Lifestyle

How to Get the Best Deal On Your New Car Without Being Manipulated

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Driving a new car is fun. But buying a new car...not so much. I think we can all agree that negotiating with a car salesperson can be a downright nightmare. And what's more frustrating than a salesperson assuming that (1) you don't know how to negotiate a car, and (2) you can be manipulated?! Let's fix that. By asking the right questions and showing a baseline knowledge of car buying, you can turn the situation in your favor. With these simple tips, you'll never have to feel overwhelmed or vulnerable at the dealership again.

Side note: I lease my car instead of buying it because (1) I like driving a new car every three years, (2) I don't drive too many miles, and (3) I want my car to always be under warranty (because who has time for that?). These tips will focus on leasing, but most can be applied to buying as well.

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Wedding on a Budget | ModMoney

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Many of us grow up envisioning a lavish and dreamy wedding. But our budgets don’t always align to our childhood visions. According to a survey by The Knot, the average wedding costs over $35,000! If your budget doesn't align with that data point, you're not alone. You can still plan the wedding of your dreams with limited resources. I’ve taken lots of mental notes on the tips I learned to fit my wedding to my wallet, and I'm so excited to share them here.

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Real-World Money Tips for New College Grads

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School's out for the summer! Instagram is overflowing with caps, gowns, diplomas, and celebrations as adrenaline flows through this year's college grads. It's an exciting time for rising young professionals, but many will face a reality check. Sure, graduating comes with a level of freedom and opportunity. But it also introduces the responsibility of navigating an adult world that looks a whole lot different. As you manage your money independently (perhaps for the first time), it's important to have a guide that will keep you grounded. These real world money tips will set you up to reach those long-term lifestyle goals.

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Money 101 by Erica Holland of ModMoney - Camille Styles

Summer is finally upon us here in Austin. It's sunny, 90 degrees, and just muggy enough to be slightly uncomfortable. No matter where you are, I hope you're shaking off the lingering chill and embracing the heat. As we welcome a new season, I'm excited to share a few pieces I've written for the Money 101 column on CamilleStyles.com.

Camille Styles is an Austin-based lifestyle site that brings a fresh approach to health, fitness, fashion, beauty, and professional goals. At its core, Camille's brand inspires healthy choices and happy lives. Financial wellness is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and I'm excited to cultivate that message on a new platform (in addition to the ModMoney blog). Stay tuned for a new post each month on CamilleStyles.com. In the meantime, here is a roundup of some popular content. Happy reading!

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Top self-help books for personal development

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It's difficult to make time for continuous learning and self-improvement. Sure, we learn "on the job." But the most effective learning happens when it's self-motivated and self-guided. At the risk of sounding cliché, reading self-improvement books has changed my life. It has changed the way I organize my time, approach my career, advance new skills, and value myself. In this post, I'm sharing the best self-help books I've read, plus some bonus tips (if you stick around til the end).

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Clean up your money habits to achieve your financial goals

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Last summer, I painstakingly decorated our new home. All the way down to the Q-tip canister in the guest bathroom—let’s just say I was a little neurotic about it. Well, that went out the window when one book made me rethink my entire living space. Y’all, the first chapter will have you schlepping bags of once-cherished belongings to the nearest Goodwill. There’s nothing like a deep clean to shake off the winter blues, but why stop at your personal space? Organizing your finances can be as refreshing as airing out your linen bedding and scooping up some tulips at the market. Here are a few easy ways to kick off the spring with clean money habits.

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HSA vs. FSA for qualified medical expenses

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Have you ever postponed a doctor visit because you dreaded paying for the inevitable onslaught of exams? It seems that every time I visit the doctor for a routine cold, I'm hit with a $150+ medical bill. Enough is enough! Today I'm sharing two tools that will help you manage out-of-pocket medical expenses so you actually feel good about getting the healthcare you need. There are two super compelling and tax-friendly ways you can save for doctor visits, prescriptions, surgeries, and any other medical expenses down the road. Let's break down the differences between a Health Savings Account (HSA) and a Flexible Spending Account (FSA).

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What you  need to know about the post-election stock market rally and how Wall Street views President Trump's policy goals

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Over the last few months, news agencies have peppered us with a variety of unusual headlines. However, one story has remained consistent—the stock market has shown strong gains since President Trump's election. With so much uncertainty posed by the new administration, a prolonged rally may seem surprising. So what is behind this streak? And more importantly, what should you do about it?

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3 Tips To Keep In Mind When Filing Your Taxes | ModMoney

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You know, it's really unfair. We get to spend December frolicking in the cool air, surrounded by the lights and frivolity of the holidays. We even keep our homes lit until January, holding on to this bliss until the last minute. Then, the gaiety ends. And the worst part? It's replaced with tax season. But honestly, filing taxes doesn't have to be a dreadful chore if you use the right resources. Plus, there are a few things you can do today to lower your tax bill or increase your refund. Here are some tips that will make filing your taxes a smooth process this year.

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6 Ways To Save Money When You Work Out | ModMoney

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January is a great month to be a health club. Gyms rake in membership fees as new clients set fitness resolutions with the greatest of intentions. January 1 starts a clean slate, and it feels good to start off with a new diet or fitness regimen.

There's no doubt that working out is a healthy habit, but it can also be an expensive one. Especially if you overpay for a gym membership you don't actually use! With many of you looking for ways to stay healthy and happy this year, I'm sharing 6 tips to help you work out without breaking the bank.

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5 Financial Resolutions You Should Keep This Year | ModMoney

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Happy new year, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing holiday with friends and family. Now that it's officially 2017, I have to admit that I have never been good at keeping New Year's resolutions. I tend to focus more on lofty end goals and less on the habits I need to adopt to get there. Inevitably, I lose track, get overwhelmed, and give up within the first month or two. Anyone else in the same boat?

Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for dreaming big. But you also have to be mindful of the journey it will take to get there. This year, I'm resolving to think about my resolutions in a different way. Instead of blindly setting an end goal, I am going to focus on actionable behaviors that will help me get there.

This year, I encourage you to set some financial resolutions with me. But instead of resolving to "save more" or "spend less," I want you to think about specific habits you...

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Last Minute Christmas Gifts Under $100 | ModMoney

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Every year I plan to stay ahead of my holiday shopping. On Cyber Monday, I'm ready to knock out my whole gift list. But I never seem to make it all the way through! I either get distracted and move to another task, or I add to my list later on. As I sit here 4 days before Christmas, I still have a few last minute gifts to purchase. Please tell me I'm not alone! For those of you who are in the same boat, I thought it would be helpful to round up some of my favorite go-to gifts under $100 this week. And the best part? All of them are Amazon Prime eligible, meaning they come with free 2-day shipping!

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5 Apps That Will Save You Time & Money This Holiday Season | ModMoney

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I can't believe it's already Thanksgiving week! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a plethora of holiday travel are fast approaching. The holiday season can be chaotic and expensive, so I love to find new ways to save myself stress, time, and money. There are a few apps and tools I rely on to help me do that, and I'm excited to share them with you today! The first three apps are travel-focused and are essential for savvy flying. These will provide you with a smooth, comfortable, and well-priced travel experience. The last two involve holiday shopping and will help you save money and maximize the dollars you spend on gifts.

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How to Find Lost Money | ModMoney

You know that feeling when you find $20 in an old pair of jeans? Or in a handbag collecting dust in the back of your closet? Discovering lost money, in any amount, is a joyous occasion. Today, I'm sharing a website that creates a similar story line. This site helps you find unclaimed money you never knew you lost.

I know what you're thinking. How can I possibly have money floating around that I don't know about? Well, remember when you paid a security deposit on that new apartment lease? Did you ever get it back? How about that savings account your grandfather opened for you? Or that Certificate of Deposit you received from your great aunt when you turned thirteen? Maybe you never even knew you had these funds! Other forms of unclaimed property can include uncashed payroll checks, refunds, trust distributions, insurance payments, money in safe deposit boxes, and more.

Luckily, there's an easy way to find out if you have unclaimed money. And to retrieve it if you do.

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Creative Ways to Decorate Your Home on a Budget | ModMoney

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For me, personal finance goes beyond understanding how to save and invest responsibly. It has everything to do with feeling good about managing my money, and that includes having fun spending it! A few weeks ago, Chris and I moved into a 2-bedroom apartment, which has been an exciting start for both of us. Of course, along with a new chapter should come new furniture and a fresh look, am I right?

In typical fashion, I must admit to spending hours planning furniture and decor purchases within our budget. While Chris is more impulsive, I research until I know exactly what I want and where to get the best price for it. This post shares some of my favorite purchases – planned and spontaneous – and the online...

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AmEx Platinum Travel Benefits in Mexico

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After a few hours of navigating through flight cancellations and delays, Chris and I finally arrived in Punta Mita, Mexico for a few days of R&R. I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoy planning and booking trips because I see it as an opportunity to get extra value for my dollar. Plus, booking a sweet travel deal is so much more rewarding than purchasing a discounted coffee table. I have a few go-to credit cards that I use when booking travel, and our Mexico trip is the perfect opportunity to talk about one of my favorites: the American Express Platinum card.

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A Note from Erica

It’s a beautiful day in Austin, Texas. After a 5:45am spin class, I have an hour of quiet time before I head into the office. With a large coffee in hand and endorphins kicking in, I’m sitting down to write my first ModMoney post. As a finance professional, I like to read fashion and lifestyle blogs as an escape from working behind spreadsheets and creating presentations. The nerdier side of me (let’s be honest, it makes up most of me) also enjoys reading about maximizing credit card points, managing money, long-term investing (have I lost you yet?), and other enthralling content (sarcastic, but not really).

Graduating from college and entering the real world was daunting. I’m a born-and-bred Texas girl who left the state (gasp!) to attend college in North Carolina. As if that wasn’t far enough away from home, I then signed a two-year contract to work on Wall Street in NYC. I’ll never forget crying myself to sleep my first night in the city because everything was expensive, different, and scary. Perhaps the most intimidating part...

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Meet Erica

Erica is an Austin local, Duke grad, and creator of ModMoney, a platform bringing a fresh perspective to personal finance. She believes financial health is an important part of living well and hopes to empower others to make informed, proactive choices with their money. Find out more.

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