Saving for a down payment on anything- be it a car or a home is a big step. It's not as simple as making a few small changes to your spending routine. For most, saving a chunk of money means having to make sacrifices and truly focus on the goal ahead. Spending less than you earn is sometimes easier said than done. It seems to be a basic concept that children can understand better than adults. The first step to saving for a down payment is to get your finances in order. Here are some simple tips as to how you can do this.#1 Think about how much you're willing to spend.
What's the ideal number you're willing to shell out for a new or used vehicle? Take into consideration all extra costs, such as insurance, filling up at the pump, and maintenance of the vehicle. Add it all together and figure out what the total cost will be for the purchase of the car, and then look at what you'll likely be spending every month on the car payment, as well as on other car necessities.
Once you have a ballpark number in mind, you'll have something to go off of when you start your vehicle search.
#2 Figure out what you'll actually need for the down payment.
Some dealerships offer incredible deals or low to no down payment on new vehicles. Be sure to check out all of the available options, so you'll know what kind of cash you need to be prepared to spend at signing. There are tons of amazing resources on the web that can help you calculate cost, such as an auto loan calculator. Have a look around, or better yet, have the dealership you're working with help you do the number crunching to save you time. They might even be able to give you a more accurate number than if you were to try to figure it out on your own.
#3 Figure out how soon you need to purchase the new vehicle.
How soon do you need the new car? Is it something that you can hold off on purchasing a year from now, or are you in desperate need and want to make a fast purchase? The more time you allow yourself before purchasing the vehicle, the more time you'll have to do your research and save money, which will wind up saving you even more in the long run.
#4 Save, save, save!
Make saving for the new vehicle your first priority. Of course, pay your monthly bills on time, but cut costs where you can elsewhere. Make monthly budgets for groceries and incidentals and stick to them. Cut out going out to eat, and watch how much money you'll save just by making that simple change. Instead of going out to the movies, check out what's available on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. There are tons of movies you've probably never even heard of, just waiting to be watched. You might even consider ditching cable, and switch only to streaming for entertainment purposes. You can get the local and national news on the web, and watch replays of favorite TV shows online.
#5 Don't be too hard on yourself when it comes to saving.
There's a fine line between sacrificing for savings, and just plain punishing yourself. It's okay to allow yourself a treat every now and then, but think about what you could be putting any money you're spending toward, if it's not on something you absolutely need. Daily coffee runs? Skip them- maybe treat yourself to a cup of coffee out once a month, rather than once a day or once a week. You'll be amazed by how much you'll save by making these types of changes. Keep a change jar on the counter at home or on your desk at work and add any loose change to your car fund- every little bit helps!
What are some of the ways you plan on saving for a down payment?
What's worked for you in the past?
Brought to you by Roberts Honda.