How to Plan Your Budget for Used Car Shopping near Fresno, CA

Posted Thursday, Jun 16, 2022

When it comes to car financing and budgeting, you are already on the right track by choosing a used car over a new one. You will save thousands off the price, and as a bonus, you will have fewer concerns about depreciation. But before you visit car dealers in Fresno, it’s smart to have a good idea of what you can afford to buy. Lucky Car Ducky offers tips to help you plan your used car budget. 


Consider 10% or Less of Your Take Home Pay


One popular rule of thumb when budgeting for a car is to use a percentage. This is simple, as it doesn’t require you to do complicated math computation. Just figure out your take-home pay each month and see what 10% of that is. Then make that your maximum monthly payment. Why 10%? It may seem like a low figure, but remember that your fuel, auto insurance, and other auto-related expenses will likely be about 7% of your take-home pay. So, overall, your car will be nearly 20% of it. 


Or Make a Full Budget


While the 10% rule is good for those in a hurry who want to make a car financing decision quickly, it isn’t the best method. The best method will be to sit down with all of your bills and income and do some math before visiting car dealers in Fresno. Add up your take-home pay, then subtract all your monthly expenses. Don’t forget about rent or mortgage payments, student loans, bills, groceries, savings, entertainment spending, child-related expenses, and anything else. 


What is left is what you can afford to spend on your car. But don’t forget about car-related expenses. If you don’t include insurance and gas in the above budget calculations, you’ll need to include them in your estimates of what you can afford for a vehicle. 


Never Forget About Insurance and Fuel Costs


With each of the above methods, we highlighted your other auto expenses, such as insurance and gas. No matter how you calculate how much you can spend at car dealers in Fresno, don’t forget about these figures. You also want to consider other auto-related expenses, such as maintenance, repairs, and parking. 


Confirm the Figures for Your Chosen Auto Before Buying


Before you apply for car financing, consider estimating the insurance and gas costs for that particular vehicle. After all, they vary by efficiency, value, and other factors. 


It’s Better to Go Under-budget Than Over


As you browse the options at car dealers in Fresno and apply for car financing, remember that it is better to leave yourself wiggle room in your budget than go over. This will help make sure you have enough money for unexpected repairs or non-auto-related emergencies. 


Get Car Financing at Lucky Car Ducky


No matter what your budget looks like, Lucky Car Ducky in Fresno, CA, is ready to help you with financing. We have competitive pricing and a wide selection compared to other car dealers in Fresno. And with our online inventory, you can get an idea of what you can afford before you even visit our dealership.