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My New Get-Rich-Mobile!


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

The Purchase

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.

Money Save Money


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.


  1. Sweet looking ride. It sounds like you got a great deal. I have a paid off Montana mini-van with 164,000 miles and plan on driving it til the wheels fall off. It isn’t 10 years old yet (pushing 8) but I should be able to get there.

    • It is pretty nice! I love driving it and can’t wait to drive it for the next 10 years! 🙂

  2. That’s great for you and your wife! I hope her dream job goes well. Your truck looks like a great deal.
    Congrats to you both!!

    • I’ll find out how her dream job was in just a few minutes! I’m so excited for her, and can’t wait for her to come home and tell me all about her first day. 🙂

  3. Great strategy Derek. We’ll be holding on to our current cars (we own one) until they are a bucket of bolts. I’m so tired of car payments.

    • Yep. Sounds like we’re thinking alike. I never want to see a car payment either. That must be crummy for those that have to see $300 leave their account each month for their ride.

  4. I suppose there are benefits to cash after all (frown). Great find. I’m still driving my 01 jeep and plan to keep it forever. Love not having a car onto. The question is…when you quit your job to blog from home full time, will you still need the 2nd car?

    • If I ever have the opportunity to work from home, I think I would still have to hold onto the vehicle – but, most of the time, I would choose to ride my bike since we do live in the city. 🙂

  5. First, Congrats on your wife finding her dream job!!
    Next, Congrats on finding a nice vehicle and having the cash to pay for it, and the sense to want to keep it going for the long haul.
    All our cars(4)are paid for, our oldest 1983 (under 4000 miles), newest 2002 (112,000 miles). All bought for cash and nary a regret in the bunch!

    • I’ll let her know that you say congrats! I’m guessing your oldest car is the delorean? I still can’t believe you have one of those. That’s sweet! Great job paying cash for all of them though!

  6. Very shnazzy, love the color!!

    • Thanks! It’s a fun ride.

  7. Congrats to your wife in finding her dream job.
    I have a 2000 Honda Accord that I bought in 2005 and paid off in 2009 that has 403,000 km’s on it. I plan to keep driving it and am now on to my target of 500,000km’s.

    • I’m glad she found her dream job too! Can’t wait to see how her first day went! Also, sounds like you are really putting the miles on your car (or should I say kilometers)! So, 500,000 km is something like 220,000 miles or something? That would be pretty awesome!

  8. My cars are old (17 & 15 years old)! I got a great deal. I will be hunting for a new(er) car this coming year.

    • Ha, yep, that’s pretty old for a car. Pretty soon, you’ll have a couple of classics! 🙂

  9. Nice! We have always been a one car family but there have been times where I wished we had two! Mostly I don’t mind having one though! Sounds like you got a good deal and I hope your wife had a blast at her first day of her dream job!

    • Having one vehicle really wasn’t that bad. I actually kind of liked it because it allowed me to have more together time with my wife. 🙂

  10. Congrats on the new wheels! Never thought I’d see you driving a truck…. definitely helps though b/c of your height 😀

    • It’s the 3rd truck I’ve owned now! I love driving them, mostly because of my height, but also because it allows me to tow stuff too! It helps when renovating a house. 🙂

  11. Congratulations to you both!!!! We are also a two car family and I love having no car payment. However, I do set aside some money every month to go into the “car fund.” This way we have a nice down payment or can even pay cash for a new, late model vehicle. We do this about every 10-12 years.

    • Yep. It is definitely a good idea to have a car fund – not only for repairing a potential problem, but also to pay cash for the future car! Keep up the awesome work!

  12. Congrats to your wife on her dream job – hope it stays that way for her.

    and to you on your truck purchase.

    • Thanks Marie – from both my wife and myself! 🙂

  13. Hi Derek, Our “newest” car is 2003 honda crv with 70,000 miles. Looking for many happy years from both our cars!

    • Yep! It’s kind of fun to keep the same car for a while. It makes sense financially because after a while, you get to know your vehicle. When you continually buy different vehicles, often times you just don’t know what you’re getting.

  14. Congrats on the new vehicle, and you paid cash = AWESOME.

    Hope your wife had a great first day!

    • Thanks Andrea! It feels great to pay cash, and now with the extra income (and no car payments) we’re ready to pay off a chunk of our mortgage!

      My wife did have a great first day. Of course it was boring with orientation, but she loves the people and the work. Yay!

  15. Nice new wheels. It is awesome you paid cash for it. I am glad your wife’s job is going so well too.

    I still can’t get over your height. Ever try out for the NBA?

    • The truck is a nice one, and yes, it’s awesome to pay cash for it!

      As for the NBA… nope. I didn’t quite make it that far… Golf was more my sport. 🙂

  16. Congratulation on a great looking truck! Most people have trouble turning down cash. 🙂

    • Thanks RB40! I think the kid’s eyes lit up pretty good when we showed him the cash.

  17. I didn’t know you lived in mich. too. It is definitely a buyers market for vehicles. Congratulations to your wife on finding a good gig in this difficult time. Strap a snow plow on that truck and make an extra couple bucks this winter. That’
    s what i do.

    • I was tossing around the idea of plowing, but I already wake up at 5am every morning to work on writing my book / working on my new projects. I don’t think I really want to wake up any earlier.

  18. Nice ride! I own my 2004 TL outright and plan on driving it for 10+ years, already been a year and I’m still in love! Not having car payment sure does feel nice. Is it snowing in Michigan yet?

    • I have seen flakes of snow, but nothing has really stuck yet (Central Michigan is another story — they got dumped on last night). By me, it’s sunny and 42 today! Pretty nice considering it’s almost December.

  19. Nice work! Looks like you got a steal!

    My “get rich mobile” is actually a bike. The payments were really, really low plus it gets about infinity miles to the gallon 🙂

    • Haha! Nice! I think when summer hits again, I’m going to be riding my bike a lot too! It’s great exercise, it saves on gas, and it just feels good to do! 🙂

  20. Great truck — congrats on your new-to-you ride! I love to buy secondhand, too. When we bought our ’65 Beetle, we also ran into the cash thing and got a pretty good deal.

    • Waving cash in front of a private party can always get you a deal! I love it!

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