Looking for sneaky ways to save for newer car

ericasjJuly 30, 2004

We need to start saving for a newer car, and I'm looking for relatively painless ways to funnel money towards that goal. I don't want to commit myself to a set monthly amount, because I'm not sure how much we can really spare.

What appeals to me more is earmarking specific savings toward a specific goal. I like the idea of knowing that when I've made an effort to save, the savings is really going towards something definite instead of being frittered away.

Here's what I'm doing so far:

Each week I empty my purse of all but $2 in change, and the rest goes into a coin bank. Once a month I run it all through the coin machine at the bank. I used to consider that "spree" money, but now it's going towards the car.

And any money I save with coupons goes towards the car.

It looks like this will add up to $70-$80 a month, but I'd like to save more. The only other idea I've had is, if I borrow a movie from the library instead of renting one at the video store, $1 goes for the car. But that won't help much.

Any other suggestions?

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*If you smoke, give it up and put the money in your fund. *Same goes for drinking soft drinks. Drink water. It's better for you anyway.
* Bring your lunch instead of eating out. Left overs are great. Even the frozen microwave meals are cheaper than eating out.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2004 at 5:06PM
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Suze Orman has probably the best suggestion ever for saving money like this: Anytime you pay for something, pay with bills and get change, and save all of your change. (So if the bill comes to $8.15 and you pay with a $10 bill, you would save 85 cents. You can still spend the paper money.)

A friend made a down payment on a house with this system. The money adds up amazingly fast because it's so simple: Never spend any change, but instead empty your pockets and purse of it every day and keep it in a jar. Once a month, roll your change and take it to the bank and deposit it into a special "car" account. Rolling the change and keeping track of how much you have can be fun for the whole family.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2004 at 11:36PM
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Just came across the article below--it pretty much sums up what I'm trying to do. She puts it much better than I did. ;)

Some additional ideas I've come up with so far are:
--Change found in DH's pockets when doing laundry
--Inter-library loaned a book my library doesn't own, instead of buying it. Price it would have cost went into savings.

Here is a link that might be useful: I can't save money

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 1:50PM
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If you don't boss your money - it'll boss you.

As I've said to some people trying to stop smoking ...

... I don't want to be a slave to a person ...

... let alone a little white paper tube filled with dead leaves.

Same goes for a small oblong piece of paper covered with coloured inks.

Who's in charge here - you? Or the dollars?

By the way, do I assume that the "SJ" stands for "Society of Jesus"?

Those people are pretty disciplined - at least in the line of thinking. I don't know about money.

But, last I heard, they didn't admit women into the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits used to be all men, at least.

Maybe they've got with the times more in recent years.

Good wishes with your plan to take greater control of the money that you earn.

By the way - I have some ideas that might help with your project.

But I've been accused of being less than laconic, around here.

I've spoken of it around here before, as well. It was my idea of a Christmas gift to all of you, last year.

So - send me a message if you'd like to hear how.

And good wishes to you and yours, as well.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 5, 2004 at 6:59PM
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I don't know if this will help you, but it's something I'm working on in my own home. I have a sheet of paper that we're writing down all of our dollar amounts on----to keep track of just what we spend.

We're terrible about this. And we use a check card for a lot of our payments and purchases. Very difficult to keep an accurate record. And I used to work in accounting!

I think once you (I) know how much we're spending on what----then we'll know how much we can save on precise items.

But, I do save money by doing these things: drinking tap water---make sure it's cold, though, switching to another long-distance phone company, staying at home more---every trip out costs money!!!, making do with older items for a while, decluttering the house---it's amazing how many new items I found that had never been opened, and eating fresh meats and veggies (and then freezing leftovers) instead of buying frozen pre-packaged items.

I think the bottom line is that we have X amount of dollars---it's what we do with that amount---whether it be a budget, or a simplified method of accounting for it-----creating a system is the key. Even a system for vacations, weekend getaways, and newer cars.

I'm working on it, not there yet. It's a challenge! Especially with a DH who loves to spend, spend, spend!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2004 at 12:05PM
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Anytime you go visit anyone, look under the sofa and chair cushions when they step out of the room to fetch you a drink. There is almost always some free cash available.

To the Treasury Department, there are three kinds of finances:

*The M1 is cash in circulation through individuals and the Federal Reserve.
*The M2 is money tied up in stocks, bonds, and other instruments.
*The M3 is cash under sofa cushions.

Concentrate on the M3, and you'll have a new car in no time.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2004 at 8:29PM
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Hi spewey,

You're sure about that??

Good wishes for a great season ahead, all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 7:10PM
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Stop buying bottled water. If you've been buying it in the little bottles, keep in mind that it costs more per gallon than gasoline.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 10:19AM
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OK, not everyone can do this, but...

I pay for ordinary doctor visits directly, and then submit the bills to my flexible-spending plan, or to the insurance company.

Then I stick the reimbursements into my savings accounts. It means that during the months when we go to the dr's, my budget is kinda tight. But it's not so bad when it's a co-pay of $15 (submitted to flex. spending). Of course, its worse when it's glasses.

The flexible-spending plan is the best savings device I have. I essentially pay for stuff twice, but the first time, it's taken out of my paycheck bit by bit (tax free!), and then I get that back when I file the receipts from paying for it twice.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2004 at 3:37PM
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My car buying approach may not work for you if you need a newer car very soon, but perhaps it will help others.

When my last car was paid off (small loan, 2 1/2 years) I just kept making the car payment--into a money market account. Since I kept my trusty Corolla for more than 10 years, I was able to write a check for my new car. So my solution is... never stop making car payments.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2004 at 10:00AM
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Mary md7,

If you can continue to deposit the car payment into that special account, and delay disposing of your current vehicle for an extended period, you can do even better.

You'll have enough for a substantial down payment, at least - maybe even enough to pay cash for the replacement car.

If you use some of the savings to buy some quality mutual funds or buy some individual stocks in high quality companies, you'll be happy the next time that you want to buy a car.

If you need to ask your financial agency for a loan, you'll be required to pay a lower rate of interest, as your loan may well be fully secured. If you have stocks valued at $10,000. they'll lend you $5,000., probably (at least, that's the system around here).

If your stock pays dividends, they'll help pay the interest on the loan. If you have some capital gain during the life of the loan, that will make you even happier.

As you must pay a fee to purchase stocks and again when you sell, it probably wouldn't be worthwhile to sell the stocks when you buy the replacement car, I think.

I like to buy a used car of good quality - then run it into the ground.

I paid about $2,700.00 for my little Dodge Colt, 1.5 litre engine, but rather perky, with a standard transmission, 7 years ago when it was 7 years old and had just under 90,000 miles on it.

Recently it turned over 300,000 km. (about 185,000 mi.).

I've had to do some repairs to it, including replacing head gasket a few months ago that cost almost half what I paid for it - but I feel that it has more than paid its way.

I am planning to make about an 8,000 mile trip soon. I will start out with it without a serious worry.

Good wishes for skill in making your dollars work harder, all.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   October 1, 2004 at 4:02PM
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I have direct deposit and every paycheck, I have $100 deposited directly into my savings. I never see the money, therefore I don't spend it. I check every now and then and am always surprised how it adds up.
We do the change thing too, and deposit it in a 5-gallon water jug. Talk about a piggy bank. About 2/3 the way full now. Wonder how much is in it...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2004 at 3:55PM
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Always pay with paper money, pocket the change. Every night, empty your pocket and add a dollar bill of your own. This comes to at least $200 a month for me.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 9:58AM
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I have direct deposit of my paycheck. I happen to get paid every two weeks. That means two paychecks per month, 12 times 2 is 24, and two "extra" paychecks every year. There are actually 26 paydays in a year for me. When there are three paydays in a month, I draw the money out and either hide it in a drawer or put it in a separate savings account. These two paychecks are my "Christmas Club". I always spend the money on Christmas gifts.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2004 at 10:04AM
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One way we save it to never spend a $1 bill.

In other words: If you go to the store and purchase $3.00 worth of something, pay with a $5 bill and put the other $2.00 dollars in savings. (You get to keep/spend the coins).

If you want a candy bar and all you have is a $5 dollar bill, you either choose not to spend the $$ or pay $1 for the candy and save the $4 dollars.

It really adds up - and makes you think about where you spend your money.


    Bookmark   November 26, 2004 at 3:27PM
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Hi you guys who are putting your spare change, plus adding a bit, or whatever, into a piggy bank, a big jug, a serving dish, bedside table or some other receptacle ...

... that's the same as putting it under the mattress.

Can't grow (each dollar, coin, etc., that is) by even a smidgeon.

If you put it into a savings account, it earns at least a little - even though it's even less after income tax.

But - when you put it into a bottle, jug, under the mattress, or wherever ...

... are you aware that part of the money that you put in evaporates, flies away, is stolen by the Grinch, or whatever?

In any case - as far as you're concerned, it disappears.

You tell me that I'm crazy - that you put in $2.00 once, $1.00 later, and $5.00 still later. That each dollar that you put in is still there (unless you have larcenous kids, visiting friends, whatever).

Yes - each dollar that you put in is still there.

But ...

... remember how much $10,000. would buy, 10 years ago?

Will $10,000. buy the same amount now?

As you know, it will not.

Inflation erodes the value of every dollar that we own as a dollar, every year.

If we own it as a house, its value may increase.

If as a table, its value will decrease, especially just after we buy it - though if we wait long enough and it becomes an antique, it may be worth quite a bit. Even then, will it be greater value (even if the dollar amount is higher) than when we bought it?

If we own it as a car - well, if you buy a new car, be sure to leave the window down with a few hundred dollars lying on the passenger seat to fly out the window, so to speak, as you drive home, for its value will have decreased by a couple of thousand, at least, during that drive.

There are two rats that eat our cheese - the income tax people want to talk to us about every dollar of our annual income, annually. And they want part of it.

If we invest in systems where the amount of the basic asset can't shrink, in almost every case, it can't grow, either.

So - we must take part of the annual earnings to add to the basic asset itself, so that after ten years that $10,000. won't have lost some of its purchasing power.

Hope you all have had a great week - and that the U.S.ers had a fine Thanksgiving.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   November 27, 2004 at 2:54PM
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That's true. Suze Orman and the others who recommend saving change in jars all say that the money needs to be taken to the bank, used to buy savings bonds, or whatever, at very regular intervals. Not only are you not getting any interest on money saved in cash in the home, but there's the very real risk of loss due to fire or theft. Most homeowners insurance policies won't reimburse for a large amount of cash.

There's another reason, too, to periodically deposit the money into some sort of savings account: Some friends used Suze Orman's method to save for a down payment on a house. Only trouble was, the $2,800 down payment was all in change in their apartment, and the mortgage company had to be able to see that they actually had the down payment money in their possession before granting the mortgage. Fortunately they were understanding and let them bring in the change so the loan officer could see it, then take it straight to the bank to put it into an account.

Maybe they had been planning to bring in the change on the day of closing to make the down payment. Not very convenient, but would have made a great human interest news story in the local paper.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2004 at 5:28PM
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