The pandemic made a huge impact on our daily lives and we are all forced to embrace the “new normal” lifestyle to keep ourselves safe from the threats of COVID-19. Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccines and the constant efforts of our government, we are slowly moving back to normal. This means that employees can finally resume their work back in an actual office instead of embracing the work-from-home environment. It also means that people can now go to live concerts, and crowded events, and be engaged in social gatherings and activities that were not allowed during the peak of the pandemic. However, we have to be mindful that just because we see a huge drop in the number of COVID cases doesn’t mean that the virus has completely vanished. A surge is still a possibility and we still need to comply with all the health protocols as much as we can.
As a daily commuter, one thing I realized during this pandemic is the advantage of having your own car. As a proudly proclaim frugal guy, I always try to find the best and the most practical solution in everything. Apparently, commuting via public transportation saves me a huge chunk of money, especially for my daily expenses. However, when the pandemic started and when they began to implement lockdowns, commuting has become a challenge. Sadly, public transportation has become a hotspot for viral transmission which made me hesitant to travel. I was lucky enough that I was able to cope well with the work-from-home arrangement, allowing me to work and be compensated without physically reporting to our office. However, now that everything is falling back into place, I need to face this dilemma or better yet find a solution to overcome this newfound fear of traveling.
This is where I realized how beneficial it is to own a car. At this moment, owning a car is no longer a luxury but a necessity for everyone. It doesn’t just eliminate all the worries of going to public places and lessen the potential viral transmission but it also made everything a lot easier. While I do love the idea of car ownership, I still need to consider my finances. There are many factors to consider like what car matches my needs and my budget. Am I earning enough to shoulder the expenses? Should I consider applying for an auto loan and am I eligible to get one? What kind of vehicle should I buy? Is it more practical to buy a used car or is it better to purchase a brand new one?
Calculate Your Finances
Your finances and your savings will dictate everything. It tells what kind of car you can purchase or what payment method you can use when buying. Whether you are paying it in full or via monthly installment, it is important to calculate your finances to avoid any mishaps in the future. Ideally, your monthly salary should be enough to cover all your monthly and regular expenses. You also need to make sure that you lend some of it to your savings. It is important to have a ledger or any tool that allows you to monitor your expenditures. This allows you to gain insight into your spending, set and adjust financial goals, and make plans for the future.
If you decided to purchase a car and agreed to pay it via monthly or bi-weekly installments either via a direct car dealer or via an auto loan, you should know how to manage your finances and how much interest you need to pay for the vehicle. This could be a tedious process and sometimes, you need an accountant to manage everything on your behalf. Interestingly, I also came across an online car payment calculator that allows you to calculate your car payments, manage your personal finances, and even calculate all the possible operating costs when you already have the car (these include the estimated miles per gallon cost, car parts expenses, and more). This user-friendly website offers a great number of easy-to-use online calculators that can provide you with the results in an instant. Simply input the details and let the site compute the results.
Get A Car Loan
Cars are undeniably expensive and the fastest way to own one is through the help of lending companies or with your bank. Banks and Lending companies offer Auto Loans or Car Loans to assist you with the payment. You need to apply for a car loan but the eligibility and the chances of approval still depend on the bank. Not everyone including me is financially blessed to pay for the car at full price. This also includes the amount of money you have to pay to buy insurance and registration. There is definitely a lot to shoulder which makes Car loans an ideal option for many. The only catch here is that you will have to pay them back with interest over the agreed loan term, so you will need to do your research to ensure you know what is a good interest rate for a car, and that you are comfortably able to manage the monthly repayments. Failing to do so may result in repossession of the vehicle.
When you decide to apply for an auto loan, make sure that you have a good credit score. Having a good credit score will help expedite the assessment and will approve your application relatively faster. You can also take advantage of those online car payment calculators to determine the possible monthly payment for the vehicle along with the interest rate. They even offer a printable amortization schedule to help you handle your finances more effectively and make sure that you never miss a deadline.
The Right Car to Match Your Needs
Another important factor to consider when buying a vehicle is the type of vehicle to own. Of course, this will depend on your budget and your needs. There is a great number of cars to choose from and they will vary depending on the name of the manufacturer, the size and capacity, the performance and speed, and more. You also have the option to choose between a daily driving car, a family van, a sports vehicle, or even a hybrid one. There are also separate kinds of auto loans that are applicable for different types of vehicles including Truck loans, RV loans, Bike Loans, and even Boat Loans.
As much as practicality is concerned, it is better to pick a car that matches your needs. If you think that you have enough savings and income to purchase a luxury vehicle, then be it! However, if you think the budget is quite tight, you might need a proper evaluation of your finances and use those online calculators to help you decide which car suits you well.
Buying a used car is also an ideal option to consider but you have to make sure that you are dealing with a reliable auto shop to avoid being scammed. It is important that you are very knowledgeable about the car or better yet consult someone to help you inspect the vehicle’s condition. You should also know their respective depreciation value to determine if the company is selling the car at the right price.
How about you? Do you also consider buying a car or do you still find public transportation more practical amidst the ongoing pandemic?