Budgeting for a New Family Vehicle on a Single Income

Paying for everyday needs as a single parent can be a challenge in itself. This is especially true when you need to make a major purchase, since you are only working with one income. One major purchase that almost everyone needs to make at some point is that of a new vehicle. If you recently started to consider the purchase of a new or new-to-you vehicle, you might be feeling overwhelmed at the idea. Thankfully, there are strategies that you can use to make finding and buying a family vehicle on a single income much more manageable.

Buy a used vehicle rather than a new vehicle

While it can be exciting to own a brand new vehicle, it doesn’t often make much financial sense. According to Car and Driver magazine, it is estimated that some vehicles “can lose 40 percent or more of their value in the first year.” Choosing a gently used vehicle over a brand new vehicle will always save you thousands of dollars. And while some people worry about the quality of used vehicles, reputable dealerships thoroughly inspect each used car, truck, and SUV that they acquire to ensure they are providing customers with reliable vehicles.

Do your research

After determining your budget, it’s important to research vehicles that work for your life and your price range. Having a solid understanding of the current value of the vehicles that you are considering will help you know what is and isn’t a good deal. Start by looking up second car values of the vehicles you are interested in. Next, compare those numbers to the prices at local dealerships. Also, make plans to speak with the sales teams at the most promising dealerships to discuss further promotions and discounts. Doing a little bit of research can easily lead to thousands of dollars in savings.

Use creative ways to save money

Saving money is a challenge for many single parents. Covering all of the expenses of your family can leave little remaining cash. Rather than saving random amounts of money when possible, find a creative way to consistently save up for your vehicle purchase. For example, you can round all of your purchases up to the next dollar and save the change in a separate account. Or, if you use cash frequently, you can make it a point to save every $5 bill you receive. Whichever method you choose, be sure that you select something that will work best for you and your family, while actively helping you meet your goal.

Although buying a vehicle on a single income can be difficult, there are ways to make the process much more smooth. Buying a used vehicle instead of a new vehicle, researching vehicle prices and special promotions, and getting creative with how you save money are all wonderful strategies to help you save thousands of dollars for your next vehicle purchase.