries in the shopping malls. But if you must have a meal in of the finer restaurants, then look out for weekend offers, special discounts for certain credit card holders, buy-1-free-1 vouchers, etc. Just to help fulfill your ‘want’ for a good dining experience without hurting your wallet too much.

5. Cinema at home
A movie in the cinema is so darn expensive these days. Of course there is a much cheaper way to enjoy your favourite movies, but I am not going to tell you how because everybody knows about it. πŸ˜› You can still enjoy a cinema-like atmosphere at home — switch off the lights (save electricity!), have a bottle of soda and a bowl of tidbits ready, and you’re ready to roll!

6. Points, points, points!
I’m talking about rebate programs, e.g. BonusLink, Jusco Card, etc. We shop frequently food and household stuffs at Jusco, and have accumulated lots of points. Because of that I receive their shopping vouchers 2-3 times a year. These vouchers can be of great help when I need to buy a blouse or a pair of shoes but don’t have the budget. πŸ˜›

7. If cannot save money, then make money
Sell stuffs at home that you no longer use or don’t need — clothing, sports equipment, electrical appliances, etc. Or, turn your hobby or skill into a money-making business, be it selling handcrafted jewelry or teaching maths in a tuition centre.

I would say the above mentioned is a list of practical money saving tips. In fact, they are not some new or bizarre ideas. Everyone already has this list in their head. The problem is, knowing the rules doesn’t mean that you will follow the rules! πŸ˜›

In short, if you (I) want to save money, this is it:

Spend less, spend wisely. Save more, or better still, make more. πŸ˜‰