How to stay financially free, that is free of the stress that comes with mountains of debt, and buying a car, is a question that bears consideration. We have worked our tail off to get where we are, so how can I possibly consider, and get, a new or used car without creating a new mountain of debt?
Are you convinced that this life that we have is one to be enjoyed? Wouldn’t you agree that some aspects of our life have basic requirements; for example, the necessity of reliable transportation to get to and from work, family responsibilities, and the like?
Let’s visit the idea of getting a car (new or used) once we have gotten out from under. We will then look at some simple suggestions on what can be done to stay free once the car has been purchased.
Mistakes to Avoid
A whole book can be written on the mistakes to avoid when purchasing a car. Due to space limitations, this article will condense the more common mistakes:
- Do your research before you step foot on a dealership’s property. This may be the most common mistake, as all of us get the “car fever” and make impulse decisions.
- How much space do you really need? What will the car be used for primarily? Answers to these questions will sway you away from the vehicles with all that space that you will not need.
- The only way a consumer can truly know how a car “feels” is through a test drive. Don’t skip this vital part of the car-buying process.
- If you don’t need a new vehicle, and know in your heart that a quality used car will suffice, set aside your ego and go with a used one.
- Add-ons are great, but is that fancy radio option really necessary?
- Take your time, don’t rush.
- Stick to your budget.
- Shop for financing before you make the purchase at the dealership.
- Dealership’s make money when you trade-in your old vehicle, even if you still owe on it. Avoid this mistake. Try selling it on your own.
- They offer a lower monthly payment, but the interest goes up and you pay more than necessary.
- Consider the pitfalls of leasing versus buying.
The reasons for having car insurance should be self-explanatory, right? Each state has its own set of requirements as it pertains to automobile insurance, and its imperative that you know this upfront. With the advent of the internet, shopping for vehicle insurance has gotten exponentially easier.
You will want to make certain that your insurance covers you appropriately, and the terminology used can be confusing. Educate yourself on the terms used.
Another helpful suggestion is to request your driving record, which is commonly referred to as a motor vehicle record, or MVR. Insurance companies will use this to determine the risk associated with insuring a motorist. Know that yours is accurate, as this will keep your insurance premiums where they should be.
When It Happens
Nobody leaves the house one day knowing that they will be involved in an auto accident. Being prepared for the unforeseen, before it happens, will help alleviate undue financial and emotional stress.
According to a Los Angeles semi truck accident lawyer, some of the ways that an auto accident can affect a law-abiding motorist (and this applies regardless of the at-fault vehicle type) include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Mental stress
- Disability, permanent or temporary
- Damage to property
By acknowledging the fact that it can happen, and researching what your options are in case it does, you can be better prepared to mitigate any undue hardship to yourself and your family.