It’s simple but it ain’t always easy

I want all you readers out there to know that I will always be honest and share both the good and the bad with you.  I really like not having a car payment.  I haven’t had one for a number of years now and I am quite happy that I don’t have that constant monthly outflow of money that most Americans simply treat as a necessity of life.  But there are some risks associated with driving older cars to save money.  Most of the time it has worked out very well for me.  I have driven pretty reliable cars, but occasionally things will go wrong.  Yesterday was the day it happened.

Many of you know that I drive a 2001 Chevy pickup with 207,000 mostly trouble-free miles.  Yesterday, though, my truck quit running in the middle of Washington DC in the left lane of a busy street in the middle of rush hour.  The traffic was so busy (and the drivers so rude) that I couldn’t even push it over to the right lane until a policeman showed up and blocked the middle lane with his police car.

I had to call a tow truck, which goes against all my money-savings instincts, but when your car is dead in the middle of a place like that you don’t really have a choice.  My wife was at a school meeting at the time, so my 17-year-old son was the hero of the day and came to get me.  He has never driven in a big city before, but he braved it and saved the day.  It was quite an adventure for us both.

As I said before, if you want to drive a cheap car, there are some risks that you have to accept.  I just want anyone who follows the same path as me to go in with their eyes wide open.  I’m certainly not about to change my ways, though.  If I had bought a new car seven years ago when it was four years old like most people do, I could have had an extra $39,900 in car payments by now (assuming the average car payment of $475 per month).  I’ll keep my $40k and endure one painful breakdown, thank you very much.

It hurt when it happened, but after I calculated how much money I’ve saved by not having a monthly car payment all these years, I feel much better now.

Leave a comment.  Have you had a very inconvenient car breakdown?  Are you still willing go cheap to avoid the car payments?  Is it worth it?

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4 Responses to It’s simple but it ain’t always easy

  1. Chris says:

    I have a 96 ford contour. Its my daily driver. I paid $750 after I sold my truck to get rid of the Payment. I love not having a payment. I don’t really know how many miles it has because the odometer quit working at 127k. That was about a year and a half ago… Lol.. Oh well. It is fine mechanically otherwise.

    The issue is that it is bright teal, and also is missing all the hub caps. It’s been named princess because it looks like a 16 year old’s first car. I definitely swallow my pride when I drive it, but it’s worth it to know that my family’s future is much more sound financially thanks to my sacrifice. Its worth it, and I won’t have to drive it forever.

    • Tony says:

      Chris,
      I don’t even think about it as swallowing my pride any more. When I was a teenager, having a great (and great-looking) car was very important to me. Over the years, though, the looks of the car has come to mean less and less to me. Now I don’t even think about it.
      Tony
      Tony recently posted..Build a new house for only $12,000!My Profile

  2. Rob Scott says:

    Totally agree with you. My car payments finish this year and I’ll be saving the money to put towards buying another car out-right in the future.

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