Saving up for any large purchase can be difficult, frustrating and time-consuming. However, it is a necessary part of life, so it is a good idea to learn some tricks to make it easier. Here are 5 tips that will help make the car-buying challenge easier for you:
1. Determine your budget
The first thing to do when making any large purchase is to take a good look at your finances and determine your budget:
- Decide how much consistent extra income you have in a month.
- Consider how much of your current savings you can put towards the purchase and how soon you want to purchase the vehicle.
- If you are getting a loan, determine how much you are willing – or able – to borrow.
- Don’t earmark every cent of spendable money for long-term loans as it will be hard to hold yourself to that budget; allow for some occasional nights out and rewards and you will have an easier time sticking to your budget in the long run.
2. Decide on car model(s)
Once you know how much money you have to work with, decide what type of car you will save up for. It can be much more rewarding and motivating to have a specific goal – and a target date – in mind when you are trying to stick to your budget and put money away.
Consider what you really need from the vehicle and choose a few potential models to look into in greater detail. It is easy to be distracted by extras you don’t need and overspend on features you will never use. In order to avoid this, make a list of “negotiables” and “non-negotiables” to help you decide what is important. Do some research on things like mileage, reliability, and safety of the vehicles you are looking at and then narrow it down to your first and second choices.
3. Watch your spending
Cut out unnecessary spending and put that money into savings as often as possible. Going out or ordering in all the time can add up quickly, so curb these impulses and put that money towards something with more long term rewards.
4. Put saving first
Establish how much you will put into savings each month ahead of time and then do it immediately each time you are paid. This will prevent you from spending it on miscellaneous and frivolous expenses. Make specific goals in order to track your progress and keep yourself motivated.
5. Move up in the world
An obvious way to make saving easier is to increase how much income you get each month. Some people may be able to take on a part time job or offer their skills as a freelancer to supplement their income. Others may find that working overtime is an effective way to earn a raise at their current job. Consider all the options available to you and don’t forget to check your garage for unused valuables you may be willing to part with.