My car is ugly.
It’s rusty, it has plenty of scratches and a few dents, and it’s 17 years old. It’s not pretty or shiny. The heat/AC is out half the time and it’s usually making some sort of bizarre noise.
It’s what most people would consider embarrassing. Some people think I’m crazy for continuing to drive this vehicle, but here are seven reasons why I do it.
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The main reason I drive a 17 year old car is because it’s cheap. The tabs are less than $50, my car insurance is $50/month, and the parts (for repairs) are inexpensive as well.
If I bought a newer vehicle, it isn’t just the car payment I’d have to worry about. My monthly insurance and annual tabs would also increase quite a bit.
I’m not a car person. To me, the only purpose of a car is to get me from point A to point B, which my car does just fine (for the most part). Maybe someday when I’m 100% debt-free, I’ll drive something shiny and pretty (paid for in cash), but for now, my only requirement for a car is that it runs.
Cars are Not an Investment
Cars are not investments. A new car loses a huge portion of its value the second it’s driven off the lot. It doesn’t make sense to take out a loan for a depreciating asset.
It’s Less Stressful
Okay, in some ways it IS stressful to drive an old car. It occasionally needs expensive repairs, and that’s not fun. BUT it’s way less stressful in other ways.
I don’t worry that someone is going to steal my car when I let my car warm up during the winter. If another car is parked too close to me, I really couldn’t care less if they door ding me.
When my hubby’s out covering his smart car with yoga mats (yes, he really does that) to prepare for a possible hail storm, I don’t even bother trying to cover my car. Truthfully, I don’t care if my car gets dirty or a little damaged. I don’t need to keep it looking spiffy…because it looks kind of terrible already.
Keeps Me Humble
My rusty, dented, and scratched car keeps me humble and reminds me of our goal. I don’t want to “keep up with the Joneses” anymore. I don’t care what other people think.
My car might be “embarrassing” to some, but this old car is part of the reason why we’ll be debt-free someday. Financial freedom is more important than a shiny car.
I Ain’t Got a Car Note
This is the most important reason why I drive a 17 year old car…to quote rapper Dee-Young, “I ain’t got a car note!” I love not having to make a car payment every month. Driving an old car has its drawbacks, but it is well worth it.
Repairs are Cheaper
Due to its age, my car occasionally needs expensive repairs. Some people have tried to use this as a reason to convince me to buy a new car (with a loan). This logic doesn’t make sense.
Yes, having to drop $500 on repairs here and there isn’t ideal, but that’s a lot better than spending $200+ EVERY month on a car payment! My car insurance and tabs would also drastically increase if I purchased a newer vehicle.
(*Side note: Occasionally, repairs can get CRAZY expensive, and then it may make sense to ditch that car and buy a used one…with cash. My hubby and I did this when we bought his smart car.)
Live like no one else now, so you can live like no one else later.
As Dave Ramsey says “live like no one else now so you can live like no one else later.” A 17 year old vehicle may be ugly and “embarrassing”, but avoiding car loans is an important part of our journey to debt freedom.
When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to getting out is to stop digging. My hubby and I are avoiding debt as much as possible while we pay off our student loans. Someday, we’ll have a paid-off mortgage and we’ll be 100% debt-free.
We won’t be chained down by payments. We’ll be able to travel, splurge on things we love, give generously, and/or retire early. We’ll be able to buy fancy cars (with cash) if we want to (I probably won’t, but the hubby might).
Achieving financial peace is more important than impressing others or “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Who cares what the Joneses think anyway?
Do you drive an older car?
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Personal Finance Resources:
The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
YOLO: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life by Jason Vitug
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
It’s Only Money and It Does Grow on Trees by Cara MacMillan
How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
365 Blog Topic Ideas for the Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About by Dana Fox
Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income by ProBlogger