Caution: This blog is not a personal finance blog. It is not a “I paid off ___ dollars of debt in ___ years on an income of only ___ blog.”
But I have big news worth sharing because it shows my thrifty ways have finally paid off!
MY CAR IS PAID OFF!!!
I am so excited to have completed this goal.
Here’s my car story:
I went to community college for two years and then took a semester off to “think” and earn extra money. During that time I paid off my 1997 Buick Century, which was great because I wanted a paid-off car before I moved on to 4-year college. I hit a deer, which turned out to be a blessing. I collected a $2300 insurance payment. I used that payment to replace a headlight, buy a $1000 certificate of deposit, and save the rest for a down payment on a new car.
I was happy to drive a dented car through the rest of college in order to avoid an expensive payment.
Then, one week before it was time to move to Ames, my car overheated and I found that it needed a $1400 repair. My car was not worth that much! I made the decision to purchase a new car to make the weekly 3 hour trip to Ames.
My 2005 Hyundai Sonata cost $10,600 with license and registration. I took a loan from my bank and applied the $1,200 insurance payout as my down payment.
I diligently made my $250 payments and applied all of my extras including a hail damage insurance payment (barely visible), tax refunds, and $500 from selling my Buick.
This summer I cashed in my CD that had gained $50 over the 3 years. I also applied my summer tips to make the final $565 payment.
I paid off $10,600 in 34 months. Not too impressive, but thanks to my thrifty ways, in that time I:
- Was a full time college student
- Took most weekends off to visit Spencer
- Took a SPECTACULAR 3-month summer internship that paid only a $2,500 stipend
- Enjoyed two four-week winter vacations and one 6-week summer vacation
- Worked only one night each week during my semester-long student teaching experience.
I do truly enjoy frugal living but it is nice to have concrete evidence of a reached financial goal. This success has given me extra encouragement to attack my student loans in a similar fashion.