Part 3 of our Debt-Free Story
As I’ve mentioned, I come from a family who drove cars until they died. In the entire time I grew up I only remember my parents buying 4 cars including the one they had before I was born. One was a 1970 Ford. Then a Pontiac hatchback and two Honda Accords.
The Ford lasted about 17 years before my brother totaled it. One Honda met the same fate (different brother) and the other two were driven until it no longer made sense to repair them. The 3 kids never had their own vehicle but we managed schedules and shared the vehicles w/ our family of 5. There was lots of carpooling and ride sharing going on.
I told Mark early on in our marriage that if it wasn’t a convertible (my dream car) then I didn’t much care what I drove.
When we graduated college I was driving our 92 Nissan Sentra. About three months after we’d moved to San Antonio I got into a fairly minor accident, rear ending someone when my brakes locked up on a wet road. It did a pretty good number on the front of the car despite being pretty low speed.
Suddenly Mark was determined that I needed a “bigger, safer car”. I’d seen the cars Mark had driven in high school. “Bigger” meant “grandma” car. No thank you! We compromised on a Dodge Intrepid which we purchased, trading in the repaired Sentra.
Of course that meant trading in my $156 car payment for a $267 car payment.
A couple years later Mark decided to downgrade the debt he had on his truck. We sold it to his parents and he bought an older used Mazda 626. This seemed like a turning point in our car buying patterns. Our car debt was going down, not up!
About a year later, Mark got an itch to buy an SUV. We only had about a year of payments left on the Mazda 626 so I pleaded that we not get rid of it. So that meant it became mine and we sold the Intrepid (again to his parents) and bought an ’97 Ford Explorer.
It was during this time that Dave Ramsey implanted himself into our lives and our car buying habits would soon change forever.
By the way – if you’re counting, that’s 4 years of marriage; 6 vehicles.