How About Some Financial Health Insurance?

June 27 is is #FinHealthMatters Day for 2017.  You can join the movement to show what #finhealth means to you.  To me, it simply means being able to continue living within my means.

Almost half the adults in the country struggle to have enough income to pay their expenses, and unfortunately, there are really only two ways to deal with that problem:

  1. Raise your income.
  2. Lower your expenses.

A great first step it to simply set up a budget and follow it for a few months so you discover what your income and expenses really are, and then look for ways to stop any leaks.

There is an endless supply of online articles about lowering your expenses, but most of them focus on little things like eating out less or reducing cable or phone expenses.

While every little bit helps, I’ve got one suggestion that has worked for me that has a much larger impact: the last time I bought a new car was 1975 (when I bought a brand-new Plymouth Duster for about $2,400).  Ever since then I’ve simply bought cars that tended to be a few years old, usually paid cash for them, and driven them until the wheels were ready to fall off.  I’ve only driven six or seven different cards in over 40 years, and the last few were simply cars Bevie was replacing with something newer.  The strangest car I drove in that period was a hearse, and I wasn’t entirely sad to watch it towed away when its break linings went bad.

What’s the longest period you ever when without a car payment?  Wasn’t your budget easier to manage during that time?  Think of how much money you could save over a lifetime if you stretched that out.

The average car now costs over $33,000, almost $4,000 more than I paid for my first house.  The really bad news is that the average car loan is now approaching 72 months.While the average interest rate is below 4%, consumers with FICO credit scores less than 620 pay rates of 9% to 14%,

While the average car loan interest rate is below 4%, consumers with FICO credit scores less than 620 can pay rates of 9% to 14%, putting even more stress on their budget.

The largest debts people have are typically housing, student loans, and car loans.  Perhaps instead of reading a few articles on ten ways to save money in your budget, you should spend a little more time looking for ways to get the last piece of that trio under control.

With a more entertaining story about cars, here’s Johnny Cash singing about another way to get a car.

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