Friday, March 2, 2007
No Car Payments Feels Pretty Good
Allow me a moment of joy. I have NO car payments! As the younger, online generation seems to say:
I can positively hear the "ka-ching" of my personal cash register when I DON'T send in a check for around $500 car payment to (insert car company here) each month.
Instead, that money goes to me, myself and I, and dammit, it feels good.
You can have that feeling too. Allow me to explain how I achieved what so many people do not (and never) achieve in their lifetime. Here is the elusive secret to how I managed to not have a car payment....ready...(drum roll)...
I kept my car after the payments ran out.
Yes! I did not immediately run out and buy another "shiny metal box on wheels". Pretty simple.
My oldest vehicle (a minivan) has 167,000 miles on it.
"But how " (I hear you ask) "is that sort of a vehicle reliable enough to get you back and forth to work every day?"
Actually this vehicle IS reliable. It has been well maintained and has only left me stranded ONE time in over 10 years.
But also, I am in a van pool with some other folks, so I don't need to drive my own van to/from work at all, ever!
Van pools are available where I work (Chicago and suburbs) and they probably are where you live too if you live in or near a major city. Try checking on the internet. So, my beloved minivan only needs to do short trips around town over the weekend. This frees me from having to buy another vehicle for a very, very long time.
By the way, cars can (and usually do) last a very long time these days. And even if you need to replace the engine (which I haven't had to, touch wood), that would cost me about $1500 (I asked my mechanic). Which is about 3 months of car/van payments. So even that wouldn't be so bad, eh? Moreover, I have an excellent and trustworthy mechanic who knows when things need to be done and when they don't. A good mechanic is worth his (most of them are men) weight in gold.
Moving on to today's quote, which presents an alternative point of view to the one above:
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."
And my last thought:
"Save money, but don't make yourself miserable.
Enjoy your life as if you only get one. Perhaps you do."
Signing off for now, until the next time. Rest assured that I remain, as always,
Your friend on the internets,
PS - this article was submitted to the online "Carnival of Finance" at http://mapgirl.net/mfc/