What is your “car philosophy?” In this episode of the podcast we’re doing a dive into cars – how much on average people are spending on new cars and how you much more freedom you have in your life if you choose to spend less. We’re sharing what we’ve found to be our used-car “sweet spot,” not too cheap but still nice, and then list off the things you need if you’re going to drive used vehicles – like a mechanic you can trust. You also have to listen to our wild goldfish story on a Farmhouse update (care to guess how many were living in the existing pond?), plus the cool books and TV shows we’ve been enjoying.
You can download this episode from Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and TuneIn Radio – or listen to it below right on your computer! Then use this page to check out any links, notes, or photos we talked about in the episode. Note: If you’re reading in a feed reader, you might have to click through to the post to see the player.
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Is Your Car Costing Too Much?
That’s our 2004 Ford Escape pictured in the lead photo – I can’t believe it’s 14 years old, it just doesn’t seem that old. We’ve had it about four years, so it was already 10 years old when we bought it. However, we care more about how many miles the car has (this one had under 100,000 on it), if it checks out with a mechanic, and if it’s in our “sweet spot” cost-wise (obviously, it was).
So far all we’ve had to do with this car is replace the tires and do regular maintenance on it – it’s been a great car.
Our favorite used car ever, though, has been our 1995 Jeep Cherokee (you can just see the back of it – I couldn’t find another photo of it without our vintage camper attached – you can listen to Episode 5 if you’re curious about our sweet vintage trailer).
We bought the Jeep in about 2001 and it had less than 50,000 miles on it. We paid about $5000 less than blue book because it had a rebuilt title. We’ve actually bought two cars with rebuilt titles and our tips are to know what kind of damage was fixed and to have a trusted mechanic look it over before purchasing – always.
This is the NerdWallet article Brian found that talks about the total cost of owning a car and helps you calculate a personal total.
The Other Point We Forgot to Mention:
One other thing we forgot to talk about (though we did touch on it in Episode 20 about budgeting), is that to pay cash for a car you always are saving for the next car. This is a Dave Ramsey car philosophy (also mentioned in Episode 20) – the first used car you get may be more of a ‘beater’ car, but you save as you drive it, hopefully lasting long enough where you can pay more for the next used car that will last longer.
Since that car will last longer, you’ll have more time to save for the next car, making that one an even better car, and so on. It’s worked well for us! We’ve already got our eye on the next car we’d like and know how much we need saved before buying. And as long as the Ford keeps running well, we’ll keep saving.
Farmhouse Fixer Updates
Here’s what that 1855 survey marker looks like on our property. The sign on the fence shows where the marker in the ground can be found, about a foot from the fence. In today’s digital world, this seems very old school, doesn’t it?
This is what our newly acquired goldfish look like in their thrift store tank. As you can imagine, owning fish and caring for a tank wasn’t high on our to-do list. But we couldn’t kill them and we gave away all we could (which was a lot!!). So here we are – and yes, I know the tank needs cleaning – but with that many fish in it, it always looks like this even shortly after I’ve cleaned it!
It’s too many fish for this size tank, I know, but it is what it is – this is what we can do, they are alive and have acclimated well to their new surroundings. Like we mentioned in the episode, they are super hardy and with all the transfers and moving from one container to another, not one of the fish in the farmhouse’s pond was lost to shock or anything like that (uh, we did inadvertently kill one, but that’s a whole other story…).
This is one of the downstairs windows we were able to make look like the original windows upstairs by removing the 1960s skinny molding and replacing it with $30 worth of standard wood boards. The complete simple farmhouse window trim how-to is here – this will make any window look fabulous!
This is Really Cool!
Jami’s: Lost In Space Netflix Series (clean, interesting, and real-life family dynamic)
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