Will that car murder your budget?

Will that car murder your budget?

Americans like to flaunt real or imaginary social/financial status with cars. To prove this fact of life takes no more effort than a drive through the ?other? side of town ? chances are you?ll find driveway after driveway displaying tricked out, ramped up, and chromed over examples of vehicles that seem out of touch with the surroundings.

As a newbie to the professional world, get over that silliness now!

Drive the sort of car your budget can afford and no more. Your investments will thank you for it later. Before the economy tanked, budget experts suggested that your total outlay of car expenses, no matter how many you own, should never be more than 20% of your net monthly income.

These days, you might even want to shoot for a more modest number than that. Remember the cost of owning a car doesn?t magically stop at the sticker price. Factor in fuel, repairs, and insurance for a more accurate picture.

When car shopping, consider obtaining a pre-approval letter that you can show to dealers. Put down at least a 15% down payment and the payoff will be a lower monthly payment. These days, house mortgages aren?t the only thing people can get ?upside down? on. You don?t want to end up owing more than the car is worth.

Is a new car absolutely necessary? ?Used? is not synonymous with ?junk.? There are plenty of perfectly snazzy previously owned vehicles across the street from the new car dealer. Take a look at them and save about 30%.

The Young Wealth Team

The Young Wealth Team

The Young Wealth Team

The Young Wealth Team

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