Buying your first car is an important milestone for many young drivers. It represents a new and often long-awaited sense of freedom and responsibility that having your own vehicle gives you. People remember their first cars for the rest of their life, some because of sentimental reasons and others because their first car is a bit of a banger. But it doesn’t matter if your first car is old or new – it’s yours and that’s all that matters. If you aren’t fortunate to have a car bought for you or you don’t have enough money in the bank straight away, what are some handy tips to help to save for your first car?
Create a dedicated savings account
First and foremost, you should open a dedicated savings account to give you a safe but accessible way to save your money. Online savings accounts are common these days and give you easy access to your pot so you can manage your money more effectively. Having a dedicated account will also help to keep you motivated by allowing you to keep track and watch your savings grow over time. If you’re going to be saving over several years, try to find an account that offers a respectable interest rate so you can benefit from a little extra return.
Set monthly goals
Setting savings goals is a good way to ensure that you reach your target amount as quick as possible. Goal setting is a strong motivator, and it can help to keep you focused on the task at hand rather than spending your money elsewhere. It could be £50, £100, or even more per month – just make sure it’s something that you can actually achieve.
Sacrifice some expenses
Delayed gratification is the ability to sacrifice short-term gain or pleasure for long-term rewards. It’s perhaps one of the most important traits you can have as a young adult and later in life. In this context, sacrificing some of your expenses in the short term will massively help you to afford your first car quicker and with less hassle. Every penny helps when you’re working towards a savings goal so assess where you can save on some of your usual spending.
Earn extra money where you can
Again, every little helps, so earning a little extra money will allow you to reach your savings goal faster. If you’re still in education try searching for some part-time work or see if you can start a side hustle if you’re already in full-time employment. There’s always the possibility of getting some help from family members if you ask nicely!
Remember associated costs
The cost of buying a car on its own is already a significant one in most cases, but you must remember the associated costs that you will need to pay on top. Things like insurance, road tax, MOTs and servicing are all essential and must be completed annually if not more regularly. If your savings goal is exactly the price of the car you are eyeing up, consider increasing your goal to give you some wiggle room for your initial extra costs and expenses.