Why I Decided to Keep My Old(er) Car

This post should really be titled “Why It’s Not a Good Idea to Take Beauty Shots of Your Beater Before You Trade It In.”

Because that’s what I did.

On the day I was supposed to buy a new car (and simultaneously trade in my old one), I took my current vehicle out to the nearby waterfront and took a scenic photo with the Seattle skyline as the backdrop. The sun was rising, the clouds had parted just so, and–well–this was the result.

Maker:S,Date:2017-4-1,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

After a final vacuum and wash for old times’ sake, I headed to the car dealership to test drive the car I planned on buying. However, every time I looked at my old car through the dealership window, I just couldn’t imagine leaving it behind. We’d been through too many adventures together.

The road trips from New Jersey to Vermont on Memorial Day weekend. The cross-country adventure with my oldest brother when I moved from the Garden State to the Emerald City. Weekends in British Columbia, the North Cascades and the Oregon Coast. We’d made so many memories.

As I tried to remind myself why I decided it was time to sell, I couldn’t remember a single reason. My car has never had any real issues besides the occasional maintenance expense (and the tie rods I had to replace twice in fewer than five years). I guess I’d been conditioned by the shiny new cars I’d pass on my way to work every morning to view my car’s age as a liability. But I always promised myself that I’d drive every car I owned into the ground and my car ain’t dead yet. Besides, there are myriad benefits to keeping my older car:

Pay off other debts more quickly

By holding off on buying a new car (and postponing a car payment in my roster of expenses), I’ll be able to get to my goal of finally (FINALLY!) paying off my student loans ahead of schedule.

Save more towards a downpayment

By pumping the brakes on a new car, I hope I can build a more robust savings balance, allowing me to pay down more in advance and hopefully reduce the amount or length of an auto loan.

Reduce my auto insurance bill

A newer, higher value car would indubitably mean a larger auto insurance premium than I’d been accustomed to paying.

Do I still want to buy a new car? Heck, yeah. Sometime. Soon. But not today. For now, I’m just gonna keep on truckin’ in my current set of wheels until replacement becomes my only option.

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A Fresh Eye on Fiscal Fitness

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Iā€™ve got a lot of plans for 2015. Going back to school to get some certifications in my field. Traveling to Central Coast California in the spring and returning to Scotland sometime in late summer or early fall. And maybe, just maybe, finally purchasing a home of my own.
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