I am finishing up school right now and also working part time (about 15 hours a week) at $18/hour.
When I graduate at the end of May I will start my co-op at this company full time at the same rate of pay for 10 weeks as my probationary period and if all goes well (I am a reliable/hard worker) they will hire me full time with an increase in my salary.
I am looking to get paid $41k (which is highly feasible) after taxes per year. Right now I stand with college loans at just under $20k. And I am looking for a used MB C300 w/ manual transmission (W204 generation only, W202-3's do not appeal to me) around the $20k range.
My loans don't accrue interest until after 6 months from when I graduate. My job is a half a mile from my house, which means I will either walk to work or ride my bicycle. I got really really really lucky and thank God for this opportunity. I will be living with my parents until I get married (It's a cultural thing). I am 22 now. Right now I plan to save $2400 in gas alone in 1 year, as compared to last year on my previous co-op, and add another $1000-1500 from working part time. I also have $6000 in savings from my last co-op. In total I will have ~$7500 in savings right after I graduate and ~$10k after one year not including money made from work.
When should I start looking to buy this car?
Should I pay off my loans ASAP, pay off loans while saving for the car, or save up for the car first and then loans later?
I appreciate any input
Last edited by TheLateGTI; 04-09-2012 at 07:11 PM.
Yeah I have a 2002 GTI that's in great shape even with 115k miles on it.
I think it's a very mature and logical decision to pay off my loans first, and hopefully before my 6-month interest free period is up.
Really I am tickling this idea right now. If I were to buy the Merc I want to get it this summer where I still have time to enjoy it, or next spring. Either case I want to keep it until it dies (This is 100% unchangeable).
Do yourself a favor and pay down your debt before taking on more. Take advantage of your living situation as well as your close proximity to work.
You have a car that as long as you've maintained, will last quite a long time given your short commute. In a few years you'll be debt free and well on your way to paying cash for your next car.
Also, do not neglect keeping a good amount saved, money that you don't touch unless an emergency comes up.
I'm going to say that it's unlikely that you are ever going to by in a financial bind unless you decide to partake too much in drugs or alcohol in the near future.
If I was you, my first concern would be to start putting some money away so that I could retire as early as possible. If you are doing that, screw it, live a little. Soon enough you'll be faced with what mini van to buy.
there seems to be a lot of counting the eggs in your basket before they hatch.
thinking you may get paid $41K in six months doesn't mean anything today. anything can happen - you get sick, you have to move, the job goes to someone else, etc. the only way you know you will get paid $41K (or whatever), is when you get that paycheck.
for now, seems like you live at home and can walk to work or bike it. do that.
as others have said, pay off your student loans first. or at least make a deal to pay 50% off, then get yourself a used car; pay it 100% off, then you treat yourself to a new car.
you have time on your side. take advantage of it. get outta debt first!
93 vw wolfsburg fox 4-door | 00 honda crv lx | 03 vw jetta wagon gls 2.0 | 04 vw jetta wagon gls tdi-pd | 12 vw tiguan se+panoroof+nav
It's great that everyone is telling me to pay off my loans first, which I will end up doing, but it's great knowing I have a dream that is tangible and I can look forward to. I am really trying not to jump the gun.
I never even thought about retiring early as one poster mentioned, made me realize again that there are a lot of options in life.
I hope I am not too late to the party, but i actually was in a very similar situation to yours.
graduated in 2010, worked part time then went full time (18 an hour), then expected a 25% raise in a few months.
living with parents (cultural thing)
had only about 4K in debt for school.
wanted to buy a w204 w manual.
what stopped me from buying the car was that I could not find one that I wanted (with heated seats and navigation) for a good price. this was in 2011. I could only find them for mid 30's after taxes. I didnt want a car w 50K miles on it already, and all the sub 30K ones were about 32K. I honestly do not believe you can find a w204, manual for 20K. expect to pay at least mid 20s for it.
what I ended up doing, was paying off my school loan first, after I got the raise. I budgeted myself, to make sure I could afford a c300. then my dad told me that rather than buying an used car as your first car, why not buy a new one, which i ended up doing. honestly, there is no feeling like buying a brand new car.
This was actually a good read, along with all the other comments. I am guessing from seeing the CC under your username you went with that. The more I look at C300's the more I realize I will probably end up paying 20k-25k. Looking at the situation now after some days have passed I will probably end up buying one next spring. I know there is nothing like buying new, but I am very content with buying a used C300 with around 30-40k miles on it(Since the facelifted C's dont come in manual).
I am pretty good with budgeting money. Do you mind me asking how long it took you to save for your new car with your budget plan?