We all know someone who drives a super fancy car and flaunts it every chance he or she gets. What we don't know is the situation that person put themselves in to drive that fancy car. Of course, some people can afford the car and even buy it outright, but most of the time, it's either leased or the person is paying upwards of $1,000 per month just to make everyone on the road seethe with envy.
I was the type of person who not only wanted to drive a nice car, but I also changed cars like I change my underwear. Within a decade I think I owned about 6 or 7 vehicles. In hindsight, this was a very stupid thing to do. Not only was I losing money every time I traded in a car, I was increasing my monthly car payment just to keep up appearances. The culmination of my stupidity was the BMW 325. I loved that car...until I needed an oil change and new tires. They may be pretty to look at, but maintenance on a German car can run a fortune.
One day I brought my BMW in to get serviced and the dealership told me it would cost around $2,000. I literally told them to keep the car and traded it in for a Hyundai SUV that same day.
Fast forward a few years and I now drive a 2008 Infiniti G35 with 137,000 miles and counting. I recently paid it off in full. It's mine and I will drive that baby until the very end. I can't stress enough how great it feels to not have a car payment anymore. That dreaded $395/month is now money in my pocket. That's almost $4,800 per year that I can add to my investment account.
I will never buy another car I can't afford. And by can't afford, I mean one that I couldn't buy with cash if I wanted to. If you don't have the equivalent amount of cash saved up, then you don't need a car that expensive. And if you do spend a bit more than you should, keep it until it's paid off and keep on driving it. Warren Buffett is famous for driving cars into the ground. If one of the richest people in the world can drive an old car, so can you!