Did you know that roughly 43% of the entire adult American population has a car loan? That’s about 107 million people. What’s even more shocking is that 6 million of those people are 90 or more days late on their car payments.
They’re essentially taking out loans for an item they can’t afford, but still can’t afford to make payments on their loans. This creates a cycle of debt, stress, and bondage.
I have had my same car for over 15 years. I bought it used and have kept it in pristine condition with routine maintenance and it has never once caused an issue. It’s also retained its value and I plan to drive it as long as I can.
If you’re looking to buy a car, check out this article. And if you’re looking to keep your car in tip-top shape for years to come, I have some advice for you.
1. Think of a blender.
Whether or not we like it, a car depreciates the second you drive it off the lot, and should be considered on par with buying an appliance. It would seem silly to finance the fanciest, fastest blender on the shelf…because it’s just a blender. When you’re car shopping, keep the same mentality.
2. Go with reliable, not flashy.
An inexpensive, possibly out of style, used car that gets you where you need to go will probably be the wisest option. If you save money by purchasing a reliable eye-sore, instead of a sports car, you can later upgrade to a better car when you have the cash on hand.
3. Look past the price tag.
Many Americans accumulate debt because they buy cars based on the monthly payment instead of the overall price. Avoid extra interest charges by not financing, and consider the costs of maintenance, repairs, etc. A great deal on a Land Rover may be met by astronomical repair costs down the road (literally). Do your research before purchasing any car.
This helps for a variety of reasons, but keeping your tank half full will preserve the quality of your tank and engine for years to come. And will keep you from ever being stranded!
An estimated $2.1 billion is wasted every year on filling up with the wrong kind of gas. Only certain engines are designed for premium gas, so check your manual and save at the pump.
6. Keep up with routine maintenance.
Small costs every year will save you thousands in the long run, and help your car last longer. All the cars in my family are subject to routine maintenance and have held their value and functionality extremely well.
Some of these things may seem small, but they’re all part of faithful stewardship. Being diligent to keep all we have in good condition reflects our gratitude. And if you are struggling with credit card debt, get in touch with Christian Credit Counselors. They can help you put together a plan to pay off your credit cards the right way!