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The Buy vs Lease Decision

You Auto Think Twice About Leasing a Car

By Suze Orman

It drives me nuts to see all the money wasted on car leases. In my opinion, leases are a drug for status-conscious people who need the rush of driving a "nicer" car than they can really afford. The auto-financing folks have basically perfected a way to let you think you can have your cake and eat it too. Can't afford to buy a BMW or Lexus? No problem, just lease it!

Well I am here to tell you it is a very big problem. The car dealers can make the cake pretty enticing, but if you really understood the true financial cost-not to mention the risks you are taking - you would be sick to your stomach.

The Emotional Leasing Pothole

Let's first talk about why leasing is such an ego stroker. As I just mentioned, it allows you to drive a car you couldn't afford to buy for yourself. And why is that important? Because you suffer from status-symbolitis. You want your car to be the talk of the office parking lot, or to turn heads at the stoplight. People, wake up. You are spending money you don't have, to impress people you don't really know. Where is the logic in that? more...

Article also contains:

  • Getting Rear-Ended When the Lease is Over
  • Leasing Bermuda Triangle
  • There's No Airbag If You Hit a Financial Rough Spot
  • The Lease Tax Break - A CAR-bohydrate You Should Really Avoid

Buy "New Used" Instead

So do I think the best financial move you can make is almost always to buy a car instead of leasing? You bet I do. In fact, if you are cutting it close financially, you should strategize a step further: buy a new car but make sure it is used. Let me explain. New cars depreciate 20 percent to 30 percent the second you drive them off the lot. So if you really want to be smart, make someone else's mistake your lucky day. Buy what I call a new used car more...

Article also contains:

  • Go With Something Almost New
  • Your Driving Test
  • The Stupidest Financial Mistake I Ever Made
Auto Lease Checklist
To keep yourself on track to healthier personal finances, start here by printing out this checklist of important to-dos when deciding whether to buy or lease a car.

Start Now!

Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. She is the author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including The Road to Wealth. Suze Orman, a Certified Financial Planner Professional®, directed the Suze Orman Financial Group from 1987-1997, served as Vice President of Investments for Prudential Bache Securities from 1983-87, and from 1980-83, was an Account Executive at Merrill Lynch.

Watch Suze every Saturday night on CNBC. Check for TV listings.

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