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What to Spend on a Car if You Don’t Want to Go Broke

Two months ago I got rid of my beloved 2007 Chevy Equinox and got a new-to-me car. Even though I had vowed to drive the Equinox until it died with the birth of my third daughter the car was no longer practical. Most weekends I had at least one extra kid and our family could no longer leave the house when we had weekend guests. When we did leave the house we had to take two separate vehicles to accommodate all the kiddos. It was a hassle. An extremely annoying one. But I insisted that we’d make it work. I fought my husband tooth and nail on it. He had been looking for a new car for months and I just wasn’t having it. Spend 10% or Less of Your Annual Income on a Vehicle Even though I was really beginning to get annoyed by our car situation there was NO way I was about to make a rash decision and splurge on a vehicle. I’ve had car payments before and in no way, shape or form do I want them again. I decided to go with Financial Samurai’s 1/10th car rule. I always thought this seemed like a pretty smart financial guideline and now that I actually needed to buy a vehicle I put it to the test. (If you’re wondering, the 1/10th rule is exactly how it sounds – spend 10% or less of your annual income on the purchase price of a vehicle.) So, I gave my husband a list and it proved to be a tough one. Here was my criteria: 7 or 8 passenger SUV Leather seats Neutral Color Well maintained Preferably a Chevy Under $10k It took him 6 months but he finally found the car. We ended up with a one owner, 7 passenger Acadia with leather seats, a neutral gray/blue color and we got it for $8,200! (We also currently have my Equinox up for sale which should go for at least $3,000.) Obviously, finding the car wasn’t easy. It took six months of my husband looking nearly every night. It also…

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