Purchasing a car is a large responsibility, one that comes with a hefty financial price tag. While some people have money already sitting in an account to purchase their first car, others may need to raise the money needed to pay for the car. Raising money involves a lot of hard work and planning, but it can be worth it if it means not going into debt for a machine that will only depreciate over the years.
Choose the type of car that you want to purchase and find out what it generally sells for. Consider whether you want a new or used vehicle, how many miles you want on the vehicle, and how reliable it needs to be.
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Calculate your expected insurance and maintenance costs based on the car you want to buy and roll the first two months' expenses into the total you need to raise in order to purchase your car. Do not forget license and registration fees, along with any fees a dealership charges during a sale.
Add the price of the car and the price of expenses together to arrive at a rough total. Increase this total by a few hundred dollars to give yourself a financial cushion. Write this number down as the amount of money you need to raise before you can buy your car.
Calculate how much money you can raise on your own by taking on an extra, part-time job, selling things you don't need, or picking up odd jobs. If you can earn an extra $1,000 a month, you may be able to save up enough money for a good used car in a year without additional help.
Cut out all unnecessary expenses from your budget in order to free up more money for your car. Cut down on or eliminate your cable, internet, cell phone, and entertainment expenses. Cook at home instead of eating out, buy used clothing instead of new, and plan a staycation instead of a vacation. Pay down any debt that is getting in the way of affording your car.
Brainstorm ways to raise money for your car that are outside of the norm. Hold a car wash, sell candy bars, or run a race.
Write down the reasons you need to purchase your car if you are soliciting financial help from others. If the car is for your own enjoyment, you are not likely to get much help toward purchasing it. On the other hand, if you are using the car to take your grandmother to chemotherapy appointments during the week and to drive people to church on Sundays, you are more likely to get donations.
Offer to place advertisements for businesses on your new car in exchange for their financial contribution towards your car. Many businesses would love to make a small investment for long-term advertising and this could be a good solution for you both, as long as you do not mind their logo and contact information on your vehicle.
Follow through on your fundraising efforts and on the promises you made about how your car will be used. If the car is primarily for transporting a sick loved one, use it primarily for that purpose and not for going out on the town.
Send thank-you notes to everyone who contributed money towards your car. Tell them what kind of car you got and how it has impacted your life and the lives of others. Include a picture and sign the note by hand.
If you want a car primarily for personal use, you may not be able to get others to help you. In this instance, look at your financial situation and conform your choice of car to your budget. Your first car might not be your dream car, but it can be functional, safe, and affordable with a little extra elbow grease.
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