Why Drive An Old Car??
I’ll never forget how exciting it was 12 years ago to drive off the car lot in my first brand new car. In my head I could check this off the list of things that finally made me an “adult”. Who was I kidding?
It didn’t take long for that feeling to subside. Not long after I got home I started to feel sick because I had never ever spent anything close to that amount of money before. I had agreed to 5 years of payments on a new teacher salary after relocating to a new state. I must have been crazy!
That event made me start paying far better attention to my finances. A few years later my husband and I finally paid that car off early and what a relief it was!!! The feeling of having a paid for car was indescribable. It was certainly better than the feeling of agreeing to 5 years of payments. Since then I have learned why most average millionaires drive old cars. Here are 5 of the top reasons why:
1. You Will Get Your Money’s Worth
In this day and age that’s kind of a shocking statement because most things you purchase are not made to last anymore, but cars are. The car you are driving today is so much better than the cars people drove even 5 years ago. The components last longer inside and out so it won’t look like a beater as fast as it would have back in the day. Why not take advantage of that? The longer you drive your car, the more value you will get out of it.
2. You Can Be Without a Car Payment for Years
I felt so much relief when I didn’t have a car payment anymore. Not having a car payment is liberating. I can’t imagine how nice it will be someday to do the same with our mortgage. Since we ditched my car payment we have been able to do the following:
- Pay Off All Debt Except Our Mortgage
- Build Our Emergency Fund
- Save for the Future
- Pay for my Graduate Degree without Loans
- Go On Several Nice Vacations
3. Repairs are Cheaper Than Payments
I’m not saying my old car is perfect. I have definitely paid for several large repair bills since I bought it. However, the cost of those bills is still far less than a year of payments. As long as it stays that way this car will have a place in our garage. I suggest finding a good mechanic now so that you can avoid the dealer at all costs. Not sure where to find a good mechanic? Ask your friends, check Yelp or ask on the Next Door App if you belong to it.
4. Upgrades Are Cheaper Than a New Car
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So you can’t magically transform your 10 year old car into the latest greatest version but there are things you can do to add some amenities. My biggest frustration with my car was that it did not have bluetooth or an audio jack. So I had no way of using my iPod or iPhone with it. The older it got, the more frustrated I became with this. A couple years ago I told my husband all I wanted for Christmas was a new stereo with an audio jack and bluetooth. To this day it is still one of my favorite presents.
5. You Won’t Spend Money You Don’t Have
Cars are made for truly one purpose and that is to get us from one place to another safely and reliably. As long as your old car is doing that, why get rid of it? At the end of the day who really cares about the car you drive? If it comes down to having money in the bank or driving a new car I’ll choose the money every single time.
I have to admit, I get attached to my cars and the day I do have to say goodbye to my “Shelby” (yes, I name my cars) will be a sad one. She has done everything I needed which is to provide reliable transportation to me. Someday I will move on, but that day is not today. There are too many miles left to travel in her and paying myself a car payment instead of a bank is well worth it in the end. The financial benefits of driving this old car far outweigh the brief joy of a new car and it’s payment.