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Discussion Starter #1
I am so confused and for some of you here you might be thinking... "He has been for over a month now". But I still need more advice from you guys. So if you can help me out.

In order to get the most accurate answer I think I should give out my financial situation.

I am making around $1000 Net pay per month
I have a car that is valued @ $2800 CDN
I have $5300 in my cheq acct. right now
I have $5200 in some short term investment that ends soon.

I will be starting University in September.

Now... I never even though of purchasing a car at my age (21), cuz that would mean alot of sacrifices. But everyone seems to hate the idea of 'leasing' a car.

The salesman offered me a 36month lease with my car as a trade-in for a $288 payment for a Sport GT with A/C.

If I where to purchase that car with a $2800(440tax credit) trade-in that same car would cost me $457 for 60months.

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Now for the experts out there I ask if you could help me calculate how much my payments would be if I put an extra $8000 downpayment right away. The reason I am asking is bcuz the site doesn't allow you to check with such a high DP.

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My other question would be: In your opinion considering my situation what would you do?

I want to enjoy life and go on trips and not have to spend my life savings into one single investment (that loses its value quickly). Unless it is the best financial decision to take.

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Please help.

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I think this will be my final thread involving my decision to purchase or lease my future MZ3. Therefore I would appreciate anyone and everyone's opinion on this.

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Thank you!



Your friend "The SyChO"
 

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I have been "lurking" on this site since I test drove a Mazda 3 and found it pretty cool. I feel that I have to give my two cents on this matter though. You sound like a pretty smart kid considering you have some securities already maturing at a young age and you have saved up quite a bit of money.
I don't think you should buy a Mazda 3. Not because I don't like the car, but because your going to college. I could give you a million reasons why you shouldn't get it right now, but I'll just keep it a few. First, college is super expensive. You don't want two large payments while your barely working. Second, You're going to have to work hard to keep up with the payments when you should be studying for class. Another reason is that your going to have to park that car on campus where other people who don't care as much about their cars are parking. This means certain dents, bumps, bangs, and scratches to your new Mazda 3 which will just stress you out. Finally, I am just finishing up school right now and I can tell you from first hand experience that all my friends who bought brand new "hot" cars when starting college are all regreting it big time now and all say that they wish they would have just gotten a college "beater" for cruisin around campus. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Let the 3 be your after graduation car. spend 500 bucks and get your current car running well enough to last you through college.
 

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SolarMZ3 said:
Let the 3 be your after graduation car. spend 500 bucks and get your current car running well enough to last you through college.
Totally agree with SolarMZ3. Fix up your old car and use that for now till when you graduate from college. I rather to have some saving in my pockets while in college than no money.

Think about it.... you need money for partying in college too. LOL
Enjoy your college life and think about a new car after graduate. :)
 

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Re: I am going insane! Please Help! - Last thread on this To

SyChO said:
My other question would be: In your opinion considering my situation what would you do?

I want to enjoy life and go on trips and not have to spend my life savings into one single investment (that loses its value quickly). Unless it is the best financial decision to take.
SyChO, I'd hate to say this, but when I was in University, there was no way in hell I can afford a car. Depending on your lifestyle, you may have enough cash to both pay for the car and pay for school/books/fun. Plus, you have to remember that the car also comes with other payments, that we usually don't think about... like registration, license, maintenance, gas, insurance. All the little things add up. If I were in your situation, I'd stay with the old car, spend a couple of bucks to fix it up and drive it to the ground. Put some money aside that you won't touch for a couple of years and get your car when you're done with University. I know how it feels to want to get a brand spanking new car... no other feeling can beat it, but... think about it. In a couple of year, there will be a newer, better Mazda3. Hell, saving a couple of dollars will allow you to get the MazdaSpeed 3. Who knows? Anyways, in the end, you still have the power to decide. No matter what other people say, you have the final say. But, if I were you, I'd wait a couple of years, when the Mazda3 will be bug-free. You'd have a lot more fun! Good luck my friend.

P.S: I was driving a 90 Mazda Protege for a year until it died, then changed to a 2000 Mazda Protege and finally I am on my Mazda3. I only got my 90 Protege after University... and that was because I needed a car for work.
 

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I'll chime in with everyone else here...

I drove a '85 Toyota Tercel Station wagon through the first half of college, then a used '94 Toyota Corolla base model after that. When I graduated and found a good job, I bought a loaded '98 Accord EX V6.

So while it may be tempting, I think it's a good idea to "make do" while you are in college.
 

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School first, everything else second. Organize your finances the way you're organizing your life, and the choice becomes clear. I drove a Toyota Tercel since I was 17, and it lasted me through college, got good gas mileage (great if you're on a college student's budget), and in a pinch, I could put four other people in it. Having a car in college is a great thing, but having a new car is an unnecessary burden, unless your parents are going to just give you money for rent, school, food, etc. Finally, I agree with the car being a graduation present. Not only is it something to look forward to, you'll get a college graduate incentive and odds are Mazda will refresh the car in 4 years, and you'll get one that has the benefits of an even newer car. Plus, you'll save on vehicle registration fees for the next 4 years (I'm assuming you're going for 4 years)
 

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Depending on your college situation, you may be overestimating your need for a car anyway.

When I was in college, my car was used maybe once a week, if that. I went to the grocery store with it and went home at the end of the semester.

Later on, I got a job that was far enough off-campus that I needed to drive to work every day, but it paid well enough to make it worth it.

Maybe things have changed in the 3 years I have been out of college, but nobody was impressed if you drove a nice new car. People get impressed by how creative you can be to live as cheaply as possible. College is one of the few times in life where people judge you by who you are, not what you have. Enjoy it while it lasts, and build the friendships that are going to last a lifetime.

In short, spend all your money on beer, not a car.


My car in college was an 85 Civic hatchback. 4-speed manual, did not have power steering or power brakes, let alone power windows or locks. In fact, the locks didn't even work. The radio was stolen while at the beach one summer, and was replaced with a $15 radio from KMart. Not that it mattered, because the car made so much noise that the sound was distorted terribly by the time you turned it up loud enough to hear the music. On the highway, it sounded like it was going to explode if you went above 60 mph (100km/h). But the fact that you had to have the heater on full blast (even in the summer) at speeds over 50 mph or it would overheat usually kept me from going that fast. It had rusted through in all the usual places that Hondas used to rust through in. It was two shades of blue because of paint fading/peeling. My apartment was at the top of a hill and I could only park it along the street going up the hill, because it wasn't powerful enough to back up, up the hill, while parallel parking! Sometimes when you came out of the grocery store it wouldn't start, but if you let it sit for another 30 minutes it always would. And I loved it. It was the perfect college car. And those memories are good memories, and make me realize how far I've come and what I've accomplished.
 

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Hell.. maybe schooling isnt for you and youll spend your money on a car. I got a 2 year free ride to CU of Boulder Colorado for EE. I ditched it cause I dont think I can learn any faster by some overpaid prick in a suit, than learning it hands on.

I spent all my college money (most of it.. rest in savings, hopefully for a new house in the next year.. maybe 2) on my cars and toys.

Sadly, I make more than my brother, per year, and he went to school for 9 years and working on his Masters in HR.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow! As I was reading I was thinking how I never though the fact that I would go to college would be such a big thing. Then I realized something that probably makes the biggest difference in the world.

From what I understand in the US, you guys have to pay lots of money to go to University? Like $10-15k per year or something? Plus maybe more for the appartment, food, etc. In that case a car would totaly be out of reach for me.

But here where I live, which is also different from the rest of Canada, University is around $2000 per year, in addition I live 20minutes from the school by car and don't have to pay for parking. Therefore no appartment, no food cost or anything. It will cost me around $$2500 to $3000 (Max) per year.

Also my parents promised to help me pay for school so that's at least 60% off that amount.

In the end going to University or College as you guys call it, would cost me around $1000 a year with books included.

Therefore am I wrong to assume that it would be ok for me to maybe buy but very ok if I leased?

I should be maintaining an avg of 20-25hours at work while at School and should be getting a raise soon.

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Thanks again for your opinions, keep them coming!
 

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I assume CU is the name of a university, Colorado University? Maybe. EE is probably Electrical Engineering.

vaBoom, is you line of work related to EE?
 

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SyChO said:
Also my parents promised to help me pay for school so that's at least 60% off that amount.
Sometimes things happen that prevent parents from helping with college expenses. Be sure you can afford to continue paying for school even if your parents cannot.

SyChO said:
Therefore am I wrong to assume that it would be ok for me to maybe buy but very ok if I leased?
Think about the lease. You are trading your car and spending $298 per month to own nothing at the end of three years. Does that sound like a good deal to you? Leasing may fit for some people but maybe not for you. When will you finish school? If you stay in school over three years your lease will expire before you finish school. Also, leasing typically requires that you carry more insurance coverage.

SyChO said:
I should be maintaining an avg of 20-25hours at work while at School and should be getting a raise soon.
Sometimes hours change and income drops, especially if you are a part-time employee who is going to school. Can you afford to make the payment if your hours are cut or you lose your job? If you buy or lease, be sure you have some money in savings in case your pay drops. As far as the raise is concerned, do not count your chickens before they hatch.

Overall, I agree with what was said above, fix you car and keep it through college and save your money. If you want something a little nicer than what you have, consider finding a good used Protege (or whatever) that you can pay cash for, that's reliable, that gets good gas mileage, and is cheap to insure. If you are commuting to work and school you will need something reliable but you do not need to strap yourself financially for a new car payment.

After you graduate and get that high paying job, then consider buying a 3. By then there will probably be some nice used ones available.

Just my 1/50th of a dollar. YMMV
 

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Alright, I'll give my 2 cents too.

As someone that went to university in Canada, and owned a used car while doing so, I would never have considered a new car.
My parents paid my tuition for 3 semesters, until I started work terms in the co-op program. Then I was making enough money to pay my own tuition and books (books are damn expensive - expect $500 per semester minimum). I lived at home, and when not on workterms had a part time job. I owned a cheap reliable used car, and payed my gas and insurance. At times I was still scrounging to get enough money for gas and fun. One thing you might not realize about university is that you might be doing a lot of extra curricular activities. Beer gets really expensive. Meals at school are expensive. Etc. And this was a less expensive school in Saskatchewan. I know some of the schools here in Ontario cost a lot more than I was paying. Not sure about where you are planning on attending.

When I graduated and found a job (not as easy as you'd think considering the job market) I bought a new car as soon as I signed the acceptance letter. Don't forget once you graduate there will be a lot of expenses too, to get set up in your own apartment.

I couldn't have imagined making car payments (lease or otherwise) on top of everything else. It was more important for me to get my degree and get a good job so I can buy all the fun things I want now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hummm... You guys are really killing my dream here! :cry:


But I will seriously think about everything you guys are telling me and let you know soon enough what my final decision will be.

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Thanks again everyone!
 

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I think I may have to disagree with most of the comments, I would say go for the purchase. Since you say that the college will not cost that much and if it seems like your current vehicle may not make it for another 4 years, having a warranty on a new car for the term of college really helps since you don't have to worry about any surprise auto expenses. As well as you have many less surprise expenses during college than when you get into the "real world" on your own which would be helped by the fact that if you purchase it by the time you get out of college you will almost if not already(assuming you pay a little extra each month) have no car payment which in the long run frees up some cash for living on your own, as far as the payments they are about what I am paying after doing some currency conversion and about the same option. As far as the payments go for an additional $8000 down the best I can figure it if you are using the 2.9 for 60 months it would work out to aroun 320 or so a month(dont take this as set in stone it is my shotty math as well as shotty converisons). Just trying to say that there is also osme financial gain form purchasing now rather than waiting, well that and yo uwill be happier with the 3 now and always happiness may let yo udo better in school :D
 

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hey I am 20 and i am at the same stage at u hehhehe

i just brought my Mazda3 fully loaded, I am going to BCIT in April and i pay for school and my car and everything that runs the car ex. gas, ins, maintaince...

I did a 3 year finance with mazda i pay $591 a month just alone for the car. But i pay $10000 down so that helps.

but let me tell u this, all the stuff u use to buy for no reason is not going to be there anymore. U will be pretty piss if u want something u like and can;t buy it. But u get back from this is your own car and of course the mazda3 that u probly love so much.

I can handle it so i went ahead to buy it and i am grad i did buy my own car.

o yea 2.9% finace is only for 1-3 years anything after that is more than u want to pay for, thats why i went for 3 years. i think 4-6 years is like 4.9% or soemthing
 

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Get the car and have fun with it!
life is short and you never know when your gona die...if you want it now, do it now. Don't wait for the future it does not existe the only time that matters is NOW!
 

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Re: I am going insane! Please Help! - Last thread on this To

SyChO said:
Now for the experts out there I ask if you could help me calculate how much my payments would be if I put an extra $8000 downpayment right away. The reason I am asking is bcuz the site doesn't allow you to check with such a high DP.
Actually, it does allow you to enter 8K for downpayment, at the mazda.ca site:
http://www.mazda.ca/eng/getin/mazdamaker/engiechoose.asp?CustID=0&ModelID=14&ModelName=Mazda3S
... if you finance the purchase. It will only disallow an 8K dp if you lease (which is not the way to go anyway, IMO).
With 0 down, & a 2800 trade in, you need to pay an estd. $465/month for 60months. With 8K dp, the monthly payments drop to $311/month for 60 months.

Now for a rough estimate of how much your monthly expenses will be, assuming $311/month for the Mz3:
1) car payments: $311
2) tuition+books: $1000/12 = $83
3) insurance: a conservative est of $3000/year = $250
4) gas - say 2 tanks a month (or 1000km/month) ~= $70
5) spending money - say $50 a week ~= $200/month

If you add that all up, it comes to $914/month. Factor-in a 10% margin for error (which is quite conservative) & you have $1005/month. Don't forget that this does not include any cost for maintenance, or money for vacations. Plus the 8K dp would use up most of your savings; I'd say you would be on a very, very tight budget if you go for the 3 at this point.

My recomendation is that you keep your present ride & look at getting a used mz3 in about 2 yrs. That way you avoid the high initial cost of owning the car plus you'll have more money saved up by that time.
 

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I'd have to agree with Psychofrog, but jsut don't put yourself in a position where if you DON'T die... then... you're stuck with the consequences :)

Plan smart. Ultimately its your choice.
If you're going to college, the tuition should be a lot cheaper than University, so the burden shouldn't be as bad as the one I have to carry.

Don't forget that you have to pay for insurance also. Or... will you?
 
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