Your Budget

Know your financial limits before entering any negotiation.

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When shopping around for your vehicle, and for your car loan or lease, you must consider all costs involved.

This goes beyond simply calculating your monthly payment. You must consider every other dollar you spend, and every other dollar that goes into your savings. Once you have factored in all of your spendings and savings, you will able more effectively calculate a budget for your car loan.

Here are some simple tips on calculating your personal budget

You may start off with writing down how much money you take home, after paying your taxes and deductions. From this amount, you deduct - subtract - whatever you have planned for savings and also deduct other factors such as credit card bills, house payments, utilities, grocery shopping and the list can go on and on. Be as precise and thorough as possible! AND DON'T FORGET THAT ONCE YOU HAVE PURCHASED A CAR, YOU WILL HAVE OTHER COSTS SUCH AS INSURANCE AND MAINTENANCE. You will need to project how much those will cost you, and include it in your budget.

Your car budgetAfter all of these calculations, whatever amount you have will be the MAXIMUM amount you can use for a car loan.

Don't stop there. Now that you know the maximum amount you can afford on a car loan, you must start your calculations over, and this time you must deduct your projected monthly car payments. Only then you will have an idea of the impact your car loan will have on your monthly budget. Tip: Don't forget to include gas money in your calculations.