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Five Sure-Fire Ways to have a Beautiful Home and All the Best Gadgets for Less

Less Stuff, More Happiness; How to live on a budget

Yes, you're making great money compared to what you were used to in college, but the economy is tough, ever changing and unforgiving. And while many of your friends are probably outfitting their apartments and homes with the nicest TVs and furniture credit can buy, it's in your best interest to keep your expenses low.

With sites like Craigslist and Zaarly, your ability to find really nice items that are gently used couldn't be easier. Granted, you'll be sitting on someone's old leather couch, but honestly, the leather looks cooler when it's been "weathered." Plus, a brand new sofa and side chair with ottoman could cost upwards of $1,500-2,000 and a gently used set goes for $500-700.

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So you wanna buy a car; Know what you're getting.

Car Buying Tips

Whether you are ready to trade in that hand-me-down hatchback or toss that bus pass in the trash, buying your first car is quite an adventure. It can be a time-consuming, frustrating and exhilarating process, so it's best to make a plan before you head out to the car lots. Here are a few tips on where to start.

  • What Can You Afford? Before you begin shopping for a car, it's important to take a look at your budget and figure out how much you can afford to spend on a vehicle, without strapping yourself or cutting into your savings. The number needs to take into consideration the monthly payment and operating expenses, like gas and maintenance.
  • The Down Payment You're also going to need a big chunk of change for a down payment. To get a loan for a car, and often for a lease, you'll probably need to make a down payment of around 10 percent of the total price of the vehicle. The larger your down payment, the smaller your monthly payment will be and the less you will pay in total for the car in the long run.
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