penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

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rollingkansas
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penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by rollingkansas » Sun May 25, 2014 3:53 pm

I think that I already know the answer to my question, but I'm curious as to what ya'll think.

My eight year old truck gets terrible gas mileage. I drive about 700 miles / mo, almost all short distances, and therefore average all of 15 MPG. Having the truck made sense because I live in Kansas which is generally rural and has terrible weather, especially in the winter. I also somewhat regularly drove off-road, have two filthy hunting dogs, and up until a month ago I owned a boat (which I sold for a profit, believe it or not...was sure I was going to lose money owning a boat.)

Here's the thing: in a couple of months I'm moving back to a large, Midwest city where owning a truck won't be necessary. Granted the weather still gets bad and it's your typically well-spread-out midwest city, but still not extremely practical. Trade the truck in for a more fuel efficient sedan and drive on, right?

The problem is that my truck doesn't really cost me that much (see below.) Considering that I'm: 1) not willing to take on any additional debt, so I'd have to trade for a vehicle of equal value, 2) not willing to start a new loan that will keep me in debt longer than my current one, 3) still going to be doing the same kind of driving, and 4) not willing to shove all 6'3'' and 205lbs of me into a compact car, I did some research on mid-sized four door sedans and... math math math... I'd only save $60-80/mo. $100 tops.

So my question is, should I trade in my inefficient truck and get something more practical or am I just splitting hairs at this point? My truck runs like a champ. It has the capability to do everything that I need it to. I trust it to get me from A to B safely and reliably. It will not be a burden where I'm moving. However, it might cost me $720-$1200 more per year than a more practical sedan, all of which could be saved or invested.

*edit* I should also note that, while buying a more fuel efficient vehicle with cash is a good idea and would get rid of a monthly payment, I'm job searching /changing career fields in addition to moving, so I'm pretty set on hoarding cash in my emergency fund until I get settled.

Wiser, more experienced Bogleheads... am I being a hyper-saver? Do I need to just relax and watch my gas tank continue to empty itself with gusto?


truck costs:
$285/mo loan payment (~2 years left)
$40/mo insurance
$150-200/mo gas
"Drop five-zero, fire for effect."

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White Coat Investor
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun May 25, 2014 4:04 pm

You're buying cars on credit? No, you're not a hyper saver.

But I wouldn't worry about mileage with as little as you drive. It would be different if you were driving 25,000 miles a year. I mean, you're probably spending $150 a month in gas now. If you had a car with great mileage, you might be spending $80. $70*12=$840 a year. It would take a lot of years of that to pay for a new car, especially if you buy it on credit.
1) Invest you must 2) Time is your friend 3) Impulse is your enemy | 4) Basic arithmetic works 5) Stick to simplicity 6) Stay the course

rollingkansas
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by rollingkansas » Sun May 25, 2014 4:11 pm

EmergDoc wrote:You're buying cars on credit? No, you're not a hyper saver.
oh the follies of my ignorant youth...
"Drop five-zero, fire for effect."

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bottlecap
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by bottlecap » Sun May 25, 2014 4:31 pm

Doesn't seem like you need to be in a hurry. Keep any eye out for possible alternatives and if you find one that makes sense, then you can make the change.

JT

Woodshark
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by Woodshark » Sun May 25, 2014 5:00 pm

Even though the truck is a gas guzzler, it seems like you still enjoy/want/need a truck...for now anyway. Keep it for now at least. Wait until about three months after you've moved. Then ask yourself "Did I NEED to have a truck over the past couple of months?" Then you will have your answer.

rollingkansas
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by rollingkansas » Sun May 25, 2014 5:03 pm

Woodshark wrote:Even though the truck is a gas guzzler, it seems like you still enjoy/want/need a truck...for now anyway. Keep it for now at least. Wait until about three months after you've moved. Then ask yourself "Did I NEED to have a truck over the past couple of months?" Then you will have your answer.
good idea - it's hard to know exactly what I'll need after I move and change jobs.
"Drop five-zero, fire for effect."

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pennstater2005
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun May 25, 2014 5:06 pm

I miss my truck :(

Sorry, not very helpful.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson

Traveler
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by Traveler » Sun May 25, 2014 8:01 pm

I'd keep the truck until you figure out what you need in your new location and job. But I'm curious how you can get full coverage insurance for $40/month.

bhsince87
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by bhsince87 » Sun May 25, 2014 8:47 pm

BTDT. Keep the truck. Yes it's a little more expensive to drive, but its utility has value too. \
BH87

dailybagel
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by dailybagel » Sun May 25, 2014 8:50 pm

I think you should definitely not get a new car -- keep the truck or sell it and go car-free if your new city will allow it.

People forget that there are a lot of transaction costs when purchasing a new or used car. Plus, it would increase your cost of insurance.

By the way, since you have a truck, I need to move this weekend -- you wouldn't mind letting me borrow it on Sunday, would you? ;)

rollingkansas
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by rollingkansas » Sun May 25, 2014 10:27 pm

Traveler wrote:I'd keep the truck until you figure out what you need in your new location and job. But I'm curious how you can get full coverage insurance for $40/month.

USAA ... haven't found anyone near as good yet.
"Drop five-zero, fire for effect."

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JonnyDVM
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by JonnyDVM » Sun May 25, 2014 10:42 pm

Keep it. Especially if it's still running well. If you actually take out a calculator and find out how little better gas mileage will actually save you you'll be surprised. I was when we got a car recently. Even a hybrid takes several years before the gas money saved and higher up front cost reach a break even point.
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. -Dr. Seuss

LeeMKE
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by LeeMKE » Sun May 25, 2014 10:52 pm

Trade after your move.

Gotta say a truck is a nuisance in a city: hard to park, hard to see pedestrians, and the opposite of a chick magnet.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.

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Rooster1
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by Rooster1 » Mon May 26, 2014 12:18 am

Keep your truck.

(A fellow filthy hunting dog fan)

BenBritt
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by BenBritt » Mon May 26, 2014 3:11 am

Keep your truck. I sold mine after my last bird dog died . I had my Gmc Z71 for 17 years. It was mint with 66000K on it. I offered the buyer 1500 over what he paid. No answer yet. I will go higher. I do not think you would b e happy in a small car. What d o you have for a t ruck.Anyway,I wish you th e best.

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ualdriver
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by ualdriver » Mon May 26, 2014 4:34 am

If the large, Midwestern city you're moving to is Chicago, keep in mind there are restrictions as to where/when you can park a pickup truck and where you can drive it. Not sure if that is the case in other Midwest cities as well.

BigTom
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by BigTom » Mon May 26, 2014 5:41 am

EmergDoc wrote:
But I wouldn't worry about mileage with as little as you drive. It would be different if you were driving 25,000 miles a year. I mean, you're probably spending $150 a month in gas now. If you had a car with great mileage, you might be spending $80. $70*12=$840 a year. It would take a lot of years of that to pay for a new car, especially if you buy it on credit.
If you aren't driving a lot you won't save much IMO . I have a fairly new accord and still spend $40 per week on gas . I don't drive a lot either . Just keep your truck if you like it .

letsgobobby
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by letsgobobby » Mon May 26, 2014 8:23 am

EmergDoc wrote:You're buying cars on credit? No, you're not a hyper saver.

But I wouldn't worry about mileage with as little as you drive. It would be different if you were driving 25,000 miles a year. I mean, you're probably spending $150 a month in gas now. If you had a car with great mileage, you might be spending $80. $70*12=$840 a year. It would take a lot of years of that to pay for a new car, especially if you buy it on credit.
We don't know his interest rate.

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telemark
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by telemark » Mon May 26, 2014 12:25 pm

The most frugal option would be to keep the truck and take public transportation to work, if that's practical. Even one or two days a week should reduce your gas bill noticeably. Or look for someone to carpool with.

placeholder
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by placeholder » Mon May 26, 2014 12:40 pm

letsgobobby wrote:We don't know his interest rate.
That was my thought because these days if I were buying a vehicle I'd look hard at available loans.

placeholder
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by placeholder » Mon May 26, 2014 12:43 pm

I live in a typical spread out Midwestern city and I drive a old full size Bronco with no doubt awful gas mileage (I never check) but I don't drive all that much as I live close to work so it doesn't concern me.

letsgobobby
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by letsgobobby » Mon May 26, 2014 12:54 pm

I agree, truck is cheaper and has more utility unless you drive a ton of miles.

FYI our interest rate on our car loan is 0%. Not too interested in paying that off early.

Twins Fan
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by Twins Fan » Mon May 26, 2014 1:19 pm

One more vote... keep the truck.

rollingkansas
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by rollingkansas » Sat May 31, 2014 1:11 pm

placeholder wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:We don't know his interest rate.
That was my thought because these days if I were buying a vehicle I'd look hard at available loans.
2%... I'm not very interested in paying it off early. It seems like I'd be better off funding my investments.
"Drop five-zero, fire for effect."

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aja8888
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Re: penny smart, dollar stupid with cars

Post by aja8888 » Sat May 31, 2014 6:04 pm

Keep the truck. :!:

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