Personal Finance Roundup

8 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances in 2008 [Get Rich Slowly] “If one of your goals in 2008 is to take control of your money, this crash course in financial basics can help guide the way.”

What makes a house recession-proof [MSN Money] “Good homes sell even in a bad market — and here are a dozen principles the experts watch for when evaluating a potential sale.”

That Campaign Button Can Sting You at Work [NY Times] “Can you be fired for expressing political opinions at work? You can.”

Alternate-Payment Services Have Some Pitfalls [Smart Money] “For all their advantages, alternate-payment services can have some serious downsides for unwary consumers. The fine print can also be truly frightening.”

Five Myths on Leasing a Car [Kiplinger] “You can negotiate a smart car lease: here’s how.”

(Photo: muckpond)


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  1. anatak says:

    Five Myths on Leasing a Car [Kiplinger]
    You can negotiate a smart car lease: here’s how.
    By Mark Solheim
    “About 20% of new-car transactions are leases, but I’m convinced that more people should be leasing.”

    Not so much of a “how to”. More of a “I made a dumb move and will now attempt to justify it”. I’m convinced that more people should be paying cash for cars.

  2. JustAGuy2 says:

    Depends on what you want. If you plan to keep a car for a long time, leasing isn’t for you. If you generate personal benefit from getting a new car every 2-3 years (and some people do, it’s a preference), then leasing CAN be a good move.

    Just saying that “getting a new car every several years is bad, so leasing is always bad” is kind of like saying “trips to Europe are wasteful, so there’s no point in articles about how to get the best deal on plane tickets to Europe.”

  3. SuperJdynamite says:

    New cars depreciate in value dramatically during the first few years of ownership. When you lease a car you continually pay for the most expensive portion of car ownership.

  4. psyop63b says:

    The leasing piece sits poorly with me. No argument for leasing makes sense to me. It’s a car payment for life if leasing is all you do. I just paid my car loan off (over 3 years early), and intend to put off another car payment situation for as long as possible.

  5. JustAGuy2 says:


    Again, the question around leasing is:

    “Are there circumstances under which it makes more sense to lease a new car for three years than to buy the same car and sell it/trade it in after three years?”

    Saying “leasing doesn’t make sense to me” because you plan to own your car for longer than three years is like saying “articles about getting good airline ticket deals don’t make sense to me because I don’t like to fly.”

  6. SuperJdynamite says:

    “Are there circumstances under which it makes more sense to lease a new car for three years than to buy the same car and sell it/trade it in after three years?”

    Well? Are there?

  7. JustAGuy2 says:


    Certainly. Generally, if the sum of the lease payments is less than or equal to (purchase price of car) – (sale or trade in price of car), then it makes sense to lease.

    Taxes and insurance requirements can make this calculation a bit more complex, and you really should do it on a DCF basis, but this is the core of it.

  8. sven.kirk says:

    Busting the myths of leasing.
    1. The cost of purchasing or leasing is close to the same. Usually, to get the best lease deal, requires a hefty deposit. 7.9% on a loan? Do some rate shopping. I’ve seen some as low as 5%. Want a car before you finish it your loan. Private party ad. Dealers will not give you squat for your trade-in.

    2.You have to know how to haggle. Goes for purchase and leasing. Walk in being nice. And leave being pissed off. It works. Most, not all, will cave in. I got $2300 off and maintenance for 2 years on my truck.

    3. Varies states by state. Hybrid vehicle purchases only qualify for tax credits. Not so for leases.

    4. Fat chance on negotiating that one. Even if you do, you really can’t do too much. No road trip for you. NEVER trade in a auto, unless it is really a POS to begin with.

    5. Usually, the person assuming the lease will have to pass their credit check also with the lender.