I Saved for a Car With One Tiny Change to My Finances: Here’s How

I think we can both agree that this is the car for us.
PeopleImages / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Saving up to buy a car can be a daunting financial goal, especially when you’re balancing other expenses. But with some creativity and discipline, even major purchases can be attainable. Artem Minaev, senior investment advisor and co-founder at CryptoDose, managed to successfully save for his dream car through an innovative daily challenge system.

“When I first set my sights on owning my dream car, I knew I had a long road ahead of me,” said Minaev. “The price tag seemed daunting, and I wasn’t sure how to save up for a down payment.”

Fortunately, Minaev was able to reach his goal using one simple trick. Here’s how he accomplished this ambitious savings target and advice for others striving for similar big-ticket goals.

The Car Jar Challenge

Minaev told GOBankingRates that he decided to implement what he called a “Car Jar” system to save for a new vehicle. But this was no ordinary spare change jar.

“I got myself a transparent, decorative jar that I designated as my Car Jar,” Minaev said. “It had a picture of my dream car taped to it to remind me of my goal.”

But instead of only putting leftover coins into the jar, Minaev created daily mini-challenges for himself. Each time he completed one, he would put money in the jar that matched the challenge.

“For instance, I would challenge myself to take a shorter shower, cook a homemade meal instead of ordering in or walk instead of using public transportation,” Minaev explained. “Every time I completed one of these daily challenges, I would assign a specific dollar amount to it. The amount wasn’t always fixed and depended on the task’s difficulty. Easier tasks might be worth $50, while more challenging ones could be worth $100 or even $200.”

Make Your Money Work for You

The more consistent Minaev was with the small daily challenges, the faster his Car Jar savings grew. Within months, he had funded a large down payment for the vehicle.

Through gamifying the process, Minaev made saving more fun, and he was able to reach his goal quickly.

Tips To Reach Your Savings Goals Faster

Minaev’s Car Jar success shows that with dedication and a systematic approach, big purchases can be attainable even on a moderate income. Here are some proven tips to accelerate your savings.

  • Automate savings: Set up automatic bank transfers from each paycheck to go into savings first before spending money. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Downsize housing: Reduce housing costs by getting a roommate, renting a smaller space or negotiating lower rent. Savings add up quickly.
  • Pause retirement contributions: Temporarily reducing 401(k) contributions frees up cash to direct towards your savings goal.
  • Negotiate lower bills: Call service providers like internet, phone and cable companies to request lower rates. Trimmed bills equal more savings.
  • Limit dining out: Avoid restaurants and prepare more economical meals at home. The savings from not dining out create fast progress.
  • Pick up side gigs: Use spare time for side jobs like ridesharing, tutoring, freelancing or dog walking to earn extra income.
  • Sell unused items: Closet purges, garage sales and online listings generate cash quickly from your unused stuff.
  • Avoid impulse purchases: Curb spending on nonessential items like expensive coffee, movies or shopping trips.

Staying focused on the end goal — like Minaev did with his dream car picture — can make lifestyle sacrifices easier. With discipline and a systematic approach, you, too, can turn small daily changes into huge long-term savings wins.

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