A few months after we got married we made our first “adult” purchase and excitedly drove off the lot in our new to us 2006 Chevy Cobalt. We called her the purple people eater for obvious reasons. We were even more excited when we paid the car off and she was officially ours. Seven years later we had problem after problem with the car. The computer in it was going out and we were unable to run tests on it to determine the cause of the problems. We dumped money into it hoping that would be the fix, but it didn’t.
With a newborn baby we decided we needed to upgrade to a more reliable and safe car with less problems. After searching for a few weeks we decided on a $16,000 Honda Accord. It turned out to be a bad decision, but I’ll explain why in a minute. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that car. The Bluetooth, tinted windows and the CVT engine were a nice upgrade from the Cobalt. And it was my favorite color for a car- dark gray! It was the price that turned out to be the problem.
A few months after purchasing the new car, we took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Class. If you don’t know who Dave Ramsey is, he is a financial coach that talks about getting out of debt. He has a 9 week course called Financial Peace University and has written many financial books. I knew about Dave for years from reading his book, but my husband wasn’t on board at the time, so we never were gazelle intense about getting out of debt. Taking the class together was when we really made the decision to become debt-free. Not just for us, but now we had motivation to do it for our new baby and our family.
After talking about it and praying about if for months, we decided the car had to go. It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it, or afford the payments, but it was holding us back on our bigger goals. After paying off our debt, our dream is to build a home. We realized that it would take us at least two years to pay the $16,000 loan off. That is a two years longer to pay our other debts and two years longer for us to get into a new home.
We made the tough decision and traded it in for a 2000 Toyota Camry. We got a great deal on it and it only has 120k miles. It is nothing special, but it is reliable and it gets us from point A to B safely. It’s hard going from a nice, newer car to an almost 20 year old beat up car, but it is worth it in the long run. Once we are out of debt we will upgrade our car again. For the meantime though, we will be gazelle intense about paying off our student loans and other debt.
Thanks for reading!