How did I save the cash? By pinching pennies. By being frugal.
Now, when I drive this car, I hold my head up high because I look good in it. :) It suits me. It's a nice car.
But you need to know how I got here. Those that know me know that I drove a clunker around for a while. I can see the heads of those around me nodding. I had a Toyota Subaru that I drove around, but when my husband bought his hybrid (another story), he gave up his white Geo and was going to put it up for sale. Well, there was no point in my driving that Subaru when I could get 45 MPG with the white Geo. We decided to get rid of the GEO because there is a problem in the front end of older Geo's and the frame rusts from the inside out and it becomes dangerous. We found a guy to weld the frame on this one so we figured it was safe but didn't want to replace it with another Geo and the transmission on this Geo was starting to go that way, which is why my husband bought the Honda Insight Hybrid.
I could have bought another car earlier but didn't as I am prone to do. I drove this old rusty Geo for at least a year or more while my Subaru outback sat in the garage. Yes, I thought I heard people snickering while I drove the old rust bucket. I did it for the gas mileage. My Subaru got about 23 MPG and so I could double my gas mileage just by switching cars. Double the gas mileage meant half price gas. I wasn't going to miss out on that! (We got the Subaru when the kids were younger and needed more space.)
During this time, I drove 30 miles to work one way 3 times a week plus a trip to town once a week (30 miles) for shopping. That's 240 miles a week. Gas was about $3.85/gal maybe on average. I'm not a math whiz but you take 240 miles a week /23 MPG and that's 10.43 gallons a week X $3.85/gal = $40.17 X 4 weeks = $160.70 per month for gas. Just to make this easy, I am going to cut that in half and then I was spending $80.35 per month driving the Geo instead. Over the course of 12 months, I saved $964.17 just by switching cars.
That doesn't add up to $8700.00 you say? No, it doesn't but this is one of many money saving tips. And they all add up.
So, my husband asked me what kind of car I wanted. I told him I didn't want any certain kind, I wanted certain criteria:
1. It had to get great gas mileage.
2. It had to have space and 4 doors for hauling people and stuff in.
3. It needed to be a good deal below book value.
When looking for cars or clothes or houses or anything, it is best to look for criteria more than emotional pullings. It's not that you can't look for something you love, but put the criteria first and then choose from the cars that meet that criteria.
My husband found this car for me on Craigslist (he reads CL almost daily). I LOVE my car! It makes me feel like a million bucks. (Geo's been sold for quite a while now, Subaru is up for sale.)
As cheap as I can be, it did make me twinge a bit to write that check out for $8700.00 (even though my husband said book was $10,000). But I have a great car and I am not paying some rich guy to use his money while I drive this car. That makes me very happy. :)