A testimony from Carrie from Natural Moms Talk Radio
Today we drove our “new to us” Ford Expedition (with room for eight passengers) off the lot. We’ve been waiting for this day for over two years and we’re so excited that we paid cash for it!
You see, we have six children and ever since our youngest was born 16 months ago, we have not fit into my beloved Toyota Sienna minivan. This means that when we went somewhere as a family, we had to take two cars–a major inconvenience.
During my pregnancy with our sixth, we saved all the cash we could, and thought we would be able to buy a bigger car by the time baby was a few months old. Unfortunately, the tax man came knocking that year, and we wiped out every cent of our savings.
My husband and I are both self-employed, but with several little deductions we weren’t expecting to owe much in taxes. Sadly, we miscalculated and ended up having to pay a lot more than we were expecting. However, we had a very good year! While on the one hand we were thankful that we were able to pay our taxes by stroking a check to Uncle Sam, we were so disappointed not to be getting our larger car anytime soon.
We were back at zero. It was discouraging at first.
My husband and I have weekly budget meetings, so we hunkered down and started thinking of all the different ways we could cut spending and get our savings back up.
Here’s how we rebuilt our savings:
- Had a yard sale.
- Sold a ton of stuff on Craigslist.
- I reduced the grocery budget by: couponing, shopping at ALDI twice a month instead of weekly, and eating less meat.
- We limited eating out to once a month, and only where kids eat free.
- For entertainment we did inexpensive stuff like: stay at home movie night with old fashioned popcorn, visited the library a lot, and played board games.
- Made lattes at home.
- Stopped spending on clothing unless it was half price day at the thrift store.
- Sold a ton of books on Amazon.com.
- Started eBaying again — even the kids got in on it and made money selling old toys!
My husband and I are so relieved to have a car that fits everyone in our family and no debt! In fact, once we sell our Sienna, we’ll have a nice sized “car savings” account again.
Financial Peace University graduates, we ascribe to Dave Ramsey’s “How to Drive a New Car with No Debt” plan. We’ll continue to put money aside each month, and buy a newer large family vehicle every six months or so, until we’re driving something with low miles. And who knows, in a few months we may need a nine-seater!
Carrie is a wife and homeschooling mom of six, a writer and reader of great books. She blogs about living more naturally at Natural Moms Talk Radio.
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What an inspiring post. You go girl!
Congrats on the vehicle and on the new baby coming! We only have 3(kids) and still have 1 car payment, but with 0% interest. However my husbands cars have all been paid cash for the last 10 years. We have had 2 go over 200K while owning them. The current car we hope to have for a few more years to come. Knowing we owe nothing on it is such a great feeling too!
I love that drive free, retire rich video! I show it to all of my Dave Ramsey coaching clients!
My wife and I just paid cash for a new car last week – we saved for 3 years and it was pretty awesome to buy something that isn’t going to need repair each month! It’s so much smoother and quieter when you drive it too!
Yes, it IS awesome! Every time I see the new truck I get a surge of happiness.
Fortunately, I’ve had nothing but good experiences driving used cars. My last car was a Toyota Sienna. We bought it with a couple thousand miles on it from the dealer, then sold it at 180K miles. We never had a bit of trouble from it. So new car ownership is something I’ve never really considered.
Sorry…not a “new” car, it was new to us. LOL. It had about 39,000 miles on it but it was a 2011 car! It is the newest one we’ve ever owned.
I’m with you on the used cars! We love them. The car we got rid of was ’99 Altima with 180,000 miles too! We’ve got a ’97 Accord that is trucking along at 190,000 miles…I’m hoping we can keep him (yes, we named him Dave, after Dave Ramsey…lol) for at least another year or two.
John E Stone IV says
Awesome! I love the weekly budget meeting idea. We have been doing that once a month just to go over the budget, but weekly might be the way to go.
Congratulations! Doesn’t it feel great? We actually just bought a Nissan Armada this evening. Everyone seems to think that children are so expensive, so it felt great to go to the dealership with our 4 kids 9 and under (plus one who’s going to arrive in a few weeks) and pay cash for a car.
Wow how inspiring.
Susan (FrugaLouis) says
Congratulations! I have a question – do you really mean to purchase a new-to-you vehicle every six months? That seems like a lot of time and money (tax on the new car, etc) out the door on a really frequent basis. Other than the timeline, I think the idea is great!
I agree, did I read right that you want to purchase a new to you vehicle every 6 months? I’m not sure what the fees are where you live to transfer title, plates, and taxes but here they are quite expensive. But I definitely applaud them for being able to do that. It is wonderful to not have a car payment! Congrats!!
Sorry to confuse! We did plan on upgrading a couple of times until our family vehicle was one with fewer miles. Incidentally shortly after writing this article we found out we were expecting so now we’re saving for a 9 seater. 🙂
Congratulations! In almost 10 years of marriage hubby and I have paid cash for 3 new-to-us cars. Setting aside an amount into a car fund monthly certainly isn’t exciting, but writing that check for a new vehicle sure is thrilling!
Great job!!! Two weeks ago my husband and I bought an SUV with cash. We are debt free and our next goal is cash for a house. 🙂
This is a cool post. please keep updating us with new post every 6 months to let us know of your progress.
Good for you, such an inspiration! Love that Dave Ramsey!
Sorry meant to add a new comment! 🙂
Kellie D. says
Drive Free and Retire Rich…Love Dave Ramsey!