Cars and Serpents: The Smart Way to Buy a Car
- Monday, March 15, 2004
How To Never Have Another Car Loan
There's a way to never have another car payment-EVER! (And, no, I'm not talking about taking the bus!) This little idea that I ran across has reduced financial pain for a lot of people. Here's how it works:
Step 1) Forget your ego. Believe me, this is the toughest part of all. Egos are expensive to maintain. It's especially hard for a person to forget their ego when it comes to the car he or she drives. For Americans, cars are an extension of our personalities. We show the world who we are by the cars we drive. Even Christians fall into this trap. But if you ever want to pay cash for a car the first thing you must agree to is never drive a car you can't afford to buy with cash. Curiously, by making this determination, many people have gradually stepped up to some of the nicest cars on the market.
Step 2) Save $3,000-4,000 quickly and buy a safe, affordable car. Get focused on saving that $3,000-$4,000. Do whatever it takes: Brown bag your lunches, skip a vacation, work overtime, get a second job. See how quickly you can make this happen. This is enough money in many areas to buy a decent, safe car. (Note: I didn't say fancy or prestigious.)
Step 3) Now, start making monthly car payments to yourself. With your "new" car in the driveway, it's time to start making car payments. But instead of making them to a bank, pay yourself instead. Now, here's where you have to be tough and intellectually honest with yourself-don't ever cheat. Just as surely as you would send monthly payments to the bank, set aside a monthly payment to yourself. Since the average car payment in America is well over $300 per month, I would encourage you to set aside something in that range. Do this for a couple of years. By that time you will have $6,000 to $9,000 in your "Paid-For Wheels" account. Sell your old car. Suppose you get $1,000 to $2,000 for it. Now, you have around $7,000 to $10,000 for a much nicer car.
Step 4) Repeat the Process. Now all you have to do is repeat this little strategy until you are driving the car of your dreams-still never making a payment to the bank!
Why am I talking about cars-and not something more spiritual? Because for many of us it's our cars and other stuff that absorb far too much of our time, money, and worry. By refocusing and redefining our needs, we will use our money more wisely and travel more lightly before our Lord.
Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.
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