Buying a new car is so exciting! Unfortunately, with the cost of cars these days, you might not have the money to make this purchase outright. That’s why it’s important to have a budget and a savings plan. In this blog post, we’ll discuss four simple steps you can take to help with budgeting for your new ride.

1)  Set Goals That Align With Your Budget

You need a ballpark figure of what you intend to spend vs what you can afford to spend. A big purchase will affect how you manage your finances down the line, so be as specific as possible when planning your purchase to make sure your goal aligns with your current finances.

Ask yourself these questions: What type of car do you want? How soon do you plan on purchasing it? How long will it take you to pay it back? How much can you afford to set aside for this purchase? Answering these questions will give you a clearer idea of what’s right for your budget, but if you’re still feeling unsure, you can check out our free car buying checklist to give you an idea of what to expect.

2)  Don’t Ignore Larger Financial Goals

Knowing that you’re saving for a new car can be really exciting, but it’s important that you don’t forget or overlook your other responsibilities and financial goals. What are your larger financial goals outside of saving for this purchase? Do you want to become debt-free? Are you saving for retirement? Are you trying to rebuild your emergency fund? When you have a clear idea of your larger financial goals, it becomes easier to fit your smaller goals into your budget.

3)  Reduce Non-Essential Spending

Saving means sacrifice, especially if you’re saving for something big. Prepare to cut back on non-essential spending while you prepare your new budget. If you don’t already have a personal budget, take a look at your bank statements and compare how much you’re taking home every month and how much you have left over after you’ve paid off the essentials. Decide where you can cut back or cut out completely from your non-essential spending to put towards your new car.

4)  Use Simple Saving Hacks

People often think of saving money as a strict practice that requires sacrifice and dedication. Some of that is true; you do have to sacrifice to save, and you do need to be dedicated, but saving money can be easy and enjoyable. Find simple saving hacks that you can easily incorporate into your regular routine that saves you money. If you know that remembering to save is a challenge, use automatic transfers into a separate savings account every payday. By getting creative with your savings, you can reach your goal much faster and enjoy the process even more. 

Budgeting for a car takes time, a little effort, and a lot of discipline. But by making smart budgeting decisions, you can achieve your financial goals and make your dream car a reality.