I have one only one car payment left.
In one week my car will be paid off. I am so looking forward to having it paid off and having one less bill each month.
However, I’m looking at new cars already. Pretty dumb, isn’t it? I’ve been paying on my car for three years, the last year I’ve been looking forward to the day it was paid off, and as soon as I’m on the verge of having it done and over with I begin thinking of getting a new one.
Something has lead up to this though. That would be my super sweet baby brother, Ryan. Last May he turned 16, legal driving age in the state of CA, but he still has not gotten his drivers license. About 2 weeks ago our grandma told me that she had asked him when he was planning on getting his license and what he was going to do for a car. He still needs to take drivers training, so I told grandma that if he needs practice behind the wheel I can take him out driving on weekends, thats when she told me that he had said he wants MY car. I asked “Oh, he wants a Ford Explorer?” she said “No. Not A Ford Explorer. YOUR Ford Explorer.” I said “HAH!”
Then, I gave it some thought.
Ryan will be graduating from high school next June. 16 months from now. My initial thought was that for the next 16 months I would put the equivalent of my car payment into a high interest savings account, and then next June I would have a FAT down payment on a new car for myself and I could give my current car to Ryan for his graduation. He’ll most likely be going to college outside of the area and will need a decent car to come home on weekends. He’s the star player on his high school football team and his coach has been approached by a number of scouts from colleges, but they can’t scout him until his senior year (Is there some law on this or something? I don’t really know too much about sports - especially college sports - but a friend of mine said that he “can’t” be scouted until his senior year). Anyways... his coach has been approached by CSU Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and a couple others that I don’t recall. I do know that one of his top choices would be Fresno. I guess thy have a good football program or something? Either way, if he’s outside of the Sacramento he’s going to need a decent car to be able to come home on the weekends. Or, at least I’ll want him to be able to come home on the weekends.
So, then I got the genius idea to start looking at cars online to get an idea of what I may want for myself, what price range I would be looking at, etc. Of course, the cars I like are at least TWICE what I paid for my current car (I got a SUPER SWEET deal on it 3 years ago). And, in the process of doing so it occured to me that he may very well get a car before graduation so perhaps I should give him my car sooner than next year. I talked to our dad about this idea and he said he may be willing to work something out with me - I interpret that as him possibly thinking of buying the car from me for my brother. BUT as great of a guy as our dad is, he’s also incredibly cheap. I know he’ll try to low ball me. I looked up the Kelly Blue Book on my car. Retail value on it is about $7,000, private party resale value is about $6,000 and trade in value is about $3,000. I know my dad would not be willing to fork over the bucks for the retail or private party value. MAYBE the trade in value, but thats a long shot. I do want to do this for Ryan, he’s a good kid and I am in the position to be able to do something like this for him. I would prefer to keep my money, maybe take a trip to Ireland, France or Italy (three of the places I most want to see) but I also want to help him.
So, I’m looking at used cars. So far my top 3 picks are a 2000 Infiniti QX4, a 2002 Ford Explorer, and a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer. Of course, I haven’t researched each of them yet. I’m just going by the different features available on each one. I’m really liking the Infiniti though. It’s cheaper than the other two by about $5,000. I haven’t gone to actually look at them yet, and definitely want to find out what the gas mileage on them is like.
Another good aspect of this week so far in addition to almost having my car paid off? Southwest Airlines is having a sale on airfare from Sacramento to Portland. ONLY THIRTY FOUR DOLLARS EACH WAY! WOOO HOOOO! I immediately purchased tickets for a trip in the end of February and another in the end of April, then called Grandma to let her know I’d be seeing her so much she’d get sick of me. My dads also going to try to get tickets on at least one of the same flights so we can go together.
And if thats not enough, my birth father will also be coming out to visit in June. He’s going to be in Las Vegas for business and figured since he’s so close he’d take some time off from work to come out this way.