Cars: If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em (But How?)
But what about those instances where you need to cut back on household expenditures? What if your monthly budget doesn't allow room for car payment, insurance, and maintenance (to say nothing of gas)? What if your credit is on shaky ground? In sum, how can you practice responsible car buying, in spite of all the challenges of car ownership?
Well, you might be forced to become very familiar with your local public transportation routes.
But what if you're not a city-dweller? What if school is 20 miles away in one direction, and work 20 miles in the other?
Cars: A Necessity to Be Balanced
Finding room in your budget to afford a necessary purchase like a car--new or used--can be tricky, and often require some planning and hard work. But if you're not near public transit or alternate means of transportation (like an understanding loved one or roommate), then you'll need to consider what it will take to make this important life purchase.
Making Your Car Work for You--Not the Other Way Around
Keep in mind what your car needs to do--get you from Point A to Point B--and not what you want it to do: LOOK AWESOME.
For most people, having your dream car involves years of hard work, little to no debt, and an understanding of how much money it takes to own and maintain a vehicle worth tens of thousands of dollars. In most instances, what we really need in a car, isn't what we want. When we begin to think in terms of what we want instead of what we need, we begin to run into trouble--or feel like we're being strung along by car dealers.
Your cars shouldn't be an added financial burden, but a helpful tool in getting you where you need to be. Don't set yourself up for disappointment--know that your first few car purchases are intended to help you put food on the table, and settle your bills.
Otherwise, you might soon be taking the bus.