THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.
Let’s be honest, unexpected car costs can add up quickly, leaving your budget and bank account in shambles. Whether it’s new tires, costly brakes, or some sort of crazy engine malfunction, those unexpected costs can really add up.
AutoGravity, a cool new company that helps you choose your car and get financing in minutes all from the palm of your hand, asked four of us money experts to share our tips on how to manage all these unexpected car expenses.
How to Mange Those Unexpected Costs
When we’re talking about any unexpected expense in your budget it’s super important to go back to basics with your bank account and spend some time “Knowing Your Numbers.” This is one of the smartest money moves you can make for your money.
Knowing Your Numbers is the process of rolling up your sleeves and diving into your expenses each and every month. Why do this you ask?
Well, simply, once you know your numbers you have greater control over your spending. You can make choices with your finances in a way that will lead to success.
If you have better control over your expenses – and let me say, that doesn’t mean you have to give up stuff that you like to do, just do it smarter – you are more prepared when your need four new tires or a serious brake job costing thousands.
Do It Smarter
Let’s say you’re jonesing for a new car but you seriously hate the car buying experience. (I’m right there with you. I mean, I love to haggle, but I’m downright exhausted when the process is over with.) One way to do it smarter is to get all your ducks in a row BEFORE you head out shopping.
That’s why I love AutoGravity.
The app allows me to shop for a car while I’m in the comfort of my own home, find a dealership, apply for financing and select an offer without even having to work up a sweat. The best part is that I have time to think about how I’m spending my money without all the pressure of sitting in front of a pushy sales person.
You’ve still got to do your homework first, even before you head over to the AutoGravity app. That’s where Knowing Your Numbers comes into play.
What you want to figure out:
- What monthly payment can you REALLY afford without taking away from your current spending/savings goals (check out AutoGravity’s car calculator)
- What type of car will work for your lifestyle
- How long do you plan on having the car
- What kind of warranty is included in the price of the car (really important for budgeting for those unexpected expenses)
- Can you get any trade-in value on your car
- And, because I can’t say it enough, can you comfortably afford this payment
Do Everything Smarter
When it comes to car buying, doing your homework and being smart about your purchase by using an app like AutoGravity is a great way to make a smart money move. There are so many other money decisions where you can also use this thinking as well.
If you took a few minutes I bet you could find at least five other things in your everyday spending that you could do smarter. Maybe it’s your gym membership, or your coffee runs, or where you stop for gas, or maybe it’s even how you break up your paycheck every month.
I don’t know about you, but I find it super difficult to save money each month unless I automate my savings. The automation forces me out of a decision each month and just magically does the saving for me. I love this approach (and you don’t have to automate everything) but it can really help you achieve your money goals quickly.
The Savings Challenge
If you’re saving for a new car (or any other money goal) I’m going to challenge you to look in your bank account and find at least three ways you can do your spending and savings in a smarter way. While it might not seem like a lot to save $10 here and $20 there, those savings can start to add up over time.
I’m often asked, “Why do I need to save money anyway?” You might laugh, but it makes sense. Hey, saving money isn’t for me, or for anyone else. Saving money and being smart with your money is all about you.
Set your savings goal.
Go out and find a car that works for your life and your bank account.
Head over to the AutoGravity app and get yourself some funding.
Celebrate making another smart money move.
Rinse and repeat.
Shannah Compton Game is a Money Wellness expert, host of the to-rated Millennial Money podcast, and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER with an MBA. Millennial Money has over 15 million downloads in 164 countries. Shannah’s years of experience as a skilled Certified Financial Planner have set her on a mission to revolutionize how people think, act, and feel about their finances…and have some fun doing so.