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  1. Default Buy a car or a new phone?

    Hello everyone.

    This year, I started to save money and I've decided to use the money I save and get myself something nice for a change. It's between a car and a phone.

    I keep hearing from my dad that everything about a car is expensive. However, out of all the people I know, it seems that they have no trouble with paying for their car. I'm a bit skeptical, honestly but I'll believe my parents...for now. I've been asking for rides from my friends and I hate doing that because if no one's available, I'm stuck. Getting a car means I go by my own rules. I'm not crazy, so a decent used car is good enough for me.

    Then, there's getting a new phone. With being social at school, I get a ton of text messages on a daily basis. Sometimes, especially with group texts, I cannot reply to a group of people, but to individuals. There are ways to bypass this, but the more common ones all involve using apps. I have a basic this would mean I would need a smartphone...which also equals more money. The phone I have now is about 3 years old or so and is breaking apart. It doesn't close all the way (it's a flip phone) and charges weirdly, but can be fixed if I plug it is just right.

    The way I have my money management, I can save $200 per month going towards 1 of these items. I haven't even factored in my parents' help in either one only because I don't want their help in ANYTHING since they keep telling me not to use my money on anything outside of school.

    I'm really leaning towards a car. I've heard the good and bad of both but I don't know which I should work towards.
    If it helps, I'm in college and I have a year or year and a half left.

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

  2. aka ClawofBeta Straight Male
    Corn's Avatar [Jr. Event Coordinator]

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    Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    Phone. You're underestimating how much a car costs if you're comparing it to a phone.

  3. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    Oh I definitely know it'll be more than a phone.

    However, I do have a question though. Is maintaining a car more expensive than actually buying one? I know some things you only have to do every other year or so (like tires for example). Since I know how to change tires and know how to change my oil, fluids, and even spark plugs, would that also bring down the maintenance cost by a lot?

  4. Mercury Straight Male
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    Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    Depending on what kind of car you get it can either be a really good purchase or a terrible money pit. Buying from a good dealer pretty much guarantees that your car will run for the next 40k miles under warranty. Buying a cheap car on CL can equal a ton of maintenance that the car would need while you're owning it, sometimes as high as the amount the car was purchased for in case of a drivetrain failure/rebuild. Other times a more expensive car can look good and perform good while you're buying it, but after a month things start to go downhill and make you spend even more money on it. On a rare occasion on CL you can buy a car that does everything and won't break down in the near future. Knowing how to change all the fluids will only save you maybe $350 at max every year, as most of the major fluid changes can be expensive but will only need to be done every 50~70k miles, so they can be spaced out; what I pay for all my general maintenance is around $150 yearly, versus my parents who pay about $500, if they remember to do all of it on time. I bought my car for 3k off craigslist and paid a guy 1k to catch the engine up on every possible maintenance.

    A phone is just a phone, you pay $500 and the monthly fee for service and you're golden.

    tldr Buy a phone because it's not a big financial responsibility; a car, without a good budget will most likely bring you down and give you unnecessary trouble.

  5. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    This is exactly the type of comment I like to see. Thanks for your input!

  6. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    You should get in touch with an insurance company and try for a quote - car insurance for college age males is basically the highest of any demographic even if you've had no accidents. 200 a month might not even be able to cover ongoing insurance costs depending what you drive and where (fast cars and big cities are worse).

    I can't tell if you live with your parents; if you do you can sometimes save money by getting put on their policy. Really though calling an insurance company's probably the fastest way to find out.

  7. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    You'll probably be put under your parents insurance, I'm assuming they probably have state farm. The better question is how much money do you have saved up? My car buying experience was essentially to put 3 grand down on a new car, pay about 300 bucks a month, and get about 30 bucks worth of gas every 3 weeks. I haven't had many other expenses, however if you're going into a used car environment, there's a lot of things you have to check for.

  8. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    You can get a serviceable used car for $1000. Insurance and maintenance costs a pretty penny regardless, but a car is much more useful than a smartphone. I assume OP has a phone plan of some sort already, and you can get a cheap phone for texting for less than $50.

  9. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    Like Stereo said, look into insurance I am telling you now. I have USAA insurance, imo probably the best and most affordable out there, and my minimum state required coverage is 214/mo. A car would be very helpful, but if you decide to get one be very pineappleing smart about it and take into mind a lot of cars today, like most technology, are created with planned obsolescence.

  10. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    They are. Especially when comparing to a phone, but even when you're not, they're still expensive.

    Firstly, you have the required payments: Whether you buy it outright, or take out a loan, it's a good deal of money. Then you have to pay for license plates, registration, AND a monthly payment for Insurance.
    Then, you have repairs. Repairs cost a lot, especially if you do not do the work yourself. I have an Angry Dome thread from a few months ago complaining about how the turning signal switch cost me over a hundred dollars, and several other parts are all expensive as well.
    If you buy a new car, the monthly payment for it replaces the cost of repairs. No matter what you do, cars are a gigantic investment. They will cost you money at all of the most inconvenient times. I cannot count how many times I've saved up money for something else, and then something on my car implodes, breaks, or starts leaking, and costs (somehow) exactly the amount I've saved up. The worst part about this is that in my case, my brother works on cars for a living and my father does it as a hobby, and so we do most work ourselves. It still costs a lot.

    Cars are the most ridiculous expense. The more advanced the car (newer), the more expensive the parts are and the harder it is to do the work yourself. Repair Shops cost a fortune in labor and most of them double the price of the parts just because they can.

    Get a phone.

  11. Default Re: Buy a car or a new phone?

    Buy a phone for $0 on a contract and then buy a bicycle



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