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Car fund

December 16, 2009

My car fund is going to be a major focus in 2010.  I currently have about $1,400.  Though it could be wiped out by a massive repair bill!  Sometimes I feel like it is a game — can my car last until my car fund is ready, or will some major problems crop up first?  I hope I win!

I take a very un-L.A. attitude towards cars:  I’m extremely disinterested in them, and I don’t know a lot about them, and I don’t care much about them.  This has allowed me to keep driving my college car (now 10 years old and approaching 100k miles) for years.  I’m convinced this has saved me s ton of money over the past few years.

Still, my car will be replaced eventually.  For an older car, it hasn’t need too many repairs:  $300 for brakes in the middle of the year, plus oil changes.  I spent $152 on registration, and that’s about it for the year.   It is due for a timing belt at $110k, and things could start breaking  any time.  I’m hoping it will stay healthy through 2010, and in 2011 we’ll consider a newer one.

I haven’t set a firm goal for my car fund, but I can tell you all my extra cash (post honeymoon, post wedding) will be going there.  I’m looking to spend about $15k on a used something or other, but that is very much TBD.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2009 10:04 am

    That sounds like a great plan to me – I don’t care for the newest models or next best thing, my car does a great job and when I’m ready for a new car I will most likely buy used. Hopefully your current car holds out until you get enough funds to buy another one!

  2. December 16, 2009 11:20 am

    Sounds like you’re on your way! When you do start to look for a car, I found AutoTrader.com to be really helpful. (Kind of a local eBay/craigslist for cars.) I do enjoy cars, and I found my dream car on AT(a Mini Cooper convertible with a stick shift!) without too many miles on it for $16,500 after some negotiating. I probably could have gone with a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic and saved some cash, but I enjoy driving it every day, so for me it was still a good deal.

  3. December 16, 2009 3:50 pm

    You are so lucky you had a car – I had about 2 weeks to find and buy a car. I went with new because I know nothing about cars and knew I’d get swindled on a used car. I got screwed on financing because my credit was laughably short & I had no down payment. The only thing I did right was chose a no-haggle dealership, so I got a decent price.

    Let us know how the plan progresses!

    • SP permalink*
      December 16, 2009 5:51 pm

      It would have been so stressful to buy a car right away! Most people I know had college cars, but most also upgraded within a year or so.

      The plan is more of a non-plan for now: start saving like mad and keep reminding myself that I’ll get a newer one eventually and mine is fine for now.

  4. December 17, 2009 2:59 am

    If your car only has 100K miles… I think it’s just a baby!

    My car has 223K miles. I’ve been spending around $1,000 per year in repairs. My mom raised the possibility of me getting a new car a few times (mostly because she’s worried about me driving such an old car), but I’d rather hold on to it as long as I can. Not to mention, I’ve gotten quite attached to my Honda. 🙂

    If you take care of your car and don’t get into any accidents, I think it still at least have 50K in it. What kind of car is it? Japanese / German?

    • December 17, 2009 8:31 am

      American. Yeah, my dad was big into “buy american” and helped me pick it out back in the day.

      It will probably last awhile — I think we’ll know a lot more about our plans in a year or so, and the decision will become clear. I worry about driving an old car on road trips, but not so much on my daily commute

      • December 17, 2009 10:02 pm

        Mine is American as well, and I plan to drive it to 200k, it is at 100k now. I spend about $1200-2000/year to keep it running. But that is cheaper than financing a car would be + full insurance I’d have to have while financing. And there is just NO WAY I’d be able to pay cash for my car.

        It is a 2002, and I’m planning on driving it until 2016. We’ll see. I may change my mind in a few years, but I hope that it lasts! =)

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