Originally Posted by Diablo335
I'm a financial advisor...
First set aside $ for all medical expenses for the year (co-pays, deductibles, premiums, etc.)
Second set aside at least 15% into long-term savings (IRA, etc.). More if you are saving for a house or to pay for kids' college.
Live off the rest (disposable income). If you want to spend more on a car than on something else, have at it.
I personally feel that my monthly capital cost for a car (depreciation or lease payment, as the case may be) should not exceed 1% of annual disposable income. ie, if I make $50k after taxes, savings and medical costs, then I would not buy a car(s) that depreciates more than $500 per month. If I need two cars, that's $500 total.
How do you determine or estimate depreciation yourself? Do you use a schedule?
I'm a controller by trade so I do accounting and financial reporting for my company. I just recently made my personal 2013 budget and a 5 year savings plan. At least in theory, I plan on saving 6% of monthly income for maintenance, 6% for vacation/discretionary impulse spending, and 30% towards long-term savings (saving up for a house and/or other investments). This doesnt' count the very small amount ($50) I'm contributing pre-tax to a 401K each month. Now, I don't make a ton of money (above average), but I'm single, never married, no kids and have no debt (got through college on a football scholarship), which is why I'm able to save.
The one thing I can't get a good hold on is how to determine car depreciation. It's nothing like fixed assets, building improvements and other things. Any ideas?