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Old    Ryan (bsebllhglyknit)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-21-2010, 8:27 PM Reply   
Im looking for some advice. I need to purchase a car here in the next few months. My biggest issue is how much I should spend and on what.

The reason I have this issue is because Im torn between the idea of economical and having a car I enjoy. I am big of saving, and have started investing for long term. IE retirement, and house. I currently am able to save close to 70% of every paycheck, and I do. I dont go out a whole lot or spend money on "wants".

I currently have a pretty stable job where my gross is around 30K a year and I have been there over a year. I dont have to pay for college as that is paid for, and only take care of my stuff. Insurance, cell ect.

Im looking for some 3rd party advice to look at my overal situation and give suggestions.

Gas mileage is not a huge concern cause I drive my motorcycle 6 days a week and Im getting 60mpg. Also the type of car is not a concern either.

I have looked at the new Subaru WRX as I can get 2.9% for 60 through there college graduate program.
Old    Chris G. (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-21-2010, 8:55 PM Reply   
not too much to go on but you sound like me. I like having nice things, but I dont like payments. I would suggest that you look for something 3-4 yrs old that you like. based on what you posted, 10-15K range would be my target. Maybe slightly more if I found somethign I really liked, or possibly something a little older to help drop the price.

What kind of car do you see yourself enjoying? something sporty? or more utility such as a truck or suv?
Old    Chris G. (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-21-2010, 8:57 PM Reply   
I take most everything back....your 20 and in college. you already have a bike so you have a "toy" vehicle. Get you a beater. Something reliable but cheap. Drive it into the ground and when its time for another car, you will be out of college and able to afford something you really want.
Old    Brett W (brettw)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-21-2010, 9:07 PM Reply   
It sounds like you're doing a great job saving and being very financially responsible. 70% of your pay towards savings is fantastic! I would strongly suggest not buying a new car and taking on a 5-year loan In my opinion, unless you're really getting some great great like 2% or less, if you have to pay for a car over 5 years, you can't afford it. Long term you'll likely come out way ahead if you save cash for the cars you buy. I've bought new but only when I've watched the weekend ads for at least a month or two to pick up one of those 'only one or two at this price' deals and was actually able to get a better deal than a year-old or more vehicle. Otherwise, buy something at least a year or two old as most vehicles really depreciate a lot in that 1st year or two. Keep your sights on long-term financial goals, and don't put yourself in too much of a hole just to get new car.
Old    Barry Waste (barry)      Join Date: Apr 2002       07-21-2010, 9:34 PM Reply   
Vehicles are depreciating assets- Always avoid interest on depreciating assets.. 0% for new or a buy a used car you can pay cash for. Period.
Drive it until the wheels fall off...lather, rinse, repeat.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-21-2010, 9:43 PM Reply   
Buy used. My vote is Honda.... every one I have had has been bullet proof.... and being younger too is number one for me
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-21-2010, 9:47 PM Reply   
^ I ment to add - look at 08/09 used ACcord coupes... they look great and drive very very well
Old    Chris G. (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-22-2010, 5:37 AM Reply   
I'm still driving my 15 yr old Honda every day.
Old    Akadirtbikingdad (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       07-22-2010, 5:46 AM Reply   
My son almost 20 and started college last year which is about 2 hours from home. I wanted a car for him that would be dependable and that he could really rack up the miles on. Currently he is interning 3 hours away. My driveway is all Chevy, but for this I chose a Honda Accord. We picked up an '04 with all the buttons, leather and roof for $10.5K with 90K miles and the timing belt and water pump were just replaced. Not knowing the impact of school costs, I financed it for 3 years. However, when I am done, it'll be about 15 months. My interest is low, so most of my payment goes to principle.

I never want another car note again. The 0% is attractive, but as Barry said, they are depreciating assets. When buying new, you just cost yourself $3K. Save some money and buy used and a good car like a Honda. You are on the right track already, don't blow it by buying some sports car. I agree it would be cool, (I still want my 'vette) but you also have to look at the long term costs of a car like that. Insurance is going to rip you a new one. You're 20, male and single. The WRX is a high performance car, you know, like Travis jumps on TV. The Accord I bought is a 4 door. Why? To save me money every month when I pay my insurance. Every little bit adds up. The WRX has a turbo. There will be a price to pay for pushing a motor that hard and the turbo creates more heat which causes further wear. Yes, they have them dialed in, but nothing is free. Especially not lots of power in tiny packages.

Ryan, because you are asking, you already know the answer. I think it's awesome that you have already learned what some 50 yo's are just realizing. BTW, the Honda I bought for my son, it has a V6. It's probably the fastest car in my driveway (when it's there). I love driving it.
Old    Ryan (bsebllhglyknit)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-22-2010, 7:40 AM Reply   
Thank you for all the opinions. I guess the smartest thing is used/cheap/reliable. Right now because my dad moved out of state I drive around his 08 corvette when it rains and to get groceries ect. But he obviously wants that back so thanks for putting my mind back on the right track and figuring out what the smart move is.
Old    Chris G. (chris4x4gill2)      Join Date: Sep 2009       07-22-2010, 9:14 AM Reply   
thats probably the first tiem i have ever heard that. LOL > save the Corvette for when it rains. Most people dont take them out of the garage when its wet. (Yes I realize its either that or the bike but still.)
Old    Brian Ferrell (0klahoma_Breakdown)      Join Date: Mar 2010       07-23-2010, 7:04 AM Reply   
We have been looking to downgrade our second vehicle lately. We were thinking about just seeing what we could get for under 15k with the goal of keeping it for 2 years so that we could pay off the boat and upgrade....
So I have been looking in the used SUV area. Researched GM, Ford, Toyota, Nissan, and a few German high mileage that came up in that range. We used the vehicle review site Edmunds as it rates from road test and also consumer reviews taking into account looks, gas mileage, reliability etc. Hands down their number one choice is the Toyota 4runner in either the V6 or V8. The cool thing is a 2004 or 05 4runner looks almost the same as a 08. The ones I am seeing under 15k are without nav but some have leather and a few are the V8. All under 80k miles. Good luck!
Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       07-29-2010, 7:33 PM Reply   
here's a good car
http://sandusky.craigslist.org/cto/1866612479.html
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       07-30-2010, 9:28 AM Reply   
A word of adivce.......enjoy life. Saving is great, but enjoy the fruits of your labor. Most people neglect the mental/physcological side of money. It's not all just in the numbers.
Old    Ryan (bsebllhglyknit)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-31-2010, 6:47 AM Reply   
Adam, there are times that I agree with you, and I should be enjoying life but at the same time. I have seen so many people especially now that have enjoyed there wealth that they have and have lost there job. IE my dad. He had a job for 16 years for the same company, making good money, brand new boat, corvette, truck and got laid off. Just like that. Those 8 months where we had no idea if we were going to lose everything or not probably makes me even more skiddish now about "enjoying the fruit of my labor"

Kinda thinking about keeping just my bike for a while. Paying the cheap insurance, get some easily removeable saddle bags so when I have to go get groceries and carry more stuff. Realisticlly I only need a car maybe 2-3 times a month. I want to get my IRA built up and current investments to a confortable level. My goal is around 30K in investments by this time next year.
Old    Jo Shmoe (joeshmoe)      Join Date: Jan 2003       07-31-2010, 8:40 AM Reply   
30k? and just where are you going to put 30k?
stocks? wait for the next crash
house? have we hit the bottom yet?
buy a boat or find someone with a boat and have fun!
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       07-31-2010, 9:28 AM Reply   
Jo Shmoe seems to be exactly why:
the stocks will crash again
houses haven't hit rock bottom....

I started my IRA what I was 18 and it sucks now to put it away, but when you can retire at like 45 you'll be thanking yourself.

My advice -
Give yourself a max price (which still allows for fun/investments here and there after payments) - hop on craigslist and find something that would be half the price of a new something and you're golden

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