Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Save for the Car of your Dreams

This is a guest post from the folks at Ford Melbourne, who offer a range of vehicles to suit every lifestyle.

The kids are driving you crazy.  You feel like all your stress at home and work isn't helping you move on from your current rust bucket of a car.

Free Stock Images: Little Duce Coupe Picture. Image: 42709
© Photographer: Cheryl Kunde | Agency:
You walked past the shop window and there it was, looking like something out of a centre spread of Motor magazine; your dream car. You combed through the car deals in Melbourne and although it’s not entirely in your price range, it’s do-able…. Just… In ten years’ time maybe. It’s not like you're trying to throw ol’ Betsey to the tips, but let’s be honest, she’s now struggling to get up a slight incline and she splutters for a good five minutes when you start her up. It’s time you got a new car; you deserve it. The only problem is, you barely have enough money at the end of the week let alone enough to put into savings. Don’t despair, here is a few ideas on how to pinch pennies and save for your dream car.

Do your homework

No one likes getting a raw deal or feeling like they got hustled by the dealer with the handle bar moustache. Before you head into the showroom, do some comprehensive research on your car via some good magazines and websites that offer reviews, pricing and comparison of similar models. The more informed you are, the better choice you’ll make. And when Jerry (that’s the dealer) tells you a price $5,000 more than what it’s worth, you will have confidence to knock it back and negotiate a realistic deal.

Sacrifice your spending

The most important thing to do when finding ways to save money is to cut down on your spending habits. Sure, the occasional take-away or night out with friends is essential to your sanity, but if you’ve been calling up your local Chinese take-away more than your mother, it’s a pretty good sign that you need to limit your splurges. The most effective way to figure out where you are blowing money each week is to write it down. You’d be surprised to see where all that extra change is being disbursed. Those daily coffee trips and $10 lunch deals really start to add up. Be ruthless with your spending but not to the point where you’re a living off mashed potato.

Open a special savings account

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© Photographer: James Hearn | Agency:
Its two days until your next pay comes in and you’ve found yourself this must have item that’s a little bit of the pricy side. You know you have enough in your account, but that money is set aside for your car. You think that it won’t hurt to use a little bit of your savings, however after a while those impulse buys start to accumulate and you’re no longer seeing any progress. It’s for this reason that you should set up a separate online savings account with a high interest rate. Each week, automatically transfer a set amount of money from your regular account and make a pact with yourself that these funds cannot be used.

Sell everything you don’t need

Haven’t touched that guitar in a while? Got a pile of books just collecting dust? Perhaps you’ve got one too many lava lamps? If so, it’s time to have a garage sale. You may be selling clothes or books for $1, but all of that starts to tally up if you’ve got plenty of buyers. Remember, you’re saving for your car, if you don’t need things of relative value, then sell them and add that money to owning your new set of wheels.

Got any saving tips you swear by? Tell us in the comments below.