Ever wonder where your money disappears every month? Take a look in your garage.
Your car could be driving your budget into the ground.
If you’re driving 15,000 miles a year—not uncommon for an American worker—in a midsize sedan such as a Toyota 7203.TO -2.95% Camry or Ford Fusion, you’ll spend more than $760 a month on average, or $9,150 a year, on gas, maintenance, tires, full-coverage insurance, license and registration costs, depreciation and finance charges.
That’s according to an annual report by AAA, the auto club, on driving costs in 2013, based on buying a new car and driving it for five years and 75,000 miles.
But your costs easily could be higher.
Got an SUV? It will cost you about $967 a month, or $11,600 a year, according to AAA.
And don’t forget those one-time and infrequent costs not included in the AAA report—say, $10 a pop for a carwash every other month, an occasional parking ticket of, say, $40. Perhaps you’re also shelling out for paid parking at the baseball game or a downtown garage. Add $300 a year for those types of charges. Let’s just say you avoid budget-busting speeding tickets.
We could add in the square footage of your garage—say 400 square feet at $100 a square foot. That’s $40,000 of your mortgage that’s going to the car.