Believe it or not, most people have a very limited idea of what their budget can and should afford when it come to looking at buying a car.
Essentially there is two type of logic pursued when it comes to their car buying experience. One is from those who think in terms of the sticker price or the actual overall cash responsibility, while others only buy and budget based on what their monthly payment are going to turn out to be.
Even if you are not the type to really sit down and crunch the budget numbers before you set out to buy a car, you need to understand that the cost of owning a car whether cash or monthly payments involves more than just the price of the car.
Each and every month your budget will come under assault from such things as insurance for car, maintenance on the car, ever rising fuel costs just to drive and enjoy your car, and let's not forget about our old friend depreciation. Even though depreciation isn't something that you have to write a check for each month... it is a very real expense.
When you head out to buy a car (whether you are a buyer or a leader), if you only have a vague idea of what your budget needs to be and what the costs involved are with the car; you'll no doubt pay way too much. And with all of the information on car prices, dealer costs, and budget calculators out there, there is really no excuse for you to not know very accurately what you are doing when you set off to go about buying your next car.
But before you even begin doing your car research, you must sit down and determine the specifics of your personal budget. This is not at all a difficult task (yet so many people skip this vital step), but it is one that could potentially save you from making an egregious car buying error.
The keys to a determining a workable budget are accuracy and honesty. Make sure you start with your take home pay (not your gross salary) in order to determine what type of car price you can comfortably afford... please note the keyword comfortably.
Subtract from your monthly take pay all of your monthly expenses such as your house (or rent) payment, all your monthly utility costs, your monthly grocery expense, your entertainment allowance (be sure to include what you spend eating out) and anything else you do that your spend your money on... then add about 10% more for padding.
If you have never done this before and are not quite sure where to start determining your car buying budget, just do a quick search on-line and you'll find many interactive Websites that will walk you through the budgeting process.
Only once you have gotten a very good grip on what your current monthly expenses are should you then begin your car buying research. Poorly planned budgeting and not having those numbers firmly established in your mind when you are out on your car buying quest is a recipe for overpaying and blowing your budget. Don't risk the stress... get your numbers straight first.