How A Reliable Car Can Save You Money in the Long Run

How a Reliable Car Saves You Money: At Peace With Money

Earlier this year, we said goodbye to a dear old friend – our Ferrari red ’92 Volvo station wagon. We bought it just after we had our first daughter, and since then, it has been with us through thick and thin. That is, until it got T-boned. All told, we owned and regularly used the car for over 20 years.

Having a good reliable car helped us save money in the long run. Because we were able to keep it so long, we eventually completely paid it off. We also saved big on the maintenance of our car. Volvos are known for their long-lasting engines, and ours was no exception to the rule. Though it did require repairs, it was not a finicky car the way others can be (we’re looking at you, Mercedes-Benz). We did our research before we purchased this car to make sure we didn’t buy something that would be too needy. We ended up saving a lot of money over time because we had to deal with fewer repairs. We’re also lucky to have an in-house mechanic; my husband did many of the repair jobs that were needed, which saved us still more money.

Ultimately, we got more than our money’s worth out of this car. My husband drove it to work, we drove the kids and their friends around in it, took it on many a road trip, let our kids drive it in their teenage years, and moved our oldest daughter to and from college many times. We wouldn’t have been able to keep it so long if it hadn’t been so reliable!

My advice is: do your research and buy a car that won’t need a lot of repairs! This article from Consumer Reports is a good place to start, but don’t stop there. Do more research, compare sources, and make sure your car purchase is a thoughtful one. If there’s anything I learned from owning the Volvo, it’s that your car choice can make a big difference in your finances. If you’d like more advice on purchasing a car, check out my other article about avoiding “car-shopping-brain” and making a purposeful choice.

I hope this advice inspires you to make a thoughtful car purchase, or simply appreciate your car. And next time you see someone driving a Volvo station wagon, admire their money savvy!


Image Sources: Court Prather, Clem Onojeghuo

Keep This Financial Advice in Mind While Car Shopping

Keep-This-Financial-Advice-in-Mind-When-Shopping-for-a-Car: At Peace with Money

Recently, my sister called me to ask for some financial advice while car shopping. I suggested that she keep in mind the big picture of her life. It’s easy to get distracted by the shiny new gadgets on a new car and to think you need them or that upgrading a bit won’t make much difference.

However, if you step back to remember what it is you are working towards, that can help you evaluate your financial priorities and clarify your decision-making. It may be important to you to drive a new energy efficient car, or maybe you’re working toward early retirement. Perhaps you have kids or parents you want to provide for.

During the car buying process,  it’s easy to get sucked in and forget those priorities. Suddenly you might find yourself thinking, “I deserve this fancy ride.” Sometimes salespeople attempt to entice you by spreading out payments over just one more year. All kinds of trickery and tomfoolery can be found at car dealerships!

Keep-this-in-mind-while-car-shopping At Peace With MoneyYour goal is to avoid that, and focus in on your needs and financial priorities. You do not want to be that person who is excited about their new car for the first 6 months– that is, until you realize you don’t have funds for that once-in-a-lifetime vacation. My sister realized her most important goals are to fund retirement and to keep her work schedule flexible. Keeping those life goals in mind helped her reach a decision she felt good about. Maintaining a sense of financial clarity goes a long way while car shopping!


Image Sources: Mitch Rosen, Tuce