So, you probably know by now that I bought a new car this weekend!! I thought I’d give you all a run-through of the numbers….

4dr 2009 Toyota Corolla XLE

Sale Price $16,150

Taxes and Misc. Fees $2,049.68

Total price paid $18,199.68 (not including the $1k rebate)

Total financed $12,199.68 (Including $5,000 downpayment and $1,000 rebate)

Annual Percentage Rate 4.79% (they beat my credit union’s rate by a little bit!)

Total Finance charges $1,570.32

Monthly payments $229.50

Not bad for a new car, I think. I’m really glad I decided to up my downpayment to $5,000 instead of the original $2,000 I was thinking of. There’s no way I would’ve made the decision to get a new car if that had happened. I’m paying slightly under $30 of what my previous payments were, so that right there gives me a little buffer that I can save or make extra payments with.

I decided to go with the 60 month financing. Although the payments are lower, I’m going to end up paying more interest, both because the APR is higher and because the period is longer. However my biggest consideration was that I will probably be applying for a mortgage in the near future, and they’ll take my monthly payments into consideration when approving me for the loan. I’d rather have a lower required payment and be able to pay the car loan off sooner.

I also chose the $1,000 rebate over a lower APR (I could’ve chosen 3.9% over the 4.79% they gave me). The way I see it, I could possibly lower the amount of interest I pay in the end by making extra payments along the way, besides I’d rather have a higher equity on the car in the beginning. This was more of an emotional decision than based on numbers, and I can live with paying a few hundred dollars more over the entire life of the loan.

Can you guess what was the first thing I did Sunday morning (as far as the car goes)?? I went to good ol’ vertex42 (google it, awesome for spreadsheets) and found the Car Loan Amortization spreadsheet. I adjust the number to show my data (interest rate, loan amount, monthly payment) and now its all set for when I start making payments! I’m almost embarrassed to admit how excited I am to start paying it off! lol. At once glance I can get a clear idea of how much interest I’ve paid and/or saved, how much my loan balance is, and how much sooner I can get it paid off after extra payments. [sigh] I love it!

I’ve still been driving the Accord around town, I figured I might as well use it until the end! However I’m getting ready to say goodbye. Even though it looks super dingy now that I’ve ridden my new car, I’m going to miss it. It was my very first car…EVER! But now I have a car that’s actually mine. And that feels so much better!

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