Kicking Assets

A young person's guide to personal finance

Author: Garrett

Banking, the how to’s and Need to Knows.

Finance with Confidence — DoverPhila

Banks V.S. Credit Unions

Essentially, banks are for profit institutions where credit unions are non-profit institutions.

Why choose a credit union?
  • Typically has higher interest rates on deposits as well as lower interest on loans.
  • Emphasis on customer service.
  • Non-profit
Why choose a bank?
  • More branches in the region or across the country.
  • Typically quicker to roll out new apps and other tech.
  • For Profit


Checking and Savings Accounts

This is what you need to know, you use a checking account to spend the money you earn. A savings account is what you use to, save and profit off the money you earn. Often, a checking account is linked directly to the payroll system at your work, called a direct deposit. the savings account comes in when if you decide to allocate a set amount per paycheck to be deposited into savings. Money is earned on this savings through yearly interest. You give the bank your money to use, they in turn pay you interest on the amount you keep in the account.


Great Way to Use a Savings Account

A great way to use a savings account is as an emergency fund. Maintain a balance which overs 3-6 months of living expenses. Because you are keep this money in savings, you are also earning interest. One important thing to note is that there is a legal limit of 6 withdrawals per month from a savings account.

A few great savings account options.
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Online Savings Account


With $0 minimum balance

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™

Capital One 360 Performance Savings™


With $0 minimum balance

Discover Bank Online Savings

Discover Bank Online Savings


With $0 minimum balance

American Express National Bank Personal Savings

American Express National Bank Personal Savings


With $0 minimum balance


Do You Need Checks?

Simply, you don’t need checks. However, think of a check as a more secure, though less convenient version of a debit card, both function the same way. Often times a check will be used to make large payments, larger than your debit card may allow. If you go to pay for a car in “cash”, what actually happens is you fill out a check for the total amount of the car and that is then pulled out of your account. If you live in an apartment, it is possible that you can bring in a check to avoid paying online processing fees when rent is due. You can even use a check in some grocery stores if you happen to forget your card.

Here’s an info-graphic you can use to learn how to fill out a check.

How to Write a Check - An Example With Six Easy Steps & Pictures

Best Cars for $5,000 $10,000 $15,000 and How to Get Them

Buying a Car SUCKS!

Let’s just get this out of the way. No one likes to drop a load of cash on a car, or get locked into a terrible financing deal that lasts 5-6 years. Those who do like it generally have more money than they know what to do with. I’m in college, and I have owned 3 cars in 3 years. No they weren’t crashed, well one was. This may be because I’m impulsive and picky, but I’d like to think it took me a few tries to find the right fit. In doing this, I have learned may tricks within the car sales industry, and I wanted to share with y’all my “professional” opinions.

Basic Rules to Follow

Look Out! Know the Warning Signs of a Bad Used Car Lot | DePaula ...

  1. Only look if you are ready to buy then and there.Sales people are there to sell, going to a dealership not ready to buy wastes your time and the time of your salesperson. It sounds redundant, but the dealership is there to make a sale out of you. Yes they want to develop a customer relationship, but lets be honest here, you’re always a number in their system.
  2. Make the biggest down payment you can! The ideal situation is that you can pay in full, ideal is the key word here. Make yourself follow the 25% rule. Have enough in pocket to pay for 25% of the car you want. $5,000=$1,250 / $10,000=$2,500 / $15,000=$3,750
  3. If possible, do all your negotiations via email.I have had the most success when I negotiate my price and options over emails with a salesperson. This can be done through basically any dealer website. Reach out when you find the one, ask what deal they can make you, and NEVER give them a price. You will be asked, “what do you want to pay” you answer should be “not that”.

So you have $5,000

Any car person will tell you, buy a Camry or an Accord, and they have a point. When your not working with a large sum of money, you need to consider cost or ownership and reliability. The Camry and Accord will check both of those boxes. However, they’re boring, and who likes boring. Here are three options that I have found on CarGurus which I think are good all round choices.

  1. 2011 Ford Focus Vehicle Full Photo
  2. 2012 Mazda3Vehicle Full Photo
  3. 2012 Ford Fiesta HatchbackVehicle Full Photo

Author’s Note

Notice you don’t see any European car. Cars from Europe are, in most cases, feats of engineering. That engineering costs money to maintain. Do yourself a favor, stick to American or Japanese, parts run cheaper on average, and they are much easier to service.

What About $10,000?

  1. 2011 Toyota Prius Five Vehicle Full Photo
  2. 2008 Infiniti G37Vehicle Full Photo
  3. 2016 Hyundai VelosterVehicle Full Photo

Let’s Go for the Big Money! $15,000

  1. 2019 KIA Forte
  2. 2018 Ford EcoSport
  3. 2018 Buick Encore

Be Smart

A car is the worst thing you will ever buy, period, but most of us need one. Don’t get bullied into payments you cant afford, and don’t look until you are absolutely ready. Make sure that you know what you want, you know what is going to suit your needs, and it is something you can afford. Most importantly, when in doubt, get an Accord or a Camry. 😉

Car Talk: Leasing-Pros and Cons

Image result for Car clip art

Written by Garrett Borden

What is a lease?

In short, you are paying a dealership to rent a brand new vehicle.

lets break down the components of a lease. A dealership will offer leasing deals which are generally 24-48 months long, require a down payment, and  your payments will often be lower than if you financed the car through a bank or credit union. The reason that you are not going to pay as much for a car per month on a lease is because you are paying for the depredation of the car, not the total value. Think of it like this, you lease a $20,000 car, and it is projected to be worth $10,000 in three years. Your payments are going toward that $10,000 lost in depreciation, not the total value of the car. This model protects the dealership from loosing money in that depreciation when you turn the car in. If you so choose, you can opt to buy the car out from the dealership at the end of your lease. This would entail you financing the remaining retail value of the car.

What are the upsides?

Image result for little blue coupe

Not only does leasing a car often offer a lower monthly payment, because you are not taking a loan out on this depreciating asset, you do not develop negative equity. Second, dealerships often offer “no deposit” and or “no money down” deals. “No deposit” waves the $2,500-$5,000 deposit often required to enter a lease, where as “no money down” waves that deposit and other associated fees at the dealership prior to starting your lease. Thirdly, because of the short nature of leases, you vehicle will often stay within the limits of its factory warranty, meaning that any defects in your car will often be covered by the dealership.

What are the downsides?

Well, you saw that many leases require a deposit, ranging anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. This often inhibits younger people from entering a lease due to a lack of saved monies. A second negative comes when its is time to turn in your vehicle, because you never really owned the car in the first place, any damages or mileage over your limit will result in you paying penalties to the dealership.  Make sure when negotiating your lease terms, that you calculate your average annual driving distance. Many leasing programs offer options from 10,000 to 30,000 mi/yr, as your limit increases, so does your monthly Payment.

See below the terms and conditions I copied from the Toyota website. I have highlighted the important information many people over look.


"Lease a new 2020 RAV4 2WD 5Dr. Wagon LE L4 8AT Model 4430: $269 / for 36 months / with $2,999 DUE AT SIGNING. NOT ALL CUSTOMERS WILL QUALIFY. Amount due at signing includes DOWN PAYMENT of $2,730 and FIRST MONTHLY PAYMENT of $269. Security deposit required with exception of prior Toyota Financial Services (TFS) financing history and/or TFS tier rating in which a security deposit may be waived. Tax, title and license are extra. Based on Model 4430, TOTAL MSRP $27,290, including delivery, processing and handling, and NET CAPITALIZED COST of $24,482. Excludes official fees, taxes and dealer charges. LEASE END PURCHASE OPTION is $17,739 plus tax, title and license. Customer is responsible for disposition, excess wear and tear fees and $0.15 per mile over 10000 miles each year. Dealer participation may affect final negotiated price and applicable taxes. Monthly payment may vary depending on final price of vehicle and your qualifications. Must take delivery from dealer stock. Dealer sets final price. Offer valid 02-04-2020 through 03-02-2020 for vehicles purchased from Toyota dealerships in AR, LA, MS, OK, TX regardless of buyer's residency. See dealer for vehicle and lease program details."

Pro Tips:

  • Look out for $0 down leasing specials frequently!
  • Read the fine print, that $250 payment may look good, until you discover that you need $4,000 down and can only drive 8,500 mi/yr.
  • Don’t be afraid to haggle a little



Edited by Marcus

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