We are a family of four and commute long distances every day (except weekends, unless we really want to 🙂We are on a mission to be debt free, so with that, there are sacrifices we have to make.
Today’s example, is purchasing a vehicle without getting into debt.
I’ll be honest, and say that I wish I could experience driving a brand new, crisp and clean car that has never been owned by anyone and has miles that are closer to zero than 100,000. But, my husband and I are not in that situation right now, and we’re okay with that. What we really want is a reliable car that will get us to our destinations without us worrying it will break down and leave us stranded somewhere. And, even better is having that reliable car without monthly payments!
Thankfully, my husband had been saving large chunks of cash every month with his strategic money saving skills and we recently got a nice tax return due to our adorable dependents aka our kids. We primarily searched on Craigslist.org for a car, and let me tell you, it can be pretty stressful! There are a lot of scams out there; you have to be careful!
There was a car we were interested in and after contacting the seller, he stated the car was actually in another state, but he could have it shipped to our home for us to check it out for free. Um, yeah right. We didn’t respond back. I just hope people have enough sense in them to run away from things like this, it’s scary! There were other pictures of cars that we kind of pixilated and another one that had snow in the background. It doesn’t snow in Phoenix people! Please, stay away from scams like these.
At first, my husband and I were not seeing eye-to-eye on the type of car we wanted to get. We are replacing our sweet, yet unreliable van and had different opinions. I wanted another van or SUV for the comfort and space for when we have visitors and when we travel long distances as well.
My husband wanted something under a certain price range and a fuel efficient car. Interestingly enough, our views began changing as we saw each other’s point of view and the types of cars that were being sold on Craigslist. My husband’s view changed from small, economic vehicle, to van, to two door, 5 speed manual transmission cars. My view changed from van to considering driving a 5 speed manual transmission car.
The funny thing here is that our desperation for a car was coming out because we both have not driven a manual car in many many years and I have like a weeks worth of experience driving one! Haha. It just was not going to work.
We reevaluated what we truly need right now and decided on sticking to a specific brand with a good reputation. After searching, and searching, and searching! for a vehicle that would ultimately fit our budget and allow us to keep some of our savings, we finally found one that seemed right for us. We contacted the owner and made arrangements to meet. We drove out to her home and saw the car parked outside her home. We checked out the outside of the car and it looked really good. We contacted her to let her know we were there and this young couple came out. I was relieved to see that they did not look like scam artists! She showed us the car fax and let us know other details about the car. My husband pulled out his fancy flashlight and checked under the hood. He test drove it while I talked a little to the young lady. It turns out she is a kindergarten teacher and recently bought a larger vehicle, a sort of an upgrade for her and now has no use for the car we were interested in. All in all, the people seemed normal and ethical and the car worked perfect. We decided to purchase this car, shook hands with the couple and went on our happy way with our new-to-us vehicle.
So here it is, our brand “new” car: please welcome Toyota Corolla ’99.
We are looking forward to creating wonderfully happy memories in you.