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Old 12-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #41
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About 90% of my current income (retired for 7 years).
Of course, I had saved up for this, going into debt for that would have been bad.
Fancier car than I normally would buy, but only EV with 150+ range.
We felt we owed it to our nieces and nephews, the rest of the next generation, our brave soldiers and figured if we can reduce our own contribution to our trade deficit, we should.
Next car will likely be 33% to 50%. Also keep in mind we won't be spending 3% of our income on gas, and instead about 0.3% on electricity.

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Old 12-15-2012, 07:08 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by zxcvlkj View Post
I been advised I spent too much on my car and curious what people on this board have spent on cars.
I spent approx 50% of my gross on a Lexus.
I don't think that it matters what you spend on anything while you're earning a paycheck.

What matters is how much you're saving for financial independence, and your FI budget is going to determine how much you're going to need to save.

I've never read or heard about anyone trying to compare the car you buy to a percentage of your income. However I've read plenty about how many hours you'd have to work (after taxes) to earn the money to buy the car. How many hours of your life did you have to work to buy yours?

I think you're wasting your time trying to rationalize ratio the car's expense to a salary percentage. You might gain more insight from trying to forecast your FI budget and boosting your savings rate.

If you can only boost your savings by selling the car, then that's a decision about your values. And if a car is worth that much to you, well then you'd better be willing to work for it.
How many years does it take to become financially independent?


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Old 12-15-2012, 07:36 PM   #43
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If it helps, I bought every car I ever wanted and still retired 25 years ago at 34. Here is a partial list motorcycles not included)

1967 Chrysler 300L (new)
1969 Triumph GT6 (used)
1974 Datsun 260Z (new)
1976 Honda Civic (new)
1980 Mazda RX-7 (new)
1969 Aston Martin (used)
1980 Chevrolet Corvette (used)
1987 Jeep Cherokee Limited (new)
1989 Mercedes 420 SEL (new)
1992 Jaguar XJ6 (new)
1994 BMW 740 I (new)
1994 Cheverolet Yukon Sport (new)
1998 GMC Yukon Sport (new)
2000 Porsche Boxster S (new)
1997 Toyota Caldina SW (used)

I have no idea "what % of income" I spent as they were almost all company owned (25 years later ex still owns the company) but she was more in to shoes!

I got over the whole "car thing" years ago (now do not own a car) but everyday a few cars pass me while I am walking around the city and still manage to turn my head. While I still give the obligatory admiring glance to a Ferrari or Mercedes, I find it is better to receive than to give and enjoy the admiring glances of Chica's much more so, when I am not wrapped up in a phallic symbol!
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:46 PM   #44
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I am not a car person, so mostly I view cars as appliances. I am aware other people see things differently, and much luck to them. Usually, I buy new and keep for 10+ years. The last vehicle we bought was my cowboy cadillac, a crew cab F150. It was by far the most expensive vehicle we have ever bought, but well worth the expense every time I hitch up the travel trailer or go down a Forest Service road while hunting. I guess it cost about 30% of my gross for the year, give or take.

OP, I am not sure what you are looking for, but it really doesn't matter what you spend your money on. What matters is that you save enough to reach your goals in the time you wanted to reach them.
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."

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Old 12-15-2012, 08:04 PM   #45
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I bought 3 new cars while I was working. Each was right about 75% of my gross salary. The first required a loan from my dad, the other two I paid for with cash. No regrets, I enjoyed them every day, spent a lot of time with them, and was active in the car club until I had kids. I would have hated an econobox every one of those days, and I am often shocked at how crappy most of my rental cars drive.

You have your income throughout your life. It's up to you to spend it in a way that makes you feel best. I cheap-out on plenty of stuff, but not my cars. And I do keep them for a long time.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:15 PM   #46
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I am not a car person at all, and have only owned a car about 1/3rd of my adult life (motorcycle maybe 1/5th, the rest bicycle only). I generally spent $1k - $2k on each, so a median of maybe 2%. The one new car I bought 26 years ago (Toyota Camry) would bring the mean up to about 4%.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:18 PM   #47
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We have 2 acuras, a corvette and an F-150. They averaged about 15% of our income in the years that we bought them.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:14 PM   #48
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The last time we bought a new car was in 2003, and it was an SUV for my wife. We paid cash for it, and it now has but 27K miles on it. It will be a while before we need to buy another new vehicle. I recently needed to get a toad to tow behind my RV, and bought a used one.

I see that the OP is still young in his late 20s. At that age, surely I cared more about cars too. I did not buy anything expensive because I was frugal. Now, I do not care much about cars any more.

My nephew has an Audi S4 with a V8 engine and a 6-speed stick shift. As a pharmarcist in his early 30s and single, surely he could afford it, and I told him that he should enjoy it while in his youth and still cared about it. I drove his car once when he wanted me to pick him up at the airport, and frankly, driving a stick shift is too much work for me nowadays. That time is way past for me. I had a Datsun 280Z back in those days, and though not an expensive car it did get my adrenaline up.

So, I think young people should enjoy cars when they still care about it. As long as one does not trade one in every 3 or 4 years, it should not make much of an impact on his ability to ER.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:29 PM   #49
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3 years ago, I spent 0.64% of my annual gross on my set of wheels.

Admission - the set of wheels in question (my only form of transport) was a bicycle which I found used on Craigslist

The annual maintenance cost is a pleasingly low figure!
ER, for all intents and purposes. Part-time income <5% of annual expenditure.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:23 AM   #50
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Compared to the people living in my building, we have very cheap cars. Still, it sickens me to see all the dents and scratches made by people who carelessly bang their car doors against mine. I am so glad I don't have a luxury car.
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:43 AM   #51
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Last car I bought was a new 2009 Honda Fit. ~40 MPG and a butt load of room. bought it for 12K with a turn in of a minivan in the gubmint's cash for clunkers program.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:38 AM   #52
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If you need to ask us whether you can afford your car you have a lot of thinking and research to do before you can figure out FIRE. It doesn't matter what we would do. It doesn't matter what you spent on your car. Some of us live in expensive locations with tons of money tied up in our homes. Others live in less expensive areas in nicer houses for a fraction of the cost. Whatever floats your boat.

What matters is how much you are saving, how your are investing it, and what your recurring expenses will be. If a luxury vehicle will be important to your ER life, figure out how frequently you will replace it and make sure you include appropriate replacement expenses in your ER budget.
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:19 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by zxcvlkj View Post
I been advised I spent too much on my car and curious what people on this board have spent on cars.
Very curious here about who told you that you spent too much on your car and why they said that.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by zxcvlkj View Post
i can't help but sense some negativity from your responses. if this thread raises your blood pressure, i suggest you not participate and create a new thread about homes, boats, vacations, collectibles, and toys.

if i have misunderstood your intentions i apologize.

the point of this thread is to create a discussion and to obtain an understanding of how much money people allocate to cars. i do not want to be in your situation where i end up with more money than i can spend. i would like to balance my present finances with my future finances.
Some bold assumptions, especially for a newbie, but I hope the thread serves your purpose.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #55
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Good advice from some smart people on this board. As long as you are covering your savings and not sacrificing that part of your long range plan go for it! I cringe when I think about some boats that I bought back in the 80s when I was in my 30s. I should have been socking away more money. It turned out fine but I had to save more in my 40sand 50s to make ER a reality. I am probably the worst person to ask about buying vehicles. I keep my trucks for at least 10 years or 200k miles. My current truck is an 03 model with 183k miles. I need to get me a new truck but won't pay more than $25k for a new one. I have been told by my redneck buddies that I am a cheapskate! I have always got the "right" price so it's only a matter of time.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:54 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by zxcvlkj View Post
i do not want to be in your situation where i end up with more money than i can spend.
I don't think you have to worry about that.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:20 AM   #57
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We always buy used and keep them until they are too old to fix. Right now we have a 1999 Chevy pickup with a Tommy lift that we bought at the university auction for $2700. My husband used it on the job and knew the truck only had 50000 miles. We got it 8 years ago.

We also have a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis that we've had for 10 years. And I now drive a 2000 Mercury Sable wagon that my dad bought new, but then soon stopped driving. When I inherited it in 2010, it had 13000 miles. I love it.

So no, we never spend much on cars. The most we ever spent on a car was $15000 for a family van, when the kids were little.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #58
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I drive a Volkswagon Toureg. Bought the first one the first year they came out. At the time, it was the only vehicle I found that was sort of SUVish that did not have a 3rd seat that met my needs of long distance travel without a back ache, allowed me to put my groceries in the back, had a luxury "feel" with a European drive feel. Besides it had/has a Porshe Cayenne base without the price tag. I don't like the softness of the drive and ride of the Lexus and other such manufacturers but that is me.

Had several safety issues, kept it for 7 years or so. Finally had to go in search of another vehicle as the costs of owning were starting to creep up. Searched high and low for another type of vehicle. After all, if I'm going to spend any kind of money (over $30K), I am going to love the darn thing.

Long story short, went back to the Volkswagon dealership. Approach was basically, "listen I loved this car when I drove it, here are the issues I have had and I'm looking at other manufacturers".

They offered me a 2010 Toureg, deducted ALL of my maintenance costs I had paid on the first one (over $8,000), gave me another 15% off and 1% financing. They wanted to keep me as a recurring customer, had a 2010 they wanted to move as the design was going to change...etc. Plus those safety issues I mentioned were quite serious in my opinion.
I took the deal, particularly after they assured me all the kinks had been worked out and they threw in the extra warranty.
So far, so good. Love the vehicle! Has less than 37,000 miles and I plan to keep it as long as nothing major happens. Hopefully for many years.

As long as I can average the costs over many years I figure the initial hit of buying is o.k. to my ER plans.

For the record, I do not like buying cars.!!! Darn Depreciating asset.!
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:35 AM   #59
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I have a 1996 Plymouth Neon that except for the engine, everything else I've pretty much replaced or repaired one time or another. Still gets me from point A to point B. Only about 150K. Maybe when it hits 200K, the car will FIRE
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:24 AM   #60
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Ford Mustang which I bought at about 30% of my yearly earnings.

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