Getting a car is exciting, but it isn't cheap. Whether you buy an inexpensive car outright or plan to get a loan, it's not uncommon to fork out thousands of dollars to get your first vehicle. While that might seem like a lot of money, earning it isn't impossible and planning ahead can help you have the cash you need when you're ready to buy.
Owning a car means you're going to have extra expenses. Fuel, oil, tires and maintenance cost money and so does insurance. There are also paperwork fees, like paying for your car's registration. If you plan to borrow money to get the car you'll also have to make loan payments. One way to save up for a car is to estimate what it will cost you every month and start saving that amount. You'll get used to that process and, after a few months, you'll have some money built up.
Build Some Bank
As you earn money, put it in a bank account and let it accumulate to give you the money you need. While fast-food restaurants or summer entertainment venues are popular summer job sources, they aren't the only ones. If you can get a job washing cars or doing something similar at a car lot you might be able to get an employee discount.
Use more creative means to make money if the usual solutions don't provide enough cash. Lawn services and bake sales can help. Another creative option is to become an online reseller, finding items for low prices at closeout sales, garage sales or online and reselling them in other markets at higher prices. Seasonal products -- like self-picked mistletoe -- can also be a way to make some extra money. Pet-walking services provide extra exercise and extra income.
Leverage Your Car
While you probably can't turn your car into a taxi or otherwise use it for profit, there are ways to turn your future car into a source of money. For instance, if you help your parents by running errands or driving other family members around, they may contribute to the cost of your car. A local business might also be willing to kick in if you agree to place advertising on it.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.