At J.D. Byrider, we try to make the initial cost needed to get the keys to your vehicle low because we know you don't always have time to save up when you're buying a car on a budget. Often, cars quit without warning, leaving you with no vehicle to get to work, which means you have to buy a replacement quickly. If you do have time for budgeting for a car before you need to replace yours, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your budget.
1. Take Control of Your Budget
To control your budget, you first need to know what it is. Write down every source of income you have, from jobs to child support payments, on the left side of a piece of paper. On the right side, list everything you spend it on, from your usual morning coffee to your cell phone bill. By adding up the left side and subtracting it from the right side, you can see how much you should have left every month.
2. Avoid Extra Expenses
Just like crash diets never work, neither does cutting out all your unnecessary spending. Keep the things you get the most pleasure from that cost the least, and cut out big budget items or the little things that add up but don't significantly add to your happiness.
3. Keep Your Favorite Indulgences
Some things can make or break a week. For example, if you treat yourself to fast food once a week, don't skip it to save up money for your big purchase. The enjoyment you get from it is probably worth the money you'll spend. On the other hand, if you're hitting the steakhouse once a week, you may consider cutting back to once every other week.
4. Create a Social Schedule
Most social events cost more money than you would regularly spend on yourself. Plan a list of activities you can do that won't cost much money, including meeting friends for coffee instead of dinner, or inviting them over for board games instead of going out for a movie.
5. Have a Goal
It's easier to save money and say no to extra spending when you have a clear goal in mind. For you, it may be a reliable used car. Visualize yourself in the car whenever you're tempted to blow a little extra money, and weigh whether delaying that goal is worth the treat you're considering.
If you come to J.D. Byrider for a used car, one of the first things we'll ask you is how much you’re budgeting for a car each month. We won’t try to get you to spend more each month than you should—our no-haggle pricing and company policy prevents that.
Instead, we're trying to find you the right car with the right payment for you. We have a wide selection of makes and models at all different price points on our lots, so we'll use your self-provided budget to help you find a car you can afford.
If you're not sure about your car budget, start here:
- How often you get paid
- If you have any other sources of income
- How much your rent/mortgage costs
- How much your insurance costs
- How much you spend on food
- Your recurring monthly expenses (medical bills, medication costs, credit card bills, child support, etc.)
- How much disposable income you need to do the things you enjoy
- If you want to trade in your car for another car
When you’re looking at vehicles, it’s important to set your sights on a car you can afford realistically, and budgeting can help you figure out what that means for you.