A large majority of the traffic Google sends my way goes to the post, “How much car can you afford? The 20% rule”. If you’ve been around here for a while, you’re probably sick of me talking about this simple rule, which is to spend no more than 20% of your annual income to buy a car. I get quite a few comments, some supportive and others from people who think I’m deranged for thinking this way.
Lately, I’ve had a few commenters disagreeing with the rule because throwing away money on cars is their passion… oh wait, I guess that’s not quite how they put it. It’s actually a pretty convincing argument because they’re so passionate about the driving experience. This guy in particular is quite in love:
I think I have a problem with the undertone in his comment… mostly that it makes me uncomfortable with how connected he is to the “driving experience”. I’ve never seen someone so locked in while driving to the store to get milk!
That being said, I totally get where Joe is coming from. I like the driving experience as well, and I can imagine that the more you get into it, the more you’re tuned in to the subtleties of the drive.
But having a “passion for it” isn’t an excuse for throwing away all of your money on it!
Take my friend (who I’ve made up) named Jones. He’s incredibly passionate with keeping up with… well, his neighbors. He loves appearing to be the richest person on the block and there’s no way he’ll let anyone appear to get ahead of him. Because of his passion for keeping up, he’s driven himself into loads of debt that will soon sink the nice boat he just bought.
But since it’s his passion, it’s all good right?
Let’s take a look at the next commenter “E”. He’s against everything in the article (wow, it actually makes me sound like a writer when someone calls my post an article!!).
Glad to hear that “E” can still afford food even though he’s spending 60% of his salary on a car. Holy crap, even when I was making bad decision on car buying, I still wasn’t spending that much!
In the end, E and Joe can spend as much as they want on cars, but they’re obviously somewhat concerned because they’re looking for answers on how much car they can afford (and subsequently disagreeing when they find answers). I wrote the original post to give people an idea of what’s not too crazy when buying a car. Mostly it’s intended for rational people who are looking to get ahead financially, but if that’s not your thing, then don’t Google it!