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Buying a Car: What You Need to Know to Be Smart About It by Liz Pulliam Weston

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Buying a Car

What You Need to Know to Be Smart About It

Liz Pulliam Weston

The Smart Way to Buy Cars

The “Your Money” message board at MSN attracts a lot of posts from folks who are struggling with their budgets. Many people are frustrated because they’ve cut their expenses every way they can imagine, but they’re still running short of cash every month.

As soon as they post their monthly expenses, the culprit often becomes obvious. It’s sitting in their driveway.

Credit counselors say it’s not unusual for their most cash-strapped customers to have car payments that eat up 15 percent or even 20 percent of their salaries. Some middle-class families struggle with not one but two $400 to $500 monthly payments.

There are other signs of vehicular ...

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