Debt. Majority of us have it, sadly. With life’s milestones we want to accomplish, it’s almost inevitable: buying a car, education, marriage, furniture for your new home, etc. Are these milestones or life events keeping you from buying a home? Lowering your DTI seems easier said than done, right? The number one way to keep debt low is to live within your means! Here’s how you can afford life’s expensive events while living within your means:
👉 Know your 4 C’s of Diamonds (it’s what makes them pricey):
1. Carat: size and weight of the diamond
The Knot says “you can actually create the illusion of additional carats by choosing a halo setting (a circle of smaller stones around the center stone).”
2. Color: referring to the presence or absence of color in white diamonds, colorless diamonds emit more sparkle. Most diamonds have a very faint light yellowish or brownish color, and the white diamonds are more rare.
Diamonds graded G through I show virtually no color that is visible to the untrained eye and are much less expensive than the more rare, colorless graded diamonds.
3. Clarity: refers to slight imperfections. Diamonds with the least and smallest inclusions receive the highest clarity grades.
Blue Nile advises “to maximize your budget, consider an SI quality diamond, knowing that it may have very slight inclusions visible to the naked eye.”
4. Cut: measures a diamonds light performance and is the greatest influence in its sparkle.
Blue Nile recommends sacrificing carat size over the cut of the diamond. Regardless of the color quality and size, if it is a bad cut diamond, it will severely effect the sparkle of the diamond.
👉 Design your own ring –
What most people don’t know is that you can actually design your own ring and have it cost less. When you purchase a ring from a designer or brand, majority of the time you are partially paying for the name. Get a unique ring for less? Why not!
*statistics for in-state public college for the 2016–2017 academic year
“Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category – behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans.” – Forbes
👉 Find schools with the best financial aid (you’d be surprised):
• Web Applications Developer = $80,584
• Information Technology Manager = $119,922
Apply for scholarships & grants to get extra financial aid.
Scholarship: financial aid issued by corporations, non-profit organizations, and individuals
Grant: financial aid issued by the government
“Just because the monthly payments are manageable doesn’t mean it’s smart to let a $30,000 or $40,000 auto loan gobble up a huge chunk of your paycheck every month.” – Interest.com
👉 Try these great cars for under $25,000:
• Chevy Malibu – starting price $21,680
• Volkswagen GTI – Starting price $24,995
Look into leasing a car –
Leasing is not always the better option, so keep that in mind. Do research on your own as well as speak to a car salesman. Make sure you fully understand what leasing is before you do. When doing your research, ask yourself these questions:
1. Will the payment be lower than an auto loan?
2. How much do you need for a down payment?
3. Will you be driving over the mile limit on the leasing agreement?
4. What happens if I get in an accident in a leased car?