Author Topic: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??  (Read 11224 times)

fitzgeralday

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Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« on: May 27, 2014, 01:59:40 PM »
Hello everyone!  I am a quasi-new mustachian with a personal finance dilemma that I'm hoping you all could help me resolve:

In my aggressive pursuit of FI, I am currently contemplating selling my paid of 2003 Dodge Durango (that currently has about 150,000 miles & has a KBB value of approx. $3700) in exchange for a manual beater hatchback or compact car (that ideally would cost no more than $1500) for the sake of gas and insurance savings, as well as extra $$ to eliminate outstanding debt.  My dilemma is that I've recently moved to Madison Wisconsin from Richmond VA, and question whether I should hold on to my beloved gas guzzler, who btw has not given me any major problems in the 4+ years that I have owned, for the sake of having a 4wd vehicle when winter arrives. 

I should also add that I am dramatically reducing my dependence on my car, as Madison is a super bike and walk friendly city.  In addition, my job offers reimbursement for people who opt to use the bus, and I intend on using the bus as my primary means of transportation to work and only want to use my car maybe once a week for errand running. 

So what say ye: should I give up the luxury of having 4wd and a (up until this point) reliable vehicle for a cheap beater?  Or should I hold onto Purple D (at the expense of higher gas costs) until the wheels fall off? 

nereo

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 02:04:38 PM »
Quote
My dilemma is that I've recently moved to Madison Wisconsin from Richmond VA, and question whether I should hold on to my beloved gas guzzler, who btw has not given me any major problems in the 4+ years that I have owned, for the sake of having a 4wd vehicle when winter arrives.
You do not need a large 4WD vehicle to drive on paved roads in the winter.  Any modern car (even light compacts) will do the job 95% of the time with winter snow tires.  In the event of very heavy snows, you should avoid driving regardless of your vehicle.  Here in Quebec (average annual snowfall >6ft) the most common cars are compact, higher MPG cars like the Yarish, Matrix, Golf, etc - and people drive them all winter long.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2014, 02:10:03 PM »
Thanks nereo, you've raised a good point as I expected to see an overabundance of SUV's in Madison and that hasn't been the case at all!  I will definitely continue to look out for a low cost beater that still has some life in it to replace Purple D.

Grid

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2014, 02:12:39 PM »
I've recently moved to Madison Wisconsin from Richmond VA

So you'll make $2200 on the car-switch, and as far as your post is concerned, don't have a need for the extra space in the back.  You also may desire to make longer trips to see friends in Virginia, family elsewhere, etc.  Factor in those savings, and the fact that many compact cars don't give their owners fits either (though I own a Fit), and the decision is fairly simple.  Good luck!

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2014, 02:34:11 PM »
Quote
many compact cars don't give their owners fits either (though I own a Fit)
- Ha!  I see what you did there....

And you're right, I don't technically "need" the extra space (no kids, animals, construction equipment, etc.), but really needed a confidence boost to make a decision that makes sense but still feels intimidating as I'm not knowledgeable about cars and don't yet know anyone here who could help me if my beater turns out to be a dud.  Ultimately I need to smack that fear in the face, put on my big-girl pants and do what I know needs to be done and that will lend to financial security in the long-run.  Thanks for your input!

frugaliknowit

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2014, 02:45:07 PM »
I would bike, walk, and use transit as much as possible and just run the truck to the ground.  When it dies, buy an efficient used sedan.  I don't think $1500 is realistic for a reliable car you would travel anywhere with. 

imbros

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2014, 03:19:27 PM »

I'll be in the minority here, but as a fellow cheese head I think you should keep it.  Walk/Bike/Bus as much as you can.  But keep the paid off "car you know" around for those lousy winter days.  I wouldn't fault you for going either route, though.

+1 assuming that;
You have no parking problems and not paying for parking
You do not have debt with two digits interest rate.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2014, 01:38:41 PM »
Thank you all for sharing your wisdom!  I am currently leaning towards keeping my SUV until the wheels fall off, unless I am able to find a uber cheap replacement car within the next few months (...I am keeping an eye out for late model volvo wagons - like barely used and from the late 80's/early 90's - as they would be in my desired price range and research suggests that they last for a long time....).  Again, thanks so much!

SunshineGirl

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2014, 01:54:52 PM »
I , too, would keep the car you know.


Cassie

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2014, 03:44:35 PM »
I am a former cheesehead & I would keep the car. If you decide to go to northern WI during the winter you will be glad you did. Also you know your car runs well. You could buy a junker that ends up costing you more then the $ you saved.

CarDude

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2014, 06:32:33 PM »
Keep it bro, and drive it to 300k.

capital

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2014, 10:36:42 PM »
If you use your car once a week or less to get groceries, fuel economy frankly doesn't matter all that much. In fact, it can be really easy to get groceries for one on a bike with a good set of baskets or grocery panniers.

And there aren't cheap, efficient beaters out there like there once were, because everyone wants one now that gas is expensive.

So: keep your eye on co-workers or friends selling a decent compact for cheap, and sell your car then, but don't rush out to swap one out if you barely drive.

And invest in a bike and clothing so you can walk and bike all winter. Maybe one of these:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fat-bikes/fat-bikes-boris-x5-fatbikes.htm

Fuzz

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2014, 10:53:31 PM »
Agreed that when you don't drive much your mpg doesn't matter much. Suppose your SUV gets 15mpg. You drive 1000 miles. That's 66 gallons of gas., at 3.50 gallon that's $231.

Suppose your high mpg car gets 30mpg. You drive 1000 miles. That's 33 gallons, at 3.5 a gallon that's $115.

So every 1000 miles (which is what every 4 months for you?) you save $100. You can quibble about the mpg numbers and hyper miling and reliability. Fine.

But given the huge transaction costs in swapping vehicles and the uncertainty and the fact that you're not going to get KBB for 2003 Durango...I think you're better off not trying to improve not driving, rather than what you drive.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2014, 11:10:50 PM »
Keep it, run it into the ground. It's your beloved! It's paid for! You'll probably hate whatever you buy for $1500, and one good repair bill on the cheaper car with the unknown pedigree will wipe out a good chunk of the difference in your savings.

JoyBlogette

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2014, 11:43:13 AM »
Sell it!  Was my initial response before reading, but I too drive a car not on MMM's list that I love (though mine is a hatchback).  I plan to drive mine into the ground as I have with my previous cars.  So I say KEEP IT.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2014, 12:37:47 PM »
I so love this group! 

You all have raised some very good points in support of keeping that I had not considered.  It makes sense for me to keep, provided that it is not giving me any issues that require expensive repair (which it hasn't as of yet) AND that I would only be using minimally and thereby reducing my gas and overall maintenance expenses. 

And I could easily hang on to it until I hit the 300K mile mark...which should take a few years considering that I've owned the car for 4 years and in that time have driven about 80K miles (mainly highway miles to visit my fam in the DC area) - and did not yet have the mentality that driving everywhere was not a necessity.  Much thanks to you all for your help with this decision, and I look forward to increasing my levels of mustachianism until I reach baller status....and beyond ;)

CarDude

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2014, 07:01:17 AM »
Agreed that when you don't drive much your mpg doesn't matter much. Suppose your SUV gets 15mpg. You drive 1000 miles. That's 66 gallons of gas., at 3.50 gallon that's $231.

Suppose your high mpg car gets 30mpg. You drive 1000 miles. That's 33 gallons, at 3.5 a gallon that's $115.

So every 1000 miles (which is what every 4 months for you?) you save $100. You can quibble about the mpg numbers and hyper miling and reliability. Fine.

But given the huge transaction costs in swapping vehicles and the uncertainty and the fact that you're not going to get KBB for 2003 Durango...I think you're better off not trying to improve not driving, rather than what you drive.

Yup. Nice example with numbers here.

warfreak2

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 08:26:23 AM »
Quote
Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
Easy answer: get rid of it, and love other people instead. They provide more rewarding relationships.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 12:34:01 PM »
Mr. Tummy - you are awesome sauce!  In a less than 10 minute convo I shaved $36.40 off of my annual car insurance premium after hinting at my change in driving habits.  I insure through Geico...guess there is some truth to their campaign slogan...  Thanks again!

As a bonus, if you drive it less than 7500 miles annually (which sounds possible for you in Mad town) you can get an "occasional driver"  car insurance discount.  It's not much, but it's $ and requires very little effort (phone call to insurance agent).

Welcome to the Badger state!  Glad you're here!

kallinan

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 12:44:34 PM »
I, too, vote to keep the car.  Barely.  If you're truly not driving much, fuel savings are small.  But you have to be honest with yourself about that.  And if you have 11 year old car that's not giving you any problems, count your lucky stars & keep it.  Just remember to wash your car (especially underneath!) during warm winter days and after the last snow melts in winter.  The salt up in Wisconsin will start eating away at your undercarriage even if you only drive it a 1,000 miles.

Also, consider taking a close look at your insurance - how much of your bill is collision?  If it's old, and you could replace it with a used car by paying cash - maybe it's best to just take collision off the insurance plan.  Just another way to save $.

Mt Tahoe

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Keep it.
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2014, 12:57:44 PM »
I would keep the truck. 4 wheel drive is nice to have, plus you know it inside out and will have less surprises.

For insurance, look at your deductible levels. Doing higher deductible, or liability only can save you a good chunk, especially since it is not worth that much now. Plus, you have other ways to get around. The towing rider can add 20 or so bucks per year. etc... You have to look at your insurance policy closely and make some decisions based on your needs.

We are mustachians, but we drive a big ass SUV. Since we bicycle and use the bus to get to work, it is only used occasionally and fuel is not an issue. But we have comfort and space when we need it.

You can make money off it too. There are car share programs out there that allow you to rent out your vehicle. I find the concept interesting, though not sure if i would do it for us.

yyc-phil

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2014, 01:05:49 PM »
It is paid for, doesn't give you any problems, and what you could get for it should you sell it isn't worth the hassle and cost including possible expenses on a clunker, just keep it. Use it as little as possible, and bike/walk/bus as much as possible. As for the 4WD issue, I'd say it is a non-issue. I've lived in Yellowknife (Northern Canada) and went from big 4WD Expeditions/Excursions to an old Honda Civic Hatchback, and as long as one understand winter driving and has good snow tires, I never saw much difference in driveability even in snow and on ice, except at the pump.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2014, 03:56:42 PM »
I, too, vote to keep the car.  Barely.  If you're truly not driving much, fuel savings are small.  But you have to be honest with yourself about that.  And if you have 11 year old car that's not giving you any problems, count your lucky stars & keep it.  Just remember to wash your car (especially underneath!) during warm winter days and after the last snow melts in winter.  The salt up in Wisconsin will start eating away at your undercarriage even if you only drive it a 1,000 miles.

Also, consider taking a close look at your insurance - how much of your bill is collision?  If it's old, and you could replace it with a used car by paying cash - maybe it's best to just take collision off the insurance plan.  Just another way to save $.

Thanks for the reminder to review the rest of my insurance policy!  I got so caught up in my (small) savings victory, that I overlooked other ways in which I can further reduce that expense.  Will def investigate further...

fitzgeralday

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Re: Keep it.
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2014, 03:59:48 PM »
I would keep the truck. 4 wheel drive is nice to have, plus you know it inside out and will have less surprises.

For insurance, look at your deductible levels. Doing higher deductible, or liability only can save you a good chunk, especially since it is not worth that much now. Plus, you have other ways to get around. The towing rider can add 20 or so bucks per year. etc... You have to look at your insurance policy closely and make some decisions based on your needs.

We are mustachians, but we drive a big ass SUV. Since we bicycle and use the bus to get to work, it is only used occasionally and fuel is not an issue. But we have comfort and space when we need it.

You can make money off it too. There are car share programs out there that allow you to rent out your vehicle. I find the concept interesting, though not sure if i would do it for us.

This is a refreshing take on a seemingly antimustachian concept - and that is the potential benefits of having a seldom used SUV for when the need arises.  The idea of a car share program sounds interesting, especially since I'm super close now to a large student population...though I don't know if I want undergrads driving my car ;)  Still an interesting idea though, thanks for sharing!

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2014, 04:03:37 PM »
It is paid for, doesn't give you any problems, and what you could get for it should you sell it isn't worth the hassle and cost including possible expenses on a clunker, just keep it. Use it as little as possible, and bike/walk/bus as much as possible. As for the 4WD issue, I'd say it is a non-issue. I've lived in Yellowknife (Northern Canada) and went from big 4WD Expeditions/Excursions to an old Honda Civic Hatchback, and as long as one understand winter driving and has good snow tires, I never saw much difference in driveability even in snow and on ice, except at the pump.

This is a theme that keeps reappearing, the idea that 4wd is not really needed in many cases.  I guess because I witnessed life pretty much come to a standstill during several winter "storms" that occurred in Richmond VA this past winter (and I use the term storm lightly) that I thought a 4wd would be a necessity in Madison.  I plan to enjoy that current luxury in my Durango, but definitely won't exclude other vehicles for future use in snowy states.   

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2014, 07:03:17 PM »
You either know how to drive in snow or you don't. There has only been ONE storm in my entire life in southern WI that I "needed" 4WD for, which was a blizzard a few years back that brought 15+ inches, and my Civic didn't have the ground clearance to even attempt getting out through my drifted neighborhood.

Count yourself lucky a Durango has lasted this long. Even if you don't replace it right away, I'd be saving up a replacement car fund.

I currently have an occasional use vehicle. Excepting rare vacations, I use my minivan to move kids around about 200 miles a month tops. Everything else is bike/walk. I'd love to downsize the vehicle, but the van isn't worth much and it'd take an awful long time to recoup any price increase.

In Madison, bike, bike, and bike some more.

Dollarbill49

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Re: Keep it.
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2014, 12:42:15 PM »

You can make money off it too. There are car share programs out there that allow you to rent out your vehicle. I find the concept interesting, though not sure if i would do it for us.

Intersting idea but check your insurance first as you may be considered as using your vehicle for commercial purposes and thus your current policy may not cover claims.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2014, 11:14:55 AM »
Update!!!

Ok, I'm admittedly one of those stubborn people who can't shake an idea once I've mentally committed to it.

I've been researching beater replacements to my Durango for a few months, and ultimately decided to replace with a used 98' Camry.  The miles are high, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car other than scratches on the exterior (the ride is actually way smoother than in Purple D).  I made about $800 in the deal (wish I could have made more, but alas used Durango's don't command that much), and ended up cutting my gas budget in half while also saving $20/month on car insurance.  Coupled with my use of public transportation, I'm aiming for this car to last a few more years before I look to replace.  I appreciate everyone's input on my decision, it's refreshing to converse with individuals who are willing to go against the grain to achieve financial independence!

fixer-upper

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2014, 11:52:08 AM »
Update!!!

Ok, I'm admittedly one of those stubborn people who can't shake an idea once I've mentally committed to it.

I've been researching beater replacements to my Durango for a few months, and ultimately decided to replace with a used 98' Camry.  The miles are high, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car other than scratches on the exterior (the ride is actually way smoother than in Purple D).  I made about $800 in the deal (wish I could have made more, but alas used Durango's don't command that much), and ended up cutting my gas budget in half while also saving $20/month on car insurance.  Coupled with my use of public transportation, I'm aiming for this car to last a few more years before I look to replace.  I appreciate everyone's input on my decision, it's refreshing to converse with individuals who are willing to go against the grain to achieve financial independence!

Look closely at the underside for rust before you buy it.  Things like rotted out brake lines and emergency brake cables are common in Wisconsin.  That's in addition to sticking calipers, holes in floorboards, exhaust systems falling off, and body panels rotting around the screws which hold them in place.

Exterior looks can be deceiving.

thurston howell iv

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2014, 02:01:00 PM »
Congrats on the new ride!
Just as an aside, I noticed you said you had Geico. Not sure if it's available where you live but I would recommend checking out AAA... Yes, THAT AAA... I have a regular membership and was pleasantly surprised to find that they offered car and home insurance and will give discounts for membership as well as multiple policies...  I called them recently (as they had not been available in my area) and I went from $581 for 6 months of coverage to $734 for 12 months!!! (minimum state requirements with the highest deductibles possible) My cars are old and not worth much due to the high miles...

just my .02

Grid

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2014, 08:40:32 PM »
Update!!!

Ok, I'm admittedly one of those stubborn people who can't shake an idea once I've mentally committed to it.

I've been researching beater replacements to my Durango for a few months, and ultimately decided to replace with a used 98' Camry.  The miles are high, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car other than scratches on the exterior (the ride is actually way smoother than in Purple D).  I made about $800 in the deal (wish I could have made more, but alas used Durango's don't command that much), and ended up cutting my gas budget in half while also saving $20/month on car insurance.  Coupled with my use of public transportation, I'm aiming for this car to last a few more years before I look to replace.  I appreciate everyone's input on my decision, it's refreshing to converse with individuals who are willing to go against the grain to achieve financial independence!

Congrats on following through and making an informed purchase!  Best wishes for your new car in the coming months.

fitzgeralday

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Re: Sell or Keep my beloved SUV??
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2014, 10:12:53 AM »
Update!!!

Ok, I'm admittedly one of those stubborn people who can't shake an idea once I've mentally committed to it.

I've been researching beater replacements to my Durango for a few months, and ultimately decided to replace with a used 98' Camry.  The miles are high, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car other than scratches on the exterior (the ride is actually way smoother than in Purple D).  I made about $800 in the deal (wish I could have made more, but alas used Durango's don't command that much), and ended up cutting my gas budget in half while also saving $20/month on car insurance.  Coupled with my use of public transportation, I'm aiming for this car to last a few more years before I look to replace.  I appreciate everyone's input on my decision, it's refreshing to converse with individuals who are willing to go against the grain to achieve financial independence!

Look closely at the underside for rust before you buy it.  Things like rotted out brake lines and emergency brake cables are common in Wisconsin.  That's in addition to sticking calipers, holes in floorboards, exhaust systems falling off, and body panels rotting around the screws which hold them in place.

Exterior looks can be deceiving.

Thanks for the heads up!  Unfortunately I did not think to do this before my purchase, but since purchasing I have visited my trusted mechanic who gave the car a clean bill of health :)  In the future, I will definitely keep this in mind!

Congrats on the new ride!
Just as an aside, I noticed you said you had Geico. Not sure if it's available where you live but I would recommend checking out AAA... Yes, THAT AAA... I have a regular membership and was pleasantly surprised to find that they offered car and home insurance and will give discounts for membership as well as multiple policies...  I called them recently (as they had not been available in my area) and I went from $581 for 6 months of coverage to $734 for 12 months!!! (minimum state requirements with the highest deductibles possible) My cars are old and not worth much due to the high miles...

just my .02

I have not checked AAA for car insurance quotes, but will be sure to do so to see how they compare to Geico, thanks!

Update!!!

Ok, I'm admittedly one of those stubborn people who can't shake an idea once I've mentally committed to it.

I've been researching beater replacements to my Durango for a few months, and ultimately decided to replace with a used 98' Camry.  The miles are high, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the car other than scratches on the exterior (the ride is actually way smoother than in Purple D).  I made about $800 in the deal (wish I could have made more, but alas used Durango's don't command that much), and ended up cutting my gas budget in half while also saving $20/month on car insurance.  Coupled with my use of public transportation, I'm aiming for this car to last a few more years before I look to replace.  I appreciate everyone's input on my decision, it's refreshing to converse with individuals who are willing to go against the grain to achieve financial independence!

Congrats on following through and making an informed purchase!  Best wishes for your new car in the coming months.

Thanks so much!  I get so excited when I make these kinds of decisions that most others don't understand, and glad that I have a safe space to share :)