Are you up in the club, just broke up and doing your own little thing?
If those Beyonce lyrics describe your life, you’re probably busy focusing on “Me, Myself, and I” to worry too much about what your man is doing. At least, that’s what most of the single ladies would say.
Maybe you have a man, but don’t want to rely on him for everything. After all, you’re an independent woman, right?
You don’t need anyone paying your bills and telling you what to do. That’s why you need your own car and your own independence—because having your own car means having the freedom to do the things you want, when you want. And, no matter who you are, there’s no better feeling than knowing you can jet at any time.
But, buying a used car isn’t all fun and games. You have to know what to look for, what to avoid and how to make your new car payment work with your existing monthly budget. You also need to look cute. And let’s face it, you would rather hoof it than drive around in something embarrassing.
This is a guest blog post by Holly Johnson, founder and author of Club Thrifty.
Trust me, I understand. Here are five tips to help you conquer your car shopping experience:
1. Put Your Game Face On
Negotiating with a used car salesman can be a lot like getting a root canal—uncomfortable and painful, yet necessary. Unfortunately, being an independent woman means learning to advocate for yourself to get the best deal. That often means putting your foot down or being willing to walk away. So put your game-face on, ladies. This is serious.
2. Don’t Look at Cars You Can’t Afford
Raise your hand if you want to end up car-poor! What, no? Okay, that’s fine, and Queen Bey agrees. If you don’t want to end up car-poor, start by looking only at cars in your desired price range. Don’t forget how each dollar spent might impact your monthly payment.
3. Find a Car That Looks Good
When it comes to picking out your ride, only consider cars that look flawless. This isn’t just because you’re vain <cough, sneeze, hack>, it’s because a car that’s been taken care of on the outside is much more likely to have been nurtured on the inside, too. In other words, the kind of people who keep their car clean and scratch free are the same type who get their oil changed.
4. Pick Something Roomy
With kids, boyfriends and BFFs to cart around town, your new ride needs a lot of room. A big trunk doesn’t hurt either if you know what I mean. After all, you need space for groceries, your kids’ sports gear and suitcases when you travel. And that’s the whole point of getting a car in the first place, right?
5. Check Maintenance Records
The last thing you want is to get stuck with a lemon. One of the first things you want to do is research your car’s history. Much like any man you get with, you need to know where it has been, how much it has been ridden around in and any “issues” it might have had in the past.
All independent women deserve a car of their own—a vehicle deserving of their attention and worthy of everything from ice cream runs to designated-driver Fridays. But, you have to find the right car first, and that can be the most difficult task of all.
And, since none of us are Beyonce, we need all the help we can get. Right, ladies?