As a teen, I always wondered what sort of car I would wind up with. For a while, I hoped for something at least slightly fast and sporty. I don’t think I could have predicted that I would soon be getting around in a 1990 Honda Accord with over 200k miles in it. Yes, I own a beater, by any definition of the word.
Yes, I certainly have a beater. It is fairly reliable, working most of the time, but issues to crop up from time to time. I blow coolant hoses left and right, requiring seemingly simple yet annoying repairs to get working again. As I drive, the whole car shakes, rattles, and leaks liquid randomly.
If this is the case, why I am so glad to own this car? The reason can be summed up in a word: cheap. This car gets me around everywhere I need for next to nothing. This car gets me around wherever I need to go. It has even survived a couple long distance road trips. In short, it does everything I need in a car.
Yes, my car does everything it needs, at a very low cost to me. I paid $1500 in cash for the car back when I was 16, and have been driving it for 6 years now. Even factoring in the repairs I’ve had to do, its still amazingly cheap.
That’s not the whole picture, of course. I have to pay insurance, which in my case is extremely cheap. I have the minimum amount of insurance required by law, which is quite inexpensive overall. This saves me even more money month after month.
Now, think about a new car. A brand new car would require payments, full insurance, and other expenses. While I would probably spend less in repairs, I still save a lot of money over time by keeping the clunker.
Of course, this isn’t going to work for everyone. I even wish for a better car at times, but when I think how much freedom I have in my finances because of the clunker, I smile a bit to myself and continue driving. Think about it, and you might just free up a lot of cash each month.