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Like what keeps you awake at night dreaming of hugging that tight curve or accelerating down the open road? For some, it's a sleek black Porsche Carrera GT. For others, it's a bright green Lamborghini Murcielago. And then there are those of us who simply want a brand new Chevrolet Silverado 1500HD to haul stuff around.
No matter your dream car, saving up enough to make the purchase is the first hurdle.
Four Tips for Saving Enough Money
Saving money isn't something that comes naturally to most of us. If you weren't raised in a household where you were taught how to be financially responsible, then chances are, you've struggled with this issue.
The good news is you don't have to rake in a seven-figure salary to consistently stash money away. If you want to save up enough money for your dream car, the following practical tips should help.
1. Work Backwards
If you want to learn a thing or two about setting goals, just ask Tom Hess, a music instructor who has helped hundreds of musicians accomplish their dreams. What's one of his leading keys to success? It involves deciding where you want to end up and working backwards from there.
"Musicians who aren't successful, make a huge mistake when planning the process of reaching their career goals: they design all the steps starting from where they are moving towards their goal(s)," Hess explains. The only problem is that it doesn't work that way.
Whether it's a successful music career or purchasing your dream car, you can benefit from identifying your end goal and working backwards. Once you know the exact dollar amount you're trying to save, it becomes easier to take practical steps towards that goal.
2. Hold Off for a Year
If you currently have a car that's paid off, then you're holding a golden ticket. Instead of immediately going and trading your car in for a new ride, wait for a year.
By holding off for a year, you can forgo 12 months of payments. If the car you want to has a $500 monthly payment, you can continue to drive your current car and save the equivalent of $6,000 over the course of a year. Then, when you're ready, you can apply the savings – combined with the trade-in value of your current car – to significantly lower the purchase price of the car.
3. Make a Budget
Do you have a concrete budget? Only one in three families have one, so you aren't alone if you're slacking. However, a budget is very important. In order to save money for your dream car purchase, you have to know exactly how much money is coming in and where it's going. This will allow you to eliminate certain expenses, reallocate funds, and set aside a certain dollar amount each month.
4. Know Where to Shop
If you're set on buying a brand new vehicle, then you're pretty limited in where you can buy. However, if you're buying a used vehicle, then knowing where to shop can save you thousands of dollars and make your dream purchase more of a reality.
In most cases, buying from individuals is the cheapest route. Repo auctions are also a great choice.
Make Your Dream a Reality
Your dream car doesn't always have to be a dream. You can make it your car by strategically planning ahead and getting your finances in order.
It won't always be easy – and you may need to make some sacrifices – but you'll be happy when you're gliding across the asphalt in your brand new ride.