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One of the biggest changes we made that has boosted our budget and reduced a ton of stress was getting rid of our car loan.
Sick and tired of having a car loan eat up a huge chunk of your budget? Here are tips you can use to get rid of it faster!
Finding Money to Pay Off the Car Loan
One of the first things you need to do is find some extra cash in your budget. Easier said than done, right?
The good news is that we were able to find spots in our budget where we could save big (and without sacrificing fun). As new graduates, our income wasn't big.
Here are some spots in the budget that can give you a boost of money.
Slashing Entertainment Bills
Believe it or not, I'm not telling you to skip out on TV or movies. We all need to veg out sometimes.
The good news is that there are plenty of options that don't cost $150/month like some cable and satellite companies are charging.
Part of the problem is that most customers are paying way more for channels and extras they never use.
The solution is creating your own entertainment package at a fraction of the price.
Pick and choose what fits your family's needs. For us, we have our Netflix and Hulu accounts tied to our Roku.
Switch Your Cell Phone Plans
Like many, I love my smartphone. I use it throughout the day. It's a convenience that I don't want to give.
With many of the major carriers, though, cellphone bills can easily eat up a family's budget.
The good news is that there are some wonderful options out there for you to slash your bill while still keeping a great smartphone plan.
- Republic Wireless: My personal favorite, I use them for my personal and work phone. Yep, I have two lines with them and guess how much it costs – around $45/month. Check out Republic Wireless here.
- Ting: Build a cell plan based on how you actually use it. My friend slashed her family's bill by switching over to Ting. Check with them to see if you can bring over your phone, saving you even more money. Check them out here.
- GoogleFi: Another cell/wifi option that can give you cheap service. Users in the US pay $20/ month for unlimited calls and texts with $10 more for each GB of data. Check them out here.
- Pre-Paid: If you want to keep your phone for now and stay a big network, pre-paid options like StraightTalk or BoostMobile may be the way to go.
Yay for technology!
Price-Hunt Your Insurance
We were able to significantly cut our auto insurance premiums by switching providers.
By using our Costco membership our car insurance premiums went from $118/month to $58/month.
Since we have an Executive membership at Costco, we also get free towing and jump starts included so we allowed our AAA to lapse and saved a bit more.
As you can see, we were about to save hundreds of dollars each year by looking at our car insurance options.
If you’re pressed for time, but still want to shop around for the best rates on car insurance, here's a list of the biggest auto insurance companies out there now:
- Liberty Mutual Insurance 1-800-837-5254
- Farmers: 1-800-327-6377
- Allstate: 1-800-255-7828
- State Farm: 1-800-782-8332
- Nationwide: 1-877-669-6877
- Progressive: 1-800-776-4737
- Geico: 1-800-841-2964
- Ameriprise: 1 -888 -239-9953 (If you’re a Costco member you may get additional benefits with Ameriprise.)
- USAA.com 1-800-531-8722
You also want to see if you can bundle your home insurance and get even more savings!
Automate Your Savings into a Debt Snowball
Finally, take a few minutes and track your spending so you're not missing any money leaks.
Use a free tool like Personal Capital that will track your expenses for you and in 15 minutes you can create a budget that will help you reach your goals.
With Personal Capital you can grab the data easier and see what you can adjust your spending.
Set up automatic payments through your bank or credit union towards the car loan.
Having that taken care of will allow you to stay on track and give you more time to focus on what you enjoy instead of sweating the details.
Thoughts on Getting Rid of Your Car Loan
By carefully slashing our expenses we managed to get rid of car loan years ahead and save a ton of money.
This post was originally published on October 2009. It has been updated in October 2019.