Cars are not cheap. Even beyond paying for it. Anyone who owns one knows that. But there are so many costs associated with keeping and running a car that it can be difficult to track where all your money’s going. Obviously, that can’t continue. Being in good financial standing means you know exactly where your money goes and where it should be going. So take a moment to run through all the costs of your car. We’re going to look over the main factors to help you create a budget that makes some of those costs a little less unexpected and painful.
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There are all sorts of options that you can take into financing your car, as you can see from dealers like Imperial Car Supermarket. As these are regular payments, you should note these down first. If you have an auto loan, resist the temptation to pay it off early, too. While it’s a better idea to get an auto loan that closes quicker, paying an existing loan off early isn’t a good idea. In fact, it actually hurts your credit rating. Loan companies simply look at it as another example of you not sticking to an agreement.
Another regular payment you should be looking at is the insurance you’re paying on your car. Unlike your finance options, you can shop around to get your insurance changed rather easily. There are some ways to make it easier on your budget, too. For one, higher deductibles mean lower premiums. Increased competition has changed the insurance game too, so it’s a lot easier to scout better deals.
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Budgeting your fuel consumption is a little trickier as it can change from month to month. Track each month’s fuel expenses on a separate part of your budget and keep a running average. It’s best to use software like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Obviously, it’s likely that some months you might go above the average. For that reason, you should always keep a little more saved aside from that average.
You never know how much, exactly, it’s going to take for you to pay for all the maintenance your car needs. Besides serious problems and your scheduled check-ups, you can avoid getting ripped off by taking care of your car more yourself. Still, it’s a good idea to put some money aside in an ‘emergency fund’ for fixes. Roughly 5-10% of your monthly wages should cover it. Adjust it according to your experience of how often you need trips to the garage. It’s also important to get your car battery checked out and replaced if necessary. You can look at getting online quotes for purchasing car batteries, so you can work out how much money you’ll need to put aside.
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Your own credit score
This isn’t something you budget but rather it can affect how the other items in your budget look. Credit score not only influences auto loans and financing. It has an impact on your insurance monthly payments, as well. Take care of your credit by making sure you’re up to date on any loan payments and getting rid of any debts. It’s easy for mistakes to leave a black mark on it, too. Credit management companies can help you take care of that.