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It’s that time of month again where I talk about cars! If you don’t know where I stand on these wonderful machines, you can read about them here and here. I love to find a great deal on a car, and am an advocate for using MATH to determine what you can afford and what is a waste of money. Today I want to let you in on a little secret that has allowed us to enjoy luxury without breaking the bank. I’ll show you how awesome it is to buy cars like we do, and allow you to enjoy luxury as well.
We Only Drive Fancy Cars
It’s true. Ever since we got married, Michelle and I have been blessed to be able to enjoy the luxuries in our automotive ventures. We have driven vehicles with all the fancy amenities one could ask for. We have all the luxury options, including power everything, leather seats, full sunroof, and premium speaker packages, along with more powerful and enjoyable motors. We’ve gone through 3 vehicles so far, and I couldn’t ask for more. Oh…and we haven’t paid more than $2,800 for any of our fancy cars.
A History Of Vehicles
But let’s rewind, because there was a time when I didn’t understand the value of purchasing a used vehicle, and I didn’t get the best of the best, and wasted thousands on ridiculous cars that weren’t even the premium model. So let’s go through my history of vehicles to see what was going on, and see how our purchases got smarter as we financially matured.
- 1981 Mustang P.O.S. This was my very first car. I saved up $1,600 from my first job, and had it stashed away in a HUGE pile of cash in my closet (I felt like a total baller!). My mom had a friend whose son was selling a car, and I decided to buy it. It looked kinda cool, but man it was a HUGE piece of junk. It started breaking down within 6 months of buy it, got horrible gas mileage, and was SUPER SLOW. I ended up selling it to a friend (though I told him it was junk), and the motor blew up about 6 months after. DOH! It had manual windows, crappy transmission, was super slow, heater barely worked, and was overall crap. Waste of $1,600.
- 1999 Chevy S-10 Extreme. This was my ultra-baller car that helped me pick up my wife (w00t!). I was on a $100,000 spending spree, and dropped $9,500 on this piece of machinery. Well, it was only $8,500, but with taxes and other dealer “fees”, it ended up being $1,000 more…somehow. It also had manual windows, was super slow and didn’t get great gas mileage either. I did pimp it out with subs, a TV, and underglow, but that was also another waste of $4,500! Tons of wasted cash, and ended up selling it all for $7,000 to pay rent once I ran out of cash.
- 1985 Toyota Celica GT-S. I ran out of cash, so I needed a cheap car to get me from A to B. I dropped $1,200 on this old car, but it had a few amenities that I had never experienced. Power windows, locks and mirrors, and a little bit of power gave me a taste of luxury that was fun. What was even more fun was how little I had to spend to achieve it. It wasn’t the BEST car out there, but had what I needed to get around and enjoy myself a little bit.
- 1994 Honda Civic. Bought this car for $2,000 to replace the Celica, and it did the job well. It also got 37 MPG highway. BOOYAH! It had power everything and took care of us for 7 years! It drive very nice, but it was that car that made me realize we could go even fancier.
Start Of The Fancy Cars
- 1987 Toyota Supra Turbo. I still had my Civic, but wanted to have a bit of fun as well. I had done some research, and picked up this beauty with a turbo for ONLY $1,200. Power everything, adjustable suspension, and almost 250 HP! This car was an absolute blast to drive, and was my first real sports car. I enjoyed it for a while, then ended up selling it because the power steering went out. Guess how much I sold it for? $3,000!!!
- 1994 Honda Accord. Michelle was riding her bike to school, but almost got hit by a car a few times, and was riding in the snow. We decided to get a car for her, and found this awesome thing at a wholesale lot. It has all the fancy fixin’s you’d find in any luxury car. Power everything (even the seat), fully retractable sunroof, leather seats, A/C, V-TEC engine with 150HP! And it still got 30 MPG. It had a premium sound system with 6×9’s in the back, and a smooth clutch and transmission. Oh….and we picked it up for $1,600. Baller.
- 1995 Toyota 4runner. With an awesome kid and one on the way, we started thinking about getting a minivan. Yes, I had given in a realized we’d probably just need a kid-mobile. But Michelle mentioned being possibly slightly kind-of interested in a 4runner, and 4 days later I bought one. I guess I REALLY didn’t want that van, LoL! We were able to get a luxury model, which included pristine leather seats, HUGE sunroof, power everything, front and rear independent climate control, roofrack, towing package, 4-wheel drive and a powerful V6 engine. It’s been an awesome machine for the family, and has TONS of life left in it. It was only $2,800, and is worth much more than that.
Buying Used Allows For More Options
I don’t know what it’s like to buy a new car. I don’t understand all the choices, and how people add on options and “customize” their car from the factory and all that junk. Because frankly, it’s a waste of time AND life for those who aren’t worth millions. But, you know what, I really appreciate those who do, because I get to reap the benefits later. I like to say that I want to thank those who buy new cars because they are subsidizing my future used-car purchases. They eat all the depreciation, I reap all the benefits.
Most people recommend buying something like a “3-year-old vehicle” to get the best deal. I recommend at least 5-7 years old, because the car is about 70% off at that point. And that allows you to shop for the fanciest, tricked out versions of whatever model car you need. Our last 2 cars have been the premium models, all tricked out with the most options you could get from the factory. Off the lot, these cars were probably $30,000+, but we didn’t drop more than $2,800. That’s over 90% off to enjoy the same luxury vehicle, and all we had to do was shop used.
Enjoy Some Luxury On The Cheap
Life is not about having the fanciest junk. It really isn’t. But I do enjoy having the option to buy something of quality, with all the bells and whistles is I can enjoy it for a fraction of the original cost. Today’s digital marketplaces such as Craigslist afford most anyone the ability to gain access to luxury items that otherwise would not be affordable. For cars specifically, you can get all the factory options by buying used, and don’t need to spend an extra $20,000 just because you want that new car with a built-in-vacuum. Seriously, that’s the world’s most expensive vacuum, and is going to be just as great 5 years from now.
Have some patience, don’t read about new cars or price them out, you’re only hurting your entire financial future. Instead, enjoy some used-car luxury now and know that someone out there is eating all the depreciation on your future luxury automobile. 🙂
Comments: Do you drive a fancy pants car? How much did you pay for it? Are you the one subsidizing someone else’s future luxury used-car purchase?