One of the ways we keep our expenses down so that we can save more is keeping our transportation costs low. I drive a 2006 four door car, which was purchased with cash in 2008. Mr. Sam drives a truck, a necessity for our rental properties, which was purchased with cash in 2004. The truck is of the late 1990s vintage. So, I've had my car for six years and Mr. Sam has had his truck for 10 years now.
This year the average price of new car was $31,252. Additionally, Americans are keeping those expensive cars for more years (due in part to longer car loans).
Last year, my car needed a fair amount of work. The work was done, about $2000, and I was hopeful my car would be good for a few years. No such luck, I've just put another $1200 into my car and I have an outstanding transmission problem that needs to be addressed by a specialist (which means expensive in my mind, but its an unknown at this point).
While we were talking transmission for my car, Mr. Sam's truck has reached its end. He either needs a new engine or a new vehicle and the mechanic who looked at it said it really wasn't worth putting a new engine into the truck. The truck is also only two doors and we really need another four door vehicle for a variety of reasons.
So, we are on the hunt for a used four door truck (with a shorter bed). Interestingly, the prices on used (2010-2013) trucks are close to the price for a new one. I mentioned financing a purchase rather than depleting our savings account (which has already been battered by prior unplanned expenses this year), but Mr. Sam is strongly against having a car payment (I've trained him well). Which means that we will need to look for something that is older or figure out some other plan.