Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I love my car...

Okay... maybe love is a strong word, but I really REALLY REALLY like my car.  Why you might ask (especially those that actually know what car I drive, or have had the ummm... pleasure of riding in my car)?

There she is, a beauty right?  That is my '99 Honda CRV and I have been driving it since I was 16 years old.  That means come January I will have been driving it for 10 years (you can do the math and figure out how old I am too :)).

This car has been through everything with me.
 It got me to all of my events in high school from soccer practice, to student council, to church.  
It enjoyed the life at UGA with me from ZTA, to football, to classes.
It has been in my post-college life from marriage, to my first teaching job.
It has come all the way to New Orleans with me.
Needless to say my car holds a lot of memories, I might even cry when we get rid of it, but that is not what this post is about. 

This post is about:
 1. picking things based on what you need 
2.  keeping them as long as necessary.

1. Picking things based on what you need- I would like to say that I had the wisdom to pick my car at 16, but I didn't.  My mom would be proud to say that she picked out the car and then I paid for it.  This was actually a very good deal because my mom knew better than I about what I would need, and what would last.  I try to relate this to other aspects of life.  Making a wise decision when purchasing is key to making a good purchase.

2. Keeping them as long as necessary-  When I got out of college I noticed many people were going straight to purchasing a car.  That seemed to be the order, find a job, get a car (or rather a car payment). I realized that this car was still all that I needed; it was worth more to me driving that I could ever get for selling it.  That is when I made the resolution- I will keep this car until it breaks down, or we are in need of a bigger car... and neither has happened yet.  

Following these two guidelines, I am getting the most out of my car, and therefor the most for my money.  It therefore gives Andrew and I the opportunity to save money and not have a car payment now, or down the road.  Now my car could still break down at anytime and Murphy's law will probably go into affect... and my car will break down tomorrow.  But even if it does, or when it does, I will have gotten a huge bang for my buck using my car for so long, and it will carry many memories to boot:)!  


  1. Why is getting a new car even crossing your mind? A 1999 is not 'old' and there is no particular reason to think that it shouldn't last much much longer and continue looking fresh and new (assuming you wash, wax, maintain, and maybe garage it.)

    My car in high school was a 1989 and I drove it after college to the end of 2009. My post college 'new' car was a 2002 with 140,000 miles on it.

    Our parents childhoods' (where some cars could only be expected to go 80,000 miles) and the 90's failure of American cars seems to have passed down to us despite technological advances that mean a well taken care of vehicle is cost effective through more than 200,000 miles.

    Particularly on a budget or in a frugal situation, a 1999 should not even be contemplated about being replaced unless it has experienced a catastrophic failure.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I think that the confusion comes in is that my car is old in terms of how long the normal consumer keeps a car (3 years)... and I in no way am planning on buying a car anytime soon. My post actually matches very closely with what you wrote, my two main points were pick a car (or anything for that matter) based on your needs, and not replace it until the need arises. For us this means we are not planning on replacing the car as long as it runs and our family has not outgrown it... and I would advise anyone else to do the same in a similar situation. However I would also advise them to be preparing to buy another vehicle. Even with the best of care, a 13 year old car with 180,000 miles on it is not new, and could break down beyond what is worth fixing. So in summary, I agree with you, but sometimes needs change and cars break down... someone frugal and on a budget should be prepared for this. :) feel free to contact me if you have any other thought! :)

  2. For a ’99 model, it still looks good. I admire how much you like your car. I understand the bond you have with it too. Having used it for so long, it definitely is a great deal, bang for the buck. A car that has served you for more than a decade is a car that has served its purpose, and served it well. Having said all that, would you consider another Honda when your CRV finally breaks down for the last time?

    Leisa Dreps

  3. That’s an interesting point by Leisa. You did an excellent job of taking care of the CRV for 10 years, and it has rewarded you well. But, there will come a point that this car will reach the end of its life and you would have to buy a new one. Will you buy another Honda? More importantly, will you get another SUV or will you try your hands on a sedan?

    Delsie Maidens

  4. Guideline number two strikes me well, Stasia. Cars are one of the greatest and most expensive possessions we could have, so it’s only right for us to maximize its use. And for us to be able to do that, we should be willing to spend the time, effort, and money to keep it working as long as possible. By doing that, we are not only sparing ourselves from unnecessary expenditures, we are also rewarding ourselves convenience in the long haul.

    Patrick Gauer