If you were making $44k to $48k a year, can a person afford a $36k car comfortably?

3,498
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Joined Sep 16, 2010
Well, I'm looking for a job in my field of study and the jobs starting salaries are between $44k to $48k a year, so I am wondering can that be able to afford a $36k car? I plan on getting a brand new Dodge charger R/T max in a year or two, so I'm just curious. Thanks in advance..
 
23,987
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Joined May 18, 2005
are you living at home?
what do you have saved up?

and it should be obvious that this is a dumb move... but I'll try to answer just to answer.
 
20,915
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Joined Feb 10, 2003
Well, I'm looking for a job in my field of study and the jobs starting salaries are between $44k to $48k a year, so I am wondering can that be able to afford a $36k car? I plan on getting a brand new Dodge charger R/T max in a year or two, so I'm just curious. Thanks in advance..
Hell no you can't afford a 36K car on 44-46K a year.
 
7,061
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Joined Feb 20, 2013
Should only be about 20% of your salary just to be safe. You have to think about the future.

Do you play on buying a house? House market is rising. Any kids in the future? Life insurance? The list goes onnnnnn.
 
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buying a car you can't afford is one of the biggest mistakes young people make when they first land a decent job. don't do it. stick to a 15k car.
 
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Joined May 4, 2006
You can cop if you save and finance for about 5 years.

You may be better off saving and driving something within your means. One of the biggest mistakes people make is buying a new car thats nicer than what they can actually afford because they want the feeling/appearance of a new car when they haven't yet 'earned' it. Don't make life tougher on yourself. Monthly payment + insurance will be no joke at that salary, factor in rent, utilities, food, other misc purchases and you'll be living paycheck to paycheck for 5 years.

Its good you asked this now though.
 
13,627
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Joined Jun 7, 2011
Probably not unless you get one of those 6-8 year car notes, but then at the end of the note you've paid WAAAAAAY more than 36k.

Then you'd have eat ramen noodles & pbj sandwhiches every night like a broke college kid.

Here's what you can do, get a pen, paper, sit down & list your monthly AFTER TAX income and subtract your monthly expenses, including the car, its insurance, etc.

After you do that you'll get a number. Only you can decide whether that number is too low or not.
 
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3,937
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Save a few thousand dollars and go to the auction and buy your car outright. No note. If you go with about 4K you can find all kinds of great late model cars to choose from. But to answer your question buying a 36k car while earning a salary of 44-48k is really stupid.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
If you really want a Charger, you should just get a used one that still has a warranty.  You'll get it for half the price and it won't hurt your pockets too much...
 
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Joined Feb 20, 2013
Probably not unless you get one of those 96 month car notes, but then at the end of the note you've paid WAAAAAAY more than 36k.

Here's what you can do, get a pen, paper, sit down & list your monthly AFTER TAX income and subtract your monthly expenses, including the car, its insurance, etc.

After you do that you'll get a number. Only you can decide whether that number is too low or not.
While a good start, people tend to forget that we cannot predict the future or what may come of it.

Let's say OP finances a car for 60-72 months, he does the list and concludes that he can make the payments.

You really think that'll be the last bill he has for the next 5-6 years?

Gas prices, vehicle maintenance, healthcare, plans on buying a house, possible life insurance, kids, finding a girl and getting married, vacations? All these things will come to mind in the future. PROMISE!
 
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How old are you? 

Factor in tax and license. Thats $3600 roughly on top of the 36k; i'll be extremely nice and say they finance you at 1.9% after you put down 4k, you'll be paying $550-570 or so over 60months, you might be able to negotiate that with the dealer and reach something you like.

You're done there, now lets move on to insurance, new car, sports car at that, lets say you the insurance is $150-200 could be even higher based on your age or lower.

So per month you could be looking at $700-770. 

Thats my rough break down. Do the math for what your monthly income will be after taxes, benefits and what not. 

Its doable but your budget might be tight with that being spent on a car. 
 
7,740
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most people when they buy cars nowadays look at the monthly payment than the overall cost so if you can afford 500-600 going toward a note a month i say go for it.
 
7,061
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Joined Feb 20, 2013
most people when they buy cars nowadays look at the monthly payment than the overall cost so if you can afford 500-600 going toward a note a month i say go for it.
Let's say he puts down $3k down payment @ 2-5% interest for 60 months. His note will be almost 600 a month

Now full coverage insurance, let's just say $200 depending on his driving history and age.

Now add another $200+ on gasoline. OP's paying $1000 a month for a damn car. :smh: All bad!
 
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