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How to Save for Your Next Car

Ready to purchase a new vehicle? Well, you may not be totally ready to take the plunge, but we can help you get there! Saving is one of those things that's easier said than done. When you're living paycheck to paycheck, just trying to make ends meet, there isn't usually much left over to put towards saving for a new car. Making a few small adjustments to your spending habits can really help you stack your savings and put away a good amount that can be used as a down payment on a new vehicle.
Track your expenses.
The first step in saving money is to actually keep track of your expenses. Do you ever look at your monthly bank statement and wonder where all of your money has gone to? It's not a good thing to not know where your money is going. You might have a good idea of where it goes to cover big picture things like utilities and rent or mortgage payments, but the little things that you spend money on each month add up quickly. Keep a journal of your expenses, or if you're really organized, keep a spreadsheet. Start by listing the monthly commitments on payments, such as utilities, housing, insurance. From there, add in other expenses, such as medical bills and credit cards. Don't forget to factor in your grocery budget, fuel cost, and the other expenses.

Take a good hard look at your expenses and start cutting.
Once you can actually see how much money you're spending each month, you'll have a much better idea as to how much money you'll be able to put aside from each paycheck. Obviously, you have to pay your housing payments, car payments, insurance, and utilities, as well as any other monthly debts you need to keep up with. Don't fall behind on any of those things- you may damage your credit score, which may affect your ability to get a vehicle loan.

Cut where you can.
How often are you going out to eat every month? Are you hitting the coffee shop? Are you spending some on more than one streaming service for home entertainment? Do you regularly go to the movies or to concerts? If you're serious about saving, you'll have to start cutting your expenses on things you don't need. Keep your grocery shopping on a weekly budget. Buy what you need to make meals at home, If you're short on time, meal prep one day of the week, and make meals to last the rest of the week. You'd be amazed by what you can make in a Crock Pot and freeze for later. Drink coffee at home. If you spend $100.00 a month on coffee at a coffee shop, you could have already paid for a Keurig! If you need a streaming service, choose one service & be smart about it. Pick a basic plan and choose the service that offers shows and movies you watch most. Ditch cable, switch to basic Internet, and cut that bill in half! If you want a movie night, hit the Redbox and watch a DVD at home. Buy the cheap wine, make your own pizza, and get the $1.00 box of brownie mix instead of buying dessert at a cafe or restaurant.

Consider your toiletries.
This stuff adds up... and fast! Consider switching brands or even purchasing some of these items at a Dollar Store. No one likes having to purchase toiletries and spending $100.00 on the brand names all at once. Same with makeup- ditch the name brands and go for the drugstore finds. Check the sale bins. You'd never believe how many celebrity makeup artists claim that drugstore brands are just as good if not better than the pricey stuff!

Enjoy free activities.
Concerts are so much fun to attend, but not cheap! Those ticket prices are outrageous. Plan to see your favorite band after you have bought your new car. For now, stream their music on Spotify or Pandora and enjoy them at home. If you need to get out of the house, head to a park. Check your county website for their calendar of events. Many community events are free to the public.

It might not be easy at first, but cutting back on some of the things you enjoy doing (which cost money) will help you save so much more than you could have imagined. With a little hard work and self-discipline, you'll be able to save for that down payment, and you'll be sitting pretty in your new vehicle in no time!

Brought to you by Roberts Honda.

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