Are Driving Costs Driving You Crazy?

October 4, 2011

Money down the gas tankMarin Mommies is presents another great guest article by Marin mom and financial planner Katy Song, CFP®.

When you think of how you want to spend your hard earned money, rarely do you think “I want to overpay for car insurance and spend $70 to fill up my tank!” Car related expenses are a necessity for most families, but there are easy ways to reduce these costs and make sure you are not overspending.

The rule of thumb for transportation related expenses is that they should not account for more than 10% of your gross income. Depending on your salary, this could be a really big number! For example, if you make $150,000 per year the “rule of thumb” says that you can spend $1,250 per month on your cars. This could easily cover gas ($350), insurance ($115), commuting ($50) and a VERY nice car payment. While this rule might make sense in other parts of the U.S., I believe it overstates what a family in the Bay Area should spend given our significantly higher home related expenses.

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