Guitars are expensive but sometimes improper use can rapidly tear out the guitar. This results to poor sound quality and damage fret board.
I have a guitar that were purchased around 2003 and still sounds good to me until this time. Aside from general practices of taking care of your guitar, I have outlined below of what could be other ways you could make your guitar last longer and that avoids re-purchase which could be costly.
Buy guitar case for your instrument.
If possible buy something that is hard that could protect it from accidental bumps. There are a lot of ways you can buy case. In most cases or countries, when you first buy your guitar, the guitar case is included already. But if it not part of the package, please buy it separately as early as possible. You can even buy online at $25. This is cheap but highly valuable item for your guitar.
Do not let anyone use your guitar for leisure-related purposes.
Yeah I am greedy but it is true, if you cannot afford to buy two guitars (one for studio and one for leisure use), then this is a must. I have one guitar used for studio purposes and I could not even remember a single instance of having anyone borrow it for leisure purposes. It is by law of human nature that if you do not own the instrument you have the tendency to be less caring about it or tend to abuse it.
Clean your guitar frequently.
This is highly important to retain the skin quality of the instrument. Number 1 enemy of guitar body skins are water based stains (that could be accidentally spill from food, drinks), dust, and dirt from your body! (yes it is true if you sweat always).
To clean your guitar is to use soft cloth with mild alcohol to remove stain or dirt. Do not use abrasive cloth as it destroys skins. Also strong solutions like acid are not recommended. Other things that you will avoid are to wash the guitar with soap or shampoo, this is insane but I heard someone doing this funny stuff.
Wipe out the rust in the guitar strings frequently
String is the heart of the guitar as they are the ones that produces sound. Steel string is metallic in nature and is susceptible to rust. One of the ways to correct this problem is to wipe out the string with soft oil. This will prevent the rust to accumulate the string area. I think the cleaner solution kit above uses some kind of oil solution to prevent rust accumulation.
Replace strings in a periodic basis
You can do it in a period of two years but depending on how you use the instrument. Frequent usage could mean faster worn out and that could be replaced in a yearly basis. It is important to use guitar pick for steel string based guitar because it cares both your guitar and wont hurt your fingernail.
Play your guitar always
Yes, contrary to popular belief that frequent use could damage sound , but frequent and correct use does improve sound of your guitar and increases the longevity.