Having a car is great. Anytime you want you can hop in and drive yourself anywhere in the country. It’s a freedom that a lot of people enjoy every single day. Unfortunately, owning and driving a car isn’t free. There are a lot of expenses that go along with owning a car, and if you aren’t careful, they can become a significant part of your monthly budget. If you’ve found that owning a car has become more difficult to afford, here are some ways that you can save some money.
Swap to a Cheaper Car
One of the biggest expenses when it comes to owning a car is the payments you make on the car itself. Many people are leasing their car, while others took out a loan in order to afford it. In both of these cases you have a monthly payment that you need to make, and this can often be quite expensive. If you’re struggling to make this payment, you may want to switch to a more affordable car.
By selling your current car, and buying something significantly cheaper, you may be able to save a lot of money each month. It will depend on what you’re currently spending, and if you can find another car that is more affordable. Keep in mind the fees that come with purchasing a car, along with any repairs you may need to do on the new car.
Lower Your Car Insurance
Another large part of car expenses is the insurance. You can’t drive a car in this country without insurance, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay a lot. If you think your insurance bill is higher than it needs to be, shop around for some other plans. You may be able to find something that is a lot cheaper, and save yourself a lot of money each month, especially if you have a good credit score. If you like your current provider, talk to them about ways to lower your monthly payment. Since they’ll want to keep you as a customer, you may be able to work something out.
Perform Regular Maintenance
Besides the monthly car expenses, sometimes new expenses pop up out of nowhere – typically in the form of repairs. One day your car is working fine, and then the next morning it won’t even start. Now you need to get it towed and spend a lot of money to have it repaired. The best way to avoid needing costly repairs is through regular maintenance. Make sure you are doing things like changing the oil, replacing the brakes, rotating the tires, and topping off all of your fluids. It may not prevent the need for all repairs, but it’s a great place to start.
Do Any Repairs Yourself
When you can’t avoid needing a repair, consider trying to do the job yourself. Some car repair jobs are actually fairly simple, and with a little know-how and effort, you could do the job yourself. This will often save you a lot of money on labor, and you may even be able to find any parts you need cheaper online yourself. Just be sure to follow all safety precautions, as working on a car has some injury risks.
Also, it’s important to know when your car is beyond repair, so that you don’t waste time and money on a lost cause. Search online for “what is a totaled car” for a better idea as to whether or not your car is beyond saving.
Drive Less Often
Of course, you’ll spend a lot less money on your car if you drive it less often. Look into public transportation options in your area, or get yourself a bicycle. Do you live near some coworkers? Set up a carpool so that you all don’t have to drive as often. It may not seem like you’re saving a lot of money, but it will add up over time. Not only that, but you’ll put less miles on your car, helping it to last a longer amount of time.
Get Rid of the Car
Finally, you may just have to get rid of your car. If you’re really in a tough financial situation, owning a car may not be an option for you. Of course, if you need your car to get to work every day – and there are no other transportation options – you might have to keep it. But for some of us, a car is a luxury, and we could get by without it if we had to. If you’re in this group, and money is tight, consider just getting rid of the car.