There are many amazing moments to look forward to as you grow up, and one of the most highly anticipated is the day that you get your first car.
This is a chance to claim your freedom and have fun seeing new sights and meeting new people. However, after the initial excitement has worn off, you may be surprised to see the sudden bills that you were not expecting, including the cost to maintain your vehicle, and most importantly, the rising car insurance costs.
That is why it is important to have a plan of action for how you plan to pay for the miscellaneous expenses that come along with car ownership and how you will keep up with your monthly insurance payment without feeling overly stressed or anxious. Before you sign the dotted line, we’ll tell you about what to expect and tips for how to pay your bills now and in the future.
Understanding the Costs
Before you decide to buy a car, it is a good idea to understand what vehicle ownership really entails. Before considering the financial aspect, think about the pros and cons of getting your driver’s license now compared to after you turn 18.
As a teen, you’ll have more freedom, and you can drive to a job to make more money. However, if you wait until you are an adult, then you could see lower insurance costs, and there may be better safety features in the cars of the future. Basically, if you have places you need to get to and taking public transportation is too complicated, then consider a car. If you have plenty of other options, then it is a good idea to wait.
As far as insurance is concerned, while there are ways to find an affordable rate, it is likely inevitable that you will pay more than your adult counterparts strictly because of your age. This price discrepancy is due to two factors. One of them is that the insurance company knows that you have less experience behind the wheel, and the other is that young people statistically get in more accidents than older drivers. As such, the company is assuming that they may have to pay out on a claim at some point and they charge you more now.
All in all, you could expect to pay up to twice what your parents pay. It is important to remember that insurance is just one part of the equation. If you have a car loan, then you will have to pay that every month as well, and if your car ever breaks down, that could be an extra cost too. It is in your best interest to be smart about saving what you have so you can pay these bills without feeling overwhelmed.
Find Ways To Save Money
When it comes to car insurance costs, you won’t likely be able to cut your bills in half, but there are ways that you can try to find a lower rate. One option is to manipulate your policy so you take more of the risk, which is typically done by raising your deductible so you would have to pay more if you were ever in a crash. The insurance company may cut you a break because they know they would have to pay out less. If you are a smart driver who is careful about getting from point A to point B, then this might be a good starting point.
Of course, keeping your insurance bill down is all about safe driving. Here are some new driver tips that can help:
Another idea is to talk to the insurance company about potential discounts that could bring down your bill a few bucks every month. Many companies will offer a good driver or student discount if you avoid an incident for a predetermined amount of time. You may also get a break on the cost if you only drive when necessary and avoid excessive mileage because the insurance company will see the reduced risk with you not being on the road as often. A final option is simply to shop around at different carriers until you find the best rate.
If you really want to have enough money available when the insurance bill comes around, then you should avoid the other potential costs associated with vehicle ownership. For instance, if you keep your car in good shape and get it checked out by a mechanic every few months, then you will reduce the chance of needing expensive repairs. Fuel costs can also have a big impact on your wallet, so you should avoid stop-and-go traffic, fight the urge to travel at excessive speeds, and keep your tires properly inflated. If you do all this, then you’ll have fewer bills to pay and your insurance payment won’t be so panic-inducing.
How To Make More Money
Unless your parents are footing the bill, the chances are good that car ownership will require that you have a job. Even if your parents are paying, contributing to the costs will give you great life experience that will prepare you for future financial responsibilities. If you are looking for a job, don’t panic, as opportunities are all around you.
At the very least, you can fall back on many of the common summer jobs that are always in demand, including working as a dog walker, babysitting the neighbor kids, or becoming a camp counselor. If you are good at school, then you might also consider starting a tutoring business where you help your fellow students. You likely won’t get rich in these positions, but you will make enough on the side to cover your insurance costs.
When you do start bringing in money, it is wise to create a budget, so you know where you stand every month. Look at your income and then compare that with all outgoing expenses, such as the money that you owe for your car, insurance, and maintenance costs. If you are cutting it close during a particular month, then you may have to make a sacrifice, like not going to the movies one night or resisting the urge to buy new clothes until you are in a better financial position.
As you can see, there is a lot more that goes into car ownership than just getting behind the wheel. Consider this advice about insurance and vehicle costs, and you can pay your bills without that added anxiety.