Growing up, we had a really fat cat named Pudge. Pudge was a part of our lives as long as I could remember. Guiness World Records may need to look in to it because he seemed to live forever. 22 years to be exact.
In Pudge's last few months/weeks, he wandered around the house and looked at everyone like "it's time. Please. I've had a good life, but I'm ready to go".
For the last six months, my car has been giving me the same look. I drove a 10 year old Subaru Outback. Everyone told me that Subaru's lasted forever, but I think 2002 must have been the exception to that rule because I've had nothing but problems with that car. I've put countless thousands in to it, and after the fifth check engine light came on in three weeks on Tuesday night, I was informed that it would probably be another $1,600 in the next 3-6 weeks. This is of course right after I just put $900 in to in it February.
The car also got 21 mpg and my monthly gas bill was about $200. Ouch.
After the final check engine light came on, my car looked at me and said "I'm just not that in to you". The huge hurdle for me to get past/over was that the car was paid for. BUT, with the new $1,600 estimate, I would have officially put in more money than the car (in total in 3 years) was worth. It also left us stranded on Sunday. Out in the middle of no where.
I had estimated that repairs cost me at least $100 per month, and if I could double the mpg I was getting, I would save $100 a month. That left me with a "break even" point of $200 a month.
Wednesday I found a used Honda Civic hybrid with 63,000 miles on it. With my trade in and a cash out of SIX WEEKS worth of vacation pay (my designation at work has changed and my company was required to cash out my saved vacation. Good timing) my payment came to $198 a month. $2 under my "break even" point.
Could I have stuck out the Outback since it was paid for? Sure. Do I already desperately miss the cargo space? Absolutely. But, given the amount of miles I drive each day (42), I needed something that was dependable. I needed something that wasn't going to strand Jack and I out in the middle of BFE. I don't care about pretty cars. I don't care about fancy interior controls or gadgets. But I do care about having something that isn't going to cost me almost $2k every 9-10 months to fix, just when it breaks again shortly thereafter.
If you need to repo my frugal card, I totally understand.