The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 01:19:44 PM

Title: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 01:19:44 PM
This question totally applies to other kinds of purchases--feel free to debate that here as well, please!

DH and I have been trying to buy a used CRV, Forester, or Rav4 (Yes, we need an SUV for DH’s hauling needs for his secondary business) for 3 weeks and it's been a damn nightmare. One problem after another--shitty dealers, cars with dirty oil, accident histories, bank loan fell through for an out-of-state private seller, cars selling just before we arrive to drive them, etc.

I can't wrap my mind around what is actually the more mustachian route to go. I'm starting to feel like it makes more sense to just buy a damn car with 50,000 miles and get on with my life. At least I haven't paid for the new car depreciation. We pop up over 100K and we start to feel like we aren’t getting a great deal—maybe save 1-3K tops over a vehicle with 70/80,000 miles, PLUS now you are looking at replacing the timing belt and water pump. 

So we have to get closer to 150,000 miles before the price starts to really drop and then we start to feel like we are throwing our money at a car that will be nearing 200,000 miles long before we have it paid off (theoretically anyway, on a 72 month term, 3.25% interest, nothing down--we are putting that money on higher interest debt instead; I drive 15 thousand miles and more a year). This has been a serious mindfuck for me.

Honestly, how would ya'll handle this? You've convinced me not to buy the seat covers and maybe even the remote start (as me again in February LOL), but what now? I'm not looking for validation or an excuse to buy so much as real advice through a mustachian lens. We are still working on incorporating these principles into our life and it's more challenging than I expected. TIA!
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: ketchup on July 16, 2014, 01:46:28 PM
I've found 120,000-150,000 to be a sweet spot for me in terms of depreciation.  If a 130,000 mile car gets me to 200,000 below it vaporizes into a could of dust, that's 70,000 miles.  To get double that many miles out a car (140,000, bought at 60,000), you'd pay a lot more than double for the car.  Any more than 150k and you're really not saving much and more likely to be buying someone else's headaches at that point.  And plenty of newer (1990+) cars can go well past 200k, but that's a good rule of thumb metric for depreciation.

But truly, how well the car was taken care of matters far more than the mileage.  And it's a lot more apparent at 150,000 than at 80,000.

Cheap would be buying a $200 scrapheap that burns a quart of oil per block and has no windshield.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Cassie on July 16, 2014, 01:53:16 PM
We buy our cars around 24-40,000 miles & then drive them for many years until they die.  My kids spend a few thousand but they don't seem to last long, often need expensive repairs, etc. 
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Paul der Krake on July 16, 2014, 02:01:47 PM
So we have to get closer to 150,000 miles before the price starts to really drop and then we start to feel like we are throwing our money at a car that will be nearing 200,000 miles long before we have it paid off (theoretically anyway, on a 72 month term, 3.25% interest, nothing down--we are putting that money on higher interest debt instead; I drive 15 thousand miles and more a year). This has been a serious mindfuck for me.
What kind of dealer lets you buy a 150k miles car with a 72 month term? Probably not the kind that sells cars you are looking for.

Especially if this can be written off at least partly as a business expense, I would just splurge and get something newer, around 50k like you said. It doesn't matter if you saved two grand on a car if it's in the shop the week you need it for your business.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: frugaliknowit on July 16, 2014, 02:07:35 PM
The cars you are interested are:

1.  In high demand.
2.  Not so great on gas.

Why does you guys feel you need a mini-suv with high mileage for hauling purposes and why "on credit".  What about an economy pickup or hatchback or rent a pickup as needed?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: enpower on July 16, 2014, 02:08:03 PM
In the book "The Millionaire Next Door" the wealthy people choose a car that is 3-4 years old and buy to keep it for 10-15 years.

Benefit of this is you are more likely to buy a car without any problems, it is likely to be more reliable, the majority of the depreciation has been factored in the first 3-4 years since new, you are likely buying from someone who is upgrading for the sake of it rather than selling off a problematic car, they will last longer than if you bought older cars that lasted only 5 years or so, etc.

The flashy people buy a car brand new and loose all that depreciation at the start. The very poor buy cars that are almost dead and constantly have to pay repair bills or buy yet another car, over the long term this can end up being more costly.

Word of advice is to pay cash. Don't ever buy a car on credit.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 02:10:39 PM

Cheap would be buying a $200 scrapheap that burns a quart of oil per block and has a no windshield.

Haha!
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 02:24:19 PM
Yes, I know--all of you are right. However, here's the sitch:

We need a hauler because my husband hauls live sound gear and recording gear for his business. Our original plan was to purchase something that could haul a trailer with a heavy load, but we figured out an alternative and this will just be used for the smaller loads, which allows us to buy the smallest possible hauler. But they are heavy loads nonetheless. His hauling does a number on vehicles, it broke the axle on a Conversion Ford E150 van (220,000 miles). So, yeah. Not to mention we have a small child and live in Michigan. I'm sorry if this isn't mustachian, but his safety in a 4WD vehicle on snowy roads is just more important to me than saving 5K. As to why I will drive the SUV on my commute, I have a significantly longer commute and it's more dangerous in the winter (highway driving in Michigan in February...scary). But we hope in a few years to replace my 2000 VW Golf(190,000 miles) with a Prius, and we are hoping by then I am no longer commuting so far. It would function as our about-town car and our car for short trips, and DH would use the small SUV for getting to work in town and hauling for his business. We felt like the smallest SUV we could find plus a Prius or compact hatchback is a pretty great combo. We thought about a minivan but we didn't feel that we needed that much space. We can do a hitch and a small trailer with the SUV if needed.

As for the loan? We have no choice. We have a hair on fire debt emergency. We are aggressively putting ALL of our extra cash on our highest interest rate debt. We are going to pay off $40+K in CC debt within 2-3 years, which is awesome. We were hoping not to purchase a vehicle until after that time so we could pay cash, but the van axle went, so we are stuck. It also needs new brakes and tires, and at 220,000 miles, our mechanic told us it wasn't worth it because he could easily find other problems once he gets in there and works on it. Actually, we will probably pay the new SUV off early, but for now the 72- month  term allows us to put all of the extra money we can into higher interest debt rather than putting it on a 3.25% car payment. We started out with a much shorter term and then realized it made no sense. Once the credit cars are paid, the next priority debt will be mortgage or car debt.

Make sense?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 02:26:31 PM
All of that said, I'm not opposed to considering a car over 100K. The SUV is non-negotiable for us, as is the loan (we have no choice). But we have definitely looked at higher mileage options. Just trying to sort out the smartest way to go with this.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Eric on July 16, 2014, 02:34:42 PM
3 weeks doesn't seem like that long of timeframe to me, and you came close to buying a few cars.  You only need to find your one "match".  I'd stick to your guns for a while longer before paying more.  You can't afford the extra $5K. (or whatever)
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 16, 2014, 02:38:30 PM
Yes, I know--all of you are right. However, here's the sitch:

We need a hauler because my husband hauls live sound gear and recording gear for his business. Our original plan was to purchase something that could haul a trailer with a heavy load, but we figured out an alternative and this will just be used for the smaller loads, which allows us to buy the smallest possible hauler. But they are heavy loads nonetheless. His hauling does a number on vehicles, it broke the axle on a Conversion Ford E150 van (220,000 miles). So, yeah. Not to mention we have a small child and live in Michigan. I'm sorry if this isn't mustachian, but his safety in a 4WD vehicle on snowy roads is just more important to me than saving 5K. As to why I will drive the SUV on my commute, I have a significantly longer commute and it's more dangerous in the winter (highway driving in Michigan in February...scary). But we hope in a few years to replace my 2000 VW Golf(190,000 miles) with a Prius, and we are hoping by then I am no longer commuting so far. It would function as our about-town car and our car for short trips, and DH would use the small SUV for getting to work in town and hauling for his business. We felt like the smallest SUV we could find plus a Prius or compact hatchback is a pretty great combo. We thought about a minivan but we didn't feel that we needed that much space. We can do a hitch and a small trailer with the SUV if needed.

As for the loan? We have no choice. We have a hair on fire debt emergency. We are aggressively putting ALL of our extra cash on our highest interest rate debt. We are going to pay off $40+K in CC debt within 2-3 years, which is awesome. We were hoping not to purchase a vehicle until after that time so we could pay cash, but the van axle went, so we are stuck. It also needs new brakes and tires, and at 220,000 miles, our mechanic told us it wasn't worth it because he could easily find other problems once he gets in there and works on it. Actually, we will probably pay the new SUV off early, but for now the 72- month  term allows us to put all of the extra money we can into higher interest debt rather than putting it on a 3.25% car payment. We started out with a much shorter term and then realized it made no sense. Once the credit cars are paid, the next priority debt will be mortgage or car debt.

Make sense?

Not really.
You will choose the more expensive vehicle that gets worse gas mileage for your longer commute? Whaaa?
And after our extensive snow tire threads on cars vs SUV's in the winter. Sigh.
You also don't need an SUV for a hitch and a trailer. I can put a hitch on my Golf for cheap.

If someone put a gun to your husbands head, and told him he had to do a concert with all his sound gear, but he had to fit it in your Golf, could he make it happen?
If the seats fold down in the Golf, I bet that he could.
Seriously, my Golf can fit alot of really huge shit. Like 10+ full size wheels/tires. WITH the hatch closed.
What if you removed the front seat. Or the back seat.

For gods sake, you have a credit card debt emergency.

Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 02:59:23 PM
Make sense?
Nope!  I was going to hold my punches, but I can't.  I'm from Michigan.  I spent more winters than I would have liked living in Michigan.  You do NOT need 4WD for highway driving in Michigan unless you live in the UP.  I commuted on highways all winter long with a front wheel drive car.  The 'secret' is to slow down.  My siblings have totaled many 4WD vehicles by driving too quickly (they've learned their lesson to slow down and now drive front wheel drive cars).  My winter accident count...1...at 16.  I dented my Dad's car when I slid off the road when I hit the brakes too quickly on a sheet of ice. 

Meinurgill, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I think you need to grasp your situation.  You have $40k in credit card debt.  Please keep an open mind and realize an SUV/car loan is not a smart or necessary move.
I've lived in MI my entire life, I've commuted daily on the highway on winter roads for almost 15 years in a VW Golf and a Pontiac Sunfire (in college) and have never had an accident on them. I drive slow as shit. I know how to drive in the snow. I learned how to drive on the ice by doing donuts in a conversion van on an ice-covered parking lot when I was 14 (that's how my father, who was from a generational family of motorcycle ice racers, taught us to handle the hazardous road conditions). My point is that my concern is for my son's safety. When it was just me, I sucked it up and drove the Golf. But times have changed for my little family. Not to mention, we live on the lakeshore and the lake effect blizzard conditions have been escalating each year. I've lived on the East side of the state and there's no question that the road conditions are better there in the winter--not sure where you lived?

Safety aside, our baby is also the reason we are trying to get our financial shit together and make the right choice here. So, on that note, how do we handle hubby's hauling needs in a sedan? If you can convince me that it makes sense, then I'm open to it. This is how we learn! I just found a 2009 Forester with 87,000 miles on Craigslist for 13K. Is that seriously too much to spend? Or is it the gas mileage we are concerned with?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 16, 2014, 03:00:10 PM
We were hoping not to purchase a vehicle until after that time so we could pay cash, but the van axle went, so we are stuck. It also needs new brakes and tires, and at 220,000 miles, our mechanic told us it wasn't worth it because he could easily find other problems once he gets in there and works on it.

That E150 is one serviceable vehicle. If the engine is still good and the body is not falling apart you could keep that van running for years for a few thousand $$ and probably not all at once. I mean, a rear axle and tires and a brake job is no reason to get rid of an E150. Parts are dirt cheap too. And the stuff you are hauling broke the axle on the van? How do you think a wimpy little SUV is going to like hat sort of service?

Now for the "if it is worth spending money on it" - there are two sides to that: It is definitely not worth spending any money on it if you then turn around and try to sell it - you are not going to get your money back. The other side is the use value for YOU driving it into the ground over the next few years - that is independent of the market value of the van.

And what the hell is your mechanic talking about?
He could easily find other things?
Could he, really, but hasn't even looked yet, right? Jeez...
Try to find someone who knows these vans and get a second opinion.
Of course, if the engine is shot or the body rotted out, you be out of luck.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: JPier on July 16, 2014, 03:06:26 PM
Hi, bought wife a 2011 Hyundai Tucson limited a few months ago
Low millage 57,???
Got 2.9% interest rate
Has warranty and complementary service for 1 year
Certified

Wife wanted a suv
I got her one
Wife wanted some extras
She got it
Wife wanted almost new t
Done
Kids are happy,shes happy...my money is in bank BIG PLUS :)
Besides its a company expense,lol 

They had the awd model,but we didnt care for awd because of the mpg penalty
Here in Florida isn't a necessity.

Hyundai got good reviews, i have owned 3 hyundai vehicles in the past.
Tucson,not the best mpg around 26-27 combined.
Not the most spacious
Love it or hate it looks,lol

Easy to work with around engine,no timing belt to replace,parts are cheap
Easy maintenance schedule = low cost to operate.
No need for synthetic fluids or fancy expensive stuff.

For my towing and hauling needs i got a 2500 diesel sprinter van :)
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 03:06:54 PM
We were hoping not to purchase a vehicle until after that time so we could pay cash, but the van axle went, so we are stuck. It also needs new brakes and tires, and at 220,000 miles, our mechanic told us it wasn't worth it because he could easily find other problems once he gets in there and works on it.

That E150 is one serviceable vehicle. If the engine is still good and the body is not falling apart you could keep that van running for years for a few thousand $$ and probably not all at once. I mean, a rear axle and tires and a brake job is no reason to get rid of an E150. Parts are dirt cheap too. And the stuff you are hauling broke the axle on the van? How do you think a wimpy little SUV is going to like hat sort of service?

Now for the "if it is worth spending money on it" - there are two sides to that: It is definitely not worth spending any money on it if you then turn around and try to sell it - you are not going to get your money back. The other side is the use value for YOU driving it into the ground over the next few years - that is independent of the market value of the van.

And what the hell is your mechanic talking about?
He could easily find other things?
Could he, really, but hasn't even looked yet, right? Jeez...
Try to find someone who knows these vans and get a second opinion.
Of course, if the engine is shot or the body rotted out, you be out of luck.

I think his point was that the van is worth less than the repairs alone would cost, and that's before any unforeseen problems he might encounter when he is doing the axle work. I see your point. Our worry is that we will throw a few thousand down on repairs and then it just takes a poop on us anyway.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 16, 2014, 03:42:22 PM
We were hoping not to purchase a vehicle until after that time so we could pay cash, but the van axle went, so we are stuck. It also needs new brakes and tires, and at 220,000 miles, our mechanic told us it wasn't worth it because he could easily find other problems once he gets in there and works on it.

That E150 is one serviceable vehicle. If the engine is still good and the body is not falling apart you could keep that van running for years for a few thousand $$ and probably not all at once. I mean, a rear axle and tires and a brake job is no reason to get rid of an E150. Parts are dirt cheap too. And the stuff you are hauling broke the axle on the van? How do you think a wimpy little SUV is going to like hat sort of service?

Now for the "if it is worth spending money on it" - there are two sides to that: It is definitely not worth spending any money on it if you then turn around and try to sell it - you are not going to get your money back. The other side is the use value for YOU driving it into the ground over the next few years - that is independent of the market value of the van.

And what the hell is your mechanic talking about?
He could easily find other things?
Could he, really, but hasn't even looked yet, right? Jeez...
Try to find someone who knows these vans and get a second opinion.
Of course, if the engine is shot or the body rotted out, you be out of luck.

I think his point was that the van is worth less than the repairs alone would cost, and that's before any unforeseen problems he might encounter when he is doing the axle work. I see your point. Our worry is that we will throw a few thousand down on repairs and then it just takes a poop on us anyway.

His point that the car is worth less than the repairs alone would cost may or may not be the case. The point is that the market value of the car is not something that should influence your decision. You would be buying a high mileage vehicle (and a veritable shitbox compared to the van) anyway and expensive repairs could be needed as well. Bottom line is that you are not in the financial position to borrow more money and that there is a decent alternative. That's what it comes down to and that's what you are going to hear on this forum.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: libertarian4321 on July 16, 2014, 04:39:44 PM

Cheap would be buying a $200 scrapheap that burns a quart of oil per block and has no windshield.

Windshields are overrated.  That heap probably won't go fast enough that you'll generate any wind anyway.

I say buy it, run it into the ground (probably about 5 miles), then enter the demolition derby. 

Could be fun.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 16, 2014, 05:19:18 PM
Make sense?
Nope!  I was going to hold my punches, but I can't.  I'm from Michigan.  I spent more winters than I would have liked living in Michigan.  You do NOT need 4WD for highway driving in Michigan unless you live in the UP.  I commuted on highways all winter long with a front wheel drive car.  The 'secret' is to slow down.  My siblings have totaled many 4WD vehicles by driving too quickly (they've learned their lesson to slow down and now drive front wheel drive cars).  My winter accident count...1...at 16.  I dented my Dad's car when I slid off the road when I hit the brakes too quickly on a sheet of ice. 

Meinurgill, I'm not trying to be difficult, but I think you need to grasp your situation.  You have $40k in credit card debt.  Please keep an open mind and realize an SUV/car loan is not a smart or necessary move.
I've lived in MI my entire life, I've commuted daily on the highway on winter roads for almost 15 years in a VW Golf and a Pontiac Sunfire (in college) and have never had an accident on them. I drive slow as shit. I know how to drive in the snow. I learned how to drive on the ice by doing donuts in a conversion van on an ice-covered parking lot when I was 14 (that's how my father, who was from a generational family of motorcycle ice racers, taught us to handle the hazardous road conditions). My point is that my concern is for my son's safety. When it was just me, I sucked it up and drove the Golf. But times have changed for my little family. Not to mention, we live on the lakeshore and the lake effect blizzard conditions have been escalating each year. I've lived on the East side of the state and there's no question that the road conditions are better there in the winter--not sure where you lived?

Safety aside, our baby is also the reason we are trying to get our financial shit together and make the right choice here. So, on that note, how do we handle hubby's hauling needs in a sedan? If you can convince me that it makes sense, then I'm open to it. This is how we learn! I just found a 2009 Forester with 87,000 miles on Craigslist for 13K. Is that seriously too much to spend? Or is it the gas mileage we are concerned with?
We probably lived very close to each other!  And if you've been driving for 15 years, we're about the same age. 

My frustration stems from the 'need' for 4WD and the pricetag associated with it.  I understand that you want to have 4WD to keep your baby safe.  However, you haven't had an accident in 15 years of driving in a front wheel drive car.  I don't know why you'd want to mess with a good thing.  One of my favorite activities on my snowy drives home was to count the number vehicles in the ditch and calculate the percentage of 4WD vehicles.  There were times that the vehicles were so covered in snow that I couldn't tell what it was, but the majority of the time....I saw sporty rear wheel drive cars and 4WD vehicles (usually trucks and SUVs) in the ditch.  My opinion (and it's fine if you disagree with it) is 4WD gives the driver a false sense of safety, so they drive too quickly (and end up in the ditch). 

$13k is a LOT to spend on a car when you have a baby AND $40k in cc debt.
I almost had a seizure.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: daverobev on July 16, 2014, 06:11:53 PM
4wd helps you start. It does not help you stop.

Most cars in Canada are 2wd. No problems, in QC they mandate snow tires, but not 4wd.

On ice nothing helps but driving carefully.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 06:58:45 PM
In any case, the consensus is clearly that 4WD is unnecessary. So let's get back to the hauling need. Does it make more sense to finance the van repairs at 14% interest on a CC (which is what we would have to do) than it does to delay the overall payoff of our debt by about 3-5 months (which is what adding a car payment would do)? BTW our debt is the result of a job loss. Our financial outlay has changed drastically. We have always had credit scores in the 700s and have never had late payments or anything in collection. We are both employed well and we put everything extra on debt. We expect to have about half of it paid off by spring, even with an added car payment. But until it is totally gone we have to finance any major expenses because we don't have savings. So do we throw thousands of financed credit card dollars at a van on its last leg? Just having a hard time understanding how that gains us anything in the long run. The van would have to last 4 more years or so for us to be able to be in a spot where we could pay cash to replace it, and anything else that needed repair between now and then would also have to be financed if we are still working on the CC debt at the time of the repairs. Help me understand this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Paul der Krake on July 16, 2014, 08:02:40 PM
I think most people here opposed to the SUV because you've been presenting it as the only viable solution. If you are not pleased with the vehicles onthe market that fit your creterions, then you need to either:

1) relax your rules as to what constitutes an acceptable vehicle, like a beefy front wheel drive car or even another minivan
2) relax your rules as to what constitutes an acceptable price, and suck it up (debt sucks, but people have gotten out of much bigger holes!)
3) put your vehicle needs on hold until some of your debt is paid off and you have some more breathing room
4) a mix of all 3 aboves

There's no magic formula to help you decide how much risk you're willing to take. :)
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 16, 2014, 08:06:00 PM
In any case, the consensus is clearly that 4WD is unnecessary. So let's get back to the hauling need. Does it make more sense to finance the van repairs at 14% interest on a CC (which is what we would have to do) than it does to delay the overall payoff of our debt by about 3-5 months (which is what adding a car payment would do)? BTW our debt is the result of a job loss. Our financial outlay has changed drastically. We have always had credit scores in the 700s and have never had late payments or anything in collection. We are both employed well and we put everything extra on debt. We expect to have about half of it paid off by spring, even with an added car payment. But until it is totally gone we have to finance any major expenses because we don't have savings. So do we throw thousands of financed credit card dollars at a van on its last leg? Just having a hard time understanding how that gains us anything in the long run. The van would have to last 4 more years or so for us to be able to be in a spot where we could pay cash to replace it, and anything else that needed repair between now and then would also have to be financed if we are still working on the CC debt at the time of the repairs. Help me understand this.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

You are missing the point. Buying another high mileage vehicle does not miraculously get rid of your car repair troubles, you are just exchanging one headache with another potential one which you won't be able to simply ditch if trouble should show up and you would have to put any possibly needed repair on your CC anyway but on top of your car loan. It looks like you simply want to believe that a financed high mileage used vehicle can deliver peace of mind, but it won't, because all that is guaranteed is another monthly payment and any expensive repair would put your debt payment plan on hold for a good wile.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 16, 2014, 08:48:15 PM
You guys are stressing me out! No, I don't believe a high mileage vehicle would offer peace of mind and I'm concerned about added repair costs, that's precisely the problem I'm asking for help with.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Middlesbrough on July 16, 2014, 09:00:41 PM
You can buy a car with a large trunk. My vehicle now could fit about three people in it (that is terrible way to measure size of a trunk). I still get about 25-27 mpg highway. Do you really really need a SUV? Really?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Ohio Teacher on July 16, 2014, 09:08:15 PM
Quote from: Meinurgill

I just found a 2009 Forester with 87,000 miles on Craigslist for 13K. Is that seriously too much to spend?
Yes!  You seem to recognize that you are in a hair-on-fire debt emergency, but somehow think going further into debt in the short-term will help matters.  Ahhh!  This is the kind of thinking that leads people to never get out of debt.  What do you do in two years when the financed used car has a major breakdown?  Rationalize going into further debt for yet another car?  Gasp... putting the repairs on a credit card?

Seriously.  You have no money.  You have less than no money.  If your husband's equipment can't fit in a small used beater car that you buy for the $3000 that you can save over a few weeks at your decent paying jobs, then his little business needs to get put on hold for a while.  What you're doing is called leveraging.  That is, you guys are rationalizing that this frivolous purchase will pay for itself with gig income, thus providing a positive ROI and making it a good investment.  But given your current financial situation, you will be one disaster away from needing to leverage with debt again.

I won't even touch the 4WD nonsense as that has been thoroughly discussed by others.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 16, 2014, 10:29:35 PM
You guys are stressing me out! No, I don't believe a high mileage vehicle would offer peace of mind and I'm concerned about added repair costs, that's precisely the problem I'm asking for help with.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I see the gears are starting to turn. They are stuck; jammed with rust and grime from years of McSpendyPant's corrosive regime.
We have provided some WD-40, but you may need some Moly 503 paste.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: alsoknownasDean on July 17, 2014, 04:52:10 AM
Here's a thought, could the E150 be DIY repaired? How much longer could it run once that's done? Would a CRV et al even have the towing capacity required?

You've mentioned a $13000 2009 Forester with 87000 miles. How much is a 2002 with similar miles? Could you sell the Golf and use the proceeds to buy a similar-age Impreza if you're desperate for 4WD?

I guess it's a case of get even further in hair-on-fire debt or make sacrifices until you're out of said debt.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Dyk on July 17, 2014, 10:47:43 AM
I think something is really being missed here .....  it's the thinking that needs to change first.

You don't 'throw thousands of credit card financed dollars at the van to fix it'.  You are stating that by putting your extra money on the 40k of debt it will be paid by spring.  So that's ~$5k/month???
If that's true, stop putting it on the debt for 1 month (pay the minimums) and then buy a 'hauling vehicle' or better yet fix the van.  ('Rent' a car/truck from a friend for half the profits of the 'gigs' if they need to go on, or put them on hold.  Figure something out!)  It may seem like not paying that $5k for a month against the credit cards is the same as financing the new car or the repairs.  It is not, it is a world of difference in your thinking.  Nothing ever again on credit.

Hair on fire means:
- Only make essential purchases to keep your body breathing (If you are 40k in debt from a job loss, there is still probably a lot of work that could be done here)
- Put everything on the debt
- When done, start planning the retirement part.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: clarkfan1979 on July 17, 2014, 11:59:58 AM


My frustration stems from the 'need' for 4WD and the pricetag associated with it.  I understand that you want to have 4WD to keep your baby safe.  However, you haven't had an accident in 15 years of driving in a front wheel drive car.  I don't know why you'd want to mess with a good thing.  One of my favorite activities on my snowy drives home was to count the number vehicles in the ditch and calculate the percentage of 4WD vehicles.  There were times that the vehicles were so covered in snow that I couldn't tell what it was, but the majority of the time....I saw sporty rear wheel drive cars and 4WD vehicles (usually trucks and SUVs) in the ditch.  My opinion (and it's fine if you disagree with it) is 4WD gives the driver a false sense of safety, so they drive too quickly (and end up in the ditch). 

$13k is a LOT to spend on a car when you have a baby AND $40k in cc debt.
[/quote]

I agree with the false sense of security that people experience when they drive an SUV.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: 4alpacas on July 17, 2014, 03:26:00 PM
I think something is really being missed here .....  it's the thinking that needs to change first.

You don't 'throw thousands of credit card financed dollars at the van to fix it'.  You are stating that by putting your extra money on the 40k of debt it will be paid by spring.  So that's ~$5k/month???


Earlier in the thread, "$40+K in CC debt within 2-3 years" was stated.  I would guess there is about $1k/month going toward the cc debt.  Meinurgill, please correct if I'm wrong.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Cassie on July 17, 2014, 04:50:04 PM
We fix our old cars until it makes no sense to do so. WE fixed a 12 yo Saturn that needed $2400 in repairs when it was worth only $2000. That was 2 years ago & it was a good call. We also had a Volvo about the same age & put about 2,000/year into the last 2 years. Then year 15 we spend 900 & a month later it needed $4000 more at which point we quit.  I think at this point it still makes sense to fix your car.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 17, 2014, 06:53:33 PM
We have always had credit scores in the 700s and have never had late payments or anything in collection.

That and 40k in CC debt are the financial achievements of the OP. And she comes here to get an honest opinion about taking on another huge consumer loan...hopeless
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Goldielocks on July 17, 2014, 07:50:22 PM
This question totally applies to other kinds of purchases--feel free to debate that here as well, please!

DH and I have been trying to buy a used CRV, Forester, or Rav4 (Yes, we need an SUV for DH’s hauling needs for his secondary business) for 3 weeks and it's been a damn nightmare. One problem after another--shitty dealers, cars with dirty oil, accident histories, bank loan fell through for an out-of-state private seller, cars selling just before we arrive to drive them, etc.

I can't wrap my mind around what is actually the more mustachian route to go. I'm starting to feel like it makes more sense to just buy a damn car with 50,000 150,000miles and get on with my life. ..

 



Whoa?!?  Bank loan?

I agree with you -- just get on with it! Buy an ugly but running well $2000-$3000 car for CASH, and save up the money over 2 years to buy a better car for CASH.  You will likely sell that old beater for nearly the price that you paid.   Cars last 200k, and do not always need timing belt.

Don't buy from a used dealer, buy from a private seller.  Your risk of a complete loss is small at only $2k to $3k, but the upside is large.

If you need a BIG vehicle for work hauling, get an old Caravan with $125k miles or more on it, that is running well. 

Michigan?  Check for Rust.

High mileage is VERY MMM on a second vehicle by the way...  most of the time you will be in distance of a "rescue me" spouse, so risk of a breakdown being a big hairy problem is small.  People do stop for parents with broken cars and  babies on the side of the road in winter, you know... 

Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: gecko10x on July 17, 2014, 07:53:55 PM
Can you sell the van and go to 1 car?

If not, fix it. Then save an emergency fund for the next repair. Then pay down your CC.

BTW, some people above are being really harsh. But going further into debt won't solve anything.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Goldielocks on July 17, 2014, 07:56:02 PM

What kind of dealer lets you buy a 150k miles car with a 72 month term? Probably not the kind that sells cars you are looking for.

+1000!  OMG  not the kind of debt you are looking for...   I shudder at the rates and the likely $3000 he is making off the sale while  he is smiling like a (loan) shark.

If you can't afford the car, then buy something less expensive for now.

Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Dodge on July 17, 2014, 08:26:36 PM
I think something is really being missed here .....  it's the thinking that needs to change first.

You don't 'throw thousands of credit card financed dollars at the van to fix it'.  You are stating that by putting your extra money on the 40k of debt it will be paid by spring.  So that's ~$5k/month???
If that's true, stop putting it on the debt for 1 month (pay the minimums) and then buy a 'hauling vehicle' or better yet fix the van.  ('Rent' a car/truck from a friend for half the profits of the 'gigs' if they need to go on, or put them on hold.  Figure something out!)  It may seem like not paying that $5k for a month against the credit cards is the same as financing the new car or the repairs.  It is not, it is a world of difference in your thinking.  Nothing ever again on credit.

Hair on fire means:
- Only make essential purchases to keep your body breathing (If you are 40k in debt from a job loss, there is still probably a lot of work that could be done here)
- Put everything on the debt
- When done, start planning the retirement part.

I agree some are being a bit harsh, unfortunately that doesn't mean they're wrong.  Dyk really hit the nail on the head with this response.  Meinurgill please understand, it will take a change in your way of thinking to really get out of the situation you've found yourself in.  Even if you go on as normal, and payoff the debt after a few years, if you haven't addressed your way of thinking, the problem isn't really solved.  You'd only be treating the symptoms, not the root cause.

Save up until you can pay for the repair with cash.  Until you get there...

Do you have Zipcar near you?  It's not too expensive to rent a truck for an hour at a time.  Rent it for 1 hour to drive him to the event, then rent for another hour to pick him up and drive home.
No Zipcar near you?  You can rent a truck at uHaul for $20 a night + a bit for milage.
No uHaul near you?  Find a friend.
No friends with big enough cars?  See if they can help with the load that night, and take 2 cars.
Not enough room in 2 cars?  Bring another friend in and try 3.  Pay them each $10 for their trouble.
Not enough friends who can help?  Ask people at work.
Can't find anyone at work?  ...

Do you see where I'm going with this?

(http://i.imgur.com/bd4FH8L.jpg)
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Thomas54 on July 17, 2014, 08:57:39 PM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Dodge on July 17, 2014, 09:02:35 PM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas

How does this help address Meinurgill's issue?  Do you have any advice to give for her situation?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Thomas54 on July 17, 2014, 09:08:42 PM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas

How does this help address Meinurgill's issue?  Do you have any advice to give for her situation?

I was giving an example of how sometimes going against the grain and buying a new or almost new vehicle and keeping it basically forever can be cheaper in the long run.

Thomas
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Dodge on July 17, 2014, 09:14:53 PM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas

How does this help address Meinurgill's issue?  Do you have any advice to give for her situation?

I was giving an example of how sometimes going against the grain and buying a new or almost new vehicle and keeping it basically forever can be cheaper in the long run.

Thomas

You bought cash.  Would you advise someone in her situation, with $40k in credit card debt, and talking about having to put the repair bill on a credit card as she has no cash, to make a similar purchase?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Thomas54 on July 17, 2014, 09:39:54 PM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas

How does this help address Meinurgill's issue?  Do you have any advice to give for her situation?

I was giving an example of how sometimes going against the grain and buying a new or almost new vehicle and keeping it basically forever can be cheaper in the long run.

Thomas

You bought cash.  Would you advise someone in her situation, with $40k in credit card debt, and talking about having to put the repair bill on a credit card as she has no cash, to make a similar purchase?

Are you trolling for a fight?  I gave my example to encourage anyone to sometimes go against the grain and plan to spend cash.  If you don't like my answer, don't read any of my posts. 

Reply in any fashion that you like, I only fight face to face.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 17, 2014, 11:25:05 PM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas

How does this help address Meinurgill's issue?  Do you have any advice to give for her situation?

I was giving an example of how sometimes going against the grain and buying a new or almost new vehicle and keeping it basically forever can be cheaper in the long run.

Thomas

Is this a fucking joke. Or are you just trolling.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Goldielocks on July 18, 2014, 12:34:11 AM
Except for the description of the gold plated leather wrapped mega vehicle, okashira makes a point that it is the lifecycle costs that matter...

 but the error in the logic is that you need to start with cash first, and that dictates budget..OP does not have the cash to think about a 10 yr car life cycle on a second vehicle right now...
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Russ on July 18, 2014, 10:06:31 AM
In 2010, I purchased a brand new Suburban that was fully loaded a few months before the 2011's came out.  It's a Z71 4WD with leather, DVD entertainment package, towing, every option possible it seems.  It listed for $55K and I gave around $45K with TTL.  Before I get hammered here, let me say that I paid cash for it and that I put about 18K miles per year on my Suburban.  If history repeats itself, I will keep it for 10 years or more.   

I know that all the financial experts say that I am crazy, but if you look at my cost per month over 10 years, I'm paying around $375/month for the knowledge that when I'm approaching 150K miles,  I will have no qualms about taking it into the mountains of Colorado in the winter.

Besides, being in new, larger vehicle makes my wife happy and you can't put a price on that.

Thomas

How does this help address Meinurgill's issue?  Do you have any advice to give for her situation?

I was giving an example of how sometimes going against the grain and buying a new or almost new vehicle and keeping it basically forever can be cheaper in the long run.

Thomas

You bought cash.  Would you advise someone in her situation, with $40k in credit card debt, and talking about having to put the repair bill on a credit card as she has no cash, to make a similar purchase?

Are you trolling for a fight?  I gave my example to encourage anyone to sometimes go against the grain and plan to spend cash.  If you don't like my answer, don't read any of my posts. 

Reply in any fashion that you like, I only fight face to face.

Chill out dude, there wasn't anything confrontational about Dodge's post aside from whatever you read into it.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: lackofstache on July 18, 2014, 11:49:47 AM
This may go a little deeper than your choice of cars, but...

I've ran sound and lights and the whole nine for several companies and on my own & my guess as to the best way to fix these problems; SELL THE EQUIPMENT WHILE IT'S STILL WORTH SOMETHING. Remove the need to "invest" in the business by borrowing more money. I realize you see this as a side hustle, but it's a hustle you're borrowing money for. With $40K in cc debt, it's probably not worth it in the long run, it's an EXPENSIVE HOBBY that I'm not sure you can afford.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: beltim on July 18, 2014, 12:54:30 PM
I'm enjoying the judgment that obviously the OP is badly mistaken in the need of a large vehicle to haul equipment for what is obviously not cash flow positive, but is instead a stupid expensive hobby.

Oh wait, I'm not.

Where do some of these responses come from?  How can you possibly know that the OP could clearly use a smaller vehicle, or that it's not worth buying a replacement vehicle?  And if you were simply asking for those facts, or suggesting that the OP reexamine her thoughts, I'd be all for those lines of inquiry.  But that's not what's going on – what's going on is judgment that the OP has her facts wrong, and that some of you obviously know better.  I don't understand why anyone would make that sort of wild assumption.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Ohio Teacher on July 18, 2014, 01:21:04 PM
I'm enjoying the judgment that obviously the OP is badly mistaken in the need of a large vehicle to haul equipment for what is obviously not cash flow positive, but is instead a stupid expensive hobby.

Oh wait, I'm not.

Where do some of these responses come from?  How can you possibly know that the OP could clearly use a smaller vehicle, or that it's not worth buying a replacement vehicle?  And if you were simply asking for those facts, or suggesting that the OP reexamine her thoughts, I'd be all for those lines of inquiry.  But that's not what's going on – what's going on is judgment that the OP has her facts wrong, and that some of you obviously know better.  I don't understand why anyone would make that sort of wild assumption.
The OP asked what appeared to them as a comparative question: Which is more Mustachian?  I'm sure the responses to the question would've been less judgmental had the OP not made the choices TIED FOR FUCKING ZERO on a Mustachian scale because they all involved going into further debt.

Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 18, 2014, 01:24:19 PM
At no point has the op clearly defined just how large / heavy the equipment being hauled is.
I am still betting it could all fit into a VW Golf.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: beltim on July 18, 2014, 01:28:05 PM
I'm enjoying the judgment that obviously the OP is badly mistaken in the need of a large vehicle to haul equipment for what is obviously not cash flow positive, but is instead a stupid expensive hobby.

Oh wait, I'm not.

Where do some of these responses come from?  How can you possibly know that the OP could clearly use a smaller vehicle, or that it's not worth buying a replacement vehicle?  And if you were simply asking for those facts, or suggesting that the OP reexamine her thoughts, I'd be all for those lines of inquiry.  But that's not what's going on – what's going on is judgment that the OP has her facts wrong, and that some of you obviously know better.  I don't understand why anyone would make that sort of wild assumption.
The OP asked what appeared to them as a comparative question: Which is more Mustachian?  I'm sure the responses to the question would've been less judgmental had the OP not made the choices TIED FOR FUCKING ZERO on a Mustachian scale because they all involved going into further debt.

What you said:
Quote
If your husband's equipment can't fit in a small used beater car that you buy for the $3000 that you can save over a few weeks at your decent paying jobs, then his little business needs to get put on hold for a while.  What you're doing is called leveraging.  That is, you guys are rationalizing that this frivolous purchase will pay for itself with gig income, thus providing a positive ROI and making it a good investment.
You said this with no facts to back it up!  How do you know if the purchase is frivolous, or that it won't pay for itself?  You may be right, of course, but you have no basis for this -- you just assumed.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: beltim on July 18, 2014, 01:29:14 PM
At no point has the op clearly defined just how large / heavy the equipment being hauled is.
I am still betting it could all fit into a VW Golf.

This is a really, really good point.  I don't know if it can or not, but this is a crucial fact to figure out before any useful advice can be given.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Ohio Teacher on July 18, 2014, 01:46:01 PM
I'm enjoying the judgment that obviously the OP is badly mistaken in the need of a large vehicle to haul equipment for what is obviously not cash flow positive, but is instead a stupid expensive hobby.

Oh wait, I'm not.

Where do some of these responses come from?  How can you possibly know that the OP could clearly use a smaller vehicle, or that it's not worth buying a replacement vehicle?  And if you were simply asking for those facts, or suggesting that the OP reexamine her thoughts, I'd be all for those lines of inquiry.  But that's not what's going on – what's going on is judgment that the OP has her facts wrong, and that some of you obviously know better.  I don't understand why anyone would make that sort of wild assumption.
The OP asked what appeared to them as a comparative question: Which is more Mustachian?  I'm sure the responses to the question would've been less judgmental had the OP not made the choices TIED FOR FUCKING ZERO on a Mustachian scale because they all involved going into further debt.

What you said:
Quote
If your husband's equipment can't fit in a small used beater car that you buy for the $3000 that you can save over a few weeks at your decent paying jobs, then his little business needs to get put on hold for a while.  What you're doing is called leveraging.  That is, you guys are rationalizing that this frivolous purchase will pay for itself with gig income, thus providing a positive ROI and making it a good investment.
You said this with no facts to back it up!  How do you know if the purchase is frivolous, or that it won't pay for itself?  You may be right, of course, but you have no basis for this -- you just assumed.
I am well aware of what I said, and not only do I stand by my assessment, but I believe I could have afforded to be much more harsh. 

One must make assumptions when given incomplete information.  Mine were made with the knowledge that the OP has $40K in CC debt and is considering financing an SUV over 6 years.  It doesn't take a genius to assume that they haven't always made great financial decisions.  I believe many of us in this thread were doing our best to save them from piling on to their debt by whatever means possible. 

It doesn't seem to have worked, however, as they haven't been back in a while.  I assume they are busing signing loan paperwork at the moment. 
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: beltim on July 18, 2014, 01:50:48 PM
I am well aware of what I said, and not only do I stand by my assessment, but I believe I could have afforded to be much more harsh. 

One must make assumptions when given incomplete information.  Mine were made with the knowledge that the OP has $40K in CC debt and is considering financing an SUV over 6 years.  It doesn't take a genius to assume that they haven't always made great financial decisions.  I believe many of us in this thread were doing our best to save them from piling on to their debt by whatever means possible. 

It doesn't seem to have worked, however, as they haven't been back in a while.  I assume they are busing signing loan paperwork at the moment.

Let me ask you a question: do you think you might be wrong?  Is there a chance that a larger vehicle than the above mentioned Golf is required, and that the business is cash flow positive, such that by purchasing a larger vehicle they would end up financially ahead?

If so, I don't understand the jump to be so harsh.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Dodge on July 18, 2014, 02:03:14 PM
I am well aware of what I said, and not only do I stand by my assessment, but I believe I could have afforded to be much more harsh. 

One must make assumptions when given incomplete information.  Mine were made with the knowledge that the OP has $40K in CC debt and is considering financing an SUV over 6 years.  It doesn't take a genius to assume that they haven't always made great financial decisions.  I believe many of us in this thread were doing our best to save them from piling on to their debt by whatever means possible. 

It doesn't seem to have worked, however, as they haven't been back in a while.  I assume they are busing signing loan paperwork at the moment.

Let me ask you a question: do you think you might be wrong?  Is there a chance that a larger vehicle than the above mentioned Golf is required, and that the business is cash flow positive, such that by purchasing a larger vehicle they would end up financially ahead?

If so, I don't understand the jump to be so harsh.

It looks like Ohio Teacher covered the cash flow positive scenario in his/her conclusion, and determined it's not a smart move:

Quote
What you're doing is called leveraging.  That is, you guys are rationalizing that this frivolous purchase will pay for itself with gig income, thus providing a positive ROI and making it a good investment.  But given your current financial situation, you will be one disaster away from needing to leverage with debt again.

I agree.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 18, 2014, 02:06:35 PM
At no point has the op clearly defined just how large / heavy the equipment being hauled is.
I am still betting it could all fit into a VW Golf.

The OP gives very little concrete information, but we got this:

His hauling does a number on vehicles, it broke the axle on a Conversion Ford E150 van (220,000 miles).

Anything that can break the axle on an E150 will destroy a small car in short order.


Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: beltim on July 18, 2014, 02:06:56 PM
It looks like Ohio Teacher covered the cash flow positive scenario in his/her conclusion, and determined it's not a smart move:

Quote
What you're doing is called leveraging.  That is, you guys are rationalizing that this frivolous purchase will pay for itself with gig income, thus providing a positive ROI and making it a good investment.  But given your current financial situation, you will be one disaster away from needing to leverage with debt again.

I agree.

It's possible that I missed something, but I saw no information that would allow a reasonable determination of whether the OP would be overleveraged.  Did I miss something?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 18, 2014, 02:53:21 PM
At no point has the op clearly defined just how large / heavy the equipment being hauled is.
I am still betting it could all fit into a VW Golf.

The OP gives very little concrete information, but we got this:

His hauling does a number on vehicles, it broke the axle on a Conversion Ford E150 van (220,000 miles).

Anything that can break the axle on an E150 will destroy a small car in short order.

As a mechanical engineer, I can attest to "it broke an axle..." is not a unit of mass measurement.
In fact I'd say it provides no information at all given the age of the vehicle.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 18, 2014, 03:36:13 PM
At no point has the op clearly defined just how large / heavy the equipment being hauled is.
I am still betting it could all fit into a VW Golf.

The OP gives very little concrete information, but we got this:

His hauling does a number on vehicles, it broke the axle on a Conversion Ford E150 van (220,000 miles).

Anything that can break the axle on an E150 will destroy a small car in short order.

As a mechanical engineer, I can attest to "it broke an axle..." is not a unit of mass measurement.
In fact I'd say it provides no information at all given the age of the vehicle.

Well, I seriously doubt that the cargo broke the axle, but if it did - and I have to take her word for it - then he must be hauling some serious shit. And that the hauling is doing a number on vehicles is also something I got to take at face value. That's all the information we got and I see no particular reason not to accept that they need to haul heavy stuff that is hard on a vehicle until they tell me otherwise.

Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Paul der Krake on July 18, 2014, 08:02:34 PM
Agreed, for the sake of the discussion, it would be nice to have a rough idea of the total load envisionned.

Note that most people agree that pretty much any car on the market can safely carry 4 overweight people (say 4 people at 250lbs each), yet when you show them 1,000lbs of non-human crap, they start talking about how a bigger car is needed to carry all that stuff.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: gimp on July 18, 2014, 08:39:48 PM
Aren't E-150s able to carry about a ton and a half?

How did the sound gear break the axle? Did it weight a ton and a half, or even near as much? If so, that is a shit-load of gear.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: caseyzee on July 19, 2014, 04:24:58 AM
I know there are a lot of side discussions here, but my vote for the OP is to fix the van. I think you are looking at the cost/benefit wrong.  Sure, $3000 may be more than the vehicle is worth, but what else are you going to buy for 3000 bucks?  Almost 6 years ago, my brother-in-law gave me a 2000 Chrysler minivan.  It had been in an accident and had some body problems.  He paid $200 for it and repaired the worst of the damage. Since then, I've put about 2500 dollars into it.  Nearly every repair, except the thermostat I guess, was technically more than the car is worth.  But the repairs have been WAY less than buying anything even comparable.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: mc6 on July 20, 2014, 09:28:59 AM
Honestly, how would ya'll handle this? You've convinced me not to buy the seat covers and maybe even the remote start (as me again in February LOL), but what now? I'm not looking for validation or an excuse to buy so much as real advice through a mustachian lens. We are still working on incorporating these principles into our life and it's more challenging than I expected. TIA!

Hi Meinurgill.  I can feel your anxiety and stress over this dilemma and want to wish you calm and clear-headed decision-making.  My vote in this instance would be to fix up the current ride.  Maybe you can find a better, cheaper mechanic in town, or maybe a friend/relative with DIY skills you could use instead?  Buying a different, potentially unroadworthy ride with a crazy-long loan term just seems too risky to me.  Good luck.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 21, 2014, 02:58:45 PM
Hi everyone! Thanks for your replies. I disappeared for a few days because I was pretty turned off by the comments, but I'm glad to see you are all still debating and I'm glad to answer your questions.

1--my husband is a serious musician. He has been featured in Billboard magazine. At the moment he is not gigging regularly because he is between projects, but when he does, he gets paid very well. We do not budget around that money and it goes straight on our debt payments. This is his life's work. It would be cool if people could be respectful of that.
2--my husband is a highly skilled audio engineer. His business partner is John Mayer's #1 stage sound man. He has worked for almost every star in the business, does sound at the Grammy's, etc. They aren't talking about doing a piddly little hobby business here. We are talking about a business that has the potential to make us a LOT of money, run by men who know what the hell they are doing and who own enough gear to fill up a warehouse. And it involves a lot of very heavy equipment hauling. His business partner's Suburban and my husband's trailer will handle a lot of that hauling, but smaller jobs can be accomplished with a smaller SUV, as can my husband's gigging needs over the next couple of years.
3. NO, THE GEAR CANNOT BE HAULED IN A VW GOLF. Ok? My husband pulled a large trailer with a full live PA across the country for ten years (plus a full passenger load inside), and that's how the axle got taxed on the van. And the engine and transmission and all other components will show the same wear, so putting money into that vehicle right now just seems downright inefficient. This is an E-150 that has seen 220,000 miles of HEAVY use.
4. Our debt situation is the result of 10 years of difficult career progress, my low-paying social work job, and schooling (I have a graduate degree). Just in the last year, our situation took a 180. We have 40K in CC debt (actually, closer to 38 after this month's payments). We are now in a position to pay our debt down rapidly. We definitely did stupid spending in the past but we are (I believe) much more sane now. We know there is still fat to trim but we are legitimately working our asses off on this--that's why we are here asking for advice, in earnest.
5. We have no cash saved because we are slamming it on debt, not because it isn't available to us. It would take 2-3 months for us to save $3K, but in the fall I start teaching part-time (on top of my full-time job) which is part of our aggressive CC payoff plan. All $6K+ of my teaching money (earned over 4.5 months) is getting put on our CC payments, plus any extra income my husband brings in from gigs and audio contract work (and yes, it's substantial enough to justify a hauler vehicle). Something in me just can't swallow taking $3K+ of that and putting it on an E150 Conversion van with 220,000 miles.
6. We have adjusted our search--we are now in the $8-11K range. We are leaning toward a 2004 CRV with 90,000 miles, listed for 10K and we think we can get out the door for closer to 9K (at 3.25% interest which is, by the way, 10% less that it would cost to finance the repair on the van on a CC--unless it could go another 2 months on the road safely, which I question because it has to carry our 10 month old on board; DH brings baby to day care, and I can't give him the Golf because I commute on highways and the van isn't safe for the highway right now). It's a very small dealer, no bullshit fees. Payments would be around $150. It would impact our current CC debt payoff plan minimally (we currently pay $1200 a month, which is significantly over our min. payments). Are we getting closer here or are we still being unreasonable?

As I've said, we aren't opposed to an older vehicle, we just don't feel good about putting money in the van at this point--I asked before but I'll ask again if there's a way to run the numbers here that would help me understand how putting $3K into the van makes any financial sense, now or later. Hubby and I are looking more closely at this tonight before we make a decision, so this is the last chance to convince us :)
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: gimp on July 21, 2014, 03:43:25 PM
To answer your last point: I think the biggest issue is that you're facing, essentially, a crapshoot. You might put $3k into repairs and have no issues for the next several years, or you might have something else break. Similarly, you can get something "new" (different) and have no issues for the next several years, or you might have something else break.

I think a good mechanic's first-hand knowledge of both vehicles is the only way to make an informed choice. Ask: "In your professional opinion, what will it cost to keep this vehicle operating in reasonable condition for the next 5 years? How about the other one?"

Otherwise you basically have a choice of what makes you feel better. That's all the argument on this forum: which one makes people feel better. More debt or less debt. The other argument was whether the choice was a false dichotomy.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Blamalam on July 21, 2014, 06:59:09 PM
This thread made me register for the forums!

You say your husband is between projects right now? And you teach, so do you have this summer off? If so, there may be a middle ground: Fix the van yourself.

I've done this when I was in a similar situation. What I did was to head to the junkyard to find a complete rear axle, buy it for around $150, and drag it home. Then I headed to the auto parts store for rags, differential lubricant, grease, brake fluid...all the stuff I'd need. Note that I had VERY little mechanical knowledge at the time. I bought jack stands (could've rented them, I guess, but I wound up using them over the years so it paid off), jacked the car (actually, a 3-ton Jeep Grand Wagoneer) up, and got to work. I got it back on the road in two days, for a total cost of around $400.

It's doable. It's VERY doable, and you don't need any specific skill to do it. Make sure that you get an axle from the same year, same engine, etc., spray everything down with PB Blaster the night before, and start wrenching.

You could also get a compression gauge to check the health of the van's engine--220k miles is a LOT, but these are fleet-spec cargo vans. They're built to run nearly forever.

If I were in your shoes, I'd replace the axle. Then I'd do a field day on the van--check compression, check trans fluid (sniff check--if it smells burned, call the junkyard to see if they have a transmission), and replace every fluid that's replaceable. Even if you only get another year out of the van, what exactly do you lose? I'd guess you could accomplish everything listed above for much, much less than $1,000, so pay the minimum one month on your CC and "purchase" a usable vehicle for under a grand and two days' work.

Just my .02...
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: okashira on July 21, 2014, 07:36:00 PM
Hi everyone! Thanks for your replies. I disappeared for a few days because I was pretty turned off by the comments, but I'm glad to see you are all still debating and I'm glad to answer your questions.

1--my husband is a serious musician. He has been featured in Billboard magazine. At the moment he is not gigging regularly because he is between projects, but when he does, he gets paid very well. We do not budget around that money and it goes straight on our debt payments. This is his life's work. It would be cool if people could be respectful of that.
2--my husband is a highly skilled audio engineer. His business partner is John Mayer's #1 stage sound man. He has worked for almost every star in the business, does sound at the Grammy's, etc. They aren't talking about doing a piddly little hobby business here. We are talking about a business that has the potential to make us a LOT of money, run by men who know what the hell they are doing and who own enough gear to fill up a warehouse. And it involves a lot of very heavy equipment hauling. His business partner's Suburban and my husband's trailer will handle a lot of that hauling, but smaller jobs can be accomplished with a smaller SUV, as can my husband's gigging needs over the next couple of years.
3. NO, THE GEAR CANNOT BE HAULED IN A VW GOLF. Ok? My husband pulled a large trailer with a full live PA across the country for ten years (plus a full passenger load inside), and that's how the axle got taxed on the van. And the engine and transmission and all other components will show the same wear, so putting money into that vehicle right now just seems downright inefficient. This is an E-150 that has seen 220,000 miles of HEAVY use.
4. Our debt situation is the result of 10 years of difficult career progress, my low-paying social work job, and schooling (I have a graduate degree). Just in the last year, our situation took a 180. We have 40K in CC debt (actually, closer to 38 after this month's payments). We are now in a position to pay our debt down rapidly. We definitely did stupid spending in the past but we are (I believe) much more sane now. We know there is still fat to trim but we are legitimately working our asses off on this--that's why we are here asking for advice, in earnest.
5. We have no cash saved because we are slamming it on debt, not because it isn't available to us. It would take 2-3 months for us to save $3K, but in the fall I start teaching part-time (on top of my full-time job) which is part of our aggressive CC payoff plan. All $6K+ of my teaching money (earned over 4.5 months) is getting put on our CC payments, plus any extra income my husband brings in from gigs and audio contract work (and yes, it's substantial enough to justify a hauler vehicle). Something in me just can't swallow taking $3K+ of that and putting it on an E150 Conversion van with 220,000 miles.
6. We have adjusted our search--we are now in the $8-11K range. We are leaning toward a 2004 CRV with 90,000 miles, listed for 10K and we think we can get out the door for closer to 9K (at 3.25% interest which is, by the way, 10% less that it would cost to finance the repair on the van on a CC--unless it could go another 2 months on the road safely, which I question because it has to carry our 10 month old on board; DH brings baby to day care, and I can't give him the Golf because I commute on highways and the van isn't safe for the highway right now). It's a very small dealer, no bullshit fees. Payments would be around $150. It would impact our current CC debt payoff plan minimally (we currently pay $1200 a month, which is significantly over our min. payments). Are we getting closer here or are we still being unreasonable?

As I've said, we aren't opposed to an older vehicle, we just don't feel good about putting money in the van at this point--I asked before but I'll ask again if there's a way to run the numbers here that would help me understand how putting $3K into the van makes any financial sense, now or later. Hubby and I are looking more closely at this tonight before we make a decision, so this is the last chance to convince us :)

Well sounds like the CRV would be reasonable for you if the equipment will fit in it.

On a 2004 model, try to aim for $7500 or so. $10,000 is definitely high. If the car looks immaculate, like the rubber parts are not cracked and feel like rubber should, don't pass it up.
Check seat rails for rust, is carpet original? look for evidence of paint, replaced body panels.
The CRV would definitely be a better vehicle in the long run then the E150, anyway, if it works for his equipment.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: TomTX on July 21, 2014, 09:35:26 PM

Cheap would be buying a $200 scrapheap that burns a quart of oil per block and has a no windshield.

Haha!

Hey, my '95 Saturn only burns a quart of oil per fillup and still has a windshield! 260k+ miles...

Aren't E-150s able to carry about a ton and a half?

I'm pretty sure my FIL carried at least 3 tons in his on a pretty regular basis. He was very handy, so I have no idea what modifications he might have made.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 22, 2014, 05:03:43 AM
Hi everyone! Thanks for your replies. I disappeared for a few days because I was pretty turned off by the comments, but I'm glad to see you are all still debating and I'm glad to answer your questions.

1--my husband is a serious musician. He has been featured in Billboard magazine. At the moment he is not gigging regularly because he is between projects, but when he does, he gets paid very well. We do not budget around that money and it goes straight on our debt payments. This is his life's work. It would be cool if people could be respectful of that.
2--my husband is a highly skilled audio engineer. His business partner is John Mayer's #1 stage sound man. He has worked for almost every star in the business, does sound at the Grammy's, etc. They aren't talking about doing a piddly little hobby business here. We are talking about a business that has the potential to make us a LOT of money, run by men who know what the hell they are doing and who own enough gear to fill up a warehouse. And it involves a lot of very heavy equipment hauling. His business partner's Suburban and my husband's trailer will handle a lot of that hauling, but smaller jobs can be accomplished with a smaller SUV, as can my husband's gigging needs over the next couple of years.
3. NO, THE GEAR CANNOT BE HAULED IN A VW GOLF. Ok? My husband pulled a large trailer with a full live PA across the country for ten years (plus a full passenger load inside), and that's how the axle got taxed on the van. And the engine and transmission and all other components will show the same wear, so putting money into that vehicle right now just seems downright inefficient. This is an E-150 that has seen 220,000 miles of HEAVY use.
4. Our debt situation is the result of 10 years of difficult career progress, my low-paying social work job, and schooling (I have a graduate degree). Just in the last year, our situation took a 180. We have 40K in CC debt (actually, closer to 38 after this month's payments). We are now in a position to pay our debt down rapidly. We definitely did stupid spending in the past but we are (I believe) much more sane now. We know there is still fat to trim but we are legitimately working our asses off on this--that's why we are here asking for advice, in earnest.
5. We have no cash saved because we are slamming it on debt, not because it isn't available to us. It would take 2-3 months for us to save $3K, but in the fall I start teaching part-time (on top of my full-time job) which is part of our aggressive CC payoff plan. All $6K+ of my teaching money (earned over 4.5 months) is getting put on our CC payments, plus any extra income my husband brings in from gigs and audio contract work (and yes, it's substantial enough to justify a hauler vehicle). Something in me just can't swallow taking $3K+ of that and putting it on an E150 Conversion van with 220,000 miles.
6. We have adjusted our search--we are now in the $8-11K range. We are leaning toward a 2004 CRV with 90,000 miles, listed for 10K and we think we can get out the door for closer to 9K (at 3.25% interest which is, by the way, 10% less that it would cost to finance the repair on the van on a CC--unless it could go another 2 months on the road safely, which I question because it has to carry our 10 month old on board; DH brings baby to day care, and I can't give him the Golf because I commute on highways and the van isn't safe for the highway right now). It's a very small dealer, no bullshit fees. Payments would be around $150. It would impact our current CC debt payoff plan minimally (we currently pay $1200 a month, which is significantly over our min. payments). Are we getting closer here or are we still being unreasonable?

As I've said, we aren't opposed to an older vehicle, we just don't feel good about putting money in the van at this point--I asked before but I'll ask again if there's a way to run the numbers here that would help me understand how putting $3K into the van makes any financial sense, now or later. Hubby and I are looking more closely at this tonight before we make a decision, so this is the last chance to convince us :)

That makes sense to me. You do not have a need for an inefficient van anymore and the van has seen very heavy use over a long time. There is no point in putting money in the van if you do not need it unless you fix it very cheaply on your own. Less than 10k for a more efficient vehicle in good condition sounds reasonable under the circumstances.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Goldielocks on July 22, 2014, 09:09:11 AM
This thread made me register for the forums!

You say your husband is between projects right now? And you teach, so do you have this summer off? If so, there may be a middle ground: Fix the van yourself.

I've done this when I was in a similar situation. What I did was to head to the junkyard to find a complete rear axle, buy it for around $150, and drag it home. Then I headed to the auto parts store for rags, differential lubricant, grease, brake fluid...all the stuff I'd need. Note that I had VERY little mechanical knowledge at the time. I bought jack stands (could've rented them, I guess, but I wound up using them over the years so it paid off), jacked the car (actually, a 3-ton Jeep Grand Wagoneer) up, and got to work. I got it back on the road in two days, for a total cost of around $400.

It's doable. It's VERY doable, and you don't need any specific skill to do it. Make sure that you get an axle from the same year, same engine, etc., spray everything down with PB Blaster the night before, and start wrenching.

You could also get a compression gauge to check the health of the van's engine--220k miles is a LOT, but these are fleet-spec cargo vans. They're built to run nearly forever.

If I were in your shoes, I'd replace the axle. Then I'd do a field day on the van--check compression, check trans fluid (sniff check--if it smells burned, call the junkyard to see if they have a transmission), and replace every fluid that's replaceable. Even if you only get another year out of the van, what exactly do you lose? I'd guess you could accomplish everything listed above for much, much less than $1,000, so pay the minimum one month on your CC and "purchase" a usable vehicle for under a grand and two days' work.

Just my .02...

Wow, this post convinced me..  I was going to vote for the CRV option even if 4k more than I think you should go.

But the idea of having a great fleet spec van running for less than $1000, well, that is hard to beat.  You could also sell that fixed van for money in a year, too.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 22, 2014, 05:22:40 PM

This thread made me register for the forums!

You say your husband is between projects right now? And you teach, so do you have this summer off? If so, there may be a middle ground: Fix the van yourself.

I've done this when I was in a similar situation. What I did was to head to the junkyard to find a complete rear axle, buy it for around $150, and drag it home. Then I headed to the auto parts store for rags, differential lubricant, grease, brake fluid...all the stuff I'd need. Note that I had VERY little mechanical knowledge at the time. I bought jack stands (could've rented them, I guess, but I wound up using them over the years so it paid off), jacked the car (actually, a 3-ton Jeep Grand Wagoneer) up, and got to work. I got it back on the road in two days, for a total cost of around $400.

It's doable. It's VERY doable, and you don't need any specific skill to do it. Make sure that you get an axle from the same year, same engine, etc., spray everything down with PB Blaster the night before, and start wrenching.

You could also get a compression gauge to check the health of the van's engine--220k miles is a LOT, but these are fleet-spec cargo vans. They're built to run nearly forever.

If I were in your shoes, I'd replace the axle. Then I'd do a field day on the van--check compression, check trans fluid (sniff check--if it smells burned, call the junkyard to see if they have a transmission), and replace every fluid that's replaceable. Even if you only get another year out of the van, what exactly do you lose? I'd guess you could accomplish everything listed above for much, much less than $1,000, so pay the minimum one month on your CC and "purchase" a usable vehicle for under a grand and two days' work.

Just my .02...

Hmmm. The hurdles here are: I'm pretty sure you need more than a basic jack to replace the axle on a conversion can, even tires/brakes can't be done that way on it is what I've heard. Anyone here know? I couldn't know less about something. Hurdle number two: my husband and I both have dual careers aka 60+ hrs of work a week, plus a 10 month old. We feel like we are barely above water as it is.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Paul der Krake on July 22, 2014, 05:49:03 PM
With the new information, and seeing how OP's husband's business is really that, a business with good potential, I maintain my original position.

Especially if this can be written off at least partly as a business expense, I would just splurge and get something newer, around 50k like you said. It doesn't matter if you saved two grand on a car if it's in the shop the week you need it for your business.

Now go spend some monies and make some goddamn good rock n roll!
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: PeteD01 on July 22, 2014, 06:06:15 PM

This thread made me register for the forums!

You say your husband is between projects right now? And you teach, so do you have this summer off? If so, there may be a middle ground: Fix the van yourself.

I've done this when I was in a similar situation. What I did was to head to the junkyard to find a complete rear axle, buy it for around $150, and drag it home. Then I headed to the auto parts store for rags, differential lubricant, grease, brake fluid...all the stuff I'd need. Note that I had VERY little mechanical knowledge at the time. I bought jack stands (could've rented them, I guess, but I wound up using them over the years so it paid off), jacked the car (actually, a 3-ton Jeep Grand Wagoneer) up, and got to work. I got it back on the road in two days, for a total cost of around $400.

It's doable. It's VERY doable, and you don't need any specific skill to do it. Make sure that you get an axle from the same year, same engine, etc., spray everything down with PB Blaster the night before, and start wrenching.

You could also get a compression gauge to check the health of the van's engine--220k miles is a LOT, but these are fleet-spec cargo vans. They're built to run nearly forever.

If I were in your shoes, I'd replace the axle. Then I'd do a field day on the van--check compression, check trans fluid (sniff check--if it smells burned, call the junkyard to see if they have a transmission), and replace every fluid that's replaceable. Even if you only get another year out of the van, what exactly do you lose? I'd guess you could accomplish everything listed above for much, much less than $1,000, so pay the minimum one month on your CC and "purchase" a usable vehicle for under a grand and two days' work.

Just my .02...

Hmmm. The hurdles here are: I'm pretty sure you need more than a basic jack to replace the axle on a conversion can, even tires/brakes can't be done that way on it is what I've heard. Anyone here know? I couldn't know less about something. Hurdle number two: my husband and I both have dual careers aka 60+ hrs of work a week, plus a 10 month old. We feel like we are barely above water as it is.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No, you can't do this on your own but could do it if you had a friend who knows a little bit about this stuff. It is not difficult to do but potentially dangerous, extremely dirty and you will probably run into rusted nuts and bolts. Piece of cake with the proper tools but not fun at all. But if you have a friend who knows a little bit about this stuff go ahead, it's not rocket science after all.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: mariejm on July 22, 2014, 06:39:41 PM
Just want to say thank you for posting your question, I learned so much from reading this post.

You are very brave to put your finances and your decisions on a open forum, and I really like the people that suggested the guidelines of cars post 4 years, under 125K and buying from a private party. If you have to finance it then finding a nice small dealer is good. Finding them that are family friendly and sometimes they give you a nicer deal. Just starting a family is an adjustment for everyone and once you reach your non CC debt goals, slowing down to a regular work week so you can enjoy your child is a good decision. Having two working parents is hard enough on the whole family, let alone overtime!

Good luck!
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 23, 2014, 07:47:50 AM
Just want to say thank you for posting your question, I learned so much from reading this post.

You are very brave to put your finances and your decisions on a open forum, and I really like the people that suggested the guidelines of cars post 4 years, under 125K and buying from a private party. If you have to finance it then finding a nice small dealer is good. Finding them that are family friendly and sometimes they give you a nicer deal. Just starting a family is an adjustment for everyone and once you reach your non CC debt goals, slowing down to a regular work week so you can enjoy your child is a good decision. Having two working parents is hard enough on the whole family, let alone overtime!

Good luck!

Thank you Mariejm! It's nice to have that acknowledged.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Forcus on July 23, 2014, 10:51:22 AM
Someone finally suggested it but I fully second that. Either fix the van yourself or get another cargo van.

Rear ends "go out"  but it's generally either bearings or gears. They whole assembly isn't scrapped.

But let's say that there is a lot of internal damage. E150's are extremely plentiful. I did a quick check on car-part.com and found many used rear ends for under $1k. Many under $500. Some with a warranty. If I recall correctly, E150's are leaf sprung in the rear and an axle swap is pretty easy.

I think what you need right now is an interim solution. In general I don't think that a $13k 2009 Subaru Forester is a bad thing. I think that it's a bad thing for you right now. The VW can probably last a little longer, the van as well. FYI, I've had several vans, one with over 400k miles (430k I think), and I just got rid of a truck with 225k miles that was running strong. Not saying it's worth putting a ton of money in to... but if everything else was usable, I'd seriously consider the above.

Then down the road, when things are stable, if he's travelling / hauling a lot, maybe a used Sprinter van - MPG and hauling capability. And a good AWD vehicle for you.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: SpicyMcHaggus on July 23, 2014, 10:58:39 AM
The thread is TLDR;

1) Look into hauling with a car based wagon, not an SUV.
2) Leverage may be okay, but 72 months and 3.9% is not the best deal. Here in WI you can get a 48 month used car loan at 2.49% APR for 2004 and newer vehicles.
3) pay down the CC debt. 14% APR on that is murder.
4) sourcing vehicles is a hobby of mine. If you actually legitimately need the help finding something to fit your circumstances, I will gladly point you to the right places for research and make a recommendation. you can email me if you wish at gavin.ladewig@gmail.com
5) snow tires > 4WD. every time. I like AWD when I can have it, but my 4x4 truck was stuck and got a tug out from a Honda Civic with snow tires. the $400 investment is worth it several times over.
6) many of the above posters may be a bit abrasive, but it doesn't mean they are wrong. You should re-examine 'needs' and 'wants'.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 23, 2014, 06:55:05 PM
We are still going back and forth like crazy on the best thing to do. I wish we were stupid like the rest of the country and didn't care about piling debt onto debt, we could have been done with this weeks ago. Kidding, of course, but dammit this decision has been such a pain in my ass. I told my husband today that we need to decide if our goal is to buy something that will go the distance, or if it is to solve the problem as quickly and cheaply as possible and worry about reliability later. Obviously there are solid reasons for both.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Blamalam on July 23, 2014, 07:59:55 PM
We are still going back and forth like crazy on the best thing to do. I wish we were stupid like the rest of the country and didn't care about piling debt onto debt, we could have been done with this weeks ago. Kidding, of course, but dammit this decision has been such a pain in my ass. I told my husband today that we need to decide if our goal is to buy something that will go the distance, or if it is to solve the problem as quickly and cheaply as possible and worry about reliability later. Obviously there are solid reasons for both.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Been there, got the t-shirt. For what it's worth, you guys might want to adjust your horizons a bit regarding the van situation. Being out of debt next year doesn't fix your van situation this week, right? I know from my readings that the forum and MMM generally frown on short-term solutions, but from reading your initial post it sounds as if your husband needs the van, or something very close to it. That's the immediate short-term need. Longer term, you'd like to replace it with something newer/fewer miles/better on gas, without undoing the work you've put in so far in paying down your debt.

Short horizon thinking *can* bite you on the butt; however, I also believe in fixing the immediate need first. I wasn't comfortable fixing my Jeep myself, not at all. However, I needed to get to work, and I needed to get to class, and I didn't have any other options at the time. I fixed the Jeep, and two years later I sold it for what I paid for it (collectors love the things). There is ALWAYS someone on the lookout for a van, no matter where you live. It's easier to sell it if it's running, at least that's my thinking. If you guys can get $1,000-ish together, and if you can search Youtube, etc. for similar repairs, and if you can put a weekend into getting a vehicle that earns you money running, to me that's a clear choice. Will it be easy? Nope. Will it be fun? Well, that depends on how you two approach it. Will you learn something? Oh yes, even if it's just new and interesting forms of Anglo-Saxon invective.

You're right that you have solid reasons to buy something reliable. What you don't have now is the ability to do so without adding to your debt load, and you seem highly determined to wipe out that debt completely. I won't tell you not to stress over it, because it's stressful as hell, but realize that whatever decision you make, you're completely capable of making it.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Forcus on July 24, 2014, 09:31:10 AM
We are still going back and forth like crazy on the best thing to do. I wish we were stupid like the rest of the country and didn't care about piling debt onto debt

I still have this battle daily. I wonder if I'm the one that's wrong (for a moment) when we occasionally get a pizza delivered (I know... not MMM) and the pizza delivery guy has a much nicer car than I do. Or people we know make 1/3 what we do go on vacations, etc. But then I realize it's because they don't care, or they think that future earnings will take care of their current debt, etc.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Goldielocks on July 24, 2014, 09:29:28 PM
We are still going back and forth like crazy on the best thing to do. I wish we were stupid like the rest of the country and didn't care about piling debt onto debt

I still have this battle daily. I wonder if I'm the one that's wrong (for a moment) when we occasionally get a pizza delivered (I know... not MMM) and the pizza delivery guy has a much nicer car than I do. Or people we know make 1/3 what we do go on vacations, etc. But then I realize it's because they don't care, or they think that future earnings will take care of their current debt, etc.

Pre MMM, I was having a very stressful year and hired a maid.  It only lasted 6weeks when I started to notice she drove a nicer car than we did.

Seriously, pizza delivery cars are supposed to be high MPH econoboxes with rust, you know?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: alsoknownasDean on July 25, 2014, 02:46:30 AM
I would also mention that your attitude towards debt seems to have changed. With a 'our hair's on fire, we need to get rid of it now' attitude, taking on a little extra is not as bad as if you only care about making the minimum payments.

It's a crappy situation, but buying something that'll be good for a few years, while sub-optimal if financed, isn't so bad if you intend to clear the loan WELL within the four years or whatever the loan would be.

Getting a 4 year loan with the aim to clear it within 18 months or so might be an option.

Also, are you able to get your existing CC debt refinanced on a lower rate?
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 25, 2014, 06:34:19 AM
I would also mention that your attitude towards debt seems to have changed. With a 'our hair's on fire, we need to get rid of it now' attitude, taking on a little extra is not as bad as if you only care about making the minimum payments.

It's a crappy situation, but buying something that'll be good for a few years, while sub-optimal if financed, isn't so bad if you intend to clear the loan WELL within the four years or whatever the loan would be.

Getting a 4 year loan with the aim to clear it within 18 months or so might be an option.

Also, are you able to get your existing CC debt refinanced on a lower rate?

Yes, we swap our CC debt around regularly as promotional rates expire. We have much of it close to 4%, some if it is even 0%, and some of it is higher. New purchases are around 14%, which is where I got that number when I said we would have to finance van repairs at 14%. We looked into debt consolidation from a few different angles and decided to just slam money on it as rapidly as possible and save ourselves the fees associated with debt management programs. We have good credit and all accounts are in good standing, so we can do the same negotiating for ourselves.

Back to the car decision--we had a snafu with loan terms and ended up getting squeezed into a newer model or a much older model. We couldn't finance a vehicle over 100,000 miles at anything over 48 months and a 4.25% rate or higher, and under $15K purchase price also had some limitations. That squeezed us right out of our sweet spot and also made the 2004 CRV only about $40 cheaper per month than a newer model. Obviously we are financing much more over time, but we expect to pay it off early so the interest over time won't be significantly worse.

We didn't make the decision lightly, but we've decided we will have more peace of mind if we purchase something that is reliable and will go the distance, even if we had to purchase it a couple years sooner than we had hoped. It is still within the budget we originally set for ourselves--well within our affordability and does not cut into our allotted monthly debt payments at all. We can maintain our $1400 a month CC payment, and then some, sometimes up to twice that, (minimums are $700) and still buy the car that seems to fit our current list of wants and needs the best. We went through all the wants and needs and there's no question that if we were going with "needs" only, we would just have fixed the van and gotten on with our lives. But we decided the peace of mind is worth something to us at this stage in our lives, too.

Anyway, we went with the brand new VW Tiguan, $45K purchase price and 21/26 MPG.

Just kidding! LOL. We went with a Forester. 2011 with 86,000 miles. We feel great about it. Got it well under NADA value.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Captain and Mrs Slow on July 25, 2014, 08:12:19 AM
Was that to replace your car or the Van?

I don't know if this will help but this was how I made the decision to buy another car, and borrow money for it over paying for repairs on an older one.

I personally lean towards the replace rather than repair, the goal is to buy a car about 8-12 months old and run it for 10 years. Did that with our last car, eventually it broke down and I replaced it with Peugeot 308 (I live in Europe) big mistake, great gas mileage (like 50mph plus) but poor reliability. So I did something I normally would never do, traded it in after a year.

Normally I’d just go for another cheap run about but age, knee surgery and a wife who hates driving stick shift meant I needed to upgrade to something fancier.  Automatics are typically found only on higher end cars and I needed something I could get in and out of.

The key was finding the right balance between price, mpg, insurance costs repairs etc. Also looking at your whole financial picture, debt vs savings vs investing. Is it easier to pay a loan off or rebuild savings after draining them to buy a vehicle.

So for us it came down to a Ford C-Max and a RAV 4. Found a fantastic deal on 3 year old low mileage RAV 4 and almost bought it till I got the insurance quote!!!!! On the other hand not only was the C-MAX a lot cheaper (coming off rental) but much cheaper to insure. Via the internet found out what dealer was getting them all and drove up and got one.

When we actually saw them the price difference between a plain Jane and a top of line model was about 500€ and as mentioned insurance, was about a 1/3rd

I won’t bore everyone with the details but ended up financing the whole thing even though I could have bought it cash.

My whole point here is that we need to think outside of the box on top it seems very un- mustachian but when you look at the whole picture it all ties together.



Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: neo von retorch on July 25, 2014, 08:41:17 AM
Anyway, we went with the brand new VW Tiguan, $45K purchase price and 21/26 MPG.

Just kidding! LOL. We went with a Forester. 2011 with 86,000 miles. We feel great about it. Got it well under NADA value.

OMG I read that and seriously when *HUGURK* WHAT? Oh dear... :-)

Congrats on the purchase. There are much worse ways to spend some money. I think this is important to you, aligns with your values, and so on!
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Meinurgill on July 25, 2014, 08:58:30 AM
Was that to replace your car or the Van?

The van. We will sell the van as is on Craigslist for a couple grand and put that on higher interest debt. The VW we are going to put a little money into to make sure it runs for at least another few years--it has some electrical issues (headlamps short out within 3 weeks of replacement so I rarely have working headlights) that could break that plan but we are going to get an estimate next week and go from there.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Captain and Mrs Slow on July 25, 2014, 09:03:38 AM
Thanks, it sounds like you made a good decision.

One other point and a bit off topic but I differ from MMM on the hair on fire get out of debt thingy. I prefer to view it more like dieting, sure can't go on a fad diet and lose 20 lbs and gain it back plus more, or I can make lifestyle changes that keep it off permanently.

In our case  we had a about 80,000€ in debt and a long history of financial mismanagement, so right at the beginning we decided our debt free journey would be slow and steady.

What I did was to focus more on money management. Remember one year going on a big vacation and budgeting the whole thing out, came in right on budget!!

Previous to this we could have arrived home to an empty bank account and a bunch of bounced cheques!

For you guys with a young baby two jobs and a husband who travels alot (assuming this) it means budgeting in things like date nights, money for a babysitter, real vacations etc. This doesn’t have to mean trading off debt reduction for having a life only that you need to budget that in.

it does no good if you arrive debt free divorced

Again the key is to focus not so much on debt reduction as learning good financial skills.

Just my 2 cents
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Dicey on July 25, 2014, 11:08:42 AM
Well said Cap'n and Mrs. After so much heated discussion, your thoughts are the proverbial soothing balm. Nice.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Forcus on July 25, 2014, 11:57:29 AM
The VW we are going to put a little money into to make sure it runs for at least another few years--it has some electrical issues (headlamps short out within 3 weeks of replacement so I rarely have working headlights) that could break that plan but we are going to get an estimate next week and go from there.

I had to add ground wires to a '98 VW Bug the wife had. I determined the wiring was wholely inadequate, added ground wires, no more burning out headlights. I believe other VW's from the 90's-00's were similarly afflicted.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Goldielocks on July 25, 2014, 08:10:24 PM
Anyway, we went with the brand new VW Tiguan, $45K purchase price and 21/26 MPG.


HA!

You made me jump in my seat when I read that -----  LOL you 'got me good!'

Just kidding indeed!
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: Captain and Mrs Slow on August 01, 2014, 01:48:07 AM
Well said Cap'n and Mrs. After so much heated discussion, your thoughts are the proverbial soothing balm. Nice.

Ahh thanks:)

To the OP just wondering why your husband needs to haul so much gear if he's a sound man. I would think that all that would be delivered by truck or something
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: RapmasterD on August 01, 2014, 04:17:19 AM
Sorry, but I don't get the logic of having purchased a THREE year old high mileage Forester when you're $40,000 in debt. I know what's done is done, but you guys still have a lot of serious mindset changes to make in order to get out of your situation.

Incidentally, you'll want to join the Subaru Owner's Forum at subaruforester.org. Maintenance costs on these babies are higher than 'the average.' I like my 14 year old Forester with 129,800 miles and counting, but Subarus are quirky -- including the newer ones.
Title: Re: When does FRUGAL become CHEAP? The used car saga continues...
Post by: DarinC on August 01, 2014, 09:12:38 PM

This thread made me register for the forums!

You say your husband is between projects right now? And you teach, so do you have this summer off? If so, there may be a middle ground: Fix the van yourself.

I've done this when I was in a similar situation. What I did was to head to the junkyard to find a complete rear axle, buy it for around $150, and drag it home. Then I headed to the auto parts store for rags, differential lubricant, grease, brake fluid...all the stuff I'd need. Note that I had VERY little mechanical knowledge at the time. I bought jack stands (could've rented them, I guess, but I wound up using them over the years so it paid off), jacked the car (actually, a 3-ton Jeep Grand Wagoneer) up, and got to work. I got it back on the road in two days, for a total cost of around $400.

It's doable. It's VERY doable, and you don't need any specific skill to do it. Make sure that you get an axle from the same year, same engine, etc., spray everything down with PB Blaster the night before, and start wrenching.

You could also get a compression gauge to check the health of the van's engine--220k miles is a LOT, but these are fleet-spec cargo vans. They're built to run nearly forever.

If I were in your shoes, I'd replace the axle. Then I'd do a field day on the van--check compression, check trans fluid (sniff check--if it smells burned, call the junkyard to see if they have a transmission), and replace every fluid that's replaceable. Even if you only get another year out of the van, what exactly do you lose? I'd guess you could accomplish everything listed above for much, much less than $1,000, so pay the minimum one month on your CC and "purchase" a usable vehicle for under a grand and two days' work.

Just my .02...

Hmmm. The hurdles here are: I'm pretty sure you need more than a basic jack to replace the axle on a conversion can, even tires/brakes can't be done that way on it is what I've heard. Anyone here know? I couldn't know less about something. Hurdle number two: my husband and I both have dual careers aka 60+ hrs of work a week, plus a 10 month old. We feel like we are barely above water as it is.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's gonna be tough, but $400 sounds about right. Besides the jack stands, you'll want a jack, a good set of sockets, a good ratchet, a good breaker bar, and a cheater. It's kind of intimidating, but it's doable, although it'll be tough to get on it given your schedule. I think you should give it a shot and see how it goes before you purchase the CRV.

If you can pull the existing axle, odds are you can put a new one in. Ideally you could try before you buy the CRV and if you're successful you can postpone that purchase. Another thing that I'd worry about is a load that can kill a cargo van could kill the CRV in short order. The exception would be if this was due to a fluid leak, or some other non-load dependent issue.

Even if you can't do it immediately, you can do it later, and if it works, sell the CRV back. Or just keep one car as a backup so when one of the others has trouble you don't need to pay your mechanic to fix it.