My First Pain In Downsizing
We have been exploring trading in both of our cars and reducing ourselves to a one vehicle family. I have a company vehicle that I use Monday through Friday. It’s allowed to be used by my husband and can be utilized for limited personal use, so even giving up a car we technically have two vehicles.
We are going to carry negative equity with our vehicles, which means in order to reduce what we pay out each month we need to look at comparable vehicles in order to reduce the overall amount we are paying out each month. The goal is to reduce the overall monthly car payment output by no less than $200 and to enter a loan of 60 months or less.
We bought our cars while we lived in those flat lands of North Carolina. So our Toyota Camrys have great resale…in North Carolina, in West Virginia…it is not as impressive. Everyone in West Virginia wants a truck or SUV because of the weather we get and the mountains. We have talked with several dealers here and been more than frustrated at the offers for our cars. We are now talking with the dealer back home that we bought our Camrys from and our Corollas before that. Obviously they are offering more for trade, but now the pain comes.
If I go with a truck my payments with soar and the trucks available through Toyota are not suitable for pulling my future Tiny House. With that in mind, I am open to alternatives. A smaller truck works but gives little leg room for my sons. It gives us room to move building supplies for our build but still pushes the envelope for the payment.
So we are talking about SUV’s. I love Toyota, I am unabashedly in love with their trucks and SUV’s but as the saying goes you get what you pay for…and I am still pushing my payment higher than I want. The same dealer also sells Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge products. I would love to tell you we are getting a Dodge Heavy Duty truck but we are not, as that is far outside the current budget…but it would haul my Tiny House. Instead we are looking at a Jeep Patriot.
I really DO NOT want this vehicle. Let me explain why. It’s not about the vehicle. This is what I drive for my company car. I drive 8-10 hours a day in a Jeep Patriot. Granted it is the basic model and the only we have looked at has all the bells and whistles, but it is still a Jeep Patriot. I’ve put almost 50,000 miles on mine in less than a year with work, so it can take a beating, it’s not terribly uncomfortable and even the base model has some nice options. But I don’t want to jump out of my company vehicle into the very same thing. ARGH. The deal is not done, other options are being explored. Since I am not the primary driver I am actually being a big girl and letting my husband take lead but of all the issues to come up in the downsizing process this was the last one I expected.
I knew when we talked about reducing to one vehicle we would be making sacrifices. I expected fewer bells and whistles or perhaps a gently used vehicle to help with negative equity. I thought no heated seats or navigation. I didn’t think of this possibility.
What I am getting at (in the longest route possible) is the path to downsizing and cutting your budget is not always what you expect. Sometimes their are very pleasant surprises, like donating your items to charity or hosting a yard sale. Sometimes the surprise are less pleasant, like realizing something you let go of meant more than you realized or driving a personal car exactly like your company vehicle. The point is the decision to downsize and trim my budget is about an end goal. I can tolerate AMC Gremlin if it will help me reach financial independence by my goal date. I can live without (insert indulgence here) if it means I can retire at 55 instead of 65.
Focus on your goals, not the sacrifice to achieve them. Along the way find yourself little rewards. For instance…if the Jeep ends up our next vehicle, my husband owes me a date night. Keep smiling!