Author Topic: Need advice on downgrading my vehicle!  (Read 1424 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Need advice on downgrading my vehicle!
« on: May 08, 2018, 06:52:16 AM »
Hello All,

This is my first blog post so bear with me. Ive been working towards FI for a couple years now and here is my situation right now so it is easier to understand my question.
I'm 21 years Old

I absolutely hate debt

My expenses are only $700 a month so i can cover that with a part time job (Car insurance is $150 a month with Collision)
I have $9000 in savings
2 years left for my mechanical engineering degree (will cost me $14,000 to finish)
only $1600 left in student loan debt (paid off $15,000 with co-op earnings)
a Toyota truck worth ~ $8000 (15/18MPG Yuck)

So I need roughly $7000 to be entirely debt free with my degree.

My dilemma is that I don not need a car for basic functions since I live within walking/biking distance of everything except my fiancee who lives an hour away in a bigger city (she has her college paid for and a paid off car with good mpg) and the occasional trip to visit my family in a small town 7 hours away.
I am mainly trying to figure out what to do after I sell my truck while ensuring that I have all of the money to pay off my debt and finish school. I Just sell my truck, bike everywhere, my fiance comes to me, and just fly to go see family ($400 round trip maybe 2-4 times before I graduate), make a lateral move and get an efficient hatch for ~$8000, or downgrade and get a car worth roughly ~ $3000 so that I can drop collision on my insurance (savings of $50 a month) but increase risk and reduced reliability on long road trips. I can always get another co-op but that would increase my graduation time from 4 1/2 years to 5 1/2 years and I would prefer to just graduate.

My Fiancee is all in for FI but she really hates the Idea that she would have to come pick me up in her car if we wanted to do anything. We eventually want to downsize to one vehicle but she wants to wait until we are living together. I ran the numbers and it makes sense on paper to not have a vehicle bit there are other serious factors to consider and I appreciate any advice! :)


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Need advice on downgrading my vehicle!
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 09:39:47 AM »
You're in a great position--almost no debt, and starting at a young age.

A paid-off toyota pickup is not the *worst* vehicle in the world.  It won't depreciate much, and it'll be reliable and easy to repair.

It sounds like you use your truck for:
1) visiting your fiancee (how often?)
2) visiting your family 1-2 times/year

Let's assume your family is 400 miles away and you get 18MPG.  Each trip to visit them will cost you about $133 in gas.  That's $400 over two years, and honestly it's small potatoes in the bigger picture.  Meeting up weekly (or more often) with your fiancee will use a lot more miles and gas.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go for the "downgrade" option.  Get yourself a 10-year-old Civic/Fit/Corolla/Yaris/whatever for $3k and use the $5k to start your ER fund.  Drop your collision coverage.