For many, debt is commonly used for a home or cars or other large purchases. It has become so commonplace, it is hard for some to even imagine avoiding it for major purchases. However, debt carries with it expense in the form of interest payments on the debt. These can significantly increase the expense of the item you are buying over time.
Debt also inherently carries a risk in the case that you are overextended with things like your home and car(s) you may lose them in the event of a short term income disruption or if you experience a life changing event like one that would incur significant medical cost. If you can’t make the payments monthly… someone may take the asset away from you and sell it.
Eliminating debt minimizes your cost because you don’t have to pay interest and provides some protection in case of short term loss of income or unexpected emergency expenses.
For those who are disciplined and want to avoid a major source of debt, try this strategy to start working toward buying future cars in cash… ok, you can write a check.
For those who don’t have the money just sitting around and need monthly payments to enable buying a car at this point here is how to get started.
- Challenge yourself on the paradigm of how many cars you think you “need” vs. “want”. Not every person needs a car. Not every family needs 2 or more cars just because they have that many drivers. It is very convenient… but is it a need?
- Control the car you purchase to a “need” for transportation and not a “want” for style or showing off or competing with others. This can easily save over ten thousand dollars on a car purchase.
- Buy used but reliable brand that will last but already has 50,000 miles on it. You may be surprised how much money you save. Depreciation (decrease in value) is your enemy when you buy new cars but your friend when you buy used cars.
- Do not look for something with loaded options packages – it is transportation… not an arcade. You can save 3-5 thousand dollars in many cases. Do you “need” a seat warmer? or just “want” one because it is fun.
- Treat your car like a tool, not a fad. Keep it until it is no longer safe to drive or at least until you have saved up money for your replacement car purchase in order to extract maximum value. Many of today’s cars should be able to go 200,000 miles.
- Perform routine maintenance along the way to ensure you give your vehicle the chance to last. It may be a short term expense, but it has a long term payoff in life of the vehicle.
- If you have paid off your vehicle, or once you have… keep making monthly payments in your budget, but put them in a bank account and keep track of them (eg. spreadsheet or notebook) as funds set aside for your next auto purchase.
- Want to pay off your current vehicle faster… pay extra toward it every month… whatever you can afford even just $25/mo
- Do not spend this saved money on other expenses. You should already have an emergency fund and this should not be pillaged to create a vacation fund or you will not succeed. Just because you set aside money for future major planned expense does not mean you should take that money every time your base budget is tight.
You may not make it to fully transition to cash with your next car, but if you repeat the steps above, you will find yourself paying for your cars with cash you saved in advance. People will be amazed that you can do it, but it is really no different than paying monthly payments and not buying something too expensive
I have implemented this strategy myself and found it very rewarding. I think you will too.
Remember that all you have belongs to God. Manage your money God’s way. Visit GrowGodsMoney.org .