A few years ago, I heard about the Junky Car Club. It’s one of those things that you think about at random times (mainly in the shower) but then you forget about checking it out when you have time. I ran across it again today and finally joined.
I especially like their simple mission statement: Living with less so we can give more.
That’s not only a great philosophy as it relates to cars. It’s a great way to approach life in general.
My 1994 Isuzu Rodeo is 19 years old in car years. (For some reason, car years start in the fall.) We had a 1982 Toyota Celica GT for 19 years. A great car that I sold only because the kids were getting bigger and the Celica was getting smaller. The Rodeo is a cheap ride. I only drive it around town. It was paid for long ago. Taxes and insurance are incredibly cheap.
It’s rusty. It makes weird noises. It smells. The paint on the hood is peeling off. The sound system stinks. The picture of it above actually makes it look much nicer. I like a gray/silver car because it doesn’t show dirt as much. I don’t remember when it was last washed. I don’t really care. It’s a practical ride for me.
When it dies, I want a Jeep Wrangler – something fun to drive. I’ll have to find an affordable used one when that day comes. For now, this is my ride until the maintenance costs become ridiculous. On average, I probably spend less than $500 per year on maintenance and repairs. At the rate I’m going with this vehicle, it’ll be awhile before I’m sporting a Jeep.
Beth drives a newer car (2006 Kia Sorento – or is it a 2007?). We like to have one nicer, dependable car. I don’t want my wife to have to drive a clunker if we can help it. Plus, when we travel out of town we want something we can count on.
Some folks avoid car ownership completely. That’s admirable. I’m even a little envious. But public transportation is not a realistic option where we live so it’s necessary to have your own vehicle.
I’ve never purchased a new car. It’s said that new cars lose 20% of their value when you leave the dealer, 20% at the end of the first year and another 10% at the end of the next year. So a new car depreciates fast. When it’s time for us to buy another car for Beth, we typically get a car that is 3-4 years old. The Kia was still under warranty when we bought it.
The Junky Car Club was founded by Mike Foster as an act of rebellion against consumerism and with the desire to give more money to worthy causes. It’s a great reminder that we don’t have to have the bling. We don’t need the latest, greatest gadget (cough – iPhone 5 – cough). We don’t have to buy the expensive jeans.
We don’t have to say, “I wish I could give more to my church. I wish I could give more to missions. I wish I could do something like Mission 227 but I don’t have the money.”
Maybe you need to sell something or avoid getting yourself into a 5 year payment plan that you really can’t afford? Maybe the $300+ per month that you’re putting into a depreciating car could be invested in something that lasts?
Think about it.
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