We heard some of you guys are struggling at being awesome. Not a problem, that’s all we do. That’s why we’ve put together a short instructional video that will bring you one step closer to awesomeness. Here at the Vow of Practicality we want you to grow your wealth, so you can buy your freedom.
Amazing what a difference not making those payments has on your bottom line. There are further details we couldn’t fit in the video that you would want to consider before deciding to keep your car. How many miles does your car already have? Does it have 100k, which is just getting warmed up these days, or 225k, which could start getting very expensive, very soon. Does it come from a dependable maker? Do you have a Toyota Camry which will easily go to 200k, or are you driving a Saab? How much will repair costs be over this period? Your Ford will be a lot less expensive to repair than your BMW.
Most cars today will go absolutely trouble free to 150k miles, and the best cars will go to 200k without major issue. Regardless, in most instances if you pay yourself that new car payment you would have been making, a couple thousand dollars in repairs along the way won’t be a big deal. Think of it this way,,, your repair bills over “two years” will be less than a new cars depreciation over the first “two minutes” after purchase! So the key to making a practical choice is to either buy new dependable cars and keep them for long periods of time,,, or buy used dependable cars and drive them to the end of their useful lives. If you can pay cash for a dependable used car, and then make payments to yourself, you will come out way ahead.
Tip: Go onto Craigslist in your area, under “for sale” you will see “cars+trucks”. Look under “By Owner Only” and search for Toyota, selecting 100,000 as the maximum odometer reading, and $10,000 as the maximum price. You may be surprised at how many nice low mileage Toyota’s you can find for well under $10,000. Pay cash, or if that’s not practical or possible, put as much cash down as you can and try to pay it off in less than 18 months. At this point your vehicle has maybe 125K miles on it and is paid off. Now you have a car that should easily go another 3 or 4 years without any major issues, and you can pay yourself for the next 3 or 4 years instead of the bank.
Again, we emphasize buying from a dependable maker, not your 1978 Yugo.
Here is a J.D. Power dependability study for 2017.
Here are the J.D. Power dependability studies for earlier years.
The Magic Formula
There are two main, highly complex, difficult to understand principles involved in becoming financially awesome.
- Spend less money
- Make more money
- Invest the difference
We realize that was extremely complicated finance jargon and you probably didn’t fully understand what we we were trying to get across. Let us try again… now this time we really need you to focus and we’ll even use 33% less words! OK, here goes…
- Spend less
- Make more
- Invest it
Were you able to grasp the very complex idea we put before you?
Yes, of course you did… You’re reading this blog, so we already know you are a hyper-intelligent being. As silly as it may sound, millions of people on this planet fail to realize the truth of this very simple formula.
Constantly lower your spending by thinking about your happiness first.
For example, don’t buy a car to impress other people; buy a car to make yourself happy. For those taking the vow of practicality it will bring great happiness to them knowing they have bought a car for very little money and invested what they didn’t spend. If on the other hand, you are trying to impress other people with your spending, all you are really doing is hurting yourself. You are spending money that could have been used on getting you closer to financial freedom, on impressing other people. The irony of course, is that Financial Freedom is probably the most impressive thing one can accomplish. Would you be more impressed with a guy aged 40 that leases a Porsche 911 and works 60 hours a week, or a guy at 40 who drives a 5 year old Honda and just retired with well over a million in the bank? We would pick the retired guy every time.
We realize there may be years of brainwashing to be undone here… this is a consumer driven society where you are bombarded with advertising telling you that you just have to have certain things in order to be happy. But you don’t,,, and we think deep down you know it.
We aren’t saying you shouldn’t have nice things
We realize there are gear heads out there for whom cars is a real passion. If cars bring you great joy, then try to find one that gives you the most joy for your dollar. If you’re a photographer, try to find the camera that gives you the most joy for your dollar, etc. Be practical about it, realize these things depreciate quickly and that you will likely be just as happy with a model a couple years older and not lose your shirt in the process.
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C.J. is the blogger behind the Vow of Practicality. “Let’s grow your wealth, increase your productivity, and maximize your happiness.”