Proprietary Data Insights
Most Searched For Stocks This Month
Last week in The Juice, we discussed one way to generate consistent investment income. On the personal finance side of the equation, we considered moving as one way to lower your expenses amid inflation and record housing prices.
Now, Here’s A Budget Red Flag
If your car payment is less than or even comes close to your housing payment.
We’re not crazy.
With the average monthly payment on a new car at $712 and 12% of buyers paying over $1,000, it’s a reality that transportation can rival housing as your, presumably, biggest budget expense.
In 25 of the nation’s 100 largest cities, median rent on a one-bedroom apartment is $1,000 or lower. So in cities ranging from Akron ($640 median rent) to Milwaukee ($900) to Greensboro ($1,000), you could be making a car payment that looks like a rent payment.
But how about in the country’s biggest cities where rent’s most expensive. Places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, where it feels like every other car on the road is a Tesla?
Scroll with us. The Juice is gonna run the numbers.
Here’s How Much It Costs To Buy A Tesla
$2,362 a month to buy a loaded Tesla Model S.
That’s more than the median one-bedroom rent in all but five of the 100 biggest cities.
For the record, Los Angeles and San Diego come in at $2,360 and $2,320, respectively.
However, that $2,362 a month assumes a formidable $7,500 down payment.
Lower your down payment to a more manageable $2,500 and your monthly payment increases to $2,441, making it more costly to finance a Tesla than rent the typical one-bedroom apartment in Miami.
That person you see cruising South Beach in a Tesla could be on the hook for roughly $4,800 every single month just to cover the cost of their apartment and car. And we’re making the generous assumption they’re actually renting at the median. You know large swaths of these Tesla owners live further beyond their means.
Drive A Beater, Buy Tesla Stock
Source: Google Finance
Even with the carnage of the last year, Tesla (TSLA), the second most searched for ticker over the last month in our proprietary Trackstar database, is still up about 14.5%.
If you had taken that $2,500 and purchased 3.8 shares of TSLA one year ago when the price was $656.95 per share, you’d be sitting on approximately $2,862.46 today.
Not a windfall by any means. But not an automatically depreciating asset either.
Another option – you could live in your car.
The Juice recently called an Uber and got a Tesla. That’s one comfortable backseat. Perfect enough for a good night’s sleep or whatever else.
The Bottom Line: A lot of people paying thousands each month to rent an apartment and own a luxury car have the means. Still might not be the best money decision, but at least they’re relatively wealthy with the means to make these lifestyle splurges.
But you know some of the folks taking on these out-sized obligations barely make ends meet each month. Use their spending as a cautionary tale.
Even if you’re not deciding between a sick apartment, a Tesla to drive, or Tesla stock to own, you have similar budget choices to make. And the last thing you want is the stress of racing to make enough money each month to satisfy just the first two of what is likely a much larger heap of expenses.
To that end, the more money you have left over each month (regardless of how much you make), the more you have free to save and invest. That’s almost always a sound personal financial decision.
Want to get content like this directly to your inbox? Then we urge you to sign up for our newsletter here