Spending

That Time I Bought a Sports Car…

Ladies, I am not one of those people who dishes out advice on female finance but also says things like ‘I’ve never had a credit card!’ (yay me!).

Or ‘I paid off my home loan by the time I turned 28!’ (yay me again!).

I have made every single financial mistake in the book. Some of them I have made more than once. As my mother likes to say, I do learn from my mistakes, but sometimes it takes more than one lesson.

I have had many, many credit cards. And I maxed out EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I haven’t paid off my home loan.

And – my favourite financial lesson – when I was 26 I decided to go out and buy myself a sports car.

Like all bad financial decisions, it was a spur-of-the-moment, impulse, ‘I deserve this’ purchase.

I had graduated from Uni and was finally working in an adult-job with an adult-wage. I had minimal savings but managed to go and get a car loan from the bank for an Audi TT. It was the cutest car ever, it even had personalised ‘TT’ number plates.

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My Biggest Financial Lesson

In fact, it was so adorable that after taking it for a test drive, I offered to buy it immediately. I didn’t organise a road worthy test.

I didn’t have my dad look at it (I knew he would tell me not to buy it).

I didn’t do any due diligence at all.

 

When the car got signed over into my name, I was so excited. I felt like I had made it.

I can remember driving around, listening to Just Dance by Lady Gaga on loud and thinking I was the hottest thing in town.

But then the repayments started. I can’t remember exactly how much they were, but I didn’t negotiate my rate or shop around. I just went to the bank I had always been with and asked for a car loan.

This was at the beginning of 2008, so we’ll say 15% but they were probably higher. Over a five year term, that is $274 per fortnight. At that time, I was on about $50,000 gross (before tax) per year or $1,500 net (after tax) per fortnight.

I was spending nearly 20% of my net wage on this car!

Just in case you don’t think this sounds like a lot, you shouldn’t be spending more than 10% of your gross pay (before tax) on vehicle expenses – and that’s everything. Car loan repayments, insurance and registration.

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