If you’re always looking for ways to cut the costs of your household, then it might be a good idea to occasionally look outside the house itself. For instance, look at the second most expensive thing in your life: the car. Beyond just buying a car, they constantly come with costs that you can easily cut just by being a bit savvier with them.
Know that you’ll need repairs
It’s a cost that seems to come out of nowhere, but it doesn’t really. All cars degrade over time and all drivers are likely to get into accidents that cause some damage to the car at least twice in their life. To that end, knowing that repairs are coming, you can cut the costs of them. For instance, you can set up a car repair fund so you don’t have to rely on loans when those repairs come “out of nowhere”. You can also get more hands-on with your maintenance so it’s likely to need less work at the garage to be road-worthy.
Perhaps the biggest impact on your budget is made right at the start when you buy a car. So, how do you buy a car that costs you less in the long run? For one, you buy used. A car that’s a year old might not perform much different from a new car, but a used auto loan offers a much better deal than financing a new car. You should also look the reliability and the MPG of the car you buy before you get your attention caught by all the flashy features a salesperson will be glad to distract you with so they can sell a more expensive car.
If you buy a car, there’s a chance that you’re going to need to drive it. That’s a given. But you shouldn’t just give up and drive it all the time. Consider occasionally commuting by bicycle if you’re close enough to work. Commit to walking those trips that are only five minutes way instead of taking the easy option of the car. Rely more on car pools. There are lots of opportunities to drive less and save money if you’re willing to look for them.
Don’t let insurers run rings around you
Dealers aren’t the only ones who are glad to jack prices up on you. Insurers are just as likely to do it by selling you a deal that you don’t need and doesn’t work in your best interests. You can cut your insurance costs in minutes by taking a closer look at the different clauses and considering which provisions are really necessary for you. Similarly, you should consider looking at new deals every year. There’s a good chance that your rates aren’t always going to remain the most favorable for you as your relationship with your insurer goes on for longer. You might have got a great deal at the start, but that slowly slips away. However, there’s nothing to stop you from taking advantage of another new customer deal from a new provider once your insurance runs out.
Simple preparation is all it really takes. Do your research on which cars will cost you less in the long run. Know that you’re going to have to factor repairs and maintenance into your budget. Know when you can shave a few miles off. These are how you stop your car running your household finances.