Do you have a get-rich-mobile? If you own your car outright (that means no payments!), it’s more than 10 years old, and you plan on driving it until the wheels fall off, then you qualify! 🙂
As many of you may know, my wife recently landed her dream job and has her first day of work today (please congratulate her in the comments section if you haven’t already – she is super excited)! While this job will increase our income severely, it is also forcing us to become a “two-car” family.
Our Glory Days With the Volvo and “Libby” the Jeep
When Mrs. LAMF and I first got married, she moved down to Florida (where I was living) and we survived with just one car, my Volvo S80. It worked out great because her work was on the same city block as mine, and our hours were very similar.
Well, we knew that the Volvo was dying, so we bought “Libby”, our Jeep. And, soon after that purchase, we made the move to Michigan. Luckily, Dar found a virtual job that she could do from home, and the one-car lifestyle continued!! 🙂
The Much Needed 2nd Car
Life is going well for my wife and I. My job is still amazing and the benefits are fantastic, and now my wife landed her dream job! The only problem is, her dream job is 25 miles away from our house, which means a 2nd vehicle is now a necessity…
Ultimately, my wife will have to get rid of Libby and go for the more reliable vehicle (since she has the long trip), but until then, I needed some wheels!
The List of Needs
It was about 2 weeks ago that I started the vehicle search. Here was my list of needs:
- I need to fit in it (I’m 6’8″ and actually didn’t fit in Libby all that well)
- It needs to be $2,500 or less so I can pay cash for it
- It needs to be able to tow stuff (since we’ll most likely get a car to replace Libby)
- Ideally, it will look presentable when I pull into work every day
- It needs to be reliable
When my hunt began, it was filled with cars that were in my price range, but they often had rust holes in the doors and an odometer that was well over 200,000 miles. Out of the 5 criteria, most of them only met one or two.
The search continued for a week and a half, and I decided that $2,500 wasn’t going to get me the car I was looking for.
The Car That Met All of the Criteria….Except for One
During my entire search, I kept coming across a truck that looked beautiful and would fit my needs perfectly. There was just one problem…. you guessed it – the price! Instead of being within my $2,500 budget, this vehicle was listed for $3,800…
Putting the price aside, here was the list of positives:
- Hardly an ounce of rust
- The odometer read 178,000 (most trucks with this motor last 250,000+)
- It was large enough for me to fit in, but small enough to get a little better gas mileage (and maybe even fit in our garage)!
- This truck was newer than most that I was looking at (many were early 90s and this one was a 1997)
- It will hold its value – I could hold onto this truck for 4 years and it will still be worth $3,500
While I was looking for a car that was under $2,500, I realized that I would rather have a quality vehicle for just a little bit more. And, I did actually have $4,000 in cash on me… I just wanted to keep it cheap!
So, when it came down to the wheeling and dealing, we (my dad-in-law and I) soon found out that the kid that owned it actually had another vehicle, and he recently got into an accident with it! So, he needed money – not only to pay for his new car, but also to pay for the repairs.
Since we knew he needed the money (and we found a few minor things that could be fixed on the truck), I offered to pay him $3,300 in cash on the spot. That doesn’t seem like a big difference, but that’s actually a 13% discount!
As it turns out, he couldn’t say no to 33 one-hundred dollar bills, and I’m now the proud owner of a 1997 GMC pickup! I love it, and I can’t wait to drive it for the next 10 years.
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.