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When saving for a new car, every single dollar seems to mean a lot more than ever before.
You may pay close attention to your finances to determine if buying a new car is an impossible pipe dream or an achievable goal.
Fortunately, there is a vast number of ways that you can save enough money over time to turn this dream into a reality.
Below is a guide of 17 different methods of saving money for cars that you can start to use right away:
Most experts that know how to save money for cars recommend making meals at home over eating out at restaurants and diners.
According to Business Insider, American adults between the ages of 35 and 54 spend over $4,200 a year eating food away from home.
Even if you manage to save half of that and put it towards your savings, that would essentially put you $2,000 closer to your goal.
It may seem to take less time to buy food elsewhere than to prepare it at home.
However, doing so will cause you to spend even more time than necessary saving up to buy your car.
Further studies have shown that there are also nutritional benefits that you can enjoy by choosing to eat at home instead of restaurants.
This means that choosing to eat at home instead of eating away from your home throughout the year can work out well for your wallet and your health.
Clip Coupons and Copy Promo Codes
Clipping coupons may seem like an outdated tradition. However, extreme coupon shoppers would strongly disagree with that misconception.
You will be surprised by the amount of money a stack of strategically collected coupons will save you during a typical trip to the grocery store.
Even with online shopping, you can save a considerable amount of money with coupons.
A quick keyword search for promo codes and online discounts can come in handy.
Be on the lookout for such promotional offers as free shipping as well, because they will add even more money to your savings over time.
Remember that every dollar saved is a dollar that you can put towards saving money for cars.
Make Money Back from Grocery Trips
In addition to coupons, you may be able to save a substantial amount of money on select purchases made during your trips to the grocery store.
For instance, you can use a mobile application like Ibotta to earn money back on purchases made from select retailers.
You would just select the retailer that you want and find the applicable offers that meet your shopping needs and personal preferences.
As an example, you can receive $2-$4 on average for buying certain beers and wines.
Once you reach $20 with your accumulated credits, Ibotta allows you to withdraw the money to your bank account, PayPal account or Amazon.com gift card balance.
Go for Generic Instead of Name Brand Items
Studies have shown that the average consumer pays much more money for name brand items than their generic alternatives. This presents a major savings opportunity for you!
According to Time magazine, store brands can cost 30% less than name brand alternatives.
In most cases, the generic brand alternatives have comparable quality as well – which means you are getting high-quality products for low-quality prices.
Personal preferences may cause you to think that you will never choose generic over name brand.
However, once you do the math and calculate your savings over time, your personal preferences will change rather quickly.
Search for Cashback Opportunities Before Making Purchases
When saving for a new car, there are also opportunities for you to save money and earn cashback as you make your purchases as well.
As referenced above, you can clip coupons and be mindful of the type of product you purchase (store brand vs generic).
However, you can also take advantage of savings from such websites as eBates that allow you to make your purchases through them to qualify for cashback rewards.
Take the time to examine the terms and conditions closely to ensure that your purchase qualifies for the applicable rewards and credits.
It may seem like a lot of extra work just to make a single purchase.
To keep an appropriate perspective, remember that you would have made the same purchase either way without getting any money or rewards from the transaction.
Using eBates and other similar mobile applications and websites allows you to maximize savings opportunities based on your typical shopping habits.
Get Money Back from Past Purchases and Price Changes
Another effective way to save money for a car is to pay attention to the pricing of your past purchases.
Retailers and department stores mark down product pricing periodically throughout the year based on supply and demand.
Competitive shoppers and customers looking to save as much money as possible study these price changes closely and carefully to see if they can benefit from them.
Some retailers offer price match savings that allow consumers to receive any price difference in recent markdowns if the new price is lower than what they paid.
Make sure that you study the applicable terms of these offers. Most retailers will only honor this type of markdown credit offer for between 14-30 days after the initial purchase date.
It may seem a little overwhelming to keep track of past purchases to see if there have been any significant pricing changes.
Fortunately, you can use a mobile app such as Paribus to serve as your “silent partner” for this savings opportunity.
Paribus is designed to track your order confirmation emails and receipts to help you get money back whenever it detects potential savings from price changes.
It may not seem as if you are making a lot of money from this app at first. Over time, the savings will add up!
Think about the vast amount of money you could have already made back if you had an app like this either 6 months or 6 years ago.
If you are serious about saving money for a car, it is imperative to be just as serious about these types of savings opportunities!
Downgrade Your Cell Phone Plan or Choose a Prepaid Option
When was the last time you examined the itemized pricing and fine print on your monthly cell phone bill?
You may have been with your cell phone company for several years and enjoy the various benefits and assurances associated with service contracts.
If you want to save money for a car effectively, though, you should carefully examine what you pay out each month for cell phone service.
Perhaps you can save a nice-sized chunk of cash each month just by downgrading your plan.
For instance, thanks to home Wi-Fi and public hotspots, you may not need as much data from your cellular plan as you think.
You could also consider switching from a service contract to prepaid cell phone service.
You may have to pay more upfront for the actual phone(s) used, but your long-term savings will far outweigh that short-term expense.
Find Clever Ways to Make Extra Money
As you try to stick to your budget while saving money for a car, you may want to explore ways to make more money on the side.
This means that you will be able to reallocate more of your money towards reaching your savings goal.
For instance, you can sell products through a reputable company like Avon and make a decent income from the commissions.
The more money you make on the side to supplement your income, the less you will have to use of your primary income to pay your typical expenses.
Make Money by Taking Online Surveys
Another way to supplement your fulltime income successfully is to take online surveys for money.
For instance, if you sign up for Survey Junkie, you will receive payment in exchange for sharing your opinions on various services and products.
The more surveys you complete, the more money you will make. Survey Junkie pays its users in virtual points that can then be used to redeem gift cards or PayPal withdrawals.
It will take a lot of time for you to generate enough points to make a huge step towards reaching your goal to save money for a new car.
However, combining several of the strategies outlined above together will help you to achieve that milestone much sooner than you think.
Earn Cash Rewards from Your Typical Shopping Habits
There is more than one way to save money and even earn money back from your standard shopping trip if you are willing to shop smarter and not harder.
For instance, you can save a lot of money through a mobile app like Drop that examines the usage of your credit or debit card to generate cash rewards.
All you must do is use the cards linked to your account at your favorite places and you will generate points along the way.
Whether you make a quick trip to the grocery store or take an Uber ride to work, your points and rewards will stack up with time.
Save Your Change and Snowball the Savings
In addition to coupon clipping, another “old-fashioned” yet still effective way to save money for a car is through collecting your change.
Perhaps you have a penny pouch or change jar in your house or car.
You may not be able to cash in your pouch or piggy bank and walk away with a brand-new car right away.
With a little persistence and patience, though, your savings will accumulate like a growing snowball that you will not be able to overlook very long at all.
You may not be able to take your change jar to the car dealership when you pick up your car to make a big dent in your purchase price.
However, you can still reduce what you must pay for gas, maintenance and even repairs with a little help from your collected change.
Collect Gift Cards as Rewards to Reallocate Your Funds
As referenced above, a great way to save money for a car is to make more money on the side.
Supplementing your income allows you to reallocate your finances to have more money to add to your savings account.
You can also receive gift cards as rewards that will help you to reallocate your funds as well.
Not all websites and mobile apps help you to save money by paying you in cash or PayPal withdrawals.
There are certain resources like Shopkick that will reward you with popular gift cards that you can use to offset your shopping expenses.
There is no way that you can use a gift card to buy a car.
Nonetheless, you will still be able to save your money by using those rewarded gift cards to purchase plenty of other things that you may want or need as you save money for a car.
Pay Attention to How You Already Spend Your Money
How do you analyze your current spending habits?
Before you can progressively save money for a car, you need to closely examine how you currently spend your money.
Perhaps you already have a budget that you closely manage each month to monitor your income vs expenses.
The average consumer can spend a considerable amount of time managing this type of financial analysis month after month – especially if you will not reach your car-buying goal for at least a year.
Fortunately, you can use a mobile application like Digit that is designed to analyze your spending habits on your behalf.
Once you add your personal savings goal, Digit allows you to save money and make automatic payments directly with the money stored within the account.
You could also earn an additional $5 for every single person that signs up for Digit with your referral link.
Set Up a Separate Savings Account
It is highly recommended to establish a savings account separate from your other savings.
For instance, you may already have an emergency savings fund that potentially covers several months of expenses for your household.
The last thing you want to do is to use your emergency savings fund to pay for your new car – especially if you do not have the means to replenish that “rainy day” right away.
It is also tedious and time-consuming to manage different streams of savings within the same account.
To save time and effort, you should consider using Long Game to create a personalized savings account that rewards you with cash and crypto.
As a bonus, Long Game allows you to play fun games within a mobile application that gives you even more changes to earn rewards along the way!
Explore Automatic Transfer Options for Bank Account
Your existing bank account may offer a few savings options that you may or may not know about or use currently.
For example, do you already have a savings account set up at your bank?
In most cases, accountholders can have checking and savings accounts working together as partners.
For instance, you may have a savings account that is set up to receive periodic transfers from your primary checking account.
There are some banks offer a “change-keeping” savings method that rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers the balance to the savings account.
After you analyze your current spending habits and examine the boundaries of your budget, perhaps you can schedule weekly or monthly transfers to build your savings with disposable income.
Bet on Your Weight Loss and Hit Your Goal
You probably did not realize that you can use your waistline to save money for a car!
Weight loss is a multibillion-dollar industry in today’s world of commerce – especially when you consider the growing number of products and services associated with this wellness goal.
Thanks to services like HealthyWage, you can also use your weight loss journey to make a lot of money!
With HealthyWage, you essentially set your own weight loss goal and set a corresponding wager amount that you are willing to bet on achieving.
For example, let’s say you bet $100 per month that you could lose 40 pounds in 6 months.
According to the HealthyWage calculator, by reaching your goal, your grand prize could range between $666 and $1,824.
Make Healthy Lifestyle and Dietary Changes
Another clever way to save money for a car is to simply make a few expensive changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
As mentioned above, your fast-food and eating-out spending may have already created a major dent in your savings account.
There may be some other “red flags” that you should consider – from junk food binges and regular shopping sprees to cigarette smoking and top-shelf alcohol drinking.
Making a few cuts here and there to your lifestyle habits may add up to big bucks in your savings account.
Before long, you will be able to walk away from a nearby dealership with the keys to a new car paid for with your hard-earned money and long-term savings.
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