Soliciting opinions on car purchase
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    Default Soliciting opinions on car purchase

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to Frugal Village but very glad I've found it! I hope everyone's Sunday is off to a great start. I am a follower of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover principles and am truly blessed to have stumbled upon it quite by accident years ago.

    I am in a very blessed position in that I am about to be able to upgrade my car without incurring a car payment. I am looking to put myself in an SUV as the higher seating will be good for my back, and the all wheel drive will be good for the commuting I do. I'm not looking to put myself in anything terribly high end, but by definition, a new car is a high end thing

    I am struggling mightily with spending so much money on a purchase for myself. I am debt free, I save 15% per month and tithe at least 10% per month. I have one year's emergency in savings. I participate in adopt a family and other efforts several times per year. But I have the nagging feeling that this money for the car could go to the greater good. I am going to pray on it and ask my personal advisory board for some input, but what does everyone think?

    Thank you for your time.

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    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    If higher seating to ease back pain is the goal, then shop around a lot before you settle on a SUV. My experience with new cars only 2 years ago is that many vehicles now have that kind of seating, cheaper and more fuel efficient vehicles than the average SUV.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Contrary Housewife View Post
    If higher seating to ease back pain is the goal, then shop around a lot before you settle on a SUV. My experience with new cars only 2 years ago is that many vehicles now have that kind of seating, cheaper and more fuel efficient vehicles than the average SUV.
    It's the higher seating - getting up into a vehicle vs. getting down into a car, and having All Wheel Drive. I currently own a Honda Civic, which has been a great car, but even with traction control it's not an all weather car, and it's too low to the ground. But I agree - there are many many good options out there.

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    Ramsey has his guidelines. If you're following his plan, you'll know if you are in a position to buy the vehicle or not.

    If you're asking for input from people who don't follow his plan, then according to what you've advised, I would buy the vehicle. By definition it's selfish, but I almost always think of my family and myself first. If I need a new vehicle, and a pricier vehicle fits my needs best, then I'm going to get that vehicle. If that means I can't donate as much that month/year, so be it. If you're incredibly concerned about "the greater good", then you shouldn't have anything beyond a roof over your head and food on your plate, because everything else could be put to "better use" by people who don't even have those two things.

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    The idea of bring frugal and mindful of where your money goes is so that when we want to splurge. Only you know if your retirement is on track,if your job seems secure. D.R. preaches that when you live like no one else then later you can live like no one else.
    I have a van and my back wouldnt appreciate my DD's Saturn so I got a second one and will buy something similar. If I could I would buy a second Montana because that has been perfect. Personally,I am not an SUV fan. But if thats what you want? why not. I would suggest looking at dealer vehicles and see if you can get a used show vehicle. The price is discounted and you can warrenty it as new.

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    nagging feeling that this money for the car could go to the greater good
    I'm from the WW2 generation, I lived in the 'greater good' world of Gov Central Planning, rationed sugar, gasoline, tires, cars, tractors, etc. So the idea to "not splurge, not waste, avoid luxury" seems to be ingrained, I'll probably never get over it.

    We get new cars - and we get AWD. And tall vehicles, (1) I like the visibility of looking over traffic, and (2) I avoid having to climb up out of a car, I like to step out. IMO, the biggest saver (greater good) is to fully utilize the car, ie about 200,000 miles. Trading unnecessarily every few years is a waste of 1000s of pounds metals, rubber, plastic, upholstery. So, even tho we're wealthy and could afford lots of new cars, we maintain them well and keep them.

    As for the car payment decision - it can be independent of affordability. DR's point would be 'don't use easy payments to buy too much car". Beyond that point - make a financial decision, ie "highest and best" use of your money. We don't use cash for new cars, we finance them completely for 5 yrs and invest out own money elsewhere (where we earn a higher return).

    A reliable SUV w/ AWD? A personal favorite is the Subaru Forester. (If you take a drive to a Ski Lodge parking lot in the winter you'll see bunches of them.)

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    I would look at your goals as a family. Do you want to retire early, allow your spouse to work less hours, invest more, etc than look at how to grow your wealth. Paying cash for a car when you can get cheap financing is silly if you invest that money for better returns. But, when people finance they usually spend more so be careful with that.

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    Thank you all very much for your input. All very insightful perspectives.

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