Before we dive in, we have some news! We’ve been on one podcast and mentioned in another. 🙂 I love podcasts, so this was tremendous fun. Enjoy!
Do you listen to the Stacking Benjamins podcast? If not, you’re missing out. Check out this episode right meow. (Stick around for the end and you’ll hear personal finance gurus talking about us. Whaaaaa? Lil’ ole Two Cup House?)
Check out the Marriage, Kids and Money podcast? Check out the episode in which we celebrate our mortgage freedom with Andy Hill!
On the chopping block today? Cars!
In 2016, we spent $8,128.87 on car-related expenses. Here’s everything included in that total:
- tags for three cars,
- insurance for three cars,
- two oil changes, gas, shocks, struts, timing belt, and tires for one gas-powered car.*
Two of the three cars are electric smart cars, so the cost for “fuel” for charging our electric cars is not included.
How We Ended Up With Three Cars
Way back in 2014, before we learned about how to not waste money…
Garrett and I drove to our respective offices. We sold one gas-powered car and leased two electric cars to replace it thinking that we’d decrease the total cost of ownership and impact on the planet.
Fast forward to 2017, I work from home 100% of the time and Garrett works from home about 50% of the time. Having three cars was excessive before, but now it’s downright absurd.
Well, the day our leases ended has come and gone. We returned our two smart cars to the dealership.
Did you know that you have to pay a fee to turn a car in at the end of its lease? Lest we not forget the taxes–we had to pay taxes on that fee.
Goodbye, cars! We <3 you.
Because we pay auto insurance annually in June, we anticipate a refund. Small miracles.
Lease return fees: $840
Estimated refund from the insurance company: $475
Headache Factor associated with leased cars: 11/10
*After what we invested in the Volvo last year, we’d better make it $300k miles. LOL
Since we own the Volvo free and clear, the ongoing expenses include insurance, gas, tags, oil changes, tires, and whatever stuff breaks or burns out. We have insurance, gas, tags, and oil changes in our household budget for 2017, but we didn’t budget for any repairs–that’s what the emergency fund is for.
Anticipated car-related expenses for 2017: $2,800
Are you getting another car?
We have no plans to obtain another car–they are way too expensive. Spending the last two years immersed in the personal finance blogosphere has taught us to acquire assets NOT liabilities. Cars are the the worst kind of liability IMHO.
What about repairs and maintenance?
Easy. Rent a nearly new car for $35 from Enterprise. When you factor in the total cost of those leases we had, we could rent a car for a week every month and we’d still spend less than when we had the smart cars.
How will you get to the gym?
You stumbled on our little dirty secret. We used to drive 1.5 miles to the gym. That’s embarrassing, but I’m glad I’m coming clean. We have bikes. Also, we have legs. We can use human power to workout. Imagine that.
Doesn’t sound half bad. What are the other benefits?
What I’m looking forward to most about having one car is the reduction in the Headache Factor. I could give you a litany of reasons why having multiple cars is a drag, but if you have even just one car, you know how much of a headache it can be.
Simplifying every area of our lives has been wonderful. Where there used to be headaches, we have gratitude. I am grateful for our Volvo. It’s 10 years old and PAID FOR. Also, it has heated seats and a CD player–that’s about the extent of the luxury. But it’s paid for and with all of that preventative maintenance* last year, we should be able to enjoy it for years to come.