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How to Purchase A Vehicle Cash From A Private Owner

I shared that we recently purchased a truck, cash. I wanted to share the journey we went though because in fact, it was not as easy as we thought. It all started a few years ago when I had a minivan with a car payment attached. A hail storm came through, took my vehicle out in a sense so the insurance paid it off. I was left wondering, do I purchase another vehicle or is there another option. My dad had a Jeep he wasn’t using so I opted to get out of payments for a while and drove the Jeep. My plan was to save money and eventually purchase a vehicle without a payment.

Fast forward a few years and we started saving for a car. I think the hardest thing for me was being diligent with the money we were saving. I drove a vehicle that was a little beat up but I didn’t have payments and it got me to where I needed to go. So by saving money by getting rid of a car payment and driving a vehicle without a payment, allowed us to save and buy a nicer vehicle. We finally were ready to take the plunge into buying another vehicle after saving the most recent tax return and combining it with other funds saved. As you can see above, we purchased a Chevy Avalanche as it was a perfect fit for our family.

A big shoutout goes to my brother. I actually wouldn’t have been able to get through the ordeal without him as he educated me on what to do and went with me to look at the vehicle. I was ready to give up on this guy we purchased from because I felt like it was a repeated run around from him but I learned how to navigate the situation.

How to purchase a vehicle with cash from a private owner (without getting ripped off):

  • Research your vehicle –  Find out which vehicle is best for you and find out any possible issues before purchasing a car.
    • We utilized these sites
      • This site will let you know what the value is, what others are selling for in your area, the specs etc. This site also had a customer review tab. See what real people think about that vehicle before you purchase it.
      • Find out what that vehicle gets in gas milage.
      • Find out if the vehicle has a lien on it by purchasing  a lien motor vehicle check. This site is AZ specific so if you are not in Arizona, look for your state’s department of vehicles site.
      • This is an investment you need to make when purchasing a vehicle that has been pre-owned. This will allow you to check for any accidents, any services reported, vehicle sales etc. Basically it’s a fact checker. If you invest, purchase the unlimited license plate check. Download the app so you can check license plates & VIN #’s on the go.
  • Go to the DMV or 3rd Party to finish the transaction. The DMV is the only one who can clear that title to be sold and make sure there is nothing else wrong with it.
  • Questions to ask a seller before meeting with them:
    • When is the last time the car had maintenance? Do you have the paperwork?
      • This includes tires, oil changes etc.
    • Is the title open and notarized for sale? Are there any liens on the vehicle?
      • This is different than a clear title. What this means is there is no liens on it and they have gone to the DMV to open the title to allow it to be sold.
  • Inspecting the vehicle:
    • I would say one of the best things to do is bring someone who is knowledgable when you go to look at it. Have them do a thorough inspection and to take it on a test drive to see if anything appears to be wrong.

Red Flags:

  • Do NOT purchase a vehicle where they promise to pay the lien after you purchase it.
  • Check for recent work completed on a vehicle such as bondo or paint jobs.
  • Unwilling to meet at a DVM or third party service center.
  • Check engine or other warning lights are on. Even if they promise they took it in and said that XYZ was wrong, do not purchase a vehicle with a warning light on unless you are able to get a diagnostic.

How to negotiate a better price:

  • Before contacting the seller, have your highest price in mind that you wold pay for that vehicle.
  • Always let the seller start with their price.
  • Ask if they are firm on the price but don’t ask for a new amount just yet.
  • After inspecting the vehicle, look for any flaws that may help you negotiate a better price.
  • Start with a lower offer. Don’t start with the price you will pay, go lower and look for their reaction to gauge where they may be willing to go.
  • Take their price and your offer to find a price in the middle.

Other tips:

  • Best time to buy a car? Before the holidays when people are looking for extra cash or are looking to upgrade their vehicles to a newer model.
  • Take your time. Unless you are in an immediate need for a car, take your time to research them and to find the vehicle that best fits your family.
  • Have money saved up for maintenance. Consider having at least $1000 ready to be spent on any maintenance that needs to be done. We had to buy 2 new tires and a battery just within the first week of buying this truck.
  • Calculate how much the car will cost per month by calculating your gas mileage and insurance.
  • Educate yourself on the car you are about to purchase. What normally goes out on them for maintenance? Do you have someone to work on that vehicle if needed?

Saving $$

  • Have a plan. Put money towards your car fund each month with a desired goal amount/date.

There it is, how we purchased our new to us truck (with cash) from a private owner. I didn’t talk a lot about how we saved enough money because it was pretty simple. We just spent within our means and saved what we could so anyone could do it!

How To Buy a Car with Cash & How to Avoid Scams and Lemons

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360 Tracking Pixel


This past year has been an emotional roller coaster and it’s all been centered around one thing. Money. Before I get into the nitty gritty of what I am about to share, I should let you know money has never been important to me or so I thought until I looked back on my life. I grew up in a modest household where we didn’t have a lot but we had enough. I grew up knowing that my family wouldn’t need a lot but I struggled with wanting the things I never had. New cars, college education and my own house were just a few things I knew I wanted. What I didn’t plan out was how I was going to get there.

We started young. I got married at 18 and by 20 I had my daughter and by 21 I had bought a house. I was proud that I was able to save money and start our path of growing up. What I didn’t plan on was how I was going to pave that path. Being young, I wanted more. I wanted the nice things everyone else had like the latest technology and trips. We weren’t financially ready for all of that, not one bit. Fast forward a few years and we are over $60K in debt NOT including our house. We were struggling and we couldn’t keep up. I had to revise my mind set and work towards feeling more financially stable.

This past year I have worked hard to pay off the debt I created and I am happy to say 90% of the debt (beyond school loans and home mortgage) is paid!

Here is just a glimpse of my path to financial freedom:

  • No more credit cards. I eliminated the many payments and unnecessary interest and moved to cash. I do have one credit card and that is a Capital One card. This card we use only for emergencies or purchases we know we can pay back to utilize the rewards.
  • Cash for everything. Cash is king they say and it is true. Anytime we are looking at a big purchase, we always ask if there is a cash discount. We paid for the Clever Teen’s braces cash up front and received a discount. We were able to purchase our truck for cash and was able to negotiate a lower price.
  • Living within our means. I know, sounds like common sense right? But even at times where I think it may be within our means, I thoroughly evaluate our income and the amount it will take away from to make sure we are making the right decision.
  • Pay all the debt. I started the year out by pulling our credit reports and making sure we were paying everything off. I started small and continued to work my way down the list for outdated debts.  We actually found errors in our reports as well so we were able to work with the companies to remove these to bring up the credit scores.20140617_065217
  • Being thrifty. It’s no secret that I like saving a penny where I can. I rarely buy anything new unless it’s needed. I scour sites like Craigslist or look at thrift stores if it’s something we need. I also eliminated unnecessary payments for luxuries like trading cable for Netflix. We also use coupons for things like eating out and activities. Making coffee at home has been a life changer as far as saving $$, I’ve brought down that obsession errrr, expense by 85%!20140701_084833
  • Making extra income where we can. While its not steady, we do often sell things on sites such as CL or Offer Up to make a little extra $$$. We use this money for things like vacations or the kids activities.


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I am not only declaring my financial independence to you (and my family of course), but I shared it in the Capital One 360 Financial Independence contest where they are giving away $1776 in cash every day! You can enter here too

What is your financial independence?


This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Capital One 360.




I love what I do for work and often times I get asked about “what I do” for a job. I first have to say the Lord has blessed me with where I am at today. I am a campaign lead for Social Fabric (Collective Bias),  a social shopper media company that works with brands and bloggers. I love getting to work with such an awesomesauce team and some super fab bloggers. Not only that, Collective Bias/Social Fabric is a company I truly believe has the potential to change the world. Okay not in such a dramatic sense but our members really have the opportunity to help influence shoppers and brands with their opinions.

With this job I do get to work from home which is great because I can work within my own schedule but it’s not as easy as it sounds. I have had to work though my ADD and highly disorganized schedule to create balance between my work life, home life and my sanity.  It’s definitely been a journey but here are my best tips for staying organized while working from home.

  • Create a Schedule
     Schedule a realistic schedule with work time hours and NON work time hours.  I, no joke, schedule everything from conference calls to showers. Every day I write in my work notebook what needs to be done, this helps me stay on track (because I have ADD I know it) and I feel accomplished when I can cross everything off of that list. I also have a family “brain” where I schedule everything we need to do for the week and I also utilize Google Calendar (this helps link everything to my phone and keeps my days on track).
  • It’s Okay to Not Check Your Email Every 5 Minutes
    I am guilty of this and in fact I have side tracking notifications on my phone that alert me for every email I get for my work account. Schedule times to check your email accounts.
  • Have a Strong Support Team Behind You
    To have a successful blog or even work at home business, you really need to have everyone who is close to you in your corner and supporting what you do which means they have a full understanding with what you do and support you. I was at a conference one time and someone asked how they can get their husband on board with them blogging. There really isn’t a better answer then effectively communicating about your reasoning on why you are blogging or working from home. I once read a book (for work purposes) called Crucial Conversations , and this has helped me overcome and work though obstacles in life with others where there was miscommunication.
  • Have Help
    Speaking of having a support team, take it one step further and have a team that helps out with your workload. Whether it’s a mommy helper if you are a mom of young ones (someone to watch and play with the kids while you are home for a few hours, maybe help with dinner etc) or having a spouse/kids who complete chores around the house. If you become busy enough with your own business or blog, consider hiring a virtual assistant.
  • Throw The Idea of a Perfectly Balanced Life Out The Window
    Feeling balanced is just a feeling in your mind of what your expectations are. Let go of perfection and the need to feel like super mom. If you are reading this, you are more than likely struggling with a feeling a balance which means you may need to let something go which leads to the next point…
  • Prioritize
    Obvious, right? Well this is actually going to help let things go. For me, my #1 is family (for me this means time together, dedication to faith etc). First and foremost. That means I have dedicated to making sure my work doesn’t come before them therefore I do not work on the weekends. Next is making an income so my job is important which means it comes before things like cleaning house. So you may come over to my house one day and it looks like a hot mess and that is something I had to become okay with. Now I do clean but I had to let go of needing a clean house all day every day.
  • It’s Okay to say No
    Before you accept that new sponsored post or job, is it worth it? What will this do to your schedule? Unless it’s going to rock your world and is totally worth it, it’s okay to say no. While I know as a blogger who does want to make money with her blog, I have to be selective.
  • Save Your Sanity
    Don’t run yourself ragged doing your job or blog. If you are working at 1 AM trying to finish something more than once in a while, it’s time to do some re-evaluating. I actually stopped working at night and committed to getting more sleep, this has been almost a life change. Another thing is making sure to take some “me time”. I have started scheduling out every week things I do for me whether it be coffee with a friend, Zumba or maybe even a little shopping. At least I am getting out of the house and not suffering from cabin fever.

I hope this helps at least one person save their sanity!

If you are a blogger and are interested in Social Fabric, please check out the site here for more details about the application process:

Need a little bit of last minute cash for the holidays? There are two weekends left where you can still do it! Here are some of my best tips to make money during the holidays!

Sell your clothes, shoes, toys etc to resell shops

I haven’t done this in years because I just hadn’t had the time. Well we are on a strict budget and Clever Tween needed jeans and I really didn’t want to spend the Christmas budget on them. So I gathered up some of my shoes, purses *sob sob* and some of her jeans that didn’t fit and we set off to a local place called Uptown Cheapskate. I’m so glad we did, we ended up getting about $60 worth of store credit so she was able to get a few outfits and accessories. I did get rid of some fab shoes but honestly I have too many.

Have a Yard Sale

Honestly, now is the best time to have a yard sale for a few reasons.

  • Weather is perfect, well at least here in the warmer climates.
  • Everyone is out shopping anyways.
  • You have people like me on a strict budget who could easily take something from a yard sale and make it into a fabulous gift!

See my tips for putting on a fab yard sale here:

Sell it on Craigslist

It amazes me how popular this site is in fact, it’s more popular than ever! If you child has outgrown his bike (BTW, we’ve gotten a Christmas bike off of CL before) or maybe some movies you don’t watch that you can sell as a bundle, consider listing it! I love that CL is free. Of course take the precautionary steps by following the golden rule, try to meet up somewhere that is not your house.

How about being a personal assistant for a day?

I know I am not the only one who could use a “Mommy’s Helper” during the holidays. Talk to teachers and staff at your kid’s schools and put the word out that you would be happy to help if they needed a personal assistant outside of work to do things for them. Think about it, how much time would it save if a few days before Christmas someone did your grocery shopping, wrapped the rest of your presents and cleaned your house. It would be awesome right? SO you know someone in your life that would take you up on your offer to do that for some cash.

So what are you doing to bring in some extra cash money?

This week I talked about my favorite things to pack for blog conferences and my shoe obsessions being fulfilled by Goodwill, so I thought I would end this week with a post about my favorite beauty items for Spring that won’t break the bank. In fact, 90% of the items are under $10!

  • Suave Professionals Heat Protection ~ I am really loving the Suave professionals line and this item is a comparison to the Redken protectant. I do a lot of blow drying, straightening and curling so my hair definitely appreciates this, and it’s under $3 at Walmart.
  • Rimmel Clean Finish Foundation ~ My face is extra sensitive to foundations and powders so this one is great for my skin. Also, under $4.
  • Garnier Nutrisse Color Creme ~ At one time I looked for at least 15 minutes at all of the hair coloring creams (apparently it’s a no no to say hair dye now a days) and finally decided on this one. For blond hair, it’s important to be vibrant and not too brassy or dull. This one is awesome and my hair felt great after rinsing it out, so soft! It’s only $5.94 at Walmart.
  • Aussie Catch the Wave Mousse ~ If you are looking for a mild moose that won’t weight your hair down yet can give you a boost, condition and help you with some loose waves, this one is for you.  $3.24 at Walamrt.
  • Olay Touch of Sun Sunless Lotion ~ Are you like me with inability to tan? This lotion is soft and gives skin that small tint to the whitest of white *eh hem* that is me.  $8.99 at
  • Maybelline Falsies Mascara ~ Best. Mascara. Ever. For the money! Right now, they are on rollback at Walmart for $5 and it gives that full dramatic effect that mimics false eyelashes.
  • NYC Shimmer Powder ~ Normally, I like a pigmented eye shadow but for the money, this is great. It offers a great color along with some shimmer, and we all need a little shimmer. The one I love is the Smokey Topaz and it’s around $3.25 at Walmart.
  • Physicians Formula Glow Pearls Powder ~ If you are looking for a look that shines over a foundation or stand alone that isn’t a bronzer, this one is great. The regular price is under $13 but I had found this as a BOGO deal at CVS.
  • Carmex Moisture Plus ~ I have always been obsessed with Carmex so this is awesome because it is like a lip stick with Carmex. Hooray for color! $2.48 at Walmart!

What are some of your items that you love that are budget friendly?

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