A testimony by Kate from San Diego Deals and Steals
In 2011, we completed our second adoption process – this time completely debt free! One of the ways we did this was by praying my husband’s 99 Camry (with over 250,000 miles and a cracked radiator) would last just a bit longer.
Since we were fundraising for our adoption, we didn’t want to spend any extra on anything unless we absolutely had to. However, as soon as we completed our adoption, our next financial move was to save for a slight upgrade to his car.
We put the money we had been putting in our “adoption fund” into the “newish car fund”. Here are some of the ways we saved:
- working odd jobs
- continuing to cut back our grocery budget and cooking at home from scratch
- enjoying free entertainment – playing at the park, renting free movies, street fairs, etc.
- the little bit of money I made from my blog
- random, unexpected commission checks (hubby is a freelance artist and writer – his commission check was more than we anticipated this year so we got to our goal six months early!)
It all added up and we saved just over $6,000 without touching our emergency fund!
Our goal was to spend less than $6000 and not include the money we would make from our old car sale. We found a 2004 VW Passat with a little over 100,000 miles (that may seem like an old car to some – but it was dreamy for us!) and purchased it for just under $5,500.
Thank goodness he holds none of his self-worth in what he drives! We have lots of friends with much nicer cars, but he doesn’t care. He says, “Ours is paid for!” (Love him for that).
His new car also gets better gas mileage so he will save about $1 each day on his 40+ mile commute. That is going to help as we continue to work on our Baby Steps. We also sold our car (with full disclosure) for $1,700 the very low blue book value – but we wanted to be honest with our sale.
I know many people would have thought nothing of financing a $20,000 car with that $6,000 down. Instead, we just bought a less expensive car and put the money leftover (the extra $500 from our car savings and the $1,700 from the sale of his old car) into our Emergency Fund savings in the bank.
Kate lives in San Diego CA with her husband Harry, and kids, Josie (homemade), Silas (handpicked from Russia), and Charlotte (handpicked domestically). She is passionate about adoption and having fun in San Diego frugally. You can see more at San Diego Deals and Steals where she blogs about both.
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