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Hey frugal folk:)

We have owned a farm for the past 8 yrs and are selling out this summer after a long, hard go of it. My husband has a great job now with a terrific outlook for the future....but we are leaving the farm with a bit of debt so things will be a little tight for a while. His job is 3rd shift so we are thinking about becoming a 1 car family, since he's pretty much gone while me & the kids are sleeping. Here's our situation:

* Own a Toyota Tundra, no loan/payment on it. It KBB for $6,000ish.
* Have a $17,000 ($340/month) loan on a Mazda5 mini-minivan. It KBB for about $17,000, so break even.

The Mazda is a great car for our 2 kids and it gets pretty great gas mileage, but $340 is a big payment for us. The tundra gets crappy mileage and doesn't fit our family very comfortably.

Should we,
a. sell the truck, sell the mazda. pay off mazda loan, use $6,000 to buy a cheap car.

b. sell the truck, pay down mazda loan and keep mazda

c. sell truck, pay mazda down and sell mazda at a later date when its worth more than we owe?

d. sell truck, buy a more commuter friendly 2nd car and keep the mazda in case I decide to find a part time job?
Thanks for your help!!
 

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My vote is to sell the truck, buy a little commuter car.

Once the commuter car seems to be holding up, not too bad of a beater, sell the Mazda and buy another little commuter car. (no payments, buy within the selling price of Mazda)

Then you have two cars and no car payment.

Before you buy the second car you could see how long you can swing it with just one vehicle.
 

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What year are the cars? Any warranty left on the mazda?

*putting my Greebo hat on*

Since you have no use for a second car, I would say go ahead and become a 1 car family.

I would recommend selling both and buying a vehicle that currently supports more your lifestyle.
You could probably buy a used minivan for 5-6k range that is 5-8 years old.
 

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I agree with a 1 car family. We did it for almost 3 years and it wasn't that bad. I had two kids and DH worked days.

I would sell both cars and find something for 6K or less.
 

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~If you sell the Tundra you think you will get $6000? How much in operating and ownership expenses, exactly, can you save by going to just the Mazda? Remember to add in registration, insurance, oil changes, tires, car washes and any other maintenance that you usually spend on that vehicle.
You may find that the paid-for Tundra is eating up almost as much month as the payment on the new Mazda. With it gone, the payment on the car that works well for your family won't be intimidating at all.
I know I've ran the numbers for our situation and, even though both our cars are paid for, we'd still save over $150 a month in other costs by going to one vehicle.
Something else to consider, you may be able to refinance your auto loan. Check into it!~
 

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Do you have a real use for a truck? If you're going to sell it and then find out you need it and have to buy another one, there's not much point.

Don't count on getting book value for the truck. The last time gas was $4/gallon, we got our truck deeply discounted, from a dealer no less. It's a popular model (Chevy Avalanche) and had low miles, excellent condition, etc, but had sat on the lot for months at a busy urban dealership. Trucks just weren't moving due to gas prices, and we were lucky enough to hit the bottom of the market at that time. Lousy for sellers, great for buyers. We wouldn't have paid book value for our truck since it was a want more than a need.

Our truck tows our pop up trailer. We also need 4WD or AWD to get to our house in the winter. Will you have any considerations like that, or do you basically need a commuter and a grocery-getter?

Good luck with your decision. If you can, maybe make your move and then let the dust settle for a couple months. It may be clearer then what your car needs will be.
 

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If you have no need for the truck, sell it.

If you choose to use the sale money from the truck to pay down on your Mazda, see if you can do a lump sum payment and renegotiate your car loan keeping the remaining months the same but with a lower monthly payment. Even if you keep up the $340/month - you will not have the truck bills to worry about: maintenance, gas, insurance etc.

That is if you really like your Mazda5 and it has a lot of life left in it. The pro of this - you know where its been and whats left in it.

If you're more concerned about the finances - I second krbshappy's idea of selling truck, buying a beater and making sure it will last, trying to live with use of one car and then decide from there if you should repeat with your Mazda. The end goal is to have one reliable car.
 

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Personally, I would sell the truck and get something with good gas mileage. If your area's got a great transit system, I'd check into that. If not, I would leave open the option for a possible second car that also has good gas mileage.
 

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Sounds like they way your two schedules work, it would be possible that you could manage with only one car. Good luck! :)
 

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Is your husband willing / able to call in for transport problems if your one car decides not to work when he is running right-on-time and turns the key?

Maybe save up $5,000 or so, sell the Mazda, buy a commuter-mobile, keep the truck to drive to work once / week and otherwise as a reserve vehicle. Or even just sell the Mazda and finance something at around $5,000 for a $150 or so payment and keep the truck.

Especially if you can safely transport the kids in the truck - you'll save minutes of emergency response time if you need to take one to the ER are zero-dark-thirty while your proposed one car is at your husband's work parking lot.
 
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