Here’s how to save while managing the three most important things in your life—home, education and car.
In India, people judge your financial status based on three main things—the house you live in, the car you drive and your educational qualification. We Indians love discussing all these things about our neighbours and relatives, don’t we? No matter how much you act like your neighbour’s Merc doesn’t bother you, somewhere you know that you get a bad heartburn when they take their ultimate four wheeler out for a drive.
Then without even realising it, we enrol ourselves in the race to get the best car in the market, the race to own the costliest mansion in the city and what not! Competing with others (especially those annoying neighbours and relatives) sounds easy. But when you actually realise the complications and difficulties involved in the process, this simple-looking 100m race suddenly turns into the most difficult hurdle race of your life.
Well, we agree that getting the three most important factors of your financial security (car, home and education) on track isn’t the easiest thing to do. It involves a lot of careful planning, some great decision making and knowing the art of juggling things. But, hey! It’s not that difficult too. All you need to do is get a knack for managing your finances well enough to balance these three pillars of your financial stability. Got it? No? At least you got an idea about why these three are the pillars of your financial stability? That’s okay for now. By the time you finish reading this, you’ll be a pro at balancing your financial life and the most important aspects of it.
Additional Reading: Learning To Live Within Your Means
Since we know your favourite biggie is your dream car. Let’s start with ways to save big for your dream wheels. Vroom vroom! All set? Here we go!
Saving big on the car of your dreams
First things first, let’s start by talking about the car you want to buy. Since all of us are completely different from each other, our preferences tend to vary (a great deal) when it comes to choosing the car of our dreams. Like every other ‘first’, the first car is quite special too. If you’re planning to buy your first (or even the second), here are a couple of things you must keep in mind to save better:
SUV, hatchback or sedan?
Before choosing the make and model of your car, you need to think about your needs and preferences. While some of us might prefer going for a hatchback, some might want to go for the classy sedan. And then there’ll be a bunch of people who’ll only look at SUVs as an option. These are the ones who love going on numerous road trips (especially on hilly terrains). This is where you need to think carefully. You need to find your ‘type’ before looking at other factors that can possibly influence your decision. How to do that? Well, apart from your liking, there are a couple of other important factors you need to think about. The city you live in is one of those factors. How? The terrain and traffic conditions, silly! Who’ll think about all that? Basically, the choice of your car depends largely on your lifestyle. The key lies in identifying your needs well. Choose the one that’s ‘just right’ for you. Nothing too big or swanky. Money doesn’t grow on trees (at least not that we know of). Let’s keep that in mind, shall we?
Yellow, orange or blue?
Aah! This is the toughest of all questions. Don’t you agree? After finalising all technical aspects of your car, the first thing you start thinking of is the colour. We know what you’re thinking. “I’ll obviously buy my dream car in my favourite colour. What’s there to think about?” Actually, there are many things that depend on the colour of your vehicle. Firstly, the price of the car generally varies according to the colour you choose. Secondly, buying a bright yellow might sound like a very appealing and ‘colourful’ option. But, think again! It might be a big problem if you think of selling your car. You might not get a good resale value, and that’s obviously not a good thing. You never knew choosing the colour of your car could be so complicated, did you? Well, now that you do, try sticking to the basic colours as far as possible.
Some more accessories, please?
Another crucial thing that can help you save a lot on your car purchase is—bargaining right. Yes, those negotiation skills! Now’s the time to use them. You’re already spending a lot on that car of your dreams. Why spend more on those accessories when you can just get them for free (or at a discount, maybe)? All you need to do is ask. Try negotiating with the car dealer and ensure that they throw in some free accessories with that car purchase. That’s better than spending a bomb on that swanky woofer system later. Although everything might not come for free, you sure can try getting a good deal at least.
Is it the right time?
When it comes to buying a car, timing plays a key role. No! We’re not saying that you need to consult an astrologer and find out the most auspicious day to buy that car (that too if you want to). But you also need to hunt for the right offers even if that means waiting for a while before you take your swanky new car out for a drive. It’s time to get your research right. To get the best deals, try buying your new car around year end or month end. How does that help? As most car dealers will be looking at hitting their monthly/yearly targets, they’ll be more than willing to strike a good deal. At the end of the year, especially, they’ll be looking at clearing the old stock to make way for the new lot. That’s when you must jump and take up the offer. Believe it or not, but weather conditions have a significant role to play in helping you get the best deal on your car. How? If weather conditions are too harsh, people generally don’t step out to buy cars. As a result, the overall car sales drop. This makes the car dealers quite desperate for buyers. That’s when you need to step your game up and ensure that you take advantage of this situation. Likewise, you can also expect to get some great offers around festive times. Plan your purchase around Christmas, Diwali, or any grand festival when you can get some awesome offers. Time it right, friend! The golden rule to striking a great deal.
Increased EMIs? Yes, please!
Why increase those loan payments to burden your monthly budget? Doesn’t sound like the right thing to do? But if you look at it the other way, things will surely look different. How? Did you ever think about all the extra interest you’ll get to save? No, right? That’s why it makes sense increasing those EMIs and paying that loan off as soon as possible.
Used car? Why not?
Buying a new car when you’re already in debt or have other priorities lined up is not the wisest decision. And who says a used car is a bad option? Maybe it’s time you need to think more practically than getting swayed away by the desire to buy a brand new vehicle. Instead of competing with your neighbour (yet again), it’s better to settle for something that more practical and feasible economically. And with the demand for used cars rising by the day, you won’t be disappointed by the number of options you’ll get to choose from. You just need to narrow your options down and choose the best one. Leave the rest up to the car dealer. The biggest advantage of a used car is that you get to drive the car of your dreams at a price you saw in your dreams (cheap as dirt, yo). Just carry out the necessary set of checks and ensure that the car is in a good condition.
Additional Reading: What To Do After Buying A Used Car
So the car all set? Let’s move to the house now. The second most important investment of your life; it has to be a wise one. To make that happen (and save more, of course), here’s what you need to do:
Saving big on the house of your dreams
Before buying a new property, you need to take a couple of things into consideration. After all, it’s a big investment and you won’t want things going in the wrong direction, right? Let’s warn you. Buying a house is no child’s play. Since it’s a cost-heavy investment, we hope you’ve saved enough for it. The thought of buying your first house is quite overwhelming. But to keep a good part of your savings intact, you can rely on our tricks. Here they are:
Think about your spending power
The first thing you need to think about before planning to invest in a house is your financial stability. Since this is a lifelong investment, you can’t afford to make the wrong move (literally). Hence, it becomes important to check your spending power before deciding to buy that luxurious, humongous mansion in that posh locality. If you’ve saved enough that taking a Home Loan for the house of your dreams won’t bother you much, go ahead. Making a huge down payment always makes more sense than taking a huge loan. Also, since you’re the best judge of your financial situation, maybe you shouldn’t even look at houses you can’t afford. Better to curb that temptation before it even starts to hit, right? Oh! And let’s not forget another important factor that you need to consider—the debt-to-income ratio. It’s your actual ability to repay debts after taking into consideration your income and other loans.
Study the market curves
Before taking the plunge, it’s better to test the waters first. The same logic applies to real estate. You can’t just randomly decide one day that you need to buy a house. You need to plan it well, and also get your research right. If you’re looking to buy property in a particular area, you must know the property rates in and around the area. Maybe you’ll get a better deal in a nearby locality. You won’t know unless you give it a try. Also, it’s always better to consult a couple of real estate agents before actually signing the property papers. The most important factor you need to keep in mind is—the location of your house. You want to get a good resale value later, don’t you? So it’s better you look for projects that are in the vicinity of all the necessary facilities like schools, hospitals, shopping malls etc. This won’t only save you a lot of time, energy and fuel, it’ll help you strike a great deal later (if you plan on selling your property). Now you know why scanning the market is crucial to getting the best deal, don’t you? We agree that it can be a little time-consuming. But since you’re getting to reap some great benefits out of it, why not invest some time and energy in it? Sounds like quite a fair deal, doesn’t it?
Furniture shopping? Think twice.
We know that the most exciting part of buying a house is trying to turn it into a home. The most important part of that process is—buying the right furniture. Excited about that? We knew it! Well, it’s good to be excited and what we’re going to advice might not sound like music to your ears. But, let’s just hold that furniture shopping for a bit. Why? When you move into a new house, you’re more likely to spend unnecessarily on trying to make the place look prettier. That’s exactly what we don’t want you to do. Before going on that buying spree, it’s better to take some time and wait. As you spend more time in the new house, you get a better idea of what you want and what you don’t. It, therefore, helps you plan better (your house and your monthly budget as well).
Additional Reading: Costs Involved In A Home Loan
All clear about that house matter? Great! Since you know how to save big on that house purchase, let’s move on to the third most important biggie—education. Thanks to the ever-rising inflation rates, the cost of education is going up by the day. Be it primary education or a post graduate degree, it’s all equally expensive! Don’t worry. There are a couple of ways to help you save on education. Want to know more about them? Here we go:
Choose the right Education Loan
Given the price of getting a good degree from a reputed college, you might end up taking an Education Loan. Choosing the right loan might be a bit tricky. Remember to carefully compare the interest rates before finalising a loan. Sometimes, taking an Education Loan could also mean working some part-time jobs to repay it. The best way to deal with it is being prepared for everything. Just like you love trying out all the available ice cream flavours before taking a pick, remember to compare well before choosing an Education Loan.
Looking for the right Education Loan? We can help.
The best way to reduce the financial burden of your education is by looking for possible scholarships and working hard to get them. It might mean a couple of sleepless nights, but you’ll get a huge concession on tuition fees and that’s all you want, right? Why pay more when you can avail the magic of scholarships?
Get a part-time job
The best way to pay off your Education Loan quicker is by getting a part-time job. It’ll not only help you clear that loan burden quickly, you’ll also get to learn a lot. The best part of getting a part-time job is that you can work according to your convenience and you have tonnes of available options to choose from. Just visit one of these job websites and choose from a wide range of available freelancing options. The good part is that they have tonnes of job opportunities according to your job profile. All you need to do is look.
Balancing the three biggies of your life might not be as easy as it sounds. But since they form the backbone of your financial security, you got to give it your best shot. After all, staying in the pink of your financial health is crucial, isn’t it? It ensures great 20s, 30s and even a perfect retired life. What else can you possibly ask for!
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