If you’re looking for a car buying rule, let me introduce you to the 1/10th rule for car buying. The 1/10th rule will help you spend responsibly, reduce your car ownership stress, and boost your net worth over time.
In 2009, I watched in horror as a total of 690,000 new vehicles averaging $24,000 each were sold under the Cash For Clunkers program.
The government’s $4,000 rebate for trading in your car ended up hurting hundred of thousands of people’s finances instead. With a median household income of only around $50,221 at the time, spending $24,000 on a new car was clearly too much.
Instead of buying a $24,000 car in 2009, you could have invested the $24,000 in the S&P 500. If you did, you would now have over $70,000 in 2021. That’s quite an opportunity cost for buying a new car!
Buying too much car is one of the easiest and biggest financial mistakes someone can make. Besides the purchase price of a car, you’ve got to also pay car insurance, maintenance, parking tickets, and traffic tickets.
When you add everything up, I’m pretty sure you’ll be shocked at how much it really costs to own a car and hurl.