What to Look For When Buying a Family Car

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For quite some time now, my husband and I have been talking about getting our own car. It’s not for frivolous reasons, but because it will be easier to go around with a toddler with our own car vs. commuting.

We spend a ton of time commuting, not just from home to work but for her pedia visits, derma pedia visits, day outs, and special occasions.

Buying one though comes at a big cost. Yes, it is easy to get a car loan but it can cost you the same amount you’ll need to purchase a small house. It is safe to say that thorough research is needed to make sure you are getting your money’s worth.

I am no car expert, but from my discussions with E and previous writing gig about cars, here are some pointers to note before splurging for your first family car.

from Cars.Com FB

from Cars.Com FB

1. Decide how much you are willing to spend. If buying a new car is a bit too steep for you and your husband, you can consider buying second hand. Just ensure that the car is worth it and still in good condition and you buy from an authorized shop.

2. Prioritize safety over aesthetic. Check reviews online about the car you will purchase. Check the safety features available, does it have one or two airbags, does it have child lock features, etc. Remember, you want a car that will help keep you and your little unit safe even during emergencies.

3. Look for cars that provide ample space. This is now the features over aesthetic portion. Don’t fall in love with a car just because of its looks – since you are buying a car for your family ensure that there will be space enough for everyone. Check also the compartments and if you can easily fit strollers, luggages, baby bags in it. I personally like the Honda Odyssey just look at that space!

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4. If you have an infant or toddler, check car seat safety reviews. We all know that toddlers or infants can be a handful during road travels, normal seats won’t be enough as well to keep them down and comfortable. This is why we have car seats available! Different cars have different makes for car seats, which is why it is important to check existing reviews to make it easier for you to decide. You can head on over to cars.com site to check out detailed reviews!

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Above is just a simple guide to help you decide (hey that rhymes). Do you have anything else to add to my list? Sound off on the comments section to let me know!

Money and Relationship

Money, money, money. Such a touchy subject. It can even cause arguments between couples and even unnecessary stress. There’s a lot to think about when you mix money and relationship together

Who will hold the money??

Who will take care of handling the finances??

Who will take care of the budgeting??

Should you have different accounts??

Relationship and Money

To each their own, every couple has a different approach to this touchy matter. Of course an approach is not perfect right away or will ever be perfect. For a time, E and I had a pretty solid process with our finances. I was assigned as the master financer to take care of budgeting and everything related to money. Of course something happened that made me question if it really should be me assigned to this role. This was when E discovered our credit card bill!

I’m not a swipe here swipe there person, but there were some things that we needed to catch up on with our credit card payments. That’s why when E opened our bill he was surprised because his assumption was everything was already paid (except the installments). I was guilty here in not fully disclosing to him what is really up with our credit card payments. We didn’t argue, but I did explain to him in a telenovela way (meaning matagal na paguusap) that we are actually on track but we are behind by a thousand or two.

This was when I realized that keeping that financial secret from him can actually cause a big misunderstanding. I am just lucky to have a very understanding guy by my side. I apologized like there was no tomorrow and promised to always keep him up to date with everything about our finances.

Tricky tricky thing, finances. Especially if you hide anything related to it from your spouse/partner. It is actual the first in the five money mistakes that a Huffington Post article mentioned. I completely understand that adjusting from a single person perspective to a couple perspective for finances is hard, but it is really something that should be tackled and talked about in depth. This is especially true if you have big credit card debts or loans. Your person can help you sort things out.

Don’t burden yourself with financial crap, start a conversation with your partner because I am sure that he will understand. The last thing that you want to happen is that you are stuck with just P400 in your wallet and you need to fit that amount to 10 days for food for 4 people (true story. happened to somebody (not me) and she was asking for tips because telling her husband was not an option for her).

 

Communicate with your partner, because at the end of the day although it is such a tricky thing money should not be a burden to you and your partner.

New 7 Wonders of Nature, is it for real or just a scam?

The New 7 Wonders of Nature were announced last Saturday, and fortunately, Puerto Princesa Underground River was included in the initial list, and that gave us a reason to celebrate. I mean, being part of that means a lot, such as

  1. Being proud of our country’s achievement
  2. Another reason for us Filipinos to travel and discover our own country
  3. We will be known not just as the country were Manny Pacquiao, or Charice came from, but as a country that’s rich with beautiful tourist spots
  4. This can help boost the tourism rate in our country

However, recent events have stirred this positive/good vibes achievement into a bit of a disappointment. There are some news going round and about, that the New 7 World Wonder’s Contest is just a scam, and as GMA News Online have mentioned, “…is now embroiled in a controversy involving millions of dollars in allegedly ‘surprise’ fees.”

I did some further research about the alleged scam contest, and here’s what I found out:

  1. There’s a registration fee worth $199 for entering the said contest (The Guardian).
  2. Maldives and Indonesia withdrew from the contest after the alleged demands for marketing costs (The Guardian)
  3. Bernard Webber, the founder of the New 7 Wonders of Nature was said to be a marketing expert. (The Guardian)
  4. The campaign allegedly attempted to charge a Maldives based telecomm company US $1 for them to participate in the campaign. (Minivan News.com)
  5. The New World Wonders Campaign also allegedly demanded over US $45M from the Indonesian Government (US $10 M for licensing fees, and US $35 M to host an event) . (Minivan News.com)
  6. There’s no link between UNSECO and the New 7 World Wonders campaign, as they have mentioned  in one of their posts:

“In order to avoid any damaging confusion, UNESCO wishes to reaffirm that there is no link whatsoever between UNESCO’s World Heritage programme, which aims to protect world heritage, and the current campaign concerning “The New 7 Wonders of the World”.

This campaign was launched in 2000 as a private initiative by Bernard Weber, the idea being to encourage citizens around the world to select seven new wonders of the world by popular vote.

Although UNESCO was invited to support this project on several occasions, the Organization decided not to collaborate with Mr. Weber.”

Now I have a few questions in mind as well, such as did the government pay to have Puerto Princesa on the list? Did the government pay any huge fees to the organization seeing this as an opportunity to promote tourism in the Philippines? 

When the news about PPUR reached me, I was happy, and at the end of the day, even if this contest, campaign or whatever it is, is a sham, I’m still proud the PPUR’s in the list, it gives me that happy and good vibe feel. I just hope that the government didn’t spend too much on this, on paying alleged fees. Just my opinion. 🙂