New Car, Used Car, Leased Car, Bought Car

Sorry about the post title…I just couldn’t resist doing a little take off Dr. Suess.  Hubby is back home safe and sound, and for a day and a half my father-in-law was here visiting.  While FIL was here, we got bombarded by all kinds of “normal” thinking in regards to finances, and I was on the receiving end of about an hour-long argument about the virtues of new vehicles.  UGH!

See, I have never in my life bought a vehicle new off the lot.  I remember back in the 6th or 7th grade, one of my teachers told the class how a brand new car loses about $3,000 of its value just by driving it off the car lot.  I’ve never had the money to take that large of a depreciation hit…or the money to actually buy a new vehicle LOL  The “newest” car I have ever bought was my 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 5-speed that I currently use to deliver pizzas, which I bought when it was two years old and had only 10,800 miles on it.  If I had paid cash for it, I would have gotten a truly great deal…but that’s another post.

Meanwhile, we are paying off the only vehicle hubby has ever bought brand new, the 2005 Chevy Colorado crew cab.  Hubby still feels a little pride in the idea he bought it new off the car lot, but that is lessened by how many months, YEARS even, we have been upside-down in that loan.  The upside-down status turned rightside up this past August, and yes I marked it on a calendar!  Hubby “bought” the truck in November of 2005.

In my opinion, the strangest financial advice my FIL gave us was to not pay any extra on the truck note during the holidays…we should go out and “spend money and live a little.”  No kidding, that is what he advised us to do!  He said we will “always” have a car/truck note, so why bust our tails making extra payments?  Hubby’s home from South Korea after a whole year and we don’t know how soon he’ll get deployed, so we should go enjoy ourselves.  I was so glad when after FIL left, hubby said he thought we should at least do half of our extra payment.

FIL also spent some time trying to explain to me why people lease new vehicles, using a business perspective.  I guess I sort of asked for it when I said no matter how anyone explained a lease to me, it STILL sounds like expensive car rental.  My dad tried the other year to explain how leasing a car was smart.  FIL took the “business angle” on the leasing argument, and it still doesn’t make much sense to me.  I finally got the situation defused when I said we don’t have a business so it sounds like we shouldn’t lease “yet.”

Don’t get me wrong, folks…I don’t actively dislike my FIL.  I just for the life of me can’t understand where he is coming from.  Hubby says his dad can afford to pay cash for his new vehicles, but finances them to keep his credit score up.  And because of the credit score mentality, he doesn’t understand why we want to pay the truck off early.  He probably doesn’t understand why we paid off the credit cards either. 

Meanwhile, hubby and I eagerly look forward to the day when the only debt we have left is our mortgage…right now that looks to be in March 2008 or maybe the first week of April.  Instead of making monster payments  on the truck note, we will be able to make monster deposits into our money market account to build up a nice 3-6 month emergency fund, then a new CHA fund, then a house remodel fund…and let’s not forget a nice tuition fund!  Right now that truck in our driveway represents an obstacle to our financial goals, and will continue to be just that until it is paid off.

Oh, all this week, the M-Network has blogged about cars, trucks, or the lack thereof, check it out: