Author Topic: Help with our clown mobile woes  (Read 1445 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Help with our clown mobile woes
« on: September 18, 2016, 12:32:38 PM »
My husband and I are struggling with some indecision regarding cars and would appreciate any advice from you fine folks as our friends and family are not terribly Mustachian in their advice (we are all working on it though!).
Here is the situation: We are a two car household. My husband has a 30 minute commute in one direction while mine is 40-60 minutes in the other direction depending on which office I am working at. Household Gross income is 150K. Although we have committed the great sin of putting ourselves in such a situation we at least have paid for old cars, no debt, and decent savings. His car has on it just over 171K miles on it and is leaking coolant (Head gasket) with an estimated $1,800 repair bill (we are NOT mechanically inclined) to keep it functioning smoothly. The car has an estimated $1,000 value. We were thinking of getting a used Honda Civic or Ford Focus in the 10K range to replace is car. The hope is that as I am with the company they will eventually allow me to move to one of the closer offices within biking/driving distance (it is a seniority thing and this is already in discussion for me but will likely be a year or two before it is a full reality) so that we would then be a single car household eventually. Also we live in a somewhat rural area where long drives are typical and we certainly see our fair share of winter. Is this a good plan? Would anyone suggest something better? We are all ears.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Help with our clown mobile woes
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 12:38:36 PM »
You should be able to get a nice, reliable used car of the type you mention in the $5K-$10K range. Do you have cash to buy it? If you do, then buy it and sell the old one. I probably would not do an $1800 repair on the car you mention unless it was a brand known to be reliable so that I thought I could get another 100K miles out of it.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Help with our clown mobile woes
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 01:17:02 PM »
For your husband's car - You don't say what kind of car it is and the MPG you get on it, but if it has that many miles and is worth even less than the cost of the repair, you probably won't get your money's worth out of repairing it. Buy a small fuel efficient used vehicle and sell the current car.

For your car - I would pursue the option to move to the closer office at work. Absolutely. But it sounds like the move would not be guaranteed, even if you wait. What kind of condition is this car in? Is it fuel efficient? Your husband's car replacement is priority 1, but it may be worth replacing your car with something better at some point if it gets to the point where you find out you may not get to move offices.

I do encourage you to go to 1 car if possible, because of how much money that saves. But if you can't do it, you can't do it. In my own household, we just became a 1 car household (was 2) 4 years ago. Our entire adult lives before then we each had our own car because we needed it for work reasons. You might have to do that for your situation and just try to save money in other ways.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Help with our clown mobile woes
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 04:01:57 AM »
Yeah pick up a decent used Prius (or Civic, etc) and be done with it.

For a $1000 car with a blown HG, it's not worth spending $1800 on a repair.

However, if you were prepared to learn how to DIY it, it could be viable.

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  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Help with our clown mobile woes
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2016, 06:17:21 AM »
What distance is your husband's commute? You guys might look into a used EV for a second car.