Monday, November 27, 2017

the thing about buying a car...

the first car we bought together as a married couple

this is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.

i haven't had a car payment since 2008, and my husband paid off his car before we got married... so we haven't had a car payment the (almost) five years we've been married. i've gotta say, it's really nice not to have that extra payment each month, and we don't ever want to go back to having a car payment if we can help it.

since i've been in grad school this past year and a half, we've been living on just my husband's income while also paying for grad school. it has made things tight, but after paying so much money in loans for undergrad we did not want student loan debt this time around. it has been making me think about how glad i am that we made good financial decisions in the past, so that we don't have these extra payments now. 

we've bought three cars since we've been married, and we've been able to pay for them in full which has been so great. only one of those cars did we want to buy, the other two were for necessity. we bought the car i have now because my VW bug that i had since before college died on us. the car my husband has now, we had to buy because he totaled the first car we bought together. i'm glad that even though two of our purchases weren't planned, that we were able to pay for them in full. of course, the insurance check helped a lot with that third one.

three things we keep in mind when buying a car

o1; buy used. when you buy a new car, you lose so much value the second you drive it off the lot. if you are going to try to sell it or trade-in within a few years, it never pays to buy new. there are exceptions, if you can find a really good deal on a new car (and you will drive it for 15 years)... but those are few and far between. we have found some really great used cars with low mileage. you just have to really look at multiple places, and even check out car ads for people that are selling their own cars. the first car we bought as a couple, we bought from a woman who was selling her car. it was nice not to have to deal with a salesman, and know exactly what we were getting.

o2; do your research. know about the car you are looking to buy and what the market price should be. that way, when you are talking to a car salesman, he will know you have done your research and you are more likely to know if he is stretching the truth a bit. a great place to do research is, where you can read about different cars and also see reviews that customers have made of cars they've purchased. you can put in everything you want in a car, and it will show you the market price for that car with all of those specifics. it is a good thing to know if you are going to try to negotiate! you can even put in specifics about your car and it will tell you what you should expect to get from a dealer or if you sell it yourself.

o3; have a price and be prepared to walk. when we bought my car, we set a price we were willing to pay (based on money we had saved up) and we were prepared to walk if the salesman couldn't match our price. knowing what we were willing to spend, helped us when we were looking at cars also. if the car we liked was way over our price, we didn't even entertain the idea. we set our price a little lower when we told the salesman, so if he wanted to go up some we had wiggle room in our budget. this only works if you are willing to walk if they won't negotiate for the price you have set. we basically said "we have this amount in cash that we can pay" and had the cash ready to hand over. i think we stood up and were about to walk out when they agreed to the price. but salesmen know if you are bluffing, so you have to be ready to actually leave. sometimes, you may actually leave and drive off... and they will call you to say they can do your price. it is all about knowing what you are willing to pay and not going over that amount. sometimes a salesman may not go for it and you will leave without getting a call. that's okay... just find another car place to negotiate at and get the price you want. 

what is your philosophy on buying cars?

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