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Tips: How to Save Your Money for a Car
Advice for Saving Money for a Car
For most of us a car is not just a luxury but a necessity. Saving money for a car can seem like a daunting task though - and some people don't even know where to start to save for that big ticket item. Here below are 5 tips and ways to save money for a car. These tips have not only helped me purchase a car but have also worked for my children. Depending on how fast you need to save, some of these tips may work for you while others may not work fast enough (like if you needed a car yesterday - in this case a loan might be up your alley)
TIP #1: Save your change in a bottle
Yes you heard that right. You would be amazed at how much money you can save just by throwing all your loose change into a bottle. The power of saving your change cannot be underestimated. My first car was funded partially by this method and my sons have partially funded purchases of their cars using the same method. Although saving change to buy a car may not be the total answer to saving the whole amount, the amount saved could be the difference in buying a car that is in better condition, has more options or less miles. That loose change can upgrade your car purchase. It can make the difference between buying a car that's in just "fair" condition vs. being able to buy one that's in "excellent" condition.
TIP #2: Get a second job
This is probably one of the fastest ways to save money for a car purchase. I have also done this in the past when I needed to buy a car. Although you will have to work more hours and it will be tough for awhile, a second part-time job can help you save money relatively fast as long as you put the full amount away. If you treat the second job as only a savings for your car you can save a lot within a short period of time.
After you buy your car you may even find that this savings method may spur you to keep the job to save for other big ticket items like say a house. Although the job market can be tough, there are still lots of part-time jobs out there and finding one might not be as difficult as you think. Try Craigslist for a part-time job (and don't tell your potential boss that you are only looking for a job to save for for a car - they are probably looking for someone that will stick around. It's costly to hire people)
More Car Saving Tips
TIP #3: Lower your expectations. Think about buying a used car vs. a new car
I have only bought a new car once in my life. The payments were actually not that bad but in hindsight I would have saved a lot more money buying the same car but slightly used. I always remember my dad telling me that once you drive off the lot with a new car your car has devalued considerably. I will never forget that. Although a new car can be wonderful, just the thought of losing lots of money as I drive off the lot does not set well with me.
My last car was purchased on EBay and I had it shipped here from back east. It was less than 5 years old when I bought it but I have saved a lot of money on car payments. Now I would not necessarily advise buying a car sight unseen but used cars (a GOOD used car, mind you) can save you a lot of money, especially on interest rates.
TIP #4: Open a savings account just for your car purchase. One with a solid interest rate so your money earns you money
I have also done this in the past, opened a savings account primarily for saving for a car. A savings account is better than a checking account because with a checking account you may be tempted to dip into it (you can also dip into a savings account but are less likely to if you have a dedicated savings account to buy a car)
Rid Yourself of Unwanted Items
The last tip for saving for a car would be to think about selling some of your unused items on Craigslist to help fund the purchase of a car.
TIP #5: Get rid of unwanted items. Sell them at a garage sale or on Craigslist
You would be amazed at the possible treasure you have sitting around in your home. Being an avid Cragslister, I have sold everything from cars to WW2 radio equipment. My Craigslist sales alone have netted me thousands of dollars across the time span of about 5 years. Not only can you save money for your car by getting rid of items that you have sitting around - but you can also save money for your by carefully purchasing a car on Craigslist (as with anything, caution is key here. Use safety and have the car checked out out thoroughly)
Saving for a car may seem like a daunting task but using some old methods (like saving your loose change) and new methods (Craigslist) - you can combine these tips and save money to buy a car pretty fast. Probably even fast enough to fund the purchase of your car in a relatively short period of time.
For more more money savings tips please visit some of my other hubs here.
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- Money Saving Tips - Good Housekeeping
Money saving tips and tricks from Good Housekeeping to help you stay on budget.