As a finance major, there are two things that I was taught by a professor I had a great deal of respect for:
- Never buy a new car, always buy a used car. Used cars don't have the "lot depreciation", are usually better these days because of services like Carfax and Certified Pre-Owned programs.
- Never finance for longer than four years. If you can't afford it in four years, then you can't afford it!