There’s no getting around the fact that the cost of living continues to rise. Things that are a necessity for some, are starting to become so difficult to afford that households are falling further into debt. Take, for instance, owning a car which has proven on average to be about $9,000 per year. You need your car to get around, but how much good is it doing you if you have to spend your last on gas or go bankrupt to make the monthly payments? If the cost of car ownership has put you in a bind more times than you’d like to remember, these finance tips will be a great help.
- Plan for Emergencies – No matter how well you treat your car, there is always something that could go wrong that you hadn’t expected or budgeted for. You’ll need to have a plan in case of an emergency car repair or other car-related expense. One example would be to apply for online check advances where you could receive several hundred dollars within a day. This would allow you to handle the car emergency and repay the loan in smaller amounts you can afford.
- Downsize – If you have a car in which the monthly payments are too much it is best that you simply downsize to something more affordable. You’ll need to make sure that you sell your existing vehicle for enough money to cover the cost of the remaining balance on your car loan.
- Refinance – If your credit has improved since you purchased your vehicle, you may be able to find additional savings through a refinance. A refinance would provide you with a lower interest rate which could help you to afford the payments and pay the car off faster.
- Shop Around for Services – Whether you need car insurance, an oil change, a new tire, or some other service for your car it is important to shop around for the best price.
- Increase Your Deductible – A common way to save on car insurance coverage is to increase your deductible. This is the amount you’d be expected to pay if you were involved in an accident.
- Keep Up with Maintenance – Car maintenance is obviously an expense you wish you didn’t have, however, foregoing it all together could end up costing you big time in the end. A well-maintained car has fewer costly repairs and gets better gas mileage.
- Do Maintenance Yourself – Though you may not want to try to complete any engine or transmission work on your own, there are a lot of car maintenance tasks you can do yourself to cut out on the cost of labor. This can include oil changes, brake pad changes, and filter changes.
- Find an Independent Mechanic – Big brand names may seem like the best place to take your car, but you’re going to pay heavily for it. Instead, look for a reliable mechanic in your area who owns their own shop as they often charge less.
- Work on Your Credit – From your car loan to your car insurance your credit plays a factor in how much you’ll pay to own a car. Therefore, if you have bad credit working on it can boost your score and reduce your costs.
- Work on Your Driving Record (and driving patterns) – A bad driving record will result in higher insurance costs. Someone who has bad driving patterns like speed demons, you’re guzzling way more gas and putting more wear and tear on your car. Improve your driving record and abide by the laws and you should be good to go.
Owning a car is something many people need to make life easier. However, spending $9,000 or more per year on ownership can be more than you can afford. If you’ve been struggling to afford your vehicle, these tips should help you to save money. Be sure to be wise with the money you save by throwing it into a rainy day account to help cover those unexpected car emergencies.