Featured NGPF Lesson: How To Purchase a Used Car

Sep 23, 2014

Our mission at Next Gen Personal Finance is to provide students with the knowledge and decision-making skills to manage their personal finances confidently and make informed decisions. In addition to earning money for the first time, high school and college students begin making major purchases that require more money (and more thought) than they’ve spent before. To support students, we’re starting a “How to Buy” unit that walks students through the process of making many of these major purchases.  The first lesson: How to Purchase a Used Car.

Everyone remembers their first car. Maybe it was a gift from a family member? Or maybe it was bought with the hard-earned dollars from a summer job? Few used cars are lavish, but a dependable one provides freedom and opens a world of possibilities for young people. However, used cars can be a mixed bag so it is so important to be prepared before getting one, lest you get the proverbial “lemon”.  

In this lesson we provide students with the tools to:

  • Analyze their finances and build a reasonable budget
  • identify the features they value most highly in a vehicle
  • Comparison shop between a variety of dealerships and private party sellers
  • Get the vehicle inspected thoroughly, through a professional mechanic, vehicle history report and test drive
  • Negotiate with confidence to get the best deal possible

This is just the first installment in this series, so if you have suggestions for other important purchases students need to be prepared for, send us some feedback. Drop us an e-mail, send us a Tweet, or post on our Facebook or Pinterest.

Thank you to Andrew Furth, NGPF team member for this description of the lesson he created on purchasing a used car.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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