If you're in the market for a new (or used) car, chances are you'll need to do a bit of saving up before you make the big purchase. It's not impossible to live comfortably on your monthly income and save for a new car at the same time. With a few simple adjustments to your budget, you'll be saving more than you realized you could, and might be able to have a little wiggle room when it comes to the purchase price of your new vehicle.
Cutting costs doesn't have to be painful. You can make smart and simple changes to your everyday lifestyle to help rake in the savings. Take a look at what you're spending every month, and make a spreadsheet so you can track how much you are spending. Make specific columns for your necessities and your non-essential purchases. You may want to also include incidental or seasonal expenses. Once you figure out how much you're spending each month, you can look to see which areas you can adjust the spending on.
Eat at home. It's amazing how quickly you'll save money by eating meals at home. You can make healthy, delicious meals (restaurant quality) at home on a tight budget. Do some weekly meal planning at the start of every week. Make a list of needed ingredients for your meals, and household items. Take the list with you to the store, and only purchase what you need for the week. If you can, use coupons. Watch the newspaper for weekly ads for your local grocery stores.
Say goodbye to the coffee runs. It's a great pick-me-up to be able to visit a coffee shop mid morning or afternoon. However, those trips to the coffee shop add up fast. Brew coffee at home and take it with you in a travel mug. It may feel less satisfying, but you'll be pleased when you're saving between $10-$20 a week by brewing coffee at home and not spending money on baked goods.
Clip coupons, and research how to double up on coupons, too. Many online retailers offer apps with coupon codes that can be used for online shopping, and offer free shipping. Watch for coupons that come to your inbox from store e-newsletters, too. Using coupons is a great way to save money. Many apps like Retail Me Not will automatically pull up coupons and deals to your smart phone when you're near a store that has a deal, sale, or coupon available.
Live without new clothes, movies, DVDs, etc. If you don't absolutely need new clothing for the season, be content to wear what you wore last season. There's no rule that says you have to purchase new clothing to look fashionable. If you love purchasing DVDs or BluRay discs, consider renting a disc from RedBox once or twice a month as a special treat.
Cut cable. Many households are cutting costs by ditching their cable service, and simply using streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, etc. You can purchase a digital antenna for your digital TV to be able to pick up local channels. Cutting your cable service from your monthly spending can save you $100.00 or more a month!
If you can set a monthly budget and stick to it, you'll save a ton of money, and you'll be that much closer to being ready to purchase a new vehicle.
Brought to you by Patrick Volvo.