Cheap used cars are not sexy. They will not turn heads on the street. What they will do is make you rich and teach you life lessons!
In America we love our vehicles. Often in our 20’s we look at someone with a nice car and think they must be doing really well. There is an image of success associated with a nice ride. While there is nothing wrong with owning a great vehicle, I am so grateful to have owned cheap used cars throughout my 20’s.
My current car is a 2006 Subaru Legacy with 137K miles on it. I live in Colorado and this thing crushes the snow. Many times, I have driven by larger fancier cars that have been spinning out while my go cart glides over the ice with AWD!
At first, I drove my car out of necessity now I drive it by choice. My car is now worth less then what I put away in savings and investments every month! Full disclosure I am in a two-car family my wife owns a 2012 Subaru Legacy. We even plan to upgrade her ride in 2019 to a luxury vehicle…crazy right!
I will keep my little beast for as long as I can though as our second vehicle. Check out 7 reasons why driving cheap used cars has been a blessing in disguise for me in my 20’s!
1.) Keep Your Ego In Check Daily
Creating a financial plan and sticking to it works! My wife and I started out with a vision of what we wanted to do with the money we earn and have been making the most out of it since graduating college. It is easy to login to the investment accounts and do a monthly net worth tracking update and feel like a genius in this bull market.
I would be very naïve to believe I know it all this early in my investing career! This is where my little beast keeps my ego in check each morning. Getting into my car I remember where I started and that I need to check the ego and work hard during the day.
2.) Learn About Cars in A Clueless World
My generation is savvy when it comes to technology but not so much when it comes to cars. When you pay someone else a premium to drive a new ride every three year’s you won’t ever deal with car issues. How will you learn about how your car works?
Driving cheap used cars, you will eventually run into issues. Learning what causes these issues is a life skill that you can keep forever. Not only will you know what is going wrong when something breaks, but you will also know how much it should cost to get repaired. Never get ripped off again by car dealerships or mechanics!
3.) Cheap Insurance & Registration
This one is self-explanatory cheaper car = cheaper ongoing costs. Each year your overhead stays low to stay on the road. Registration will be based off the value of the car I paid $86 dollars last year.
As far as insurance goes you can shop for a great rate. You are insuring yourself from medical bills and hitting other people’s cars more so then your car at this point.
4.) No Car Payments
No car payment = more money in your pocket. Seeing a pattern here? More money flows into your pocket every month by driving a cheaper car. Make sure this extra money finds its way to debt pay down or investments.
5.) Learn the true meaning of “big hat no cattle”.
It is so easy to get a new car if you want one. If you have a couple thousand dollars you can leave the dealership with a new ride and a large monthly payment. Most of the cars on the road are owned by banks.
If you don’t have the title to the vehicle you don’t own the car. About 43% of the entire adult population in the U.S. have auto loans. So, when you are driving around realize that just because your car is not the nicest on the road you may have more “cattle” then the person in the nice car a lane over.
6.) Make sure that girl or guy you take out likes you!
Want a true test of love, pick up your hot date in a cheap used car. I may be biased as I have already locked down my dream girl, but I would not want someone judging me on my car. If you have a great time and he/she calls you back, you may have found a keeper!
7.) Learn to appreciate what you have and stay motivated for what you don’t.
As the years go by I have really come to appreciate what I have. My car is no different, it has taught me a lot. Each day I am grateful that I have a high-quality car that has run for all these years. It motivates me to keep working hard for my goals down the road.
One day I will drive a new ride and my car will be in the junk yard. Hopefully I will have a great appreciation for the new car and will have learned a lot from my time driving the beater. If you are in your 20’s and motivated to get ahead I would recommend you drive cheap used cars for as long as you can.
What Are Your Thoughts?
- What type of car do you own?
- Did any of the points hit home with you?
- When do you plan to upgrade from your current ride?