Used Cars Get the Job Done Without the Debt and Depreciation

When it comes to consumer spending, our country suffers from short-term memory loss.

Sure, the recession has most of us balancing a budget, pinching pennies and generally thinking more about how we spend our hard-earned dollars. But when the economy picks up, many folks will go back to our old, sometimes irresponsible ways. Case in point: buying new cars.

Back a few years ago, it seemed that everyone had to have a brand new vehicle. It was a status symbol. If we couldn't afford to buy a car, we leased one. But not surprisingly, those new cars proved to be bad investments when the economy took a nosedive.

While houses generally appreciate (okay, they've spiraled downward recently, but they'll go back up eventually), cars do not. New cars lose an estimated 20% of their value the day you drive them off the lot, and another 10% in your first year of ownership, according to When some car owners decided to turn around and sell their auto because they could no longer afford loan payments, they took big losses.

To save money, many folks started buying used cars. They're just as good in quality, assuming you buy them from a reputable, honest dealer like Carmax or get a certified pre-owned vehicle. They're much easier to afford - sometimes cheap enough to buy with cash. And when you do need to sell them, you won't have to deal with that sharp depreciation - heck, you may even be able to recover your money. And as an added bonus, insurance and registration fees will be less expensive, since your car's value is lower to begin with.

When the economy picks up steam, you better believe carmakers are going to launch all kinds of advertising campaigns to convince you to buy a shiny, new vehicle. But that's all smoke and mirrors. If you dream of a more financially secure future, maybe you should put the lessons of this recession into good use. Buying a used car is one way to do just that. Another is lowering your debt.

Reducing debt will free up more money for the other bills - including those car payments. Worried you have too much debt to pay off? Bankruptcy might be the solution. Find out if a bankruptcy plan can offer the help you need to free yourself from debt when you try a free no-obligation debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy lawyer today.

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