Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details.
Setting the Goal
In my post, “Financial Planning for Upcoming Expenses,” I shared that one of my goals for this year was to finish saving for a new car. Well, after two years of self-denial and sacrifice, I’m happy to announce that I finally achieved this goal! And, not only did I achieve it, but I was able to purchase my dream car – a Mysterious Blue colored 2019 Kia Soul – and pay for it with cash!
Now, you may be wondering how I was able to save enough money to buy a new car and pay for it with cash. Let me begin by saying this…Below I detail the path I took. However, I understand that not everyone can follow this same path. By sharing what I did, I hope I can inspire you and give you some ideas if buying a new car is a goal you would like to achieve.
My journey to a new car began by putting back $115 out of my paycheck each week. Some weeks I added a little extra to that amount. The goal seemed so far away at first, but after I was able to save far more than I anticipated my first year, it motivated me to save as much as I could to try and reach my goal faster. My little 2004 Ford Focus had started giving me some problems so I knew I needed to get moving.
You may be thinking, there’s no way I can save that much towards a car each week – well, that’s okay. How much can you save? To get a rough idea, calculate your expenses and create a budget. Maybe you can only save $50 a week. That $50 can add up to $200 in a month and $2,600 in a year!
You may have to bite the bullet and cut expenses that aren’t really necessary or try to earn some extra income. I’ve written several articles that can help you:
The idea here is to create for yourself a mindset and a lifestyle that involves saving. Do you know that there are millions of people in this country who don’t save? For anything! This article on CNN Money says “six in 10 Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $500 or $1,000 unplanned expense.” (https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/12/pf/americans-lack-of-savings/index.html) Once you begin to consistently save, before you know it, you will have saved beyond your expectations! This will only motivate you more to achieve your goal!
When planning my new car goal, I set a dollar amount that I wanted to reach and once I saw I was within a couple of thousand of it, I clamped down tight on my extraneous spending. I stopped eating out and throwing money away in vending machines. I even held off on getting my hair cut. I determined that I wasn’t going to buy anything which was unnecessary. How much you save will depend on these same principles – how well you stick to your budget and how faithful you are toward setting the money aside each week.
Time to Shop
Once I reached my dollar amount, my husband and I headed off to the Kia dealership. At the time, there were only two dealerships within an hours drive which had the Mysterious Blue color in stock, so we started with the dealership closest to us. We test drove two cars – one was a 2019 model and the exact car I was looking for, while the other was a 2020 shiny black Kia with a red top – not necessarily what I was looking for, but it was super cute! After wheeling and dealing for several hours (yes, you read that correctly, HOURS!), we were able to get a good price on the 2019 model which allowed me to pay for it in cash. I loved both cars and we tried getting a similar deal on the 2020 model, but we just couldn’t come to terms on the price – they tried hard to get us to finance, but for us, that wasn’t an option.
After two years of saving, I now have a new car, under warranty, which gives me solid piece of mind that I’m not as likely to break down and hopefully freedom for a long while from any large repair expenses. Were the sacrifices I made to reach my goal worth it? Absolutely!
How to Start
What are you hoping to save up for? How much can you put aside each week? $25? $50? $100? You will never get to that goal if you don’t start. You have to start! It may seem like small potatoes in the beginning, but believe me, it will grow and you will be so proud of yourself and thankful that you did. Start by creating a budget and determine within yourself that you WILL save money to reach your financial goals, whatever they may be.
If you need guidance on beginning a savings plan, read this article from NerdWallet (https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/best-bank-tools-for-saving-money). It states, “Many banks and credit unions have automated savings plans that allow for regular transfers from checking to savings accounts. But a handful of financial institutions take it a step further by offering savings tools and programs that help consumers set aside money for future expenses.”
I would love to hear some of your financial goals. If you’re comfortable sharing, please comment on your goals and some of the steps you’re taking to reach these goals.