Wise to spend $1500/month on a car given my situation?

28, single, no loans, no kids, house given to by parents, current take home 8.5K post tax as a pharmacist in Texas. 200k saved up with 160k in stocks and 40k liquid. Retirement, 401k, ira maxed etc etc. Worked like a dog these past 3.5 years between 3 jobs and now ready to live life so just working 2 jobs now. I spend about 1.5-2k per month between all my expenses since I’m pretty frugal. Not sure if leasing or buying new is better in this current market?

You only live once. If you feel like you can afford it, and it’s something on your bucket list, go for it. That said, it’s probably not wise from a fiscal perspective. I did it once and I won’t do it again. The enjoyment wears off over time and eventually its not so different from driving around in a car 2/3rd the price. YMMV


Given your life position, I’d spend $500 on a car and the rest to travel


Which car did you have?

I had a really good year in sales and I went for a 2 year lease on a 2015 BMW M4 Comp. Since then I’ve had a 2017 C43 and a 2020 Challenger Scat Pack. I got just as much enjoyment out of them at the end of the day.

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17% of your post tax take home on a car- from my experience- the joy fades, but the cost and regret stick

dont go for the most expensive one you can afford, find a reasonable one you can enjoy.


If you have the chance then do it. You don’t know what the future holds esp if you see wife and kids on the horizon. You can lease something for 2 years and it shouldn’t set you back too much financially.

That’s why I’d take the @mllcb42 approach and travel, actually. :slight_smile: Way easier to travel when you have nothing tethering you down.

Depending on OP’s financial situation in a couple of yrs, they’ll still prob have a decent choice of really lovely cars that are relatively family friendly at the $1K/mo price point.

But, even if they still are making good $, traveling can be so hard w/ a family (I imagine)…


A car is a necessity for most people. Having said that, at a certain point it becomes a “want”.

As a general rule, the first $500 per month of a car payment can easily be classified as a “need” to have a nice reliable vehicle for transportation. Anything above $500 per month falls under the “want” side of things. So the question you should ask is…should I spend $1,000 per month on a “want”? Could you make better use of that $1,000? Maybe the answer is yes and maybe it’s no. That’s your call.

Btw: I just used $500 as a nice round number because most non-luxury vehicles can be had for under $500 per month. Some may say it’s $400 and some may say it’s $600.

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The first thing I thought I’d wow that sounds fun. Then the travel idea and I’m like whoa. If you have any interest in travel you should definitely do that. Having two jobs would probably make that very hard though.
Maybe spend $500-$600 on something nice that you buy? Seems like 3 year old $70,000 cats go for that on a monthly loan. Save the 1000/mo for the next year and go away for 3-4 months and see the world.

If you don’t care about going anywhere exotic, maybe save up for a down payment on a property you can rent out?

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This is a terrible market for both. If you’ve had the self-discipline to wait this long, wait a little bit longer for supply issues to be solved.

Also Texas is brutal with taxes on leases unless you get tax credits so another reason to wait.

If you absolutely need a car by this weekend then get something to tide you over until things get better (something that can be transferred to a new lessee or sold to Carvana/vroom/Carmax without much fuss).


I’ve done a lot of traveling over the past 10 years. With a little one now, that’s all came grinding to a halt. Yah, covid hasn’t helped, but until they’re older, you’re way limited in what is practical.


Urghh my current lease ends in August, and it looks like things wont get better by then. Maybe swapalease or private lease on here?

Yeah you have some time so keep an eye on SAL, here and all the BMW forums for transfers.

Extending your current lease might be another possibility

EVs are still leasing decently the last time I checked so you could get a Bolt or something similar to tide you over after August. while GM financial only allows transfers within the same state, shoudknt be a problem in a populous state.

$1,500/month just for a lease payment, plus who knows how much for insurance, personal property tax if your state/local government has it… all adds up quickly. It is one thing to be able to afford it, which you can, but still doesn’t make since to burn money on a bad lease. As said earlier, now is pretty much the worst time to lease in the last several years with the artificial market currently. Your idea of looking at Swap A lease in August is a good idea.

Do you have any equity in your current lease? Check Carvana, Carmax, Vroom and see, might be a nice little bonus for you.

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Putting aside the financial advice everyone is giving here. Also depends what car you drive right now. If going from a civic to a $1500 car, I’d say find something in the middle. But if you drive an ~m4 already, probably stick it out in the same price range.

Tons of cars bring enjoyment at $700 price range too.

I think the real question is are you going to enjoy/appreciate it? If you can afford it, then the only thing that matters is if you are going to enjoy it.

I personally learned I don’t really enjoy “sportier” cars for more than a few months and I end up wasting money on 24-36 month leases.

Instead when I have the itch, I have been taking over leases with 12 months or less left.

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Travelling is a great idea, but given the current covid conditions choices are quite limited. Traveling is much more expensive also. Given the op’s expensive taste, he would easily spend $10k on a 2 weeks trip plus all the money he won’t be making from his 2nd job. This is assuming his main job offers pto. I have a few pharmacist friends who work multiple part time jobs without benefits and pto. This 2 week vaca can easily cost $15k which is equivalent to 10 payments. They are both expensive options. It is a matter of preference.

I have much fonder memories of my $15k vacations than I do of paying car payments.


Where in the world do you guys vacation?!?!?!?