Author Archives: Andrew Dauphinee

About Andrew Dauphinee

Education and learning are passions of mine. Lifelong learning is a core part of who I am and I strive to pass that desire for information on to everyone I meet. As the Instruction and Outreach Librarian, it is my goal to provide quality, informative, and relevant programming to meet the diverse needs of our patrons. Please contact me regarding programming at adauphinee@njstatelib.org.

Money Matters Program Recap

Thank you to everyone who attend our kick-off event for Money Smart Week 2019, entitled Money Matters.  One of the first steps to financial security is planning and following through on a personal spending plan or budget.  Budgeting in about choices; choosing how to make money and choosing how to spend money.  Money Matters, a financial workshop created by the FDIC, teaches how to do just that.

The first step in the planning process is to set financial goals, which include:

  • Identify and write down your financial goals, such as retirement, buying a house, or sending children to college
  • Organize your financial goals based on the time frame you would like to complete them in
    • Short-term (less than 1 year), medium-term (1 – 3 years, and long-term (5 years or more)
  • Educate yourself by talking with a financial representative or by reading books or magazines.  Then you can identify small, measurable steps to achieve your goals.
  • Evaluate your progress monthly, quarterly, or yearly to see if you have met your goals or can identify ways to improve reaching your goals

A great way to help understand your current financial situation and what goals are reasonable, is to create a spending plan.  A spending plan is a step-by-step plan for meeting expenses in a given time period and determining what extra money you have at the end of each month.  A spending plan should include:

  • All sources of income, including the dates income is received
    • income includes wages, social security, retirement, government assistance, and child support
  • All of your expenses including due dates, which generally fall into two categories:
    • Fixed expenses do not change from month to month, such as rent, car loans, student loans, child support payments
    • Flexible expenses can vary from month to month, such as utilities, credit card payments, food, gas, and other personal expenses
  • The total amount of income and expenses subtracted from each other to see how much money is left over, that can be put away in savings account, a rainy day fund, or pay off outstanding debt
  • You can create a spending plan using a spreadsheet software or by listing all of the information on a calendar
  • If the traditional ways of creating a spending plan don’t work for you, you can try these options:
    • Expense Envelop System – useful if you pay bills in cash
      • Make an envelope with for each monthly expense by writing the name of the expense, the amount due, and the due date
      • Pay the bills right away so you are not tempted to spend the money
    • Budget Box System
      • A box or folder with dividers, with one divider for each day of the month
      • Whenever you receive a bill or know of an expense, but the bill or a reminder behind the divider of the due date
      • As you receive income, pay your bills in order as soon as possible to ensure all of your bills are paid

While we would like to always have a surplus of money, that might not always be the case.  Should you run into a situation where your expenses are greater than your income, consider the following:

  • Pay your necessary household expenses first, such as rent, mortgage, food, and utilities
    • Some utility companies have programs to lower your bill if you qualify
  • Prioritize your bills by thinking about the health and safety of your family
  • Seek assistance to help cover other expenses, such as credit counseling, government assistance programs, or loan deferments

For more information about personal finances and goal setting, you can talk to a representative from your bank or credit union, or visit MyMoney.gov.  For a copy of the presentation, CLICK HERE.  You can find a spending plan template HERE.

Career Connections Presents – Top Notch Resumes 1 Program Recap

Resumes and cover letters serve as your introduction to and first impression on potential employers.  As a result, it is critical that your resume and cover letter are polished and effectively communicate your strengths, skills, and accomplishments.  Your resume is essentially Your Brand and represents everything that you are.  Therefore, it is important to make sure your resume, and by extension your cover letter, are tailored specifically to the job you are applying for and complement each other with being exact duplicates of each other.  Here are some important tips to remember when drafting and submitting your resume:

  • A functional resume, while less common, focuses more on your skills, proficiency, and objectives rather than your work history.  This can be a great way to structure your resume if you are changing careers, unemployed or in a single job for a long time, or fresh out of school.
  • A chronological resume is the most common type of resumes and focuses more on your work history to show an upward or lateral progression in a certain career or profession as well as highlight continuous employment.  Always list your current or most recent job first and then work backwards in time.  Listing the last 10 years of employment is generally sufficient if you have held multiple jobs; if you are looking to advance in a particular field or career, it is worthwhile to list more than the last 10 years as long as those jobs relate to the skills or profession you are in.
  • Use bullet-points to list your skills, job duties, and responsibilities rather than paragraphs.  This will make it easier for employers to find the skills they are looking for and it will make your resume easier to read.  In the same vein, when using bullet-points, also list the most important or impactful skills and job duties first, especially those that are related to the job for which you are applying.
  • Be Consistent!  Whether it is punctuating at the end of your bullet-points or choosing the tense of the verbs in your description, always be consistent in both your resume and cover letter.
  • Use ACTION VERBS when describing your skills and job duties and try to link your duties, responsibilities, and accomplishment to certain goals or results, whether they can be measured or not.

For much more information on resumes, please visit the Prepare tab on the Career Connections website available at www.careerconnections.nj.gov.   For more information on careers and occupations, including summaries and required/desired skills, visit CareerOneStop at www.CareerOneStop.org.

Makers Day 2019 Recap

Thank you to everyone who came out on Friday March 22 for our 4th Annual Makers Day!  This year was our biggest one so far!  Please check out some pictures below along with links to some of the projects!

Origami Bookmarks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEwl0fvqo18

Spice Rubs

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/242012/steak-dry-rub/
https://www.bewell.com/blog/3-simple-dry-rub-spice-recipes/

Seed Bombs

https://www.favecrafts.com/Garden-and-Outdoor/Simple-DIY-Seed-Bombs

 

Button Making

 

 

Popsicle Stick Shelf

https://makeanddocrew.com/diy-wall-art-popsicle-stick-hexagon-shelf-part-i/

 

Mini Donuts

Nestle Crunch Donut Maker

Virtual Reality – Beat Saber

 

Career Connections Presents – Path to Employment Program Recap

Finding a job after years of unemployment or trying to change careers can be a daunting task  Oftentimes, looking for a job can be a full-time job in itself and it may take some time to see the fruits of your hard work.  However, all the effort will be worth it and there are many tools available to help you in your job search.

First and foremost, having a positive outlook and attitude can go a long way, especially in terms of having the motivation to do the hard work looking and applying for jobs.  If you are having trouble keeping a positive frame of mind, try one or more of the following:

  • Practice positive self talk
  • Exercise regularly to form a sense of accomplishment
  • Read motivational books
  • Join a club or group, such as a volunteer organization

At the outset of your job hunt, it can be very beneficial to figure out your career goals.  Having a clear vision of where you want to be in 1, 5, or 10 years can be effective as you determine what you want to do and the jobs that can get you there.  When setting your career goals, consider the following:

  • Write it down – once you write it on paper, it becomes concert and brings your goals closer to reality
  • Be specific – you won’t accomplish your goals if they are vague or unclear
  • Be realistic – understanding your own skills as well as the labor market will help you set goals that are achievable
  • Collaborate – surround yourself with others than can provide critical feedback and positive support
  • Focus – you must make your goals a high priority to succeed; people often fail to achieve their goals because of a lack of drive and commitment

Searching for a job can be very tedious, but luckily, there are many ways you can find jobs.  Online job boards and postings on company websites are the most common ways to find a job, but do not forget about job fairs and networking.  Many times its who you know, not what you know.

It may also be beneficial to create a job-search plan.  Create a calendar for each week, dedicating time to searching, applying, volunteering, and taking care of yourself.  By organizing your activities, it provides a visual roadmap of your work and also holds you accountable for your own success.  In addition to a plan, keep a log of all the jobs you applied for and are interested in.  Be sure to identify the job title, date of application, any contact information, and the result.  You may be surprised to see patterns in the types of jobs you are getting interviews for.

Lastly, there are many online resources to help you along the way.  New Jersey Career Connections, created by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, has tools and resources for all aspects of your career, from identify your strengths, to writing powerful resumes, to honing your interview skills, to advancing your current career.  At the personal level, there are 23 Jersey Job Club locations across the state that provide you hands on experience writing resumes, practicing your interview skills, and networking.

Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery Program Recap

Thank you to Margaret Jerrido and Dr. Judith Giesberg for showcasing their collaborate project Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery.  Several years in the making, Last Seen is a searchable database of “Wanted” ads from nineteenth and early twentieth century newspapers, focusing on slaves and former slaves.  These documents contain wonderful nuggets of information for anyone conducting genealogical research with slave ancestry as well as highlight the importance of reuniting families for African Americans in the decades after Emancipation.

For example, here is an ad from the Philadelphia Times from July 8, 1889 for woman from Red Bank, NJ looking for her son:

One of the great aspects of Last Seen is that is a free database; no payments or subscription fees required.  As such, the team behind Last Seen relies on the help of thousands of people who volunteer their time to transcribe the ever-growing collection of records.  If you would like to sign-up to be a transcriber, please visit http://informationwanted.org/sign-up.

Another great feature of Last Seen is the geographical overlay of all of the records.  Here is a screenshot of the Eastern Seaboard, showcasing many records and their corresponding locations:

If you have any questions about the project, records, or any other aspect of Last Seen, please complete the form at http://www.informationwanted.org/contact.

Forging Effective Public / Private Partnerships through Corporate Day-of-Service Projects Program Recap

Thank you to Leontyne Anglin from Staging Executives for her exciting and interactive presentation highlighting corporate day of service events for non-profits.  Grants are a major source of funding for non-profits, but it is becoming more and more difficult to secure grant money and that money can take months to come in.  There is an untapped source of funding available through corporate entities.  By building strong partnerships with businesses, non-profits can enhance their funding while also promoting their mission and gaining new and enthusiastic volunteers and donors.

There are 5 simple and manageable steps when trying to develop a relationship with a corporate sponsor through a day-of-service project:

  1. Determine your project scope
    • Start with 2 basic questions – Do we want to raise awareness of a local issue; Is there a larger problem we want to help tackle
    • Set aside at least 6 months to plan
    • Start with a manageable and simple project, such as a food drive or holiday gift drive, that can be completed in no more than 1 day
    • Determine responsibilities for the project before approaching a potential sponsor, such as what items or activities is the non-profit and corporate entity responsible for
    • Have a timeline for the project, including meetings and any preparatory work involved
    • Consider investing in a photographer to capture all aspects of the day-of-service, including a list of shots you would like before, during, and after the event
  2. Conduct your research
    • Make sure to research which businesses best match the mission of your non-profit or the type of service project you wish to undertake
    • Look at company websites, especially their “Recent News/Events” or “Community/Giving/Volunteering” pages to get an exact sense of whether that company is a right fit for your organization – you are trying to identify a potential mutual benefit between your respective organizations to encourage a long-term partnership, including funding
    • Attempt to locate the contact person for that business, which may be listed on press releases
  3. Assemble your team
    • Divide your team, if possible, into 1st sale and 2nd sale groups
      • 1st sale should make the pitch and meet with corporate decision makers
        • Include executive directors, visionaries, and strong communicators
        • Be upbeat and positive
      • 2nd sale should lead the implementation
        • Include project managers and board volunteers
        • Be detail oriented, have strong project management skills, and be relationship builders
  4. Implement your project
    • Pitch the project in a concise email (1st team) and then set up conference call to go over more details (2nd team); attempt to secure a site visit
    • In subsequent meetings (have a standing meeting date/time), provide an overview of the project, including individual project teams and clearly review all roles and responsibilities
    • Day of the event
      • arrive 90 minutes early to make sure things are set up and your people are comfortable in their roles
      • Start on time and with a motivational welcome speech
      • Take pictures of the group early on or at lunch to ensure you get the most people possible
      • Grab video testimonials before people leave to share via social media or at an event with your organization – make sure to invite the corporate sponsor to the event!
  5. Post-event follow up
    • Send thank you message within 24-48 hours
    • Invite the volunteers to future events without asking them for anything, including money

You can download a copy of the presentation at https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Corporate-Day-of-Service.pdf.  For more information on this as well as other topics related to non-profits, please contact Leontyne Anglin at stagingexecs@gmail.com or 856-449-7763.

Career Connections Presents – The Right Career for You Program Recap

Thank you to everyone who joined us for Career Connections Presents – The Right Career for You.  Determining the best job or career for you can be overwhelming, but there are 4 important things to focus on to help you narrow your search and select a career that best fits you and the current job market.

First, your personality type is important for understanding what your strengths and weaknesses are, which occupation matches your personality type, and understanding how you relate to others.

Second, what your work interests are can be a good indicator of what types of careers you will thrive in.  Online tools can help you create an interest profile and match you to jobs and careers that best match what your work interests are, including NJCAN and MyNextMove.

Third, being able to identify you skills and abilities, both hard (technical and job sepcific) and soft (more abstract and universal across many careers), will help you narrow down you career profile to maximize your effectiveness within a given work environment.

Lastly, and perhaps the most overlooked factor in determining the right career for you, is the status of the job market.  There are certain jobs that will always be in demand (retail sales, food service, nurses) that increases your chances of getting a job whereas other jobs are no longer in demand (postal worker, teacher) which means that it will be very difficult to get a job and may not be worth the time and money to get the necessary educational or technical credentials.

For more information on labor market resources, visit CareerOneStop or NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development.  For more information on choosing the right career as well as a host of other job related information, from resumes, to interviews, to networking, visit Career Connections.

Using the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for Genealogical Research Program Recap

Thank you to Dr. Elana Broch from Princeton University for her presentation on the genealogical resources available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as well as the International Tracing Service, including the Central Name Index.

The USHMM contains an archival repository that houses almost 300,000 records across 77 record groups.  While most of these records are not available online, there is an online listing of all their record groups and sub-groups to help researchers and genealogists identify potentially useful collections.  Each collection has a finding aid associated with it that will provide more details on the scope, breadth, and items in the collection.

These collections include Liberation of the Camps and Ghettos, Concentration Camps and Other Camps, and Jewish Communities.  Only about 10% of the nearly 3,000 sub-collections have lists of names.  However, the USHMM does have a Holocaust Survivor and Victims Database that you can search online, which will identify which lists a particular name are found in.

Additionally, the International Tracing Service, established after the war by the Allied Powers, is partially accessible through the USHMM.  The ITS contains roughly 30 million images of records; however, there is no full-text search capability to search by names or locations.  The ITS also contains the Central Name Index, which comprises approximately 50 million cards relating to the fate of 17.5 million individuals persecuted by the Nazis and their allies.

A copy of the presentation is available for download at https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/USHMM-Presentation.pdf.

 

Effective Communication Strategies for Alzheimer’s Caregivers Program Recap

Thank you to Nicolette Vasco from the Alzheimer’s Association for her talk Effective Communication Strategies for Alzheimer’s Caregivers.  Alzheimer’s is a very complex disease, affecting each person, and those close to them, differently.  People with Alzheimer’s will rely more and more on their caregivers as the disease progress and it is important for caregivers to be able to communicate, whether verbally, physically, visually, in order to help their loved one, even in the most mundane of tasks.  The following information is broken down into the 3 stages of Alzheimer’s (early, middle, and late):

  • Communication in the Early Stage
    • Changes that may occur
      • difficulty finding the right words or taking longer to speak or respond
      • struggling withing decision-making or problem-solving
    • How to connect
      • Ask directly with how to help with communication
      • keep sentences clear and straightforward
      • Leave plenty of time for conversations and include the person in conversations that affect him or her
    • Things to keep in mind
      • avoid making assumptions about the person
      • communicate in the most comfortable way for the person (phone, in-person, text-based such as email)
      • Be honest, stay connected, and laugh with each other
  • Communication in the Middle Stage
    • Changes that may occur
      • using familiar words repeatedly
      • inventing new words (hand clock instead of watch)
      • easily losing train of thought
      • communicating through behaviors more often than words
    • How to connect
      • Approach
        • approach the person gently, from the front, and use names to identify you and the person
        • maintain eye contact and remain at eye-level
        • avoid criticizing, scolding, and arguing
        • Take your time
      • Join the person’s reality
        • assess their needs
        • confirm you understand their concerns
        • provide a brief answer
        • respond to the emotions behind the statement (they may be angry because they are really afraid of being alone)
      • Keep it slow and basic
        • use short sentences and basic words
        • speak slowly and clearly
        • make sure only one person is speaking
        • limit distractions such as television noise
        • be patient
      • Give multiple cues
        • provide visual cues and gestures, but avoid sudden movement
        • write things down
        • put answers into your questions
        • turn negatives into positives
        • avoid quizzing
  • Communication in the  Late Stage
    • Changes that may occur
      • communication is reduced to a few words or sounds
      • similar responses to familiar words or phrases
    • How to connect
      • listen for expressions of pain and respond promptly
      • help the person feel safe and happy
      • bring respect to each conversation and keep talking to them
      • communicate using all 5 senses
        • touch
          • feel different fabrics
          • give lotion hand massages
          • visit with animals
          • hands-based arts and crafts such as sculpting
          • hold the person’s hand or stroke their arm or back
          • brush their hair
        • sight
          • watch videos of favorite subjects
          • view photos that resonate with the person
          • sit outdoors or go somewhere such as an aquarium
          • paint with watercolors
        • sound
          • listen to familiar music or recordings of nature
          • listen to songs or speech in their native language
          • read them books or the newspaper
          • your voice may be soothing and comforting to them even if they cannot remember you all the time
        • smell
          • herbs or spices
          • cotton balls dipped in essential oils
          • cut fresh flowers
          • fragrant hand lotions
          • cook and feed them foods that smell good
        • taste
          • cook favorite foods, which may encourage them to eat more
          • home-baked goods
          • flavored drinks to ensure they are staying hydrated

You can download of copy of the presentation at https://www.njstatelib.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Effective-Communication-Strategies-Presentation.pdf.  Please visit the Alzheimer’s Association for more information on all aspects of the disease.  If you need immediate help, please contact their support line 24/7 at 1-800-272-3900.

Managing Your Credit and Credit Reporting Program Recap

Thank you to the Credit Union of New Jersey and Pete Manferdo from Experian for presenting Managing Your Credit and Credit Reporting.  Credit plays an important role in our finances, from car loans, to mortgages, to credit cards.  While many financial institutions still lack to provide the right amount of loan despite a person having all the right paperwork, this where the secure online websites come into place as they provide guaranteed installment loans to people even if they have a bad credit score. This form of loan lending has significantly taken over the world by storm as the return interest is quite low and the lenders are a 100% verfied. As such, it is important to understand exactly how credit and credit reporting works and what you can do keep on top of your credit.  The following topics were covered:

Credit Report

  • What is on a report?
    • Identifying information such as name, address, and social security number
    • Account information, such as credit cards, car loans, mortgages, etc.
    • Bankruptcy Public Records
    • Credit Inquiries
    • Dispute instructions
      • You can dispute anything on your credit report
      • usually takes 30-45 to process the dispute, including investigation
  • Used by lenders to gauge the likelihood of paying back a loan
  • FICO score is used by lenders to predict your risk of defaulting on loan within 24 months (higher the score, the less risk there is)
  • Credit Reports do not include your Credit Score

Credit Report Retention

  • How long information stays on your Credit Report
    • Accounts open that are in good standing – indefinitely
    • Accounts closed that are in good standing – 10 years
    • Late or missed payments – 7 years
    • Collection accounts – 7 years
    • Chapter 7 bankruptcy – 10 years
    • Chapter 13 bankruptcy – 7 years
    • Credit inquiries (hard hits) – 2 years

Common Myths about Credit

  • Once bad debts are paid off with the help of an IVA site, it goes away – all debt will remain on your credit report according the to the retention information above
  • The credit reporting company denied me credit – the reporting company only houses your information; the lending company makes the decision on the loan
  • I am not responsible for charges on my account – if someone else is linked to your account or you have a joint account, you are responsible for all debt associated with your accounts
  • Divorce decree separates joint accounts – marital debt is considered joint debt even after a divorce decree
  • I must give permission for a report to be issued – Lenders can request information on your credit history (soft inquiries) for purposes such as pre-qualified offers for credit cards or loans.
  • Requesting your own credit report and pre-approval offers harm history – You can obtain your own credit report once a year for free without any impact on your credit score
  • There is one score based on your report – different companies have different calculations for evaluating your credit so scores will be different based on different criteria

Breakdown of the Vantage Score (Similar to FICO Score)

  • Payment History – 40%
  • Depth of Credit – 21% (how long you have had credit)
  • Utilization – 20% (how much you owe vs. your available credit limit)
  • Account Balances – 11%
  • Recent Credit – 5%
  • Available Credit – 3%

For more information on credit reports and credit scores, contact your financial institution or visit the Federal Government’s Credit Reports and Scores page at https://www.usa.gov/credit-reports.

Career Connections Presents – Acing the Job Interview 2 Program Recap

Thank you to those that joined us for Career Connections Presents – Acing the Job Interview 2.  This program is an expansion on Acing the Job Interview 1 and focused on common interview questions, methods for answering different types of questions, and important things to remember.  Topics covered include:

  • The S.H.A.R.P. Method – designed to help you respond to a general question, such as “Tell me about yourself”
    • Specific – make sure you have something specific that you want to communicate, such as previous work experience or skills that apply to the job
    • Honest – Always be honest in your stories and avoid canned responses from the Internet
    • Articulate – Make sure to speak clearly and stay focused on the Specific message you are trying to convey
    • Relevant – Make sure the content of your response relates directly to the question, the job, or the skills the job entails
    • Positive – Make sure your answer highlights the positive points and avoid talking negatively about past employers
  • The S.O.A.R. Method – designed to help you respond to questions related to how you would handle/handled specific work situations
    • Situation – Clearly define/describe the situation related to the question and identify what you want the interviewer to take away from this example up front
    • Obstacles – Be sure to describe that problem or obstacle you were faced with, but avoid singling out or denigrating past co-workers or employers
    • Action – Describe the action or actions you took, highlighting any skills that were required to execute the action or planning for the action
    • Results – Make sure that the result/results are positive and reflect positively on not only yourself, but your team/employer/clients; be sure to highlight how the results reinforce the takeaways you mentioned in the beginning of your answer
  • Some of the most common interview questions include:
    • Tell me about yourself – be sure to stick to professional rather than personal information
    • Why should I/we hire you – This question sounds like your are asked to defend yourself, but it is a perfect time for your to highlight what you bring to the table and how you can positively impact the employer
    • What is your greatest strength – This is designed for you to think critically about yourself so make sure you you discuss how your strength will positively impact your performance
    • What is your greatest weakness – Again, this is designed for you to think critically about yourself so make sure you address how you have tried to better your weakness, such as through professional development or taking risks that put you in an uncomfortable position
    • Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it – There will always be some form of this question so remember to use the S.O.A.R. method and have a couple examples ready that may fit the different ways this question is asked
    • Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years – This question is designed to assess how you plan on growing yourself so you can keep it general and focused on your career/profession rather than within that employer
  • Tips to remember:
    • Always keep the focus of the conversation on the job and your professional life
    • It is illegal to ask, and you do not have to answer, questions such as “Are you married,” “Do you have any children,” “What religion are you”
    • Remember to research the employer so you are able to identify projects, opportunities, or values that relate to your experiences or skills, which can be a great way to show interest in the job and how you will benefit the employer

For more information on how to prepare for a job interview, please visit the Career Connections website at https://careerconnections.nj.gov/careerconnections/prepare/interview/interviewing_skills_index.shtml.  For more information on popular interview questions and how to answer them, visit https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-answer-the-31-most-common-interview-questions.

Take the Wheel Program Recap

Thank you to the Credit Union of New Jersey for their presentation on car buying.  Purchasing a new or used car can be a hassle, but you can help relieve the stress and secure the best deal by doing some research and willing to negotiate.  Follow these tips:

  1. The most important part of buying/leasing a car is determining how much you can afford.   Make sure to create a budget to determine the limit to what you can spend.  Secure a pre-approval from your bank or credit union to have an accurate number for what your spending range should be.
  2. Shop around, either at dealerships or online.  By researching the car you wanted, you can pick the features you want, check to see what others in your area have paid for the car, and see what discounts or offers certain dealerships may be giving to help lower the cost of the car, as well as your payments.
  3. Determining the actual price of the car can be difficult.  The MSRP does not include optional equipment, dealer fees such as destination charges, or market adjustments.  The total price of the car is the “sticker price” which is usually at the bottom of the window sticker.  Additionally, there may be rebates, offers, and dealer incentives that can decrease the cost of the sticker price so make sure to ask about them.  Ideally, you want to negotiate to about 2% over the dealer invoice price.
  4. Negotiation is an art and car salespeople do this many times a week.  Be sure to talk about the invoice price rather than the sticker or MSRP.  Negotiate the price first before discussing any payments or trade-in values.  The salesperson knows what the lowest price is so do not wait around for a manager’s approval; this is a stall tactic to make you think about buying impulsively.  As always, shop around to get the best deal because each individual dealership controls the final price of the car, not the manufacturer.
  5. One way dealerships try to sell you a car is by offering discounts on financing, such as 0%.  However, if you take the financing option through the dealership, you usually loose out on other rebates, such as cash back.  Financing through your bank or credit union, while it won’t give you 0%, you will still be qualified for the other rebates, which may be greater than the interest you will pay on the loan.  Additionally, the dealership may make several hard inquiries on your credit while checking several lenders they work with while your bank or credit union will only make one.

There are many resources out there to help you when buying a car.  Consumer Reports has reviews as well as a booklet to purchase that lists the dealer invoice prices for a given year.  Cars.com is a great way to shop around for the features you want and see what others have paid in your area.  Kelly Blue Book is the gold standard for determine the value of your used car, but they will also provide information on new cars.  The Federal Trade Commission has good information on all aspects of the car buying process, especially in terms of leasing a vehicle.

Copy of the Take the Wheel Presentation

Copy of the Take the Wheel Handout