🕵 How to Save Hundreds Each Month with 1 Decision

Hey you, happy Friday!

We made it through another week of our No-spend challenge. 🥳

We’ve heard from many of you that it’s not going perfectly and the good news is: perfect was never the goal!

We’re glad you’re still with us because we know incredible insight and next steps come out from BOTH doing things great AND making mistakes. 💪🏼

While we keep moving through this challenge, we want to continue our conversation about the BIG 3.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are, not surprisingly, just 3 categories that make up 64% of total household spending:

  • Housing: 33% (we covered this last week)

  • Transportation: 17% (what we’re talking about today)

  • Food: 14% (that’s for next week 😉)

This means, when it comes to our transportation decisions, a little goes a long way! 

One wise and informed car purchase decision could mean more for our finances than cutting out lattes every day for a year.

We know the average price of a car has risen significantly in the past 3 years, and we are not opposed to buying newer and prioritizing safety.

And we recognize that for many, a car loan is what allows us to afford these important features.

But let’s take a look at the math and know our game plan!

New Car 🚘

Avg. Loan Amount: $40k
Monthly payment: $729

Used Car 🚗

Avg. Loan Amount: $26k
Monthly payment: $528

NOTE on interest: even though used cars have a higher average interest rate than new ones, because the average used car price is so much lower, you still save! 

NOTE on credit score: avg. monthly car payments by credit score showed that someone with a 300-500 credit score only paid $15 more per month on a used car loan than someone with an 800 credit score.

That 1 decision can save you $200 each month. That’s over 33 lattes a month. By buying a used car you can have a latte every day and still be saving money. 

We agree that safety and newer features are important, but we also know that cars fall to around 40% of their original value after 5 years. 

So here’s our checklist when making this very seldom, but very important transportation decision:

  • Anything between 3-5 years old

  • 10k-14k miles per year

  • Consider resale value (even if you plan to own that thing forever, still look into what the vehicle might go for in 5-10 years). You can use a car depreciating calculator.

  • Check out CarComplaints.com to see the most common complaints for every make, model, and year. This helps cut through biases and brand loyalties and ensures you’re getting a good vehicle (or at least know the issues you may face!).

  • Be cautious of where you buy and aware of any hidden and unnecessary dealer fees. A similar vehicle may cost thousands less at a different dealer depending on their practices.

If you’re soon to be in the market for a new-to-you car, keep this checklist handy!

And remember this: 1 purchase decision is as important as you doing an entire month long No-spend challenge!!

On Tuesday, we reviewed When to buy “Off-Brand” & When to Buy “Name-Brand”’ in EP 372. We primarily looked at food and pharmacy items while also sharing some of our go-to brands.

Today’s episode 373 is for anyone considering home ownership as we explore How Much House Can You Afford? We give real numbers and examples of the top things to keep in mind when purchasing a house.

Tune in wherever you get podcasts and let us know what you thought of the episode over on our latest Instagram post!

 Listen: to nature sounds! 🍃 If it’s warm enough to go outside this could mean listening to water in a creek 💧, the sound of snow crunching ❄, maybe a few birds 🕊️? One of the benefits of a no-spend challenge is the gift of slowing down and simplifying, so let’s lean into that!

 Watch: Love in the Wild (if you didn’t get rid of your Netflix subscription this month). It’s from 2011 and essentially dating show meets amazing race/survivor. It’s quite entertaining. Once you’re finished watching, PLZ google the final couples for their life update (you’re welcome 😇).

 Do: open a High Yield Savings Account (HYSA)! We‘re currently liking the one at CIT which is offering 4.65% APY. **

 Meal plan: These Cottage Cheese Pancakes 🥞!! I’m obsessed. They are so so delicious and packed with protein! NOTE: I used ‘the good butter’ 😉 instead of canola oil for cooking in the cast iron.

Catch ya later,

⭐️⭐️ P.S. Want to share all this goodness with your friends AND earn cool Frugal Friends merch?

**Means this is a sponsored or affiliate section. We may earn a small fee or commission when you choose to try one of our sponsor or affiliate partners. But opinions are still 1000% our own.

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