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9 Days In & Used Car Buying Ramblings...

January 9th, 2009 at 02:19 am

Ugh, I'm getting antsy - 9 days into the month and I haven't been able to update debt progress. Tomorrow is budget committee day so we'll see if I can count up any decent snowflakes for the week.

I mentioned before my sister & brother-in-law are moving here to Atlanta next week. They are taking a big risk and making the move without jobs, but have saved up a few months of expenses as a back-up plan. I know this is risky, but I'm proud of them for taking the leap in leaving Michigan for the possibility of a brighter future. Hopefully with them here we will be able to help coach them on the journey to debt freedom as well.

Lately it's been frustrating because some of our "friends" don't understand what we're doing in trying to be debt free. We just live in a culture where a car payment is the norm and so sometimes people think you're weird for wanting to buy something that you can pay cash for. We started looking at used minivans last night. We have about $6K in the bank and planned on adding our tax refund (between 3-4K...which is why I mentioned I need to change my withholdings) to purchase a 4-5 year old Honda Odyssey. My husband challenged me to consider us NOT using the tax refund and purchasing an '01 Odyssey with the money we have now, then taking the tax money and paying that directly to our debt - this equates to us being debt free about 4 months faster. He had a lot of fun playing with my amortization spreadsheets Smile

So we tried to look at one van which was a bust, though there are 5 in our price range listed with specs we're fine with (mileage, year & price). It wasn't even that the van didn't meet expectations - we didn't even get that far because the car lot was shady and so we left. So we are going to keep our eyes peeled for a while longer (hubby's current car is trucking along, just not as safe - it's a 1990). We've always found that patience pays off, so we're going to look at many, many vans over the next couple of months between $5,500 & $8,500 and see where God leads us. I am excited at the prospect at spending less...we've got no one to impress with our car anyway!

Just give me the patience not to blow my top when I tell someone I'm going to spend less than $10K for a car and they 1) think that's crazy - the car could break, so I better buy a brand new one or 2) if I just go to my bank I can just get a loan for a new one!!!

Give me the strength!!!

5 Responses to “9 Days In & Used Car Buying Ramblings...”

  1. M E 2 Says:

    I don't know if this will/won't help, but, about 6 or 7 years ago (at least, if not more) my sister was in need of a new(er) car. My BIL went to a lot and was looking around and found a car he liked/thought my sis would like too. If I remember correctly, the sticker price on the car was $6500. My BIL remorsefully told the salesman that he only had $4000 (on him). The salesman's reply was, "Cash?"...... when my BIL said yes, the salesman told him they could/would work something out and my BIL bought the car that night for the $4000 instead of the $6500 sticker.

  2. Chrissy Says:

    Yes, I've definitely thought of this and we've done this in the past with other cars we've bought. The sad thing is that a few places we've gone to in the last 12 months (we bought a used car earlier this year so those trips combined with those for our recent search I'm speaking of) seem to not be impressed that we are paying cash. This blows me away. It's like they are selling financing & not cars - even at that "low" of a selling price. We are also going to try looking at some offered by private sellers, who are looking for cash!

  3. kdmoffett25 Says:

    Have you looking into the police impound auctions? I have heard of people getting deals there as well. Just take only the cash you are willing to spend and not overbid.

  4. lizajane Says:

    I don't really think it's anybody's business what you pay for your cars, unless you want to brag when you find a fantastic deal. The last 3 vehicles we bought and still have were all under $1000 - a police-special Crown Vic for $750, a 2wd chevy pickup for $250, and an ancient (80's) van for $850. All needed some work but not thousands of dollars. They aren't pretty, except for the Crown Vic. We did just have to spend $650 for another motor, but who can complain about that now - it runs like a top! I do like to drive a new car once in awhile, when we rent a car for something, but otherwise I just drive my way out of debt faster than the rest of my pals.

  5. ralph Says:

    A word to the wise - Odyssey's have known transmission problems, so be VERY careful. I would look for enough of a discount to cover a replacement should you need one.

    When I was looking for a cheap used car, I got advice to buy from a private seller - used car lots are just WAY too shady. Carfax is your friend, get a monthly membership then cancel it after you buy. I did buy from a private seller and it has been a great car, so I highly recommend that - try for as few owners as possible - the holy grail is a single owner, and I was quite happy to find one. You really want to know where the car has been. And I think it is very smart to buy a depreciated car, but you do have to use extreme caution - I personally won't buy anything except Honda or Toyota.

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