Full disclosure I am 30 years old with median income, 45kish per annum. The percentage values I stated above represent a single or lump sum car payment, not loan or lease. I totally agree! I am a crazy budgeting fool, love listening to Dave Ramsay, and like reading things by people like the financial samurai.
However, my goal in life is not to be majorly wealthy. I like being debt free except for a car payment, having a good retirement plan, owning a nice place, eating very well, driving very nice autos, traveling, etc. In other words, while I love managing my money and controlling it, enjoying life is more important to me than being rich. I enjoy life, consider a car payment to be acceptable debt for the moment although before long I should be able to drive very nice cars without debt — yay.
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I also like spending on vacations, expensive foods, etc. But, hey, why not? I make decent money, manage it well, and live well. Yes, if I was very frugal I could be very wealthy some day, but that is not my goal. For those of you who want to be rich — fine. I understand. Happiness and not being enslaved to others because of debts is good enough for me.
I will leave becoming billionaires while driving older, untrustworthy autos and eating beans and rice to others. Two of the ones I own right now are such. They have their place for farm vehicles and sometimes local driving, but I love road trips and need reliable autos for that so that I am not stressed about breaking down everywhere I go! Is fun reading all the comments. I think the article is bang on. You take them to a mechanic before you buy and they will tell you if is worth it.
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A new car still needs tires, batteries, wipers, oil changes, fluid changes at same interval as an older car. If making less than 50k it become more cost efficient for you to take a couple days off work if you need the time to fix your car yourself. I do my own repairs and have never had to take more than a weekend to repair my now 14yr old that I bought as a 9yr old used car. At k the options open up to pretty much any make model. People spend k as much on a new SUV or pickup truck as some people spend on a used Lamborghini 70k that looks every bit as good as it did when had a k price tag a decade earlier.
In the end is your own money to do as you wish. Thanks for the article I reference it whenever I try to help someone with car buying budget. I know this is an old post, but I just had to add to this because I think everyone is missing the point about how much to spend on a car. I love all your articles and you have helped me with finances for sure, but this article, meh ….. I drove my last car I bought brand new for 17 years, then gave it to my son 2 years ago and he is still driving it.
That is why I got rid of my 17 year old car that was still okay to drive — it was okay for me to be in it, but not my grandson. I bought another car that had all the safety features I could find to make sure he was as protected as possible. I would be negligent to drive him around in a rust bucket. If you would drive your kids around in a beater just to save money when you are a millionaire, that would be almost criminal. Also, a junker out on the road is a hazard to all other drivers. If you believe those are unsafe rust buckets that are dangerous to all other drivers, you are in the minority.
Pete, I know this is about a year later, but you have bumped your head. Even worse than the Detroit crack years. And back to bumping, private sellers are the worst way to go, unless, you have a few grand to repair and refurbish, or the private seller can produce all service records not on a Carfax. I recently bought a used vehicle, and what sold me on it? Just like when I did buy as is, a while back, 4 yr old car.
Hi, I agree with you. It is interesting materialism has lead to the point of cars becoming financial symbols in our society. I personally enjoy commuting to work by train.
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However, should I want a car it would definetly be a Lexus as this is a small dream of mine I have had since I was a small kid. In case you live in an area where a car is a must, financing services can help you out. A better approach is to calculate the TCO total cost of ownership over a 5 year period and then calculate what percentage of your earnings it represents. Over a 5 year period you will have the following expenses 1. Depreciation: USD 3, half the price 2. Gas: 15, miles a year 15 mpg 2. Repairs and maintenance: USD 6, 4.
Insurance: USD 5, 5. Depreciation: USD 10, half the price 2. Gas: 15, miles a year 25 mpg 2. Repairs and maintenance: USD 3, newer car 4.
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God forgives us! But over a 5 period time if cheaper to own the Honda than it is to own the Ford Explorer. First of all, analyze similar vehicles. Option A: 1. Option B: 1. Repairs and maintenance: USD 4, 4. I compared different cars on purpose, to point out that blindly following the advice on the article is a mistake.
There are other factors to consider like the ones we seemed to agree on plus the financial cost. At the end of the day, financial analysis is just one factor we actually use to make a final decision otherwise nobody will get married and have children based solely on the financial numbers. It depends on how much you drive, how much you enjoy driving, how important is reliability or having the lastest features in a car. Ran across this article this morning and totally agree. All my cars have been around the K mark and driven until they could be driven no more.
Yes it is a choice but I personally know what that choice will give me now and in the future. I have employees that buy a new car every years yet they own nothing, are drowning in debt and refuse to listen to any advice because of that so called lifestyle. Maybe they will figure it out, who knows. But I digress, thanks for the excellent article. I agree with the author of the article. Buy used cars that have a proven reliability record. Yes, this is extreme, but I have invested the savings into my K with remarkable success.
I got over peer pressure when I was in grade school. The point is that we do have an easy opportunity to accumulate wealth if we are wise about automobile purchases. You must not know what new automobile technology is! Try to live once! If you have money to afford luxury, pay for luxury! Of course, after retirement saving! I know you are right about my ridiculously low amount of expenditure on automobiles. However, everyone cannot have high salaries or wages. So, for middle class or lower middleclass, choices must be made.
I could not have spent much on automobiles and been able to travel, unless I choose a high-stress occupation. My current vehicle is a Nissan Titan, 4 door, 4 wheel drive and it doubles as my work truck. Great sound system, quiet, and smooth ride for a truck.
It really loves gas stations. Your comments are OK, but some people are so hostile to other opinions. I agreed with Lou above. Enjoy life a little before you die! Current driving a Mercedes Benz and I am total happy, financially independent, have no issue with car payments. Knock on wood. My lief is worth more than just a few thousands dollars a year. My net worth is a bit less that Mr. Lou but I think I can afford a lifestyle of driving a luxury car which has pilot parking, camera for my own safety and convenience.
Thanks but no thanks!