So you want a new (or new-to-you) car. Join the club!
The gorgeous paint job, spotless interior and new car smell are enough to make anyone sign on the dotted line whatever the cost. Fortunately, you’ve decided to do things the right way. You don’t want to end up car-poor like your friend who can only afford to eat Ramen, right? So, how do you afford a new car without selling a kidney to keep up with the monthly payments?
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to alter your spending habits in a way that can help you save over time. The bad news is, most of them require some sacrifice. Even though you hate what I’m saying, it will all be worth it when you drive away in your new ride without a care in the world. Trust me.
This is a guest blog post by Holly Johnson, founder and author of Club Thrifty.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to upgrade your ride in no time!
1. Spend Less Than You Earn
This tip should be obvious. The easiest way to save money is to figure out exactly how much you earn and find a way to spend less. Look at how much you are spending on extra things or activities like eating out or shopping. Once you cut these out, you will be able to see how much more you can save.
2. Learn to Tell Yourself “No”
Part of growing up means learning to delay gratification. Yep, adulthood sucks. The good news is, telling yourself no today can lead to more money for things you really want in the future.
3. Limit Opportunities to Shop
If you’re afraid you’ll struggle with step number one, the best thing you can do is limit your exposure. In other words, don’t go there! Stop driving by your favorite stores like a crazy ex-girlfriend—it’s not attractive.
4. Opt Out of Online Deals
Online deals have a tendency to suck people in, but only if you continue to subscribe! If you want to prevent your inbox from sabotaging your new savings goals, try unsubscribing from the biggest online offenders. Your pocketbook will thank you.
5. Buy Used When You Can
You don’t have to dig through random garages to find the best deals on high quality stuff. There are consignment stores for that! If you really need something, try to buy used if you can. Trust me, you will save a ton.
6. Don’t Shop When Hungry or Sad
Even if you’re on a spending freeze, you’ll still have to buy groceries and necessities. In order to prevent unnecessary spending, make sure not to shop when you’re hungry or sad. Head to the store with a clear head, and take life’s frustrations out on your treadmill instead.
7. Don’t Compete With Others
If your friends have nicer stuff than you do, it might be tempting to make keeping up a priority. However, buying things you can’t afford in order to keep up appearances is generally a bad idea. And surprise—your friends are probably broke anyway.
8. Open a Targeted Savings Account
Once you’ve come up with a realistic idea of how much you can save, you need to put that money away! Leaving it in your regular bank account will just tempt you to spend it, right? Go to your bank and open a free, no-fee savings account where you can stash that cash . . . and fast!
9. Save Today for a Brighter Tomorrow
Let’s get cheesy for a moment, shall we? Sometimes you have to work for the things you really want in life whether it’s a new purse or a new car. If you start saving today, you can often have more of what you want in the future. And, boring or not, sometimes a little bit of sacrifice can go a long way.
So be kind to yourself and decide what you really want out of life. If you set your mind to it, chances are that you can make your dreams come true.