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## Student Living in the Netherlands

I am a 23-year-old student living and working in the Netherlands after moving from an eastern European country in 2019. Over the past two years, I have been balancing studying and working to build my financial stability. Recently, I purchased a used 2019 Skoda Scala with 56k km for 20k euros from my savings. However, I am now questioning if this purchase was wise, considering my financial situation.

### Financial Overview

Currently, I earn an average of 2500 euros per month by working 30-35 hours a week. My net worth at the time of the car purchase was around 65k euros, which I have been diligently saving and investing. In addition to my car expenses, my monthly costs include rent (600e), health insurance (140e), food (around 400e), and occasional travel home (200e every 2-3 months).

### Car Expenses

The car adds about 70e for insurance, 56e for road tax, and around 100e for fuel and repairs. Despite these expenses, I also receive around 400e from the government as a performance grant for studying and working, which is a non-repayable benefit.

### Justification for the Purchase

I bought the car with the intention of making occasional road trips, commuting to work during unfavorable weather conditions, and most importantly, traveling to my home country. The journey is roughly 1300km in one direction, so I opted for a newer car with fewer kilometers to ensure reliability for multiple trips per year. My plan is to bring friends along to split travel costs when visiting my country.

### Seeking Advice

I am seeking opinions on whether my decision to purchase this car was reasonable or if it was a reckless waste of money. Any insights or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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The AI Legalese Decoder can analyze your financial situation, expenses, and income to provide insights on whether purchasing the car was a wise decision. By inputting your financial data, the AI can offer recommendations on budgeting, saving, and managing your expenses to optimize your financial health.

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View Reference


  • nestzephyr

    Income: €2900

    Expenses: €1200 before car, €1450 after car.

    You seem to be doing alright.

    I’d say yes, you could have bought a car for much cheaper, but in the end you pay for what you like. For sure having a car will improve your quality of life. By no means will you save money, but being comfortable also has a price tag.

    I had a car when I was living in the Netherlands. I didn’t need one, but I assure you it made it possible to do a lot of activities I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t have a car.

  • filisterr

    Man, when I was 23, my net worth was probably -1000/2000 Euro. I wish it was closer to yours, and I was smart enough to start investing, but nope, I was spending everything plus more for entertainment, and then was putting my savings in a stupid savings account, I started investing much later in my life, and this is one of my greatest regrets, otherwise I would have been much better.

    And damn, your rent and health insurance is cheap. I am paying 2K for this alone.

  • jupacaluba

    How did you manage to have 65k at 23?

  • klutchasaurus

    Will you keep the car until it literally falls apart in 15+ years? If yes, then don’t worry too much. If you sell it in 3 years you will lose probably half the value, which would be a big L. I personally wouldn’t spend a third of my wealth on a car, but each to their own.

  • Scary_Wheel_8054

    I am a super saver. If the car makes you happy then it wasn’t a mistake. When I was in my 20s I really appreciated cars. Now in my 50s and could buy almost any car want I could care less.

    I once said to someone at my work, why do you buy your son nice cars, when he grows up he won’t appreciate anything. He responded the only time you can really appreciate nice cars is when you are young. I thought about it and realised he is right (of course there are exceptions, but and old guy getting out of a lambo will always look like a fool to me).

  • MrGustave92

    Yes, you did.
    And I am not talking about expenses here but more about the price of the car especially with the fact that you are still young and without any family commitment ( Partner & kids )

    I’ve been living in the Netherlands for 7 years, owned a car for the last 3. I did a lot of car hunting before buying mine and I firmly believe that you can buy a nice, functional car in the Netherlands for 10k or less.
    I bought mine for 6k and it had 90k on the meter and I drove 40k with it and besides the yearly APK, no issue.
    But what’s done is done now, try to enjoy it, don’t overthink it and try to learn from this experience.
    Good Luck with everything !

  • Nounoon

    It’s ok-ish money wise, but not the greatest decision. I earn significantly more and love cars, but the most I paid for a car in my life (I bought 6 cars), was 12k for the family car, 2nd most was 5k for a very fun car. I don’t know, it’s just a lot of money in absolute value.

  • dubov

    IMO Yes. For one you probably didn’t need to spend 20k, although it is true that if you go too cheap you end up wasting more money on repairs. However main reason I think it’s a mistake is that you don’t actually need it. **But** if you feel it improves your quality of life sufficiently to justify the expense, then okay. Ultimately that’s a subjective choice

  • [deleted]

    Yes 20k is too much for your net worth. Too much for your age and maybe even too much for the Netherlands where depending on where you live you can get around just fine with a bike or public transport.

  • allard0wnz

    Would personally never spend that much money on a car at that age and with that salary. But hey if that is what you want then you are free to do so

  • 205439486012

    Your car sets you back a couple years of being able to buy real estate. My first car costs 12k with 60k km. You’ll need what 8-12 months at least to earn the difference back?

    Not to mention skodas depreciate more than Toyota.

  • Seigmas

    Could you get a car for less? Sure. But it doesn’t look like it’s going to bankrupt it, just keep on using so you will spread out the cost over many years of usage.

  • Figuurzager

    Seems like you can afford it but personally wouldn’t have spend half of that in your situation. Costs can and probably will change a lot over the upcoming years for you (especially housing), as well as income but still such amount of money in a quickly depreciating asset is not something I would reccomend.

    But hey, this is the view of someon beancounter that thought that his new 2nd hand car (roughly same price) was on the border of too big of an expense/isn’t worth it. But with an income 3 times higher.

    Nevertheless financially it seems you can quite easily afford it and you’re doing a lot better than many.

  • HoneySquash

    Max 15k for that kind of a car. So yeah, I think you overpayed.

  • hgk6393

    Now that you have spent the money, I would advise you to stick with this car instead of selling it and buying a different one. You and the previous owner have taken the brunt of the depreciation, now you need to make up for it by driving it for 100-150k km at least. 

    And you are right, having a new car is better when you are doing long trips (>400 km). Comfort and convenience are important as well