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How to Save Money For a Down Payment On a Car: 11 Easy Tips

How to Save Money For a Down Payment On a Car: 11 Easy Tips

A down payment is an essential part of every car loan. It helps improve your chances of being accepted, lowers the amount you have to borrow and shows lenders you’re serious about the loan. But what happens if you struggle to save for one?


That’s what our auto loan team is tackling today. They came up with some simple, painless ways to easily save for a down payment on your next car.

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1. Skip the Morning Coffee or Make Your Own

Whether you get a coffee with gas or from the drive-thru, skipping it or making your own could save big. If you average $1.79 per day for a medium original dark roast over a working year of 240 days, you’re looking at $430 per year just for the coffee.


And who ever went to Tim Hortons and just bought coffee?


Making your own at home and using a travel mug still gives you that caffeine hit and can still maintain the quality, helping you to easily save for a down payment with the money that you now have.


2. Use the 14-Day Rule

Talking of impulse buys, using the 14-day rule or a variation on a theme can also help prevent impulse purchases. If you see something you want, don’t get it right away. Wait two weeks and see how you feel then.


If you still want it, it’s more than an impulse. If you don’t, you have just saved yourself some money!


Use 14 days, use 28, or use something longer. Whatever you choose, as long as it’s more than a couple of weeks, it will be something you want and will appreciate once you get it.


3. Eat Out Less

We all love eating out, especially once we’re allowed out properly again. But now we’re in the habit of eating more at home, why not keep it up? You can keep things interesting by having theme nights, Indian one night, Chinese another, or by taking turns to cook something special on date night.


Spend a small portion of that saving on your nights in and you win on both counts!


4. Negotiate With Creditors

If you’re in debt, did you know you can negotiate with your creditors? If you’re having difficulty paying or are behind, you can contact them to negotiate more favourable terms. If you’re in hardship, you can often negotiate down the entire debt.


You can also negotiate credit card terms as long as you’re in good standing. If you regularly have outstanding balances on credit cards, this helps you easily save for a down payment over a year!


5. Save Your Loonies and Toonies

Using a coin jar is an old but still very effective way to save. If you still use cash, saving the coins can last over a year or be useful for paying for smaller items.


It won’t make you rich or add much to your down payment, but every little helps!


6. Use Price Comparison Websites

If you’re shopping around for a new phone or are looking for big-ticket purchases, try review and comparison websites. They can be useful in quickly identifying a good deal from a bad one and could save you money.


Remember though, price comparison websites will rarely show you the whole market. They will mainly show you deals from vendors they have arrangements with. There are some ‘whole market’ comparison websites around, so use those whenever you can.


7. Turn the Heat Down When You're Not Home

Turning the thermostat down at home while you’re at work is a great way to save money. You’re paying to heat an empty house so turn it down to minimum and then turn it up when you get home.


If you have a smart thermostat or timer, use that to reheat the home an hour before your usual arrival time so you’re not coming home to a cold house.


8. Work Out at Home

How many of you pay for a gym every month but rarely go? We have been guilty of that in the past but you can save a lot just by working out at home. All but the most athletic people can work out effectively at home using bodyweight exercises, running, walking the dog, and other methods.


If you need more, simple household items can make good weights. Food cans, paint tins, and cartons of engine oil can all provide quite the workout when done right!


9. Streaming Instead of Cable

Cable is expensive and while you’ll still need internet, do you need all those TV channels? Streaming is often much cheaper than cable TV and offers almost as much content. Access free cable channels for news and stream everything else through Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Apple TV or whatever service you like.


These services do cost money, around $8-10 per month but they are much cheaper than cable!


10. Snack Before You Shop

Going grocery shopping while hungry is an exercise in impulse buying so don’t. Have a protein bar or snack before you leave and you will find yourself not being so tempted when you work your way through the store.


Combine this with shopping lists and you should get everything you need while minimizing spending on things you don’t!


11. Never Memorize Your Credit Card Number

Having your credit card number on tap without even needing your card can be dangerous. Online shopping is too convenient sometimes and knowing your credit card details feeds into that.


Don’t memorize it and don’t let your browser remember it for you. This will place a hard stop and an extra step in any purchase which could be enough to avoid an impulse buy.


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