Buy A New Car Every Few Years Or Get Rich? Your Choice

Cars in Bella Center 2006Cars are an interesting phenomenon in the United States. I’d say most Americans believe that they are defined by their cars. As such, they want a car that they think fits the image they want for themselves. Whether you’re buying a sports car to make up for something you’re lacking or a luxury sedan to make up for the fact you can’t really afford one, people don’t make the best money decisions when it comes to buying cars.

Why Do People Buy Cars They Can’t Afford?

People buy cars they can’t afford because no one told them they can’t really afford them. Cars are EXPENSIVE. You’re spending a ton more on cars than you think. For example, have you ever thought of the cost of buying your car in the first place, the cost to drive the car, maintain and insure your car all at the same time? Few people have. When they do, it can be an eye opener.

On top of that, most people never take the time to think about the fact that they’re going into consumer debt to buy a newer, fancier, more awesome car. They’re giving up their future money and time to drive a different car than they previously had. Even if that old car worked just fine and the only reason they bought a new car was because they wanted something different.

I hope I can make sure you don’t fall into this trap.

The Real Reason You Own A Car

Most people glance over the real reason why they own a car every single time they shop for a car. The purpose of a car is transportation. It gets you from point A to point B and maybe point C if you’re going on a longer trip.

Corporate America and car makers don’t want you to remember that cars are for transportation. They want you to see cars as a status symbol. They want you to equate your car to your success in life. They want you to be proud of your car and pay a ton of money for completely unnecessary features that are purely cosmetic and serve no real purpose other than increasing the cool factor of your ride.

Don’t let corporate America decide why you need a car and what you need in a car. Remember, cars are for transportation. Anything above transportation is spending more money and time to get places in style or comfort. Some is worth the extra cost depending on your wants. Just don’t let society tell you what is valuable to you. That’s for you to decide.

The Benefit Of Realizing A Car Is For Transportation

Once you realize that which car you buy is a huge choice, you can now determine how much money you truly want to spend on a car. Spend as much or as little on a car as you want, just make sure it fits in line with your values.

If you end up spending less on cars and buy cars less frequently, you can save a ton of money over the future decades of your life. Invest it and you could be shocked by the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars that could end up in your investment portfolio.

Have you realized how much money you spend on cars? Have you decided it is worth it, or have you decided to cut your transportation spending?

photo by: Maltesen

About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern is the founder of Adventuring Dollars and Money Manifesto. He has a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. I like your article Lance especially on how you stated and described people’s perception in owning a car. There are lots of possible investments were they can put their money instead of spending it all at once. There is no problem in spending your money elsewhere but you would gain more if money is invested to a certain business. Who knows you could even buy not just one car from what you will earn.

  2. My current car is mighty old but it’s running strong; the insurance and fuel economy is so cheap on it too! I certainly understand why people purchase cars they can’t afford though. Parking up next to a colleague’s fresh BMW is a little daunting each morning but I keep telling myself “I’m making the better decision here!”

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