For many people, a car will be their first big investment. The freedom and comfort of traveling in your own ride is great, but nothing also compares to the feeling of success and achievement when getting your first set of wheels. Of course, the perks of owning a car come at a considerable price, which is why purchasing one requires a lot of planning and discipline. Here are five personal traits you want to foster when thinking about buying a car.
Work hard, save hard. This is the basis of it all. You want that shiny new car? Then you better be ready to put in the work, buddy. Take on extra projects and be diligent when it comes to saving. One good thing to remember about growing your nest egg: making a regular habit out of saving is better than just sporadically depositing lump sums. What you want to do is create a mindset that makes saving automatic.
Be discerning. Don’t purchase the first car that catches your eye. Take time to research and, in the process, learn more about yourself. You're going to want a car that matches your needs. What are its features? Does it suit your lifestyle? Is it within your budget? If the answers are anything less than a resounding “yes,” it might be prudent to explore other options.
Have foresight. The cost of owning a car doesn’t end with the actual purchase, so you need to manage your expenses in advance. You’ll also be shelling out for gas, parking fees, insurance premiums, maintenance costs, and occasional repairs. Once you own your car, a good idea is to set aside money each month for these recurring and miscellaneous costs. Do it well enough, and you might even reach the point when you can comfortably reward yourself with a new set of rims.
Learn to say "no". At this point, the only thing getting between you and your first car is temptation. So many things can distract you from your goal: your favorite basketball player releases a new signature shoe, your friends invite you for a quick jaunt to Boracay, that sick new console that plays virtual-reality games. The best way to dispel these temptations and stay focused? Imagine yourself finally driving your dream car.
Be hands-on. You have the money, you’ve done your research, and you’re finally ready to purchase a car. The last—and most crucial—step is to go to a dealer and go for a test drive. That way you can see if your expectations of the vehicle match reality. Pay special attention to how it handles, how it accelerates, how responsive the brakes are, and how smoothly it transitions between gears. Despite the cliched sentiment, if your car drives well, you feel good—that's the ultimate sense of fulfillment when scoring your dream car.
A car is more than just an investment—it’s a symbol of accomplishment, and a reminder of how to stay focused and grounded. Develop the aforementioned personal traits and surely you'll find the path to your new car much smoother. When you finally bring your baby home, toast and celebrate this momentous event with a glass of Emperador Brandy.
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