Nearly all of us need cars. We have to get from point A to point B, and often public transportation just doesn’t work out the way we want it to. While driving an older vehicle will save you money, there is a point where it is too old and you need something better. If you are financing your new car, you still need to have a down payment. Here are 10 ways to save for a new car fast!
Open a Savings Account
Before you get started, you need a place to store your money. The best place to do so is to open a new savings account. Many banks and credit unions offer perks for opening a new account (like $100 bonus with your first deposit). Take advantage of that.
Short term sacrifices make for long term gains. Most people could easily cut $300 to $500 from their monthly budget if they make a few sacrifices. This means cut the cable, reduce cell phones, skip the latte, and more. These perks are nice, and you can get them back after the car is paid off.
Dump Your Change
If you use cash for a lot of your purchases, dump your small bills and change into a jar. At the end of the month, cash it in. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but you can rack up an extra $200 per month that way.
Give Up Your Weekends
This is where your biggest savings are going to come from. See if you can work extra at your job (for extra pay of course) or start your side hustle (pour more time into it if you have it going already). Your weekends are potentially worth a few hundred dollars each. Within a few months, you could have a sizable car fund.
Sell Your Current Vehicle
If you can get by without a car for a month or two, sell your current vehicle sooner. You’ll save on auto insurance, gas, and you’ll have a bigger vehicle fund. If you absolutely need something, see if there is a discount rental agency (some rent for as low as $10/day).
Skip the Restaurant
It goes without saying that eating out is expensive. Skip the restaurant and cook healthier meals at home for less than half the cost. If you do go out, pass on the beverages. A family of four can spend $15 on drinks alone every time they eat out.
Start donating plasma to bring in some extra cash. You get up two hours early twice per week, sit in a chair and read a book, and gain about $250 per month. Hours vary by location, but most are pretty flexible.
Sell Your Goods
As Americans, we love stuff. Our closets are full, our garages are full, our attics are full, and we even have storage units that are full. Sell the big ticket items on Craigslist or eBay (you’ll have about 15 percent in fees), and hold a garage sale for the smaller items. Chances are you have a couple thousand dollars worth of stuff you’re not using.
If you owe money on your credit card, call them right away. Tell them you’re trying to get the card paid off as soon as possible, and need to have your interest rate lowered. More than likely, they will do it. Double check your cell phone, insurance, internet, and other expenses and negotiate the rate lower.
Shop With Gift Cards
You’re still going to have expenses, so why pay full price? You can buy gift cards at steep discounts and use them to make your everyday purchases. Sites like Gift Card Granny offer up to 65 percent off certain stores (popular retailers like WalMart and Amazon are only a few percent off).
Saving for a New Car Shouldn’t be Hard
Saving your money is more a matter of putting it somewhere you can’t touch it. Once you have the systems in place to save money, you can do it without much thought. These 10 tips on how to save for a new car will have you at your goal in no time at all.
A word about new vehicles: if you have a high enough credit score, it’s possible to get into a brand new vehicle with a 0% interest loan. But if not, be sure to push back on getting the lowest interest rate possible for your credit score. Bring in quotes from other lenders before you go into the dealer! That way you have some negotiation leverage. Use these tips to save up a sizable down payment, and then get into your new car sooner rather than later.
Sean is a contributor writer for LendingTree.
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