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|I need thousands of dollars, what do I do?|
I’m 36 years old, married with three children and want to start saving for a home. We don’t spend money on cable tv, going out to eat, or cell phones. I use your “Grocery Store Game” and have no idea where else to cut corners. I REALLY want this house. Any suggestions? -Kelly, Washington, D.C.
After speaking with Kelly, I was able to find out that she and her husband had two cars. He used his to commute to work every day which left her at home with the other one. When she gave me a few more details of their lifestyle and their goals, I suggested that they sell her car. Oh my! She argued for quite some time with me about how unrealistic that suggestion was, but here is my thinking. This car cost her family $7,500 a year to run, maintain, pay taxes on and keep in gas. She was able to walk most places she wanted to go and if she couldn’t walk, there was always the Metro station one mile from her current apartment.
Eventually, Kelly told me she would think about it. I don’t know if she took my advice or not, but the goal is money here. How badly do you want your goal? Do you really, REALLY want your goal or are you just lukewarm about it? The amount of determination you bring to achieving your goal will allow you to be more creative in obtaining it.
In this case, giving up the second car would be a boon to saving for a new home. Kelly is not the first person I have recommended this course of action. I have 4 clients that I have coached who have given up cars in the pursuit of what they really wanted in life. All of them have used different means of getting around. Renting cars, taxis, bikes, car pooling with friends and paying for gas, all of these options are available to most people. These clients have told me of improved health and vigor since they had to walk places, they mentioned how they have made more friends and know their neighbors better since adopting this lifestyle.I’m not saying that everyone needs to sell their car. However, if you need thousands of dollars, you may just want to think about this option and then try living without your car for a month or two. Also, Brad and I were a one car family for 7 years while we were learning how to save and invest money. I can attest to the value of having only one car, especially, if you want to increase your savings rate!