Car buying is an exciting process and it's our goal to keep it that way. However, saving up to buy a car isn't always as much fun. There are a number of factors to consider when shopping for a new car and it can be tricky to know where to start. We've compiled a few easy tips to help you start saving for your new ride.

1. Make a Plan
Be realistic as you begin to think about your goals. What's your budget? When would you like to purchase the vehicle? What type of car would you like to buy? These are all important considerations in the car buying process. Once you have answers to these questions, you can begin to create a timeline for your saving goals. Remember, while it’s okay to tweak your ideas, you will likely find most success once you develop a plan and stick to it.

2. Pay Yourself First
It's an adage that's much easier said than done. For every paycheck, set aside a designated amount for your new car. Depending on your income and timeline for savings, this number will vary. However, keep in mind that it will take more than 4 years of setting aside $50 every week to save $10,000 (with no interest accrued). Whatever your savings goals might be, resist the urge to spend your entire paycheck. You will thank yourself later.

3. Monitor Your Spending
Have you ever analyzed your purchasing habits? If you're like most Americans, you probably haven't. Make time to review your most recent transactions. Do you notice any trends? Are you spending more than you had anticipated in areas like shopping and eating out? is a free app that allows you to organize and categorize your spending. You'll be able to see where every penny of your hard earned cash is spent (or saved!)

4. Maintain Responsible Credit
You might pretend your credit cards are bottomless black holes, but we all know those bad boys carry weight in the eyes of financing companies. Thus, it's important to maintain responsible credit before you buy your car. Prior to purchasing, you should already be in the habit of paying your other bills on time. Not only will this help you develop personal accountability, but it will also demonstrate fiscal responsibility to the company financing the vehicle.

5. Decide Whether to Pay Cash or Finance
Paying cash eliminates your interest costs and finance fees, which could translate to thousands of dollars in the long run. On the other hand, financing a vehicle is a wise option for those seeking to build their credit or need to free up cash for other bills. So, why save up for a car when so many places offer 0 down payment or other incentives? The answer is simple: it never hurts to save.  Plus, you're going to have other expenses associated with the car. Car insurance, gas, maintenance, car accidents, etc. add up quickly and you will want to calculate these costs into your plan for saving.

6. Purchase Wisely
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans spend more than 500 million 'commuter hours' per week in their automobiles. That's 540 hours, per year, per American. That's a lot of time bonding with your new whip! Before signing on the dotted line at the dealership, ask yourself a few questions: Are you getting the most bang for your buck? What’s the car's average MPG? What are the safety ratings for this vehicle? (We can't help ourselves but love Subarus, so without shame: Subaru has the MOST IIHS top safety Picsk for 2014!) Can you picture yourself driving this car for ten years or longer? (One more shameless Subaru plug: 95% of the Subaru vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road!) Again, answers to these simple questions will make all the difference in the long run.

Still unsure how much you should set aside for your new car? published a few tips to help readers learn how much they can afford. Saving for a new car might sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Creating a plan, drafting a budget and developing realistic saving goals will help make the car buying experience a pleasurable one.

Did You Know? Anderson Subaru has a dedicated team of professionals committed to helping you find the right car. Regardless of your budget or credit score, Anderson Subaru offers options to meet your needs. Contact us today to learn more!

About Anderson Subaru
Located in Pensacola, Florida, Anderson Subaru is one of the top Subaru dealers in the South. Anderson Subaru has a skilled, knowledgeable and engaged staff with decades of experience in customer satisfaction. The Anderson approach to sales is far more relaxed than the average dealership and their goal in matching shoppers to the perfect vehicle is centered on the concept of "buying a car should be fun!" Anderson Subaru's Parts and Service department is well-known and affectionately referred to as "the best Subaru Service around." Learn more about Anderson Subaru by coming in for a test drive or join us in our online community.

Post from guest blogger: Kimberly Devitt

Categories: Finance