:::: MENU ::::

Posts tagged with: car shopping

New Debt and a New to Us Car


I am going to sit down this weekend and put together a post on all my existing debt, I realize it is long overdue.  Unfortunately, I did have to accrue some new debt this past weekend.  I had to buy a car.

Back Story

About two years back, I got a great deal on a used car. We put miles on that car with all the back and forth between Virginia and Georgia over the past year, almost daily trips to the gym and now about 100 miles a day between my work commute and an hour drive one way to the gym…our used car served us well.  But about 7 weeks it died.  We have been making due with one car (my son’s 1996 Honda Accord) and borrowing a car (my Grandmother’s) one time a week when three of us had to be in different places.

The Search

I’ve spent the last 7 weeks trying to get by, and trying to determine the best plan moving forward and trying to save more money thinking I might could by a used car with cash. I have learned that I HATE car shopping and I hate the game of car shopping.

The Car

I settled on a 2011 Chevy Impala with 63K miles on it for $10K out the door (including everything, no other out of pocket costs.)  My uncle found it for me, knows the previous owner and made sure it was in good shape. It has new tires, new brakes and so on. Rather than cleaning out the emergency savings I have, I financed the entire $10K at 7% interest for 3 years.  My goal is to pay it off in 2.  I have scheduled payments of $400 a month automatically to start and will go up from there. (The required monthly payment is just at $308.) My uncle delivered it to me from Virginia and I am paying him back the $178 he paid for the tow trailer rental.


This is not the car of my dreams. It’s not one I would have even considered. But the price is right, it came with full service records, it’s a good size for our family while being reasonable on gas for all my driving and I am assured I can get 200K miles out of it if taken care of.  I spent a lot of time figuring out the best plan.

2011 Chevy Impala

Literally within the hour of driving away with this car this past Saturday, another tragedy struck our little family. More on that tomorrow.

We Went Car Shopping


I bet that headline made most of you gasp and think, oh what has she done!  Rest assured, this was pure fun with no buying intentions and it was SO MUCH FUN!  Every Wednesday the Princess and I have about an hour and a half of girl time in between dropping off and picking up various brothers at various places.  We normally go somewhere and get a soda or snack and catch up, do some tutoring or just goof off together.  But this week, I just really didn’t want to spend money and frankly, was pretty bored of our norm.  So I suggested we go look at cars!

With the twins so close to driving on their own, there’s lots of talk about dream cars and wishlists, etc.  So her dream car when she can drive is a Mini Cooper.  I personally have no experience with them so thought it would be a fun, free way to spend our time.  We chose a CarMax location on the way to our next pick up and stopped there for about an hour.  We walked in and told the salesperson we were just looking and he directed us to the Mini Coopers.  Wow, that was so much fun!  We got in each one, in the front, in the back, she sometimes even got in the trunk.  We pressed all the buttons, discussed looks and uses.  And after we finished there…

We went ALL over their lot, getting in cars, reading tags, sitting in cars and talking about whatever came to mind.  I thought I would get all “I’ve got to have this” or “this is going to be my next car” BUT I wasn’t.  Looking at the 1000s of dollars in each price just made me sick to my stomach.  So we had a really great time, and she does still want a Mini Cooper after now sitting in several.  But I am in no rush to buy another car.  What a change for me!

One other thing that came out of it, was the math of buying a car in cash.  She has about 5 1/2 years til she can drive independently.  So she picked out her favorite Mini and we sat down together and did the math on how much she would have to save in the approximately 66 months until she can drive.  It came out to saving $200 month.  What a great way for her to see the cost of a car.

We will definitely be doing this again, and I will be taking the boys for the same exercise.  They will get to sit in all the cars they want, pick their favorite and then we will work on the math for 1) buying a car in cash and 2) financing a car with different interest rates.  Not only will it be a GREAT math lesson but more importantly a life lesson that could last a life time and save them some of the errors that I have made.

So my recommendation…take your kids car shopping!