5 Financial Decisions to Make on Your Car This Summer
Owning a vehicle today has become more of a luxury than a necessity. With public transportation getting more efficient, driving a car just doesn’t feel as important anymore. Yet, many households still own vehicles and drive them every day.
Surveys show that around 24% of American households own three or more cars. With maintenance costs increasing steadily, finding ways to reduce your financial burdens is a must. Here are five financial decisions to make on your car this summer.
Consider Getting an Extended Car Warranty
All cars come with manufacturer warranties that cover breakdowns, repairs, and maintenance for the first few years. You’re left to your own devices once that warranty expires. To avoid this situation, most people get an extended warranty.
Extended warranties function the same way manufacturer warranties do. They protect vehicles from costly damages. They also help extend a car’s life expectancy by several years. That said, not everyone may benefit from extended car warranties.
Even the best extended car warranty can harm a person financially if not used correctly. It helps to evaluate your options before committing to a single solution. That way, you don’t regret any of your choices later.
Create a Budget for Car Expenses
Spending money on your car is inevitable. Even with car insurance and warranty, there are things that you must pay for out of pocket, e.g., fuel, upgrades, tuning, etc.
Setting aside a proper budget for car expenses will save you from overspending. Not just that, it can give you peace of mind knowing that whatever happens, you and your vehicle are covered.
You can designate a small portion of your paycheck for car expenses. Experts recommend saving at least 10% of your income for car ownership costs. So, if you’re take-home pay is $3,000, you should set aside $300 or more.
To take your budgeting up a notch, you may also try setting savings goals. Figure out how much you want to spend on which aspects of car ownership, e.g., repairs, upgrades, insurance, etc. Furthermore, determine which aspects you want to spend less on.
When you know where your money is going, you can create better ways to control it. So, do the work and track your expenses closely.
Conduct Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance keeps car owners updated on their car’s condition. A good mechanic can help you spot issues before they become too complicated to fix.
Car parts can be incredibly expensive—as can repair services. It’s best to catch minor problems before they become too big for your wallet.
Scheduling regular maintenance can keep you accountable for your vehicle’s needs. Mark the date on your calendar for when you should get regular maintenance.
Set the alarm on your phone to remind you of your appointment so you don’t have any excuse to miss it.
Be Smart About Usage
Driving long-distance can add unnecessary miles to your vehicle. The same is true if you drive your car every day. Finding a balance between driving and taking public transport can help you save up on vehicle costs. It may also lengthen your car’s life expectancy overall.
If you can’t avoid driving, there are other ways you can be smart about your usage.
For example, if you’re trying to save money on fuel, it can help to increase your gas mileage. Instead of speeding through the streets to work, avoid going overboard and stay within the speed limit.
You may also consider removing excess weight from your vehicle. Heavy cargo can drain your car’s fuel supply in a flash. If you need to transport something heavy, consider hiring a parcel delivery service instead.
Run Your Research
Shorten your trips by looking for the easiest routes in the city. Save money on fuel by searching for the most affordable gas stations in town.
You can learn a lot from running a simple internet search on your phone. So, the next time you head out for a short trip, don’t forego your research.
The Bottom Line
Owning a car has always been expensive. While spending money on your vehicle is inevitable, there are ways you can reduce those costs significantly.
Take the time to read and apply the tips shared with you above. It’ll save you a ton of money in the long run.
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