Please catch up with the rest of the series here and here. If you live in the country or if public transportation is unbearable, then most likely you’ll need a car. If it was practical, my way of transportation would be a bicycle. Picture this with me for a moment and let’s look at all the benefits of replacing a car with a good bike; you’re getting a good cardio workout, you don’t have to pay for bike insurance, no gasoline or diesel fuel is required, and if someone stole it, it would be relatively inexpensive to replace.
For most of us though, it just wouldn’t work. Our commute is long, we have kids, plus grocery shopping would be difficult.
When we moved into our home, I didn’t have a car. Before the wedding, I was up north and lived so close to work, that I walked. At the time, when I needed a car, I would either rent one for the weekend or carpool. When I came down south in 2010, my husband was still driving his car from high school. We tried carpooling for a season, but it got a bit difficult due to our conflicting schedules. So we saved up as much as we could for a down payment. I wanted to buy a car cash, but I was afraid of buying a clunker. So we looked around until I found the one. It was a 2007 Toyota RAV4. You may be asking, why an SUV? Why not get a smaller car? Well, I’m a type of person that looks 2-4 years ahead when it comes to making decisions. I knew that I wanted to start a family soon so it just made sense to me. We financed the car for 5 years. The payments were manageable, but my heart would hurt every month writing that check. Shortly after, my husband’s car broke down. Instead of fixing the car, which we should have done, we went to the dealership to purchase another car. What did we buy, a 2008 Infiniti G35. Though both cars were used, they were too expensive for our income at the time.
About a year after our car purchases, we were pregnant. My husband and I had a good talk about what car we should trade in to reduce our cost. Well my car was the least expensive and it was the family car, so my husband traded his Infiniti for a Chevy Cruze. It saved us so much on our monthly payments and gas.
The money we were saving monthly was stashed into a savings account. And when we saved a good chunk of it, we would put extra towards our payments. We did this for a while until my firstborn turned one. I found out I was pregnant again and was wondering how did it happen?
It was time to get serious with these cars. I knew daycare costs were going to double. Since my car’s balance was less, we decided to tackle it. I decided to teach part-time again. My husband was working on creating his business and taking side projects. Our goal was to finish paying off the car before our second daughter was born. God was just so gracious to us that year, my sister was able to help look after my firstborn part-time so that I didn’t have to put her in daycare full-time. So my daycare expenses were almost cut in half. With all the savings and extra work, we paid off my car 2 months before I gave birth and 2 years ahead of the loan. I felt a sense of relief. A couple of years after, my husband’s car was paid off and in 2016, we were completely debt free except the house. We danced, we shouted. It was a good feeling.
But we won’t be satisfied until we are completely debt free. We want the title deed in our hands for this property. I’m believing the house will be paid off soon.
Do you have car payments? Are you planning on paying it off?