“Buying” or leasing a brand new vehicle is just about the silliest thing you can do. I say “buying” in quotation marks because when you purchase a brand new vehicle more often than not you finance it. You don't really buy anything, you put yourself into massive debt, or what I like to call debtors prison.
What happens if you think you have a secure job, you purchase a brand new car to keep up with the Jones' and six months down the line you get laid off or fired? You still have the car payment barreling down on you like a semi going full speed on your direction.
Let me tell you, as a person who has both financed a car and been fired many times it gets very worrisome trying to come up with that car payment every single month when I've got no income.
Same scenario: you get laid off or fired. This time, however, you were smart enough to save up a couple grand and you purchase your vehicle in cold, hard cash. All you have to worry about now is paying for gas and paying for insurance.
Average liability only insurance premiums for an American are $900 per year, and if you were smart you pay six months in advance. That means all you worry about is gas.
The average price paid for a new car is $28,400. At a modest 6% interest rate over four years you pay a grand total of $32,014.79 (assuming no down payment or trade-in) and $666.97 per month. That much money per month can let you live comfortably in a decent apartment.
Imagine getting rid of those six hundred bucks per month in expenses. You can save up for a few months and buy a car in cash and never worry about making another car payment again. Taking the bus for a few months is a great trade-off in never making another car payment.
Even if you pay for the car in cash there is no reason to purchase a brand-new vehicle. As soon as you drive that car off the lot its value plummets. Purchase the same car a year or two old and save yourself some money. In one year that brand new car you bought is now an old car and you wasted several thousand dollars.
Of course, if you live in a city with a good public transportation system you can get rid of the car permanently. Even better because then you save money on gas and insurance AND get you don't have to drive in grid-iron, bumper to bumper traffic.
If possible, riding a bicycle or a moped (I know it looks stupid) is an excellent money saving method of travel and if you ride a bike you will get tons of great exercise. I dare you to find a fat person who rides a bike every day.
Driving a car is one of the most dangerous things you can do. As an added bonus you save yourself a 1 in 84 chance of dying in a car accident. You could die thousands of times in a car accident before ever winning the lottery or being eaten by a shark.
There you have it, trade in that money hemorrhaging hunk of junk, get rid of those payments, save up and get yourself a cash car that gets good gas mileage and has a reputation for being a quality vehicle.
I won't go into much detail about the absurdity of leasing a car other than to say you are paying an arm and a leg to rent a car, you have to carry full coverage insurance, you are limited to a certain number of miles…you might as well drive a car with a gas leak. You could just give $20 to every single person you meet and make some new friends.
Simplify your lives, gentlemen.