CNBC make it 2024-02-29 02:50:51

The ‘biggest mistake’ buyers make at car dealerships, according to a former broker

Buying a car can be stressful, especially when you’re negotiating with dealers armed with tricks designed to get you to spend more money.

But when it comes to negotiating the price of a new car, there are certain things you can do to help set yourself up for success. On a recent episode of the “Tosh Show” podcast, comedian Daniel Tosh interviewed Marty Wiener, a retired car broker who spent 46 years in the industry buying cars for the rich and famous.

Wiener said that of all the negotiating mistakes that buyers make, one looms above the rest.

“You never want to say what you’re willing to pay per month,” Wiener said. “The biggest mistake people make is if they go in and say ‘I can afford $600 a month.’”

Rather than laying out how much money you’re open to spending on your car payment, you should instead determine what the dealership is willing to sell you the car for.

“That’s the first thing,” he said. “Once you’ve established that, then you want to base your payments on that number.”

Wiener also recommended reviewing all the financing offers available to you, noting that the one that sounds the best might not actually be the smartest financial decision. He gave the example of a client who wanted to buy a car and put $10,000 down with 0% financing.

“But I said ‘Since you’re putting down such a large down payment, they have 1.9% financing but with a $1,500 rebate,’” he said. ”‘So your payment is going to go down $20 per month. Over 60 months, that’s $1,200.’”

And don’t fall for any classic negotiation tactics. For example, if a salesperson needs to go check an offer with a manager, Wiener says “it’s probably BS.”

“They know what they’re constrained by ahead of time,” he said.

Once you’ve shaken hands on your purchase, don’t let yourself be upsold on any add-ons such as warranties or paint protection.

“They’ll present you with so many different things you can buy that most people think, ‘Well, I should buy something,‘” former car salesman David Weliver previously told CNBC Make It. “If there are any additional features you want, know that going in.” Otherwise, “it’s fine to say ‘no’ to all of it.”

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I’ve spent 20 years studying what makes couples thrive—this weekly ritual should be ‘non-negotiable’

As a social psychologist, couples counselor and relationship expert, I’ve spent over 20 years working with thousands of individuals and couples.

The unfortunate reality is that many people don’t know how to build and nurture loving relationships, and one area that’s easily overlooked when things get busy is operations. In order to remedy this, I always encourage a weekly operations check-in to discuss upcoming admin duties. 

I’ve found that it’s usually these daily tasks, and each partner’s perception of fairness, that ultimately causes a lot of conflict. So if you only have time for one check-in each week, make it this one. I would even go so far as to say that it’s non-negotiable.

Cover any and all upcoming tasks 

Once a week, sit down and talk about all the actual tasks that have to be done in order for the household to run smoothly in the coming week. Some of my couples call this the “Team Meeting.” If you have children who are old enough to participate, include them, too.

No task is too small to go on this list. Grocery shopping, meal planning, meal prep, cleanup, laundry, drop-offs and pickups, plant watering, car maintenance, bill-paying — all of it has to be addressed. 

Be realistic about your list and talk about the resources you each need. One week one of you might have more bandwidth, and the other less. Make sure to leave some room for things that erupt during the week unexpectedly as well. For instance, who will stay home if a child gets sick?

Over time, a lot of things become automatic and some tasks only have to be discussed when there’s a change. 

Bring up your pain points and get creative

This weekly meeting is also a good time to bring up things you’d prefer not to do. I call these your “pain points.” If you really dislike washing dishes or making lunches, see if you can negotiate a different arrangement.

If neither of you wants to or can be on top of a task, maybe it’s time to get creative or delegate it. For example, hire a dog walker or arrange a carpool for your child once a week while you go grocery shopping. 

Make a list you can refer back to and adjust

Create a list that’s visible to you both, like a shared online calendar with different color coding.

When my husband Pejman and I have our meetings, we add things in our calendars according to a color code that, among other things, indicates whether tasks are hard to move (i.e., they can only be canceled or interrupted if something very urgent comes up) or flexible (i.e., they can be moved around if need be). 

You might end up finishing tasks from each other’s list to make life easier for them because your half-day meeting on Wednesday got canceled — one reason why a shared list where tasks and updates are visible to both of you can be so helpful.

Be honest and transparent 

Communicate your capacities and abilities as soon as possible to your partner. They may be disappointed or annoyed, but it will be far worse if you drop the ball completely without a heads up.

Annoyance and disappointment can be rectified, but if you’re constantly dropping the ball, your partner will see you as unreliable, and the trust between you will be shaken. That’s much harder to repair. 

Sara Nasserzadeh is a relationship expert with a PhD in social psychology. She has over two decades of experience working with thousands of couples. Her work has garnered global attention and has been featured in NPR, BBC, CNN and USA Today. She is also the author of ”Love by Design: 6 Ingredients to Build a Lifetime of Love.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

This is an adapted excerpt from ”Love by Design: 6 Ingredients to Build a Lifetime of Love,” Copyright © 2024, Sara Nasserzadeh. Reproduced by permission of Balance Publishing, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. All rights reserved.

31-year-old earns $220,000 a year and saves 75% of his salary by living with his parents

This story is part of CNBC Make It’s Millennial Money series, which details how people around the world earn, spend and save their money.

By the numbers, Sal Khan does really well for himself. The 31-year-old earns around $212,000 from his day job in tech sales. He started buying real estate in 2022 and now has four investment properties, which net him $8,000 a year with room to grow. He splurges on nice dinners out and makes time for vacations.

He also lives at home with his parents in Houston rent-free.

It’s a financially savvy move, of course, but also means more.

Khan was born and raised in Pakistan as the youngest of five kids. His older siblings started moving to the U.S. when he was 9 years old, starting with his oldest brother, who came to the States for college.

Soon after, his oldest sister moved to Houston to work as a physician, and by the time Khan was 17, his parents moved to be close to her and help raise their grandchildren. They also started the process of gaining a green card. Khan stayed behind under the care of his grandfather as his other two siblings moved for work and school.

Khan was the last to move to the U.S. in 2013 at 20 years old when his parents sponsored his visa. He earned a finance and economics degree from Ohio State University and worked in the Bay Area for a few years until the pandemic prompted him to move in with his parents in Houston.

What started as a temporary solution became a long-term arrangement that’s strengthened their bond in meaningful ways.

“I do think my relationship now has been the best with my parents than it has been before,” Khan tells CNBC Make It.

Here’s how the arrangement impacts his personal life, his financial goals and his future plans.

Moving in with his parents

Khan was living in the Bay in 2020 when the pandemic hit. His lease ended in August, and while he could work remotely, he figured he’d move in with his parents in Houston to save money and wait out the pandemic. He planned to find his own apartment in the Houston area after a few months, but his parents proposed another idea.

Khan recalls his mother saying, “You can stay as long as you want.”

As the youngest child in the family, and after spending roughly 10 years away from his parents, he saw it as a way to make up for lost time, or “an opportunity that we could use as a family and really improve our relationship.” His oldest sister and her family also lived in the area, and his second sister and her family have since moved from Chicago to the Houston area.

Plus, Khan adds, “there is a cultural aspect to it where, as a son, it’s required that you take care of your parents.”

It was an adjustment living with his parents as his roommates and reasserting his independence as a single man in his 20s. But Khan says he and his parents have gotten better at communicating boundaries and expectations.

Khan doesn’t pay any specific bills for the household, but covers other miscellaneous expenses, like the family’s Costco membership, gas, some medical bills and, in one instance, his father’s property taxes. Khan also gives his mom $200 a month as a gift to put toward whatever she chooses.

Khan’s parents are retired and live off savings from selling their house in Pakistan, which also covered their house in Texas.

Khan’s mother doesn’t drive, so he’ll make sure she gets around for her “great social life.” He also accompanies his father on doctor’s appointments.

He misses some parts of living in California, like his friends and being able to hit the beach. But those are easy “sacrifices,” he says, to improve his financial future and spend more time with his family in Texas.

Dating while living at home

Moving home had a big impact on Khan’s dating life. He had his fair share of dates who weren’t on the same page about why he chooses to live with his parents.

“It’s just one of those things where you just have to find people that understand your situation,” Khan says.

As it turns out, Khan’s girlfriend, Nina Nguyen, 29, also lives with her parents for both family and financial reasons.

“She understands it’s a cultural thing and we can still be together with someone without actually needing to [share] an apartment or home,” Khan says. That does mean, however, a lot of their shared time happens outside of their respective homes on dates, out at restaurants or on trips together.

“It’s not easy to find someone who’s comfortable with me living with my parents,” he adds. “There is a social stigma to it. So the fact that she has never even once even asked me to move out, I think that’s just being empathetic on her part.”

Khan plans to move out of his current home when he has $2 million in assets, which he hopes will happen within the next five years. But that won’t be the end of his living arrangement with this parents: Khan hopes to move his parents to his new home, too.

“They have explicitly mentioned that, wherever I go, they want to go with me,” Khan says. He considers it the “biggest honor” to spend time with them and care for them as they get older.

Khan says it’s also possible his girlfriend will want to continue living with her parents, so he’s considering saving up for a house big enough for the couple and both sets of parents to live together.

How he spends his money

Here’s how Khan spent his money in December 2023.

  • Housing: $2,116 to cover the mortgage on one of his properties
  • Food: $1,638 on groceries and meals out
  • Discretionary: $1,414 on travel, gifts and entertainment
  • Gas and parking: $301
  • Insurance: $250, which includes $191 for car insurance and $59 for employer-provided health, dental, vision and life insurance
  • Student loans: $234
  • Gym membership: $11

Khan’s only housing expense each month is to cover the mortgage on one of his properties in the Houston area, which he rents out to his older sister’s family for $2,700 a month. It’s his most lucrative investment property, netting him $584 each month.

Like a lot of people, Khan’s December spending was higher than usual because of the holidays. He treated his family and girlfriend to a few nice dinners out and splurged on other entertainment, including a theater performance and cooking classes. He also took a trip to Arizona, which included a flight, car rental and trip to the Grand Canyon.

Khan graduated from college in 2016 with over $22,000 in student loans. He took advantage of the federal student loan payment pause during the pandemic and now has roughly $19,000 left. He makes the minimum payments of $234 each month.

For now, Khan says he’d rather focus on beefing up his investments rather than pay off his student debt, which has a low 4% interest rate.

Khan didn’t make any savings or investments in the month of December. But in 2023, he stashed roughly 75% of his pay. He currently has around $212,000 in a Robinhood portfolio, $46,000 invested with Wealthfront and $37,000 in retirement savings.

Getting into real estate

Once Khan moved home and began saving the majority of his earnings, his older brother and brother-in-law encouraged him to consider investing in real estate.

He bought his first property, a single-family home in a nearby Texas town, in April 2022. Khan paid 20%, or roughly $95,000, for the down payment.

He couldn’t find a good tenant to rent out the the 5-bedroom, 4-bedroom house. Thankfully, around the same time, one of his sisters was moving with her family from Chicago to the Houston area, and she ended up renting the home.

Since then, Khan has picked up three more properties: a multi-family parking garage and storage facility in Florida, a vacation rental in Arizona and another single-family home in California, where his brother currently lives.

Khan nets around $600 a month from all his properties, or nearly $8,000 a year, though he says it will be higher once he finds a new tenant for his California property after his brother moves out. By then, he expects to bring in up to $1,100 a month from his real estate portfolio.

The bulk of his savings are earmarked for more down payments on properties, Khan says. However, he wants to keep his portfolio manageable and will likely stick to 10 or fewer properties overall.

Looking ahead

Khan is laser focused on continuing to minimize his living expenses to pour his paychecks into real estate.

He hopes that, by sharing his story, he’ll dispel the stigma of adults who live in the same household as their parents. For him, the arrangement has strengthened their relationship. Plus, the financial gains propelled him on the path to real estate investing and a more solid monetary future.

There’s nothing to be ashamed about the decision, he says: “It’s a choice that I made to be with my parents, and I’m grateful for this choice.”

What’s your budget breakdown? Share your story with us for a chance to be featured in a future installment.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine announces free tuition for all students

Future medical students will now have another option to potentially earn their degrees debt-free.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine on Monday announced it received a historic billion-dollar donation to make tuition free. The donation “will ensure that no student at Einstein will have to pay tuition again,” the medical school, which is located in New York City’s Bronx borough, said in a press release.

While becoming a doctor has historically been a lucrative career path, many students come out of med school under a mountain of student debt.

Nearly 3 in 4 med school graduates have education-related debt when they graduate, according to Bankrate. Public med school graduates leave with an average of $194,558 in debt, while those who attend private schools graduate with an average of $222,899 in loans.

Though these students eventually may earn salaries big enough to manage that debt responsibly, the huge financial undertaking can deter a lot of would-be applicants. 

“This donation radically revolutionizes our ability to continue attracting students who are committed to our mission, not just those who can afford it,” Dr. Yaron Tomer, dean at Albert Einstein, said in the press release. “Additionally, it will free up and lift our students, enabling them to pursue projects and ideas that might otherwise be prohibitive.”

Students currently enrolled in the college will be refunded for any payments made for the spring 2024 semester and tuition will officially be free as of August of this year.

3 other medical schools that waive tuition

The donation to Albert Einstein College is the largest made to any medical school in the U.S., the school says. But it’s not the first medical school to offer free tuition. Here are three others that do the same.

1. New York University Grossman School of Medicine

NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine in Manhattan launched a tuition-free scholarship program for all of its students in 2018. All admitted students automatically received a scholarship to cover the entire cost of tuition at the medical school, according to its website

A $200 million donation in 2023 from Kenneth G. Langone and his wife allowed NYU’s Grossman Long Island School of Medicine to go tuition-free in perpetuity as well.

The Long Island campus opened in 2019 and specializes in preparing students to become primary care physicians, whereas the Manhattan campus allows students to explore a broader range of medical careers.

2. Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University

CCLC in Ohio has offered tuition-free med school since 2008.

The school enrolls just 32 students a year and offers the full tuition scholarship to all students “to ensure that financial constraints do not preclude appropriate candidates from following their dream of becoming physician investigators,” according to its website.

3. Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine

The medical school operated by California-based health-care system Kaiser Permanente matriculated its first class of students in 2020.

It announced at the time it would waive tuition for its first five classes of students, meaning med students enrolling in fall 2024 will also receive a tuition-free education. 

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.

These are the 10 must-see travel experiences in the world, according to Google

Luxury travel company Kuoni recently released its list of the world’s top must-see travel experiences.

To rank the experiences, Kuoni looked for events that occur no more than twice a year and had the most Google searches.

In the top 10 must-see travel experiences based on Google searches, only two are in the U.S., with two more U.S. experiences being a part of the top 20.

No.1 must-see travel experience: Manhattanhenge

New York City’s Manhattanhenge is the most searched-for travel experience — the NYC event had over 1.3 million annual Google searches.

The rare event occurs when the Sun appears between the city’s grid as it’s low in the sky and setting, according to the American Museum of Natural History. The “Manhattanhenge Effect” will occur between May 29 and July 13 this year.

According to the museum, some of the best places to view the Manhattanhenge are from Manhattan’s east/west thoroughfares and to get the best view, it recommends finding a spot as far east as possible.

The best streets to see the Manhattanhenge include 14th Street, 23rd Street, 34th Street, 42nd Street, and 57th Street.

Top 10 must-see travel experiences in the world

  1. Manhattanhenge, New York City
  2. Venice Carnival, Italy
  3. Rio Carnival, Brazil
  4. Day of the Dead, Mexico
  5. Chelsea Flower Show, U.K.
  6. Golden Week, Japan
  7. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, USA
  8. Northern Lights in Lapland, Finland
  9. Oktoberfest, Munich, Germany
  10. Obon Festival, Japan

The No. 2 must-see travel experience in the world is the Venice Carnival in Italy, with over 1.2 million annual searches.

The Venice Carnival takes place every year just before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday — this year the the carnival took place from January 27-February 13.

The annual event is known worldwide for its captivating masquerade masks and costumes.

The carnival began in the 1100s and lasted for several centuries before it was outlawed in the 1700s. Eventually, in 1979, the Italian government brought back the festivities, according to Venice Events.

In 2025, the carnival is set to take place from February 22 to March 4.

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay. CNBC Make It readers can save 25% with discount code 25OFF.