Can I Buy a Luxury Car If I’m Investing Over 30% of My Income?

May 14, 2023

In this highlight, we discuss when it is okay to purchase a luxury car. For more information, check out this highlight called, “When is it Okay to Buy a Luxury Car?”


Question from Brandon: He says, “This is an interesting one. I’m excited to see what you’re going to say about this.” He asks, “Can we introduce some nuance for financial mutants? If we have a higher income in our 20s and invest over 30 percent, would Brian still say to avoid a luxury car even if we can pay it in one year, same as cash? You know, this is back to the Financial Order of Operations. I mean, I would go, you know, download the free resource, download, you know, or go buy the course moneyguy.com/resources, because I’m actually the opposite of this. And one of my favorite things about what I get to do for a living is that I think a lot of people assume that a financial advisor is all about the ‘no,’ because you listen to me, Suze Orman episodes or something where she’s like, ‘No, you can’t go on vacation. You can’t do this. You can’t do that.’ I actually love in my job more often than not, I’m telling people, ‘Yeah, go spend your money, go do something with it.’

I tell people, here’s all I would say on this. For somebody who’s in their 20s, who has a great income coming in, you better know when you actually want to retire. If you’re more of a traditionalist and you think you’re going to retire at 60, 65. Um, by the way, a great resource on this, go to learn.moneyguy.com. We have the ‘Know Your Number’ course. If somebody has a traditional date of retirement, there’s a reason I have the 25 of your gross income to free you up, because, you know, some of it was a traditional retirement date of 60 to 65. You can easily accomplish that if you’re in a high-income situation in your 20s. By doing that, if you reach 25, I’m not going to pick on you if you go buy a nice car, especially if you can pay it off within a year to do that. I don’t know if I would do it that way because I know how powerful those dollars are, but I give you permission to consider that.

What I don’t want to have happen, though, is you or somebody who’s in your 20s and you’re under this impression that you’re going to retire when you’re 48 years old. If you think you’re going to retire at 48 or 50 years of age, you’ve got to be saving more than 25 years. Even 30 might not be enough, like you said you’re currently doing. And then, for sure, the car is not going to make sense on that. Because that’s why we did the illustration on a recent episode, where we said, ‘Hey, let’s take a car that’s getting a lot of press right now, which is the new Corvette. It looks like they pulled up an old Ferrari, and then they said, ‘Hey, how can we make the Corvette look like a Ferrari?’ and got everybody all hyped up and excited about it. And I think a lot of people are shocked when they find out that the typical purchase age for a Corvette is 61, 63. It’s somewhere in that early 60s age. It’s not the 25-year-old that we all envision when we’re 16 years old and think we’re gonna get out of that. I had that vision, I told you all that, and then I got to 25 and I was like, ‘No way, no how. I know how valuable this money is.

I got other priorities in life, but it is one of those things because some people are car people. I mean, I’ve had friends that are car people, you know, have to have the latest and greatest car. Just know your why, know what the value is for you personally, and make sure you’re reflecting and respecting not only where you’re going, where you are, but you have your why and your priorities tied in together. Because I think a lot of people are focusing on the present bias, because that’s a human nature thing. We focus on now versus the future. Deferred gratification is hard, but as long as you pay respect to the deferred gratification in the future and you know what your why is, if you’ve got a little bit extra, because look, you don’t get to take it with you. I recognize that you don’t get to throw it all in the casket with you.

I want you to live your best life. I just want you to know how valuable every one of those dollars you have in your 20s is and what it can become. You know, Brandon’s original question was, “Can we introduce some nuance for financial mutants?” I think you do give nuance, oh yeah, especially like it’s already, you know, sometimes when you’re in financial content creation, so we see what other people are saying and there’s some good advice. But I think you give more nuance. Like, you’re very solid on what you believe, but you actually do realize that there’s some difference. And it all comes back to what your why is and what you’ve actually got going on. How much are you saving? Are you really serious about that? So I like that answer.

We’re in, well, it’s no-win situations because if you see some people will say they always say the same thing, and then other people will be like, “Man, I wish that, you know, I feel like you give, you go way out on all these things. We can’t win on those things.” But I want you to know, I feel like I’m pretty consistent on this. I try to, I try to, as I’ve always shared, we show you the numbers. I practice what I preach. I eat my own cooking. And that’s where all this comes from. I mean, that’s why I love sharing the experience because the why lines up. You know, why do I come up with these thoughts? Because I know what it’s like for your father to be laid off when he’s in his 40s and you’re a kid. I know what it’s like to be in your 20s and you’ve got a growing family and then have the real estate market collapse and not having cash reserves. I try to give you the full spectrum of all the things you ought to think about financially.



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