Yep, that's my car right there. An old, blue, beauty that gets me from point A to point B. It has 61,000 km (37,900 miles) on the engine. It's reliable, and most importantly, it's completely paid off.
It's true, I could have a newer car that may go faster or has electric windows, but those things aren't as important to me. I have chosen my priorities very intentionally. By having a car that I don't have to make a monthly payment on, I can do other things with that money. That extra cash goes to things that are more important to me in life.
According to Experian, $352 is the average monthly car payment for a used car in the United States. Even higher for a new car ($471). So let's say you trade in you new car for an older car. You get money $XXXX.XX amount back and use that money to buy an older, reliable car. So what could you do with that extra $352 a month? You can:
1. Save that money
2. Invest that money
3. Start that hobby you've always wanted to do
4. Pay off any existing debt
These are a few examples but you are only limited by your imagination. By putting that extra money into something that you choose, you can have a more enriching life. I choose to travel as much as I can with the extra money I save on things I really don't need.
I believe you should have that best things in life that you want. If having the newest car sitting in your driveway makes you happy, by all means, get that car. But if you don't mind driving an older, reliable car, then do that. I choose to limit my material things and spend my money on experiences. I also believe that one day when I have enough passive income, I will have a much nicer vehicle. Only when I have some kind of passive income, which in essence will pay for any car payment, then I will have a nice car. Until then, I am perfectly fine with driving my '91 Jetta.
Everyone will have different priorities. Figure out what yours are and focus your time and money towards it.
I apply the same method for most of the things I have to pay for every month. Things like cable, subscription services, magazines, etc. I examine carefully. If it's something that I don't think I need, I use that money elsewhere.
Having a nice car is fine. Owning an old '91 Jetta is fine too. Don't think that just because eveyone else has a nice car, means you have to as well. They may have a nice car and be floating in debt.
In my book, being debt-free, going on vacations more often and having an older car is better than a nice car and debt. Only you can decide what is important to you, just know that you have options to choose from.
How do you save money each month to do something you enjoy? Share in the comments below.
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