Just as recently as January 2017, one of my good colleagues and I were having a conversation around investing. One thing led to another and I made a money moron statement that made my colleague speechless. At the time I did not think much of it. I told my colleague that I have leased a new car my entire life ever since graduating from college and will be perfectly fine to have a monthly car payment for the rest of my life. Yes, I really said that I have up to $500/month budgeted for a new car lease monthly payment and I am perfectly OK with paying that every month for the rest of my life.
Yes, yes, d’oh.
This was only last year still in my mid-30s and making a statement like that.
So of course when my lease was up December 2017, I got into a new vehicle knowing that I would get a really good deal because the car model was no longer being made. Basically I knew going in that I would lease for another 36 months and then buy it at the end because the remaining amount I would owe would be lower because of the value of the discontinued model.
I have 28 months remaining on my current lease and after that I will be working to pay the vehicle completely off in one payment. This is as good as buying a 3-4 year old used car except I would be the original and only owner.
I have lots of experience leasing vehicles and if I were to do it all over again, I would have saved enough money to buy a used car and use the money from the car payment to pay off student loan debt.
My thoughts around leasing a vehicle has drastically changed and realized well into my 30s that having a car payment is a big drag on finances.
I would say this is one of my top 5 biggest financial mistakes….and one I make to this day!