Fast forward to last year. We had traded in the Malibu Maxx (which we still regret) on an Uplander to make traveling with three dogs, a child, two adults and a cat easier. We still only had one car, and my husband's unreliable truck, but knew that with Elliott starting school, we needed a second car. We live approximately 17 miles from his school. The bus is an option, but not one I wanted to use. It was just too much time away, and since he really needs a lot of sleep, it would have cut too much into our family time. So we bought a 2005 Impala, but still ended up financing part of it.
We've had that car for about 1.5 years now, and the Uplander for 4.5 years. The Impala has started showing signs of a possible transmission problems, especially when it's hot out, so we decided to look around at cars. After checking out dealerships, and seeing what the new cars were like, and what their prices were like, we decided to look at much older cars instead. We had about $2200 saved for car repairs, because we knew that the transmission is a pretty regular problem on the Impala we have, and it hasn't been replaced yet (it's got around 120K miles on it).
After looking at a few different trucks under $3000 (we decided we could use part of our savings if we needed to), we were about to give up on getting my husband a truck like he wanted, and started looking at cars. Then we found a 1998 Toyota Tacoma. It has 232,000 miles on it, but it runs great and has been well taken care of. We paid $1700 for it. And really, even if it doesn't last that long, it's still a better investment than any other car we've ever bought. We've ended up losing quite a bit more than $1700 on every other car we've had (like I said, on the Ram, we lost $5000 on it, not counting the year and a half that my husband had paid over $500 a month). My husband has done just a few things to the Tacoma since he bought it, like changing spark plugs, and fixing the bumper. He's also replaced the radio, but that's all been pretty cheap (he used the radio out of his S10). He really likes it, and it feels great to not have a car payment on it!
|My husband's "new" truck!|