Author Topic: Convince me to stop being so cheap  (Read 2321 times)

Dr.Jeckyl

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Convince me to stop being so cheap
« on: October 15, 2018, 01:31:06 PM »
Here's the story, I'll try to be brief. I am frugal by nature. I have a mortgage at a great rate and a reasonable payment. This past year I paid off my student loans and completed and paid for $20,000 worth of dental work. Other than the mortgage my wife has $4,000 worth of student loans with a $50/mo payment. The rate is 2.25% so I'm really in no hurry to pay this off.

We have two cars. She drives a 10 year old w/145,000 miles and I drive a 15 year old w/275,000 miles. Both need work done with the 10 year old needing more than the 15 year old. The 10 year old needs a new timing belt ($720), struts ($1,000), a frozen caliper ($200ish), new tires ($1,000ish), and has developed a weird noise that I have yet to identify. Saturday the new noise started and Sunday I discovered the caliper needs replacing. She regularly visits family over 4 hours away and sometimes has our 7 year old with her. I feel like I'm being cheap fixing this car and not buying her a newer used car but I despise payments! I spent my cash on my dental work and I'm not willing to pull any emergency savings to purchase a new car. But it will take me awhile to save the cash for a vehicle that is better than the one she is driving. If we were to buy a new to us car it would be something that was built in the last few years but we would take out a payment that is less than what I was paying on my student loans. So there would be no change in retirement date. We would just have less to save and or spend on other things, such as vacations.

So please convince me to stop being cheap and buy a used car with a low interest rate. My wife will thank you very much:). Seriously though, she is signed on to early retirement and we are very open about our finances. She is just as stuck as I am in this decision. I re-read what I wrote and it sounded too much like I was the one stopping this.

marty998

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 02:10:07 PM »
A couple of points:

- Being cheap costs more in the long run (what price a life/relationship if you are sending your wife out to drive with your child in a death trap)?
- What do you define as an emergency? Why have emergency savings at all if you are never going to use it in a time of need? Surely you can slowly replenish the funds over time?

Please also report your other threads to mods. No need to post the same question in three different threads.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 02:19:14 PM »
Yep, I'm on the multiple posts. I hit post and it didn't post so...you know the rest.

Well, I guess an emergency to me is something I can't afford that actually would cost me some interest. Like maybe a medical emergency or loss of a job. When I can get a used car loan for less than 3% it makes sense to me to just take the loan.

"- Being cheap costs more in the long run (what price a life/relationship if you are sending your wife out to drive with your child in a death trap)?"

While I wouldn't call it a death trap, being cheap costs more in the long run makes sense. It will cost me around 3k for all the maintenance and the trade in is around 3k.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 02:23:57 PM »
Co-worker just used logic. I'm okay with driving the beater cause I know how to fix things and don't freak out. Well at least not as much. The wife's car has perhaps reached a point that it no longer makes sense to keep.

Other issue, I keep cars forever. I haven't bought a car in years. I bought the 10 year old car brand new (never again) and the wife bought the 15 year old brand new.

Rosy

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 03:00:03 PM »
My first thought on this is that the safety of your wife and child trumps the earlier than expected expense of a newish - used car.
Do it before the thing totally gives up the ghost and something bad happens on the road.

I'd consider this a candidate for my emergency fund and be thrilled that I was in the position to do it - actually, it is what I did in a roundabout way last year. No regrets - I'd forgotten how sweet it is to drive a nice car with all the bells and whistles.
2014 Buick Verano - still hovering at 17,000 plus miles, bought it at 12,000 miles. (It still had factory tape in a couple of places).

I was glad though that I kept the pmts low, it was an adjustment to go from no pmts to $256 and they forced me to go 48mo instead of 36mo, oh well, guess I'm not really in a hurry to pay it off.

 


use2betrix

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 06:10:33 PM »
I think it’s important to point out a few things.

You mention “work” but there’s a big difference between repairs and routine maintenance.

Timing belt, struts, and tires, are all wear and tear items that come with the territory of keeping a car over 100k miles. Unless you plan to continually replace every car you buy when it hits that age.

When my wife and I were dating (she was around 19/20) her super crappy Nissan Xterra’s transmission was going out. It was an old beater her parents gave her. The AC was also broken. She was traveling with me for my work, and thus not working. We thanked her parents for the car use and returned it to them.

I went out and bought her a ‘99 Toyota Camry with 88k miles for $5k. This was about 4 years ago. I immediately had the 90k mile service done, timing belt and water pump. Since then, we’ve put on a set of tires, front and rear struts, battery, etc. Over the last 4 years we’ve probably put a total of $4k-$5k into it, but 80% of that has all been maintenance items like the above. It’s never left us stranded and has been all over the country. We’ve put around 55k miles on it. I often want to replace it and easily can afford to, but it’s hard to justify cause it goes from point a to b so well. Maybe eventually with some bigger repairs but for now, it just keeps on ticking.

What kind of car is the 10 year old? Unless it’s a performance car I don’t understand $1000 for tires. Most standard cars you can get a fine set of tires for $500 or so. If it’s some unreliable expensive performance car, then I may reconsider my advice to spend the $3k plus in maintenance you’re looming at.

terran

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 08:51:21 PM »
All of your repair estimates seem high to me. Is this a dealer or an independent mechanic?

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 11:20:56 AM »
All of your repair estimates seem high to me. Is this a dealer or an independent mechanic?

Some of my estimates are on the high side but most are actually fairly cheap. This would be done by an independent and I am also capable of doing the work myself as I am an avid DIYer. But time is a factor and annoyance is another. The timing belt is high because of clearance and because the water pump is driven by the timing belt not the accessory belt so it will need to be replaced at the same time. I looked up the struts on Rock Auto and 1A Auto and added a little bit to cover someone else doing them plus an alignment once it is done. 

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2018, 11:28:26 AM »
My first thought on this is that the safety of your wife and child trumps the earlier than expected expense of a newish - used car.
Do it before the thing totally gives up the ghost and something bad happens on the road.

I'd consider this a candidate for my emergency fund and be thrilled that I was in the position to do it - actually, it is what I did in a roundabout way last year. No regrets - I'd forgotten how sweet it is to drive a nice car with all the bells and whistles.
2014 Buick Verano - still hovering at 17,000 plus miles, bought it at 12,000 miles. (It still had factory tape in a couple of places).

I was glad though that I kept the pmts low, it was an adjustment to go from no pmts to $256 and they forced me to go 48mo instead of 36mo, oh well, guess I'm not really in a hurry to pay it off.

Well, I just checked the credit union and they can finance me at 2.75%. For that rate I'd rather keep my emergency fund in case of medical emergency or crazy home maintenance situation. You are right about safety, I figure that there are two types of safe vehicles, one that is safe in case of an accident which this one has a good safety rating and tons of airbags and one that is "safe" because it won't break down. My daily with the 275,000 miles will crush like a tin can if I'm ever in an accident though :).

I think in terms of safety that I wouldn't need to worry about a tow in the middle of winter if something happens. If I spent the money to fix it that would be around a year of payments for the newer car. Not too mention we'd put another 12k miles or so and likely have more issues in that time.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2018, 11:32:43 AM »
I think it’s important to point out a few things.

You mention “work” but there’s a big difference between repairs and routine maintenance.

Timing belt, struts, and tires, are all wear and tear items that come with the territory of keeping a car over 100k miles. Unless you plan to continually replace every car you buy when it hits that age.

When my wife and I were dating (she was around 19/20) her super crappy Nissan Xterra’s transmission was going out. It was an old beater her parents gave her. The AC was also broken. She was traveling with me for my work, and thus not working. We thanked her parents for the car use and returned it to them.

I went out and bought her a ‘99 Toyota Camry with 88k miles for $5k. This was about 4 years ago. I immediately had the 90k mile service done, timing belt and water pump. Since then, we’ve put on a set of tires, front and rear struts, battery, etc. Over the last 4 years we’ve probably put a total of $4k-$5k into it, but 80% of that has all been maintenance items like the above. It’s never left us stranded and has been all over the country. We’ve put around 55k miles on it. I often want to replace it and easily can afford to, but it’s hard to justify cause it goes from point a to b so well. Maybe eventually with some bigger repairs but for now, it just keeps on ticking.

What kind of car is the 10 year old? Unless it’s a performance car I don’t understand $1000 for tires. Most standard cars you can get a fine set of tires for $500 or so. If it’s some unreliable expensive performance car, then I may reconsider my advice to spend the $3k plus in maintenance you’re looming at.

I actually totally agree with you on "work" vs. maintenance. Very little of this is work. I use this argument all the time. But you are supposed to be convincing me to buy a replacement not keep the car I have :). The issue is kind of the cost of the maintenance that it needs is worth more than the car and I don't trust the car not to keep costing more. My daily driver that is older with many more miles is cheaper to maintain than this one. New brakes every couple of years and oil changes is generally all it needs. That and sweeping up piles of rust from the garage floor occasionally.

Blueberries

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2018, 05:15:35 PM »
You can make more money, you can't make more time.  Spend the time with your wife picking out a new(er) car. 

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Convince me to stop being so cheap
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2018, 09:51:45 AM »
You can make more money, you can't make more time.  Spend the time with your wife picking out a new(er) car.

And we did. She's happy, I'm happy with the deal we got. I feel better knowing that she has a newer car with much less miles and it is much less likely for a breakdown to happen. Plus it fits our needs better. Now I can quit worrying about needing to work on her car and I can worry about mine or bite the bullet and retire the 275k mile beast. Might be time to buy myself a safer vehicle.