FREE $50 Wachovia Bonus!!

October 27, 2007

WB50dollar

If you have a local Wachovia Bank (Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.) you might be interested in opening a free checking account with them for a free $50 bonus!

All you have to open a free checking account (no minimum balance requirements, no monthly service fees, and no direct deposit requirements) with $100 and you’ll receive a free $50 bonus within 120 days of opening the account. That’s an easy 50% return on your money and you’ll also get a bank that’s been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction for 6 years straight! You have to open the account by 1/31/2008.

I’m thinking about opening an account because there’s a local branch nearby. However, I probably won’t be using it as my primary bank because their ATM network is not as extensive as WaMu’s.

Here’s the fine print from the site:

To qualify for the $50.00 bonus, you must be a new customer and open your new Checking account between 9/19/2007 and 1/31/2008 with a minimum of $100.00 in new funds to Wachovia.

The account must be in good standing in order to remain eligible for the bonus. Your bonus will be directly deposited into your new Checking account within 120 days of account opening. Limit one bonus offer per household. If you need to contact us regarding this offer, please reference pricing code “ATM2”.

The value of this bonus will be reported to the IRS, state or local tax authorities if required by applicable law, and the recipient is responsible for any federal, state or local taxes on this bonus item. Not valid with any other offers. Accounts subject to approval.

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carsalesman

I decided to purchase a new vehicle (nothing very expensive) back in November 2006 and I got a great deal. While I was shopping for my new car, I dealt with several dealers via e-mail and one dealer quoted the lowest price out of all the dealers. I negotiated an out-the-door price (taxes, dmv, everything). I set up an appointment with the Internet manager for Saturday. However, when I got there, he just passed me off to one of the salesman. I thought that was strange.

Anyways, I decided to test drive my specific car that I had picked out. It wasn’t on the lot but it was down the road in their storage area. I went with the salesman to drive it back from storage to the dealer so I could test drive it. As soon as I got there, I saw my car and it was all dusty and dirty. It looked like it had been driven through some dirt roads or something! So we brought it back to the dealer and I test drove it. Everything seemed fine except how dirty it was. After the test drive, we went back to the “negotiation room” at the dealership. The salesman was trying to negotiate a price with me even though I already had negotiated with the Internet manager. So I told him that I was already quoted an out-the-door price and had a copy of the e-mail in my pocket. I showed him the printed copy of the email with my quoted price and he took it and left for a few minutes. Several minutes later, another person who claimed to be the manager (he was actually another salesman who was trying to play good cop, bad cop) came. He said that my quoted price did not include destination charge and that they were going to have to add that onto my price. I did not budge and told him that the out-the-door price is the out-the-door price!

I was pretty mad at this point and told him that I didn’t have to talk to him and that I wanted to talk to the Internet manager (the one I already had negotiated with). He then left and said that he would have to talk to a manager (I thought he said he was the manager…). The original salesman then returned and said that they would accept the quoted price.

The salesman then brings a copy of the sales contract from the finance manager and shows it to me. The salesman then leads us to the finance manager who goes over the sales contract in detail with us. However, the final price ended up being about $50 higher than the quoted out-the-door price. Here they go again, trying to nickel and dime everything and trying to add hidden costs. It was a “doc fee” which you should be able to contest. I was exhausted at this point from several hours of negotiations and arguments from the rude sales staff and I didn’t feel like fighting it. Besides, I was happy with the price. So I signed everything and took delivery of the car that day since I already had my own financing.

So that’s my story of my “triumph” with the dealership. Here are my keys to getting a great deal on a new car:

1. Do your research. Make sure you know what the “invoice” prices are and the cost of different options. Go to websites like edmunds.com and research several models that you’re interested in.

2. Next pick a day to test drive your several vehicle choices. Make sure you let the salespeople know that you’re only there to test drive and not to buy. Next pick a vehicle that you’d like, but don’t fall in love with it (or at least don’t show it). Salespeople can key into that and you’ll be taken advantage of.

3. Next a quire your own financing if you’re going to finance (it’s better if you can put a big chunk as a down payment, or better yet, pay cash for your car). Go to your credit union or your bank and see if you can preapproved for a car loan along with the interest rate that they’ll give you. You should know the approximate price of the car that you’re interested in because of your previous research. You can also try Capital One Auto Finance or E-Loan Auto which offers “blank check” capabilities where they’ll approve you for an amount that you can write a check for when you purchase your vehicle at the dealer. That will start the loan. If you’re a Costco (they use Capital One) or Sam’s Club (they use E-Loan) member try going to their websites for auto finance as they will sometimes offer a better interest rate. When you get to the dealer, you won’t have to take their financing unless they can beat your interest rate that you already have.

4. Next go to about 3-4 dealerships’ websites and email them for an out-the-door quote on a specific model with certain options so that you’re comparing apples to apples (you can also fax them if you’d like). Make sure to tell them that you’re emailing several other dealers and that they’re competing for your business and the lowest quote will “win” your business. Make sure to write not to call you or just don’t put your phone number if you can. You want records of all your conversations so email is the best. That way you can bring a copy of the email like I did if they quote you a price.

5. If you have a trade-in, do not tell them when you’re getting quotes. You want to deal with each step separately so they don’t try and make up some profits in a different area. I would suggest that you don’t trade in your car to the dealer and that you try to sell it on your own. Also, make sure you know the approximate value of your car using Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds. You can list your car for free on a online classified list like Craigslist. I listed my car on there and sold in literally 3 days!

6. Now you can call the Internet manager, fleet manager or whoever you’ve been dealing with over email of the dealership that gives you the lowest price. Set up an appointment to see him or her and tell him or her that you’re interested in purchasing the vehicle you’ve been negotiating on. Make sure there’s one on the lot ready to go. Then go and pretty much sign the papers and go. If the deal is any different from what you’ve negotiated, pull out a copy of the email and show them. If it’s still different, walk out. There’s no point in dealing with people who want to take advantage of you.

Hopefully this has helped some of you who are thinking about buying a new car. Generally the best month to buy has been October when dealers try to sell the current year models to make way for next year’s models.

I wrote this story for the Get Rich Slowly Writing Project Contest. Make sure to visit this great blog!

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38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:38 (NKJV)

This verse doesn’t only apply to money. It applies to anything in life. If you give a smile, you’ll receive a smile. If you give comfort, you’ll receive comfort. If you give anger, you’ll receive anger and so on and so forth.

But since this is a blog about finances, it also applies to money. I like the last part of the verse where it talks about the measure that you use. As an illustration, if you use a spoon to dig a hole in the ground, it’s going to take a long time to dig a big hole. However, when you use a shovel that is much bigger, you will dig much faster. When you give with a spoon, you’ll receive in spoonfuls. But if you give with a shovel, you’ll receive in shovelfuls (I don’t think that’s a word)! I don’t know about you, but I want to receive blessings and abundance and overflow in terms of shovels instead of spoons!

From the Nelson Study Bible:

good measure: This illustration comes from the marketplace where grain was poured out, shaken down, and then filled to overflowing so the buyer received the full amount purchased. Such is the full measure that will be returned to one who has been generous.

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10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

11 I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,

Nor the battle to the strong,

Nor bread to the wise,

Nor riches to men of understanding,

Nor favor to men of skill;

But time and chance happen to them all.

Ecclesiastes 9:10-11 (NKJV)

10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave, there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

Ecclesiastes 9:10-11 (NLT)

From the Nelson Study Bible:

It is possible that the apostle Paul had this verse in mind when he wrote, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Col. 3:23). no work…in the grave: This affirmation is not a denial of a personal future state after death. Yet in relation to this world, the possibilities of working and learning have ceased. If we plan to do anything to the glory of God in this world, we had better do it while we still have time (John 9:4).

From the Life Application Bible:

It isn’t difficult to think of cases where the fastest and the strongest don’t win, the wise are poor, and the skillful are unrewarded with wealth or honor. Some people see such examples and call life unfair, and they are right. The world is finite, and sin has twisted life, making it what God did not intend. Solomon is trying to reduce our expectations. The book of Proverbs emphasizes how life would go if everyone acted fairly; Ecclesiastes explains what usually happens in our sinful and imperfect world. We must keep perspective. Don’t let the inequities of life keep you from earnest, dedicated work. We serve God, not people (see Colossians 3:23).