Ascertaining your Car Budget: Balance the Books before you Buy a Car

The process of buying a car starts with creating a budget for it. If you are planning to buy a new automobile, estimate your financial capabilities. A car comes with additional costs such as monthly loan payments, fuel expenses, and maintenance costs. You should always calculate the budget to buy the car depending upon your financial situation, ability to spend, and requirements. Balance the books before you bring home a car.

The Essential Budgeting Advice for Every Car Buyer

Below mentioned are the few factors that will guide you while you calculate a budget for your new car:

1. Determine the Real Price of the Vehicle

The final price of your vehicle is not the sticker value because the real price involves costs such as sales tax, registration fees, and other charges such as extended warranties, dealer add-ons, etc. Decide in the initial stage whether you want to buy a new car or a used one. A new car usually costs around $35,000, whereas you can get a used one at a price as low as $10,000. Check online with car portals, visit a few dealerships, and research to get the best deal.

2. What will be your Financial Costs?

Are you planning to buy a car with cash? Do you want to use all your savings towards a new automobile? Conduct a cost vs. benefit analysis for buying a car with cash. If you are planning to apply for an auto loan, consider all the financial costs involved. The monthly payments for your auto loan will include the payment towards interest and loan amount.

If you do not want to buy the car shortly and can wait for the interest rates to change, you may be able to afford a luxurious variant of the car model of your choice. But, if you need an auto loan urgently, shop online to get the most affordable deal. Online auto financing companies have lenient loan approval criteria that enable poor credit car buyers to get an auto loan.

3. A Huge Upfront Payment will Help You

When creating a budget for your car, always give a thought to down payment. With an upfront payment to the dealer, you will reduce the loan amount and opt for a vehicle that you like. Making a down payment for your car not only reduces your total financial cost but also decreases the amount that you need to pay every month in the form of auto loan payments. It sounds like a win-win!

To make a down payment, plan your investments and savings for the next couple of months. If you have a massive future expenditure such as a house or a wedding, opt for no money down auto loans.

4. Study the Monthly Maintenance Thoroughly

While deciding on the budget for your car, take care of the car buying cost and consider the maintenance costs that come after your vehicle is on the roads. You might think that you can arrange funds for your one-time down payment and the monthly payments. But, if you forget about the monthly maintenance costs, it can become a problem.

So, apart from calculating the costs involved in bringing your car from the dealership lot to your home, you should also consider the maintenance costs such as car storage rent/garage rentals, insurance premiums, fuel prices, service costs, and regular maintenance expenses.

Follow The 20/10 Rule of Thumb for your Automobile Debt Payments

Are you worried about managing your car costs once your vehicle is home? Follow the 20/10 thumb rule for managing your financials in a better way. The 20/10 rule limits your consumer debt payments so that your debt does not exceed 20% of your gross annual income and 10% of your gross monthly income. It means you should not spend more than 10% of your monthly income on car loan payments, insurance premiums, fuel, maintenance, etc.

When you are buying a new car, your financial stability is of prime importance. Do not say yes to any lucrative deal the dealer offers you when you have not done your research and ascertained your car-buying budget. Remember to balance the books to balance your financial condition and life!