I'm saving for college. Plus my wife has gone back to get her Masters.
We're both 45 BTW.
You may have to lower your sights a bit but there are lots of fun cars for under $10k.
Check Dave's Datsun roadster thread, check my car list, there is a recent Boxster these with good info, etc.
My kids? not so much. No State U for them, unfortunately. Dang, school is expensive!
I go back and realize the OP asked for "a car". Not multiple. Also not a truck.
I like the idea of a Jaguar F Type S or R model in a drop-top. Perfect for California summer coming.
Oh, we have to answer OP's question?
I'm not going to bragpost or pitypost about how much money I make, but let's just say money was not a factor in deciding on a new car. (don't be a smartass, I'm not talking Ferrari money here, I mean REASONABLE car).
For 10 years I drove the same Clownshoe, street, track, whatever. Had a $3k Miata for about 4-5 years. Had a couple cheap (~4k) motorcycles in succession. Mostly just enjoyed life.
Saved money, paid off school bills, etc etc. Met a girl. Traveled. Saved more money.
Once we got tired of not having bills, we bought a house and got married. And once I felt like I had checked all of the financial/big life goals boxes, I bought the Golf R, about a year ago, and it's been effing fantastic! Perfect only car (even though it's not my only car). Fast, 'sporty' utterly and totally comfortable and luxurious. I'd call it a baby BMW, but frankly, it's a better car than anything BMW has at the pricepoint. It's my DD, my roadtrip car, my ski car, my everything. I won't track it, but of course you easily could.
I always told myself I'd never buy a new car. I always said they were a waste of money. And they are, but life is short, I did all the responsible things, so I treated myself.
Plenty of wants came and went, but you've gotta ignore most of the wants and do the right thing. Most of the time.
Oddly enough, one of the worst financial moves I ever made was *not* buying a new car 8 years ago.
After a few years with the Shoe, the BMW 1M came out. I really lusted for one but couldn't justify taking out a car loan so shortly after paying off the Shoe, and while still paying school loans. I probably would have had to have let the Shoe go too, I can't remember how the planning was in my head. I told myself "limited edition, that's crap. They'll make as many as they can sell. I'll buy one in a year or two once I've built up some nice savings."
Needless to say, they weren't kidding about limited edition, and I would have been better off if I had bought that 1M instead of being 'responsible'.
The other time I got screwed by being responsible was when I bought my first Mac in 2002, in college, and thought HOLY CRAP this is amazing, I need to buy Apple stock. But I had no money to speak of, and it would have been horribly irresponsible to spend money I didn't have to buy Apple stock.
Just because I missed out, though, doesn't mean I made the 'wrong' decision in either case. I don't regret it -- it was the smart decision, I did the right thing, even though in both cases I would have gotten lucky and been better off. I'm sure I'm forgetting all the other irresponsible things I *wisely* chose not to do, and only remembering the ones that turned out 'wrong'.
Last edited by smoothsix; 02-11-2017 at 03:41 PM.