5 Simple Ways to Not Have a Car Payment

Last year I shared how we paid cash for our van. Since buying a van we have purchased another car for cash. I know these days having a car payment seems like a way of life, but let me encourage you, not having a car payment is an even better way of life.

5 ways to help you save up and pay cash for a car.

Do we drive brand new cars- No
Do we drive reliable, clean, and paid for cars- Yes

If you want to rid your life and your budget of a car payment here are 5 simple ways (or not so simple) to make that happen.

Pay Off Your Current Vehicle

When we owed money on our vehicle we started adding extra money every month to the payment. To make sure we paid extra we made the deductions automatic. Any extra money that came in went to the payment.

When Your Vehicle is Paid For, Keep Driving It!

After you pay off your vehicle, don’t trade it in for a newer model, keep driving it. According to The Simple Dollar, the average American family spends $300 a month on a car payment. If you drove your paid for vehicle for 2 years and saved that car payment money you would have over $7000 CASH saved for a new vehicle.

Sell Your Current Vehicle and Buy a Clunker

Last year we started looking for a “get around car” nothing fancy, just something for my husband to drive to work. We researched the most reliable older vehicles and narrowed our search. After looking for a few months my husband found a car for $500! This was in the D.C. area, where prices are not cheap. Since purchasing the car we have put another $300 into maintaining and making repairs. We have owned the car for 10 months and spent a total of $800. That equals an $80 a month car payment, which is significantly less than the national average of $300. Even if this car lasts us a year or two we have accumulated a large savings for another vehicle.

Drive Your Vehicle Until it is Ready for the Junk Yard

We never had new cars growing up. My dad’s philosophy was to drive a car until you have to pay someone to take it out of your driveway. That meant we would have the same car for years. But it was years of not having a payment. Yes, there were repairs (although my dad always found inexpensive mechanics) but they were less than payments. By the time our cars were ready to be towed out of the driveway (and yes, this did happen) my parents had saved enough money to replace our vehicle for cash.

We bought a two year old minivan in 2000. We took out a loan (we didn’t know any better then) and paid it off in 3 years. We continued to drive this car for 6 more years. During those six years we were able to save our $250 car payment. When we finally sold the van (for about $1000) we had saved around $18,000 for a vehicle. Do you know that you can buy a really nice used car for $18,000? I know this because I am driving it right now. While our minivan wasn’t the prettiest thing to look at we kept driving it because it worked, and it was paid for, and we were looking towards the future.

Go Without

When I wrote about owning only one vehicle a few years ago, people told me it just wasn’t possible. I still disagree. For years we were a one car family, and I have many friends who are still a one car family. Can it be inconvenient, yes, does it require sacrifice, yes, will you miss out on things, probably. But if you need to get your finances under control this is one way to do it.

 

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5 Alternative Summer Jobs for Teens

5 Alternative Summer Jobs for Teens at The Happy Housewife

This summer, instead of the traditional choices, you can encourage your teen to take on one of these Alternative Summer Jobs For Teens. Not only are these things your kids can benefit from financially, they will teach them responsibility. There are many jobs out there geared toward teens, but when you are looking for something unique, these are great choices for building character, earning money, and working into the summer schedule.

Alternative Summer Jobs For Teens

1. Work in a rehab or nursing facility

Many nursing homes and rehab centers need people who are willing to work with older adults who have mental or physical disabilities. While many locations require a CNA license or more for specific care, there are also locations that could use help organizing activities – things like playing BINGO, doing puzzles, hosting parties, and simply helping with painting nails, doing hair, or just talking to residents. These are often lower paying jobs, but the rewards are worth it.

2. Do respite care for disabled adults

Respite care for disabled adults is something that is highly needed. Whether a teen works alone or is a helper of a nurse on hand, this is a great way to teach them compassion toward others. Helping to organize and take disabled adults on outings can be a tough but rewarding job.

3. Work from home in the freelance field

If your teen has writing skills, is great with graphic design, or even good with social media, there are several ways they can make money doing things online. It takes dedication and an independent, responsible spirit, but they can make a real income. Sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and Elance are all excellent places to begin.

4. Work on a farm

If they live in farm country, there are almost always positions available during the summer helping with everything from irrigation to harvesting crops. These manual labor jobs are tough, but they teach responsibility and can pay a great wage. In some areas, you can even work for orchards helping with the manual harvest of fruits.

5.  Sell items at a farmer’s market

Some teens may enjoy crafting their own homemade items to sell at a local farmer’s market. Planting a garden and selling excess produce is the first place to begin. Making canned goods, or even hand-crafted beauty products can be a great way to make money. There is a little investment up front, but that gets paid back quickly and easily.

If your teen is looking for something other than fast food or babysitting, these alternative summer jobs are great places to start. Think outside the box while looking at needs in your community. Every area varies with fun and exciting things your teens can do this summer to earn a little extra money.

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Free and Fun Family Activities in Your Local Area 6/5 – 6/7

Each week I’ll post links with fun and inexpensive (or free) things to do in your local area and national deals that everyone can enjoy!

American Girls

National Activities:

American Girl: June In-Store Events (Events vary by location and minimum age. Find events specific to your area online. Reservations required. For girls ages 8 and up.) During June, they include Discover Truly Me Event, Adorable Accents: Twists & Braids, Jewel Highlights, Meal & Memories with Dad and more.

Barnes & Noble: This Saturday at 11am, bring your kids for story time featuring Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Check with your local store!

Guitar Center: Free Classes through their Music Mentor Series. Register online. No age restriction.

  • Saturday, June 6th: 10:15 AM – Group Guitar Workshop

Home Depot:  This Saturday at 9am to noon kids can make and take a Load ‘n Go Truck. Register online before you go!

Kindermusik: Try a free class (see all the information here). Kindermusik ~ Where Music & Learning Play!

  • Classes for children from newborn to age seven
  • Child development through music and movement
  • Immerse your child in a musical atmosphere of play, song, and dance – while developing fundamental skills
  • Connect with other moms, dads, and families

Lakeshore Learning: Saturday, June 6th from 11AM-3PM ~ Kids make and take a Beaded Bubble Wand.

Michael’s Kids Club: Kids can enjoy making a craft every Saturday. This week they are making Father’s Day Craft Stick Card. Designed for kids ages 3 and up ($2/child). Starts at 10 AM and runs every 30 minutes on Saturdays. You can shop while they create.

Williams-Sonoma Free Technique Classes (for kids and adults): Saturday, June 6th at 10 AM ~ This Saturday as Junior Chefs will learn how to make tasty side dishes for your family BBQ! Check the webpage for additional details and make a reservation.  For ages 5+.

Thanks, More with Less Today!

Local Activities:

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A Summer of Movies: Cheap Family Fun

Watching movies with your kids can be a lot of fun and relatively cheap if you do it at home. But movie theaters are way too over priced these days, right? Wrong! This summer you can take your little ones to see a whole bunch of cheap and in some cases completely FREE movies.

A special thanks to Mary from Mission to Save for this list of Summer Movie Programs!

A Summer of Movies: Cheap Family Fun at The Happy Housewife

Check out the great summer movie programs below! My personal favorite is the one that requires your kids to have read a book to get a free ticket. Just make sure to check if your local theater is participating.

Inexpensive or Free Summer Movie Programs

CineMark Century Theaters: There are 2 different money saving movie programs at CineMark.  Pay $5 per person for 10 shows when you buy them in advance. Or if you buy your tickets at the show, they are $1 each.  See participating CineMark locations. Note: Some Rave Theaters are now owned by CineMark.  Call your location for participation. 

Classic Cinemas: Wednesday Morning Movie Series beginning June 1oth. Each Wednesday morning at 10:00 am ticket prices are just $1; all movies are rated PG.

Harkins Theater: There are 2 options. You can buy the season pass and it is less than $1 per movie and there are 10 movies in the season. Or buy tickets the day of the movie for $2 per ticket. Showtimes are at 9:45 am.

Marcus Theaters: June 14th – August 21st, 2015 on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday mornings at 10:00 am you can view your favorite family flicks for just $3! And score 2 free tickets by visiting a participating American Family Insurance agent.

Regal Cinemas $1 Movies – All summer long you can see movies for just $1 a ticket for select PG movies! Show times are at 10:00 am and a portion of proceeds goes to Will Rogers Institute.

Studio Movie Grill: Summer Children’s Series is every weekday at 11:00 am.  See great family friendly films for $3 a ticket.  

Showcase Cinemas Bookworm Wednesdays (select locations): Each Wednesday, kids can bring in a book report which is the cost of admission! (Admission is free for kids under 6.)  The program runs every Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.

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