The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the average American family spends $614 a month on automobiles.  This includes finance payments, gasoline, repairs, and insurance.

Buy a bigger homeLet’s relate that $614 per month to home buying.

Based on a 6.500 percent, fully-amortizing mortgage payment, that same $614 yields an equivalent of $97,000 in additional home purchasing power.

With an interest only home loan, it balloons to $113,000.

In other words, if your lifestyle does not require the full-time use of an automobile, you may want to consider trading in your car in for a larger and/or upgraded home.

For the temporary use of a car after a trade-in or sale, of course, you can phone a local car rental agency, or ask a friend to borrow (and be sure to fill up the tank as a courtesy).

You can also try priceline.com’s Name Your Own Price feature which makes cars available for a fraction of the “standard” rental cost — sometimes as low as $10 per day.

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