“Minivans Are Just Not Cool!” According to Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab, the financial and investment company, ran a contest called “Oh Chuck! I Blew My Cash.”  It asked people to tell Charles Schwab the most ridiculous items or products they have blown money on.  The company released this promotional “Minivan” video on Youtube to promote the contest.

It shows a women telling Chuck about how she came to buy a $20,000 minivan.  She meet a guy, things were going really well, so he proposed!  Of course he did what most guys would do at the site of a minivan… bolt!  Chuck precedes to tell Carrie about what would have been better options for that money (I mean he is Charles Schwab) and says, “Minivans are just not cool!”

The story sounds so ridiculous, but it raises an important automotive question.  What does this say about Minivans?  Are they just so uncool that not even a billionaire financial adviser and successful entrepreneur like Charles Schwab can recommend buying one?  Are minivans a signal in our culture and society the we are in fact “not cool” anymore?  Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

If this story is true, I think Carrie should have win the contest! 🙂

Leasing… Not a Good Deal!

Leasing is one of those To Good to Be True deals. It's actually one of the worst financial decisions for a person to make.  It's very enticing because you get into a new car at minimal cost.  Leasing just isn't a good deal!  There are many factors you need to consider.

If you lease cars for 10 years, it might seem like you are making a smart financial decision.  People think to themselves “Well… I only have a small monthly payment every month!”  That's not true!  Instead of your car costs going down over say a 10-year period, they will stay high.  Many people only look at their monthly payment, but you need to consider insurance.  You will always be paying for  for new car insurance.  Also when you go to turn in your leased car, they take a microscope and go over every little possible defect the car could have.  If you read your contract carefully…. you will see it clearly says that you are responsible for paying for anything they deem they want to fix.  You would be surprised they deem need fixing, but it it's totally within their right to charge you for it.

Your better off buying a new car and driving it until the wheels fall off.  Your maintenance costs will level-off over a number of years.  Many studies have shown this.  Also your insurance costs won't be as great over the same period of time.

If you plan to get a new car, just buy it and don't get a lease!

Credit Unions

Maybe you've past by a local Credit Union or heard from a friend about Credit Unions they use. If you are going to be financing a new or used car, then I would definitely join a Credit Union.

Financing through a Credit Union is always better than using a bank or dealership. For buying a used or new car Credit Unions are the only option I suggest. As my brother Aaron found when going to his Credit Union, the rate he was given was much better than any bank he went to. Also the rates for used cars are the same for new cars. At a a bank you might get quoted a new car loan at 5%, while used car loans are 10%. A Credit Union would charge you 5% for new or used cars.

Credit Unions have many advantages as well. They are actually non-profit and owned by the members not stockholders. They are typically small and customer oriented. Credit Unions offer great rates on other services and products. Typically your work will be affiliated with a Credit Union, so ask there first. You can look a Credit Union up in your area with the CUNA Credit Union Finder.