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Journey to Financial Freedom: Driving the Clunker

Driving the Clunker
Image by Bogdan Suditu

If you struggle with the sin of covetousness. . .you might want to move on right now. Flee, I say, flee! Because I've got the kind of car that is going to make you so jealous. I don't want to be a stumbling block to anyone, you know.

With that disclaimer, let me tell you about my car, the Little Mean Green Nissan. Little Mean Green has been in the family for about eleven years or so now, although he wasn't new when he came to us. He actually became a teenager this year! That's right--my car is the super cool age of thirteen! (Are you swooning yet?)

Little Mean Green is unique. He has special markings on his back (where I backed into a tree--hey, I just didn't see it!), on his front (where I bumped into a light pole--thought I had enough room!), and his top (where an entire stop sign skidded across him--I was trying to teach my sister to drive a stick).

The lining on his ceiling is held jauntily in place with thumbtacks where my small children decided to pull it from its place. It's hard to close his trunk properly--and his little door where you put gas in? You musn't ever, ever close it all the way or you can't get it back open. Even when a helpful gentleman at the gas station uses his credit card, keys and pocket knife to try to help you.

Oh, and his size. I haven't mentioned his size! Little Mean Green is the cutest little two door coupe you ever did see! We're so cozy with our two car seats jammed in the backseat. It's a little tricky getting kids in and out--especially when one seat is still rear facing, but did I mention how cozy it is?

OK, OK. I guess I might have been exaggerating a little bit about his super coolness. A bit. In fact, maybe some of you are even wondering, "Why is she driving a car like this?" It's OK, I won't tell him you asked.

Well, there's a few reasons.

First, he's paid for.

Second, he suits our needs for the time being.

Third, he's paid for.

If you've heard of Dave Ramsey you're familiar with the saying, "We're living like no one else, so that later we can live like no one else." Yep, some people think it's totally crazy that we're driving this old, beat-up car that is so tiny when we have a family of four (and one on the way!). But, I've got a soft spot in my heart for Little Mean Green. He's served us well, and, by George. . .he's paid for.

Besides, in a couple of months we're upgrading! Yes, we'll be moving on to our currently parked, but slightly more spacious 1994 Buick Regal. Yeah, baby! Now we just need to come up with a name for him. Oh yeah--he's paid for, too.

On a completely unrelated sidenote: a new blogging friend is hosting an incredible giveaway today. For more details click here!

For more ideas on how to save money, please visit Life as Mom for Frugal Friday!


Stephanie said...

I love it! We have a '91 Nissan and things keep falling apart, but like you said, "It's paid for!" We determined several years ago to never have a car payment again. That might mean that we always drive clunkers, however. Saving for a car has never been easy to do, but we're sticking with our plan! Love this post!!

Suzanne said...

My husband and I used to go to church with a couple who always drove brand-new, gorgeous cars. We'd drive up in our paint-peeling, no a/c, 15-year old Honda and they'd make some comment (meant to be funny.) It would make me so mad, but I'd always think, "Paid for. Paid for." We saved for about 3 years and now we're driving another paid for car, but it's only 6 years old! The clunkers are worth it! It felt *so good* to be able to walk in and pay cash for a car! (Even if it was another small car; we own every bit of it!)

Brooke said...

i am jealous! :)

i drive a 7 year old car (paid for) with 107K miles on it.

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

Well, look at us! A whole group of crazy people.

@ Stephanie: Our goal is the same--to never have a car payment.

@ Suzanne: I'm so sorry people were rude enough to make fun of your "special" car! You're right, you should definitely feed good about it.

@ Brooke: Yep, I've gotcha beat. But don't worry, just hang in there a little longer and you can have a car as cool as mine. LOL.

Sarah H. said...

Cool post! My husband and I just started "paying" ourselves monthly car payments so we can buy our next car with cash (hopefully still several years from now).

Anonymous said...

Cute post!

My 17 year old son gets the privilege of driving a little GMC pick up that's older than HE is!LOL She ain't pretty to look at, but she runs, AND she's paid for;)

Brianna @ Heart(h) Management said...

@ Sarah H.: This will be our next step. The Happy Housewife wrote an excellent article about this here--http://www.thehappyhousewife.com/buying-a-newer-car-for-cash/.

@ Anonymous: You know. . .this is something that really get me. I don't agree with people driving cars they can't afford, but when it comes to buying snazzy new vehicles for teenagers? Is that really necessary? Or even good for them? I kinda don't think so.

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