Originally Posted by bljones
And the amount you saved was what you had left over after your monthly obligations- taxes, mortgage, utilities. So you saved, monthly, to buy your car. It was still determined by your monthly budget, you just reversed the order- you made the payments, to yourself, before you bought the car, rather than buying the car and making the payments to the bank after.
So you're not different, just more responsible.
Everything you say is true - and I do think in terms of putting my savings into a "virtual capital fund" for replacing the cars at a later date when they wear out.
But what is different is that I do not think of any of my purchases in terms of a "monthly payment." Car dealers are notorious for trying to negotiate car prices based on monthly payments, because there is so much latitude for playing games with the term of the loan to make the car look cheaper. I refuse to engage in that gimmickry - in fact, I won't even do trade-ins because that's another opportunity for them to screw you by complicating the issues.