Finding the Right Car for Your Budget

When you purchase a car, it’s very common to dream of a certain model, but it’s not always as easy to find it. The good news is it doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely difficult either. If you follow some steps to make the process easier, you will have the vehicle of your dreams and some good car financing in no time.

Step #1: Decide What You Really Want

When the time comes to purchase a car, you first need to ask yourself what you really want. For instance, are you looking for a used replacement to another used vehicle that has broken down? Have you recently acquired a new job and need a new, reliable vehicle that can take you longer distances? Or are you looking to upgrade to a vehicle with plenty of bells and whistles? Deciding the specifics of what you want is very helpful when in the process of finding the car for you.

Step #2: Check Your Budget

After you’ve decided on the type of vehicle you’re most interested in, the next step in finding the car for you is looking at your budget. While you may have caviar dreams, you may only have a sardine budget, which is why it’s important to look at your finances realistically when making the decision to purchase a car. Be sure you are including expenses like taxes, auto loan interest and auto insurance when trying to decide on the actual value of the car.

Make Your Money Work for You

However, when you look at your budget, make sure to check websites that can tell you the monthly payment breakdown based on the total price you’re willing to spend. If you allow the dealer to create a monthly payment schedule on their own, you may end up paying thousands more than intended in interest and other fees.

Step #3: Shop Around and Negotiate

The final step in finding the car for you is to shop around online and in person at various dealerships, then negotiate prices while also taking advantage of incentives, discounts and rebates. Different dealerships will offer different deals, and may be willing to lower their prices more than others. The more you’re willing to put in some legwork, the better your chances are of getting the vehicle you truly want, so keep this in mind as you complete this step.

It’s tough to purchase a car if you don’t know how to go about it. But now that you do, you should have no problems finding a car that’s right for you and your budget.

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About the Author

Stacey Bumpus

Stacey Bumpus holds both her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Communications. After spending years in corporate communications, she discovered freelancing was really her cup of tea and fell in love with finding and writing about the latest financial news. Now, providing news and tips about banking, mortgages, taxes (and even logging her own efforts to save for retirement), she's not only fulfilling her lifelong passion, but also helping others manage their finances responsibly.

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