Welcome to this week’s edition of the Young Adults Perspective series. In our last piece, we discussed some key things you needed to learn before working in the gig economy. As a part of that piece, we wrote about using your personal vehicle for work. We realize that, for some of you, this might not be an option you can consider yet because you don’t own a car. Everyone has good reasons for whether or not they own a car. For some people, the need is too low to justify the purchase, while for others it is difficult to gather the funds. Having to pay for gas, maintenance and insurance are good reasons to avoid such a large financial burden. Let’s not forget the largest expense in the process: actually purchasing the car! It’s true that the process can be expensive, but with these tips, you can learn how to cut back on some of the larger costs and fast track your way to car ownership.
Cutting Car Ownership Costs
It’s New to You
When it comes to cars, new doesn’t
necessarily mean fresh off the assembly line. What’s new to you may have
belonged to someone else. There are plenty of ways to get a “new” car without
tearing through all of your savings or putting a strain on your budget. Sites
sell plenty of cars for less than $10,000. Another unexpected source of used
cars for sale are rental car companies like Enterprise. After a
vehicle has served in their fleet for long enough, rental car companies like to
sell their vehicles to make space for new ones, usually for a few thousand
dollars. There are also charity organizations, such as Wheels 4 Hope,
that buy used cars and sell them to economically challenged individuals and
families. Lastly, for those who are feeling lucky, cars are often sold in
auctions and as prizes for raffles, so check your local mail and news sources
to learn about such opportunities. Be warned, however, that in some cases you
may have to pay additional taxes on goods earned through lotteries.
Credit and Insurance
Did you know that, depending on
which state you live in, your credit score can impact how much your insurance
will cost? That’s because your score can help insurance providers predict how
likely you are to pay back a debt and how likely you are to file a claim.
According to Consumer
Reports, having a poor credit score in some states could result in
you paying thousands of dollars more for insurance than if your credit score
was good. Fortunately, this same article gives you tips to help you fight
against this unfair pricing. Not sure about the quality of your credit score? We
recommend you read over this
blog. When you’re shopping around for insurance, be sure to do your
research on every company, including their standard monthly pricing, the
benefits any of their plans offer, and what complaints people have about them
to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. A great place to start your
research is with this article from NerdWallet.
Cars – Your New Hobby
Taking your car in for maintenance is something most people never want to deal with. Not only does it cost you a lot of your money, but your time as well. Even the places that seem the most trustworthy can swindle you out of hundreds of dollars, mainly by providing additional “vital” services to help keep your car on the road. There are countless stories about people taking in their car for the check engine light, only to discover that their gas cap wasn’t screwed on tight enough. While going in for repairs is certainly important, you can actually do a lot to avoid going as frequently. Many services that are performed in a standard maintenance trip, such as refilling your fluid levels or replacing your air filter, can actually be done in your driveway. While you’ll still have to pay for parts, not paying for labor will end up saving hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of your car. Be sure you are checking your car’s health as soon as you suspect there might be a problem, and if you think that you can fix it make sure you are purchasing the correct parts for your vehicle.
Car ownership will likely be one of the most significant financial decisions of your life, and therefore one of the scariest. Hopefully, our advice can give you some direction on how to complete this process as smoothly as possible. The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!