Being able to drive and having a car are incredibly useful things in modern life. It offers you the ability to be independent, set your own timetable, and take control of your life. For many people, a car represents so much more than four wheels and an engine.

Sadly it can also represent a lot of things that are much less enjoyable or liberating. The biggest issue that a lot of people end up having with their car is that it just costs them way too much money. No matter how convenient it might be, few things are worth bankrupting yourself. Fortunately, if you're in this position, all hope is not lost. Here are a few ways that you can help prevent your take from emptying your bank account.

Reduce costs

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Cars can be expensive, but the vast majority of your money is probably going to go on the extra expenses that add up over time. Insurance is the most common expense that people will find causes them real problems. The best thing that you can do is to try and figure out a way to reduce the cost of your insurance. There are plenty of ways to do this, but you should always compare as many different insurers as possible so you can be sure you're getting the best possible deal.

Trade for a cheaper model

Many of us buy cars for some fairly shallow reasons. Maybe it was particularly attractive or stylish, or maybe the potential top speed was just too tempting to pass up. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but you've got to make sure that you're balancing these factors against the less glamorous, but ultimately much more important ones. If your car is costing you too much money, then there's a chance that you might just need to trade it in for a simpler, cheaper model. For one thing, this could reduce your insurance costs pretty significantly. Bigger cars with more powerful engines are always going to be more expensive to run, maintain and insure. Instead, find something simpler that's going to be a little bit kinder to your bank balance.

Go without entirely

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Now if you really wanted to make a significant change that was going to massively reduce the cost of your car, you could just get rid of it entirely. As scary as the thought can be for a lot of people if you sell your car then that's a huge financial burden lifted from your shoulders instantly. If you're in a position to walk to work, or there are good public transport links where you live, then you might find that you really don't need a car at all in order to get around every day.

Of course, it's not always going to be possible to do some of these things. After all, if you drive to work every day then selling your car is probably going to cause more problems than it solves. In that case, the key is to make sure that you're able to balance your budget around your car. That way you can make space for the things you can't change while reducing the number of things that you can go without.