Author Topic: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)  (Read 3499 times)

foxstache

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Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« on: January 06, 2015, 11:51:22 AM »
Long time MMM reader and forum lurker (since mid 2012). I apologize in advance for the long text, and for asking yet another what-should-I-do car question. I feel like I've made 8 years of bad car decisions and I need some advice.

Back story:

Jeep 1: In 2007, fueled by the $1000 cash for clunkers thing that was going on, I traded in an old junker for a brand new Jeep. Of the $23,500 purchase price, I financed $22,500. After 2 years of making $369 monthly payments, a windfall allowed me to pay off the loan balance. Awesome. I then drove my paid for Jeep until January 2012 when my Jeep was totaled when I was hit by another driver. I received  check for $18,500 for my Jeep. Time for a new car.

Jeep 2: Long story short, I put most of the $18,500 down on a $40,000 bigger Jeep, which I kept for about 3 months, before selling it back to the dealership for $35,000 taking a loss of $5000 principle plus another $4000 in tax, title, license.

Scion xD: So, right around then I discovered MMM, and his list of cars for smart people. Thinking I could then finally act like a smart person, I put $8000 down on a brand new 2012 Scion xD and financed the remaining balance (around $9000). The only problem was, that I hated the scion. It felt cramped and cheap. So, since I am a homeowner, I talked myself into "needing" a pick up truck.

Truck 1: Not wanting to be totally unmustachian, I bought a used 2007 truck with about 77k miles on it. Traded in the scion (got about $6000 equity) and financed about $7500. Kept the truck for a while, until I found out I had a child on the way. Then I figured I needed a bigger truck...

Truck 2: Brand new 2014 double cab, off road truck. Price $29,500 (plus tax title license). Traded in truck 1 and ended up financing about $21,500. Payments are $335/month. I now owe about 20,500.

Where I'm at now:
I hate having a $335 truck payment. Every month I think about how I could use that money for something else (max out roth, pay down student debt, etc.) So, now I am back to thinking of getting something off MMM's list. Perhaps a used Mazda 3. So first I think, okay I have about $8k equity in my truck, I'll buy a 2006-2009 used one with 95k-100k miles (that's what's available at that price in my area). Next thing you know, I'm thinking I'll just get a 2011-2013 with 30k miles for around $12-$13k (putting $8000 down) because $100/month is better than $335, plus safety/reliability (since I have a baby), and likely there will be some factory warranty remaining.

I'm just not sure what to do anymore since I feel like I keep making the wrong choice, and have wasted so much money the last 8 years on cars. Another issue is that my wife is (understandably) frustrated at my car hopping. We bought her SUV new, back in 2005 (for cash) and she still drives it daily.

Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 11:57:30 AM by foxstache »

SailAway

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 12:21:43 PM »
RIP, poor Jeeps....

Ok, so, yeah, that's a lot of cars... So I think you really need to spend some time figuring out what you want so you stop repeating the cycle. If your wife has an SUV and you only have one kid, do you NEED TWO gigantic vehicles (SUV and truck)? A reasonable sedan or even hatchback seats five and you already have the SUV for hauling other stuff around.

mm1970

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 12:26:19 PM »
I think you are not allowed to buy cars anymore.  Seriously.

You are an emotional shopper when it comes to cars (my brother? same way. My nephew?  Same way.)

You seem to *want* to do the right thing, but then talk yourself into *needing* something else. When really?  you just need wheels.  Good gas mileage, it runs, wheels.

So put your wife in charge of the cars.  Oh, the two of you can choose together which of the small cars is "right" this time.  But YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BUY ANOTHER CAR after that.  And your wife should just say "no".

takeahike

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 12:36:01 PM »
Well the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem. :)

nereo

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 12:37:18 PM »
Kapoww!  That's the facepunch you asked for.
Actually, it sohuld be: kapoww, kapoww, bop, bam, kaaapowwww! (for the jeep, jeep 2, truck 1, truck 2, and then one more for general wishwashiness).  I'm not one for giving out facepunches, but you *literally* asked for them.

Alright.  What's done is done - water under the bridge and all.  Now let's focus on the future.  If you want to have any mustcahian cred you need to sell truck 2, which is about the most rediculous thing you can own.  Seriously, a 2014 double-cab off-road truck?  You have a baby on the way and you are spending your money on toys for yourself.  Reading your post you already know what you should do - buy a fuel efficient, smaller, used vehicle.  How to correct for your ridiculous car-buy tendancies is the real question.  Perhaps a financial motivator would work:  start by totaling up all the money you've spent, including fuel costs, since 2007.  Write that down in big numbers and put it on your fridge.  I've guestimating it's over $50,000. For good measure calculate what it would have been in savings had you just put that money into an index fund.  My back-of-the-envelope calculations using your data puts that over $80k. 
Or maybe an environmental plea will work.  Google "envirionmental impacts of petroleum" or something similar.  Print out the most emotional picture and tape it inside the fuel door of your double-cab off-road truck.
Or maybe social-ostracism will work: "foxstache is a big fat phoney!!"  I mean, you are on the MMM boards and your name has "stache" in it.  Shame on you!!

Really man, I'm saying all this to try to help you.  You know what you should do - good luck!


foxstache

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 01:08:46 PM »
SailAway: Thanks for your condolences regarding the Jeeps. I did love Jeep 1 quite a bit even though I always wanted to keep modding it, so it was very spendy (Just Empty Every Pocket, so they say). But I think you are right that I should take some time to really think things through. My wife's SUV can definitely serve as the "family car."

MM1970: Thank you for this. You are spot on that I have been making these decisions based on emotion. I am usually a pretty logical person, but for some reason this area of my life has been short circuiting my logic center the last couple years. I think part of it is that the "windfall" that paid off Jeep 1 was due to my kid brother's sudden death. We really bonded over the Jeep and I think that when it was totaled, it really threw me for a loop. You are right about not being allowed to buy another car. The problem is that truck 2 was supposed to be "the last one" and I am supposed to drive it until the wheels fall off, as I promised. It has about 6000 miles on it now, and the wheels are very much on. So, I'm in for it either way, I think.

takeahike: I definitely have a problem. I know the MMM community can help set me straight.

Nereo: Thank you, thank you! I really needed those lumps. You are absolutely right about the truck being ridiculous, I know it is. That wasted $50,000 really hit me hard. (Honestly, it's probably even a bit higher). So does the environmental aspect. I actually try to be environmentally conscious, and even wanted to practice environmental law when I was still in law school. And yes, I feel like a phony! There is definitely some cognitive dissonance going on here. My thinking and my actions are not in sync.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 01:12:21 PM by foxstache »

nereo

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 02:08:59 PM »
glad my lighthearted ridicule was well received :-)  Sometimes it doesn't always come through the way I intended in forums.

The problem is that truck 2 was supposed to be "the last one" and I am supposed to drive it until the wheels fall off, as I promised. It has about 6000 miles on it now, and the wheels are very much on. So, I'm in for it either way, I think.

I'd challenge this line of thinking.  The smart financial play here is to sell the truck ASAP (while it is worth the most it is ever going to be worth) and purchase something that is under $10k and gets a minimum of 30mpg (preferably 35mpg).  Driving it "until the wheels fall off" just means you'll spend an extra $1k+ in fuel every year plus $1k+ in depreciation every single year.  Get a better used car now and start reaping the benefits in 2015.  You wife should be able to get behind this plan.

mm1970

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 12:35:05 PM »
glad my lighthearted ridicule was well received :-)  Sometimes it doesn't always come through the way I intended in forums.

The problem is that truck 2 was supposed to be "the last one" and I am supposed to drive it until the wheels fall off, as I promised. It has about 6000 miles on it now, and the wheels are very much on. So, I'm in for it either way, I think.

I'd challenge this line of thinking.  The smart financial play here is to sell the truck ASAP (while it is worth the most it is ever going to be worth) and purchase something that is under $10k and gets a minimum of 30mpg (preferably 35mpg).  Driving it "until the wheels fall off" just means you'll spend an extra $1k+ in fuel every year plus $1k+ in depreciation every single year.  Get a better used car now and start reaping the benefits in 2015.  You wife should be able to get behind this plan.
I agree.  It would be ridiculous to keep this unneeded truck till the wheels fall off.  Seriously ridiculous.  Take your punches, medicine, whatever, but on a small used car that gets good gas mileage.

FLBiker

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 12:50:53 PM »
glad my lighthearted ridicule was well received :-)  Sometimes it doesn't always come through the way I intended in forums.

The problem is that truck 2 was supposed to be "the last one" and I am supposed to drive it until the wheels fall off, as I promised. It has about 6000 miles on it now, and the wheels are very much on. So, I'm in for it either way, I think.

I'd challenge this line of thinking.  The smart financial play here is to sell the truck ASAP (while it is worth the most it is ever going to be worth) and purchase something that is under $10k and gets a minimum of 30mpg (preferably 35mpg).  Driving it "until the wheels fall off" just means you'll spend an extra $1k+ in fuel every year plus $1k+ in depreciation every single year.  Get a better used car now and start reaping the benefits in 2015.  You wife should be able to get behind this plan.
+1

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Yet another car question (probably need a face punch)
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 12:56:44 PM »
Why do you need two cars? I'm not saying you don't, just that it hasn't been shown here.