How to budget for a car.
Your top car budgeting questions, answered.
Like all budgeting, car budgeting involves a series of tradeoffs. You could spend less up front but more in the long run, or you could spend more up front and less in the long run, or you can opt for somewhere in between. The tradeoffs you make largely depend on your personal financial situation, as well as your values and priorities.
How to budget: getting started.
- How much should I spend on a car? Experts recommend spending no more than 10 to 15 percent of your income on a car payment, so set your price from there and see what might be the best fit.
- How much should I budget for maintenance? This depends on the car you purchase. A cheaper, older car may cost less up front, but it probably will have more ongoing maintenance and repair needs. A newer car might be safe from major repair costs for a couple of years. Before you cut the check, make sure to get a maintenance list from your car dealer so you have a sense of what’s up to date and what isn’t. Having this list can help you anticipate major upcoming costs.
- How much should I budget for insurance? If you buy a new car, you may save on maintenance and repair costs, but your insurance premium will be higher. The best way to save on insurance is to opt for a car model with maximum safety features and optimal crash test results. Of course, this kind of car could cost you more up front. So again, this depends on where you want to spend.
Create your car budget.
Building any budget is both an art and a science — working within your financial means, making decisions about your values, and making tradeoffs. Build your car budget into your overall budget PDF template to stay on top of your spending. And discover what more you can do with Adobe Acrobat DC and Acrobat online services to build your most effective budget.