Regardless if you plan to finance a car or pay it with cash, one thing is certain: you will need money—and a huge amount at that. Therefore, you need to save up for the auto purchase. Saving for a hefty sum may seem like such a big challenge, but not if you are determined to buy a car of your own. We here at San Diego Auto Approval Center would like to share some tips on how you can save for your very own ride.
Determine your target amount
Before you can save money, you must have a goal in mind. There must be a target amount you should aim for. When you determine your target amount, decide what car you need and how much it costs. Be practical with your choice—the vehicle should be something you can afford to buy and own. Do your research to know what your options are vehicle-wise and figure out how much cars currently cost so that you can come up with a figure that you can save for.
Set a time frame
Now that you have a number to work for, set a time frame for saving. If your target amount or car budget is $10,000, how long should you save for up for that amount? When you decide on your time frame, think about the urgency of the purchase. Do you need a car soon or can you wait a little bit longer without your own ride? Be realistic with your time frame as you are with your target amount.
Monitor spending and cut costs
Before you save, you have to find out how much you spend first. Track your spending for about three months to see where your money goes. You can use online tools to track your spending, or do it the old -fashioned way—write everything you spend on a daily basis on a notebook.
When you know what you spend your money on, you will know where you can cut costs so you can save. You have more room for saving when it comes to your variable expenses: food, clothing, entertainment, etc. You can eat out less and cook more, limit clothes shopping only when needed, and consider less expensive ways to have fun with family members and friends.
Saving requires discipline, which many people struggle with. If you are the type who is constantly tempted to spend, avoid handling the money yourself. Make saving automatic: open a savings account and arrange to have a specific amount deducted from your paycheck and added directly to the account. If you can’t touch the money, you won’t be able to use it.
Generate more income
You can save more if you earn more. You should consider getting another job or taking on odd jobs when you have the time. It doesn’t have to take too much of your time—you can babysit a few nights a month or offer to walk your neighbors’ dogs every once in a while. Use your talents and skills to boost your income. Also, try to improve your current work situation. You can try to get a raise to save more money for your car fund.
There will come a time when you are discouraged to continue saving or at least tempted to spend on something unnecessary. Keep your eyes on the prize and keep yourself motivated. Do whatever works for you: tape a picture of the car you want on your mirror, keep inspirational quotes where you can see them or even imagine yourself walking to your car with the keys in hand. Constantly remind yourself of your goal so you can keep moving in the right direction.