Behind housing, for many people, transportation takes the next biggest chunk of their net pay. If your job is in the city, you may have to live in a far suburb to find affordable housing for a family, and that means a long drive. This also means more wear and tear on your vehicle, which may mean more frequent repairs and maintenance. And don’t forget the biggie–fuel.
If you’re looking to trim the budget, transportation, since it’s such a big expense, may be a great place to start. Here are some ways you can minimize your car expenses:
1. Buy, Don’t Lease
Sure it’s nice to be able to drive a new car every three years, but after three years of payments, you have nothing to show for your investment. Instead, considering buying a car. If, after five to seven years, you decide you want to sell the car, you have something to sell that will put some money in your pocket to go toward your next vehicle.
2. Take a Loan with Affordable Payments
When buying a car, make sure to get a car loan with payments you can afford. That may mean you buy a used car or a new car that isn’t a top of the line model. Seven year car loans are available now, but I wouldn’t recommend taking out a loan for longer than five years. Three years is actually ideal.
3. Shop Around for Your Car Loan
Don’t call up your bank and automatically go with their vehicle loan. Shop around. Don’t forget to also shop the web where you can find companies like John Hughes car finance and compare rates between companies. If you take the time to comparison shop, you can find the best loan and interest rate for your financial situation.
4. Maintain your Vehicle
Yes, taking your vehicle in for regular maintenance costs money, but in the long run, you’ll save quite a bit of money. When I was 16, I bought a car from a college student. Little did I know, but his way of saving money was to not take the car in for regular maintenance. The car lasted only a year after I bought it because the engine had been so damaged. Regular maintenance can help you extend the life of your vehicle, sometimes up to 200,000 miles!
5. Drive for Increased Gas Mileage
There is a little tool you can put in your car now that can monitor your driving and let you know where you’re wasting fuel. If you brake too hard or suddenly accelerate, you’re likely wasting fuel. Learning what habits you have that use up your fuel faster can help you save money.
Transportation is likely one of your biggest expenses. You may think there is little you can do to reduce this expense, but that’s not true. Follow some of these recommendations, and little by little you’ll be able to reduce your transportation costs, including the expense of your vehicle and your fuel consumption costs.
What other ways can you save on your transportation costs?