5 Tips For Buying Your Dream Car

Nothing says “freedom” quite like conquering the open road. When you picture yourself cruising down the highway, do you see yourself in a particular vehicle? The key to getting your dream is a solid saving and credit building strategy.

We can help! Use these 5 tips to start saving for your dream car today. 

Build a Household Budget

Do you have a household budget? If not, it’s time to sit down with all of your credit cards and bank statements and create a household budget.

Start by calculating how much money you have coming in each month after taxes. Then, subtract your fixed expenses — these are expenses that you must pay each month, like your rent, mortgage, insurance and more. Finally, see how much money you have left over and decide how much you can afford to save each month. 

Divide the rest of your money into set categories and limit your spending in each. For example, you may limit yourself to spending $70 each week on groceries and $30 on a weekly date night. Once you finish your budget, start living by it — and start saving! 

Commit to Saving Consistently

Are you the type of saver who’s prone to impulse shopping? If so, you’ll need to buckle down and resist temptation to stay on course to save for your dream car. It’ll be worth it!

Make saving a little easier by opening a savings or investment account to hold your vehicle fund. Consider a low-risk SteadyIncome portfolio from MoneyLion, and you may even get that car a little sooner! It’s a a fully managed portfolio, where MoneyLion invests for you to help your money grow. Soon you can even set up Auto Invest to tuck away money every week or month automatically. When you consistently set aside your funds, you’re less to spend it before you’re ready to buy what you really want. Vroom vroom. 

Raise Your Credit Score

You might need some form of financing to pay for your vehicle. A higher credit score makes it easier to get a loan and will give you access to lower interest rates, which will save you money over time.

Check your credit score when you start saving for a car. If your FICO credit score is less than 740, you might want to take some time to raise your numbers before you apply for financing. Here are a few ways you can raise your credit score over time.

  • Use a credit builder loan from MoneyLion (70% of loan takers raise their score by over 30 points in the first 60 days)
  • Always pay any loan and credit card bills on time.
  • Don’t use more than 20% of your total available credit.
  • Avoid “maxing out” your credit cards.
  • Pay down any outstanding debt you currently have.
  • Avoid applying for new lines of credit at least a few months before you buy your dream car.

Increase Your Income

We know — this one’s a little easier said than done. However, raising your income doesn’t have to mean picking up a second job and working 80 hours a week. In the on-demand “gig economy,” it’s never been easier to pick up some extra cash on your off hours. Here are a few ideas to get you started, and get more here.

  • Drive for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft.
  • Deliver food with a third-party service like DoorDash or UberEats.
  • Sell old clothing you no longer wear on a secondhand site like Poshmark or eBay.
  • Walk dogs, pet sit or house sit for busy travelers and business professionals.
  • Offer after-school lessons or tutoring for children.

Shop Smarter — Buy Used

You can save thousands of dollars when you buy your dream car used. New vehicles begin to lose value immediately after you drive them off the lot. A used version of your dream car can help you drive off the lot sooner. Keep your eyes on local listings and online dealership websites — and be ready to negotiate if you see that your dream car is up for grabs.

Dead-set on buying a new car? The time of year can influence how much you pay. Wait until the end of the year rolls around to shop for a current model. This is when showrooms prepare to bring in next year’s models and space is at a premium. If you shop for a new car in October, November or December, you’ll likely find that sales associates are more willing to strike a deal to meet their annual quotas. 

Drive Toward Healthier Finances

Whether you’re saving for the car of your dreams or the vacation of a lifetime, your bank should support your financial goals — not take a cut of your cash. At MoneyLion, we believe in delivering a premium checking experience without the price tag. That’s why we’ve ditched the service, overdraft and ATM fees that other banks charge you to make the most of your money.

To learn more about saving for the future, check out our learning center.  


MoneyLion Checking Account provided by, and MoneyLion Visa® Debit Card issued by, Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC. Terms and conditions apply.

Investment advisory services provided by ML Wealth, LLC. Investment Accounts Are Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • Investments May Lose Value. For important information and disclaimers relating to the MoneyLion Investment Account, see Investment Account FAQs and FORM ADV. Broker-Dealer may charge a $0.25 withdrawal fee, among other fees. Funded accounts are subject to administrative fee of $1 per quarter.

Current Credit Builder Plus membership required for Credit Builder Plus loan eligibility; the $19.99 monthly fee will be withdrawn from your linked bank account. All loans are made by either exempt or state-licensed subsidiaries of MoneyLion Inc. The Credit Builder Plus loan may, at lender’s discretion, require a portion of the loan proceeds to be deposited into a reserve account managed by ML Wealth, LLC and held by Drivewealth LLC, member SIPC and FINRA. The funds in this account will be placed into a money market cash management or FDIC bank sweep vehicle, and may generate interest at prevailing market rates.  You will not be able to access the portion of your loan proceeds held in the credit reserve account until you have paid off your loan, and so long as your Credit Builder Plus membership payments are current. If you default on your loan, your credit reserve account may be liquidated by the lender to partially or fully satisfy your outstanding indebtedness. May not be available in all states.Credit Reserve Accounts Are Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • Investments May Lose Value. For important information and disclaimers relating to the MoneyLion Credit Reserve Account, see Investment Account FAQs and FORM ADV.

A Credit Builder Plus loan may or may not improve your credit score. Credit scores are the result of your personal credit practices.

Cash advance requires current membership in Credit Builder Plus ($19.99 monthly fee) or Instacash with Banking ($9.99 monthly fee) membership programs. Instacash with Banking monthly fee is waived for members who connect and maintain recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts. All Credit Builder Plus and Instacash with Banking members are automatically eligible to access either $25 or $50 of cash advance, depending on creditworthiness.  Members can increase their cash advance limit to up to $250 by connecting and maintaining recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts and after up to three consecutive direct deposits have cleared, or at MoneyLion’s discretion. See Membership Agreement and Cash Advance FAQs for more information.

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