Since I am one that is ALWAYS searching for the best deal, a buck I can save, or something to make my life less stressful, then its no surpise that I have considered selling my car. Obviously we can't live as a ONE vehicle family so my plan was to see if I could downsize. But here's the process AND problems of that....
1. My car is a 2006 Honda Accord Ex-L. nice car, runs great, has all the bells and whistles. I owe a lot less than it's worth which is a PLUS! That's how you WANT to be when it comes to a vehicle. So for that reason I felt like it was a good time to sell my car. i didn't want to TRADE it on anything. I've done my research and that wasn't the way for me to go. So in order for me to take the money I would make off my car I needed to have something in mind that I could go pay cash for.
2. Buying an older car may mean more problems. Just because I can pay cash for it and get out from under my car payment doesn't make me instantly rich. It may actually put me into a situation where I am pouring all sorts of money into an older, more junked up car.
3. I wanted to buy a vehicle from a family member. That actually worked out... my dad has a 2004 Explorer that is super nice that he was willing to sell me because he wanted something different. The milage was about the same as my Honda and it was 2 years older, BUT, at the end of the day I could pay him cash for it and eliminate my car payment. Problem??? Yep...
4. Gas mileage. My Honda averages in town 26.4 and on the highway I get around 31. Dad's explorer--12 miles to the gallon and possibly up to 14. It's a V8. I still wasn't convinced that this plan was bad.
5. Then I put a pencil to it. I get paid mileage where I work which is AWESOME. Every month I am able to at the VERY LEAST cover my gas expenses and some months I have extra money in my pocket. IF, I drove the same amount of miles in the Explorer I would be doubling what I spend on gas....
I decided not to do it. I decided to keep my Honda. Now, don't get me wrong--I love my Honda. i was just trying to eliminate a car payment. BUt, i have been doubling up on car payments and will have my car paid for next October which is 2 years and 1 month earlier than my loan says!! YAY! I mean don't get me wrong... I am so proud of the progress I have made on my Honda payoff plan, it's just thought of instantly having it paid off is more appealing. :) But--it's a process and I have to remember that.
At the end of the day... no matter if I kept the honda or bought the explorer I would have an aging vehicle that ran the risk of major problems. So I decided that I need to start thinking about that.
My plan--start saving now! I am going to put back $100 dollars a month over the next year while I am working to pay off this car. That means at the end of that year I will have $1200 so if any repairs are needed I can either pay for them with cash, OR at the very least have some money to put down on repairs.
I've never been like this. I have always traded vehicles about every 2 years. I did the math on that and realized how much money I have spend over the years and have nothing to show for it. I WILL own this Honda. I WILL drive it until it is not driveable. I WILL be glad that I have a vehicle and take pride in it and take better care of it. I will be content that this is the vehicle I chose to buy, so now I am keeping it and making it mine for as long as it will let me.
While saving money is important it's not always a cut and dry scenario. To me it sounded so simple. Sell my car, take that profit and buy something I can pay for with cash. But when I looked at the WHOLE picture it was not the best thing for me.
Living on less, saving money--all of this comes with wisdom and good decision making. remember to weigh every aspect before you decide.
And there. that is my car story. :)