In 2006, I bought an old pick-up from a guy I work with, I paid him $500 dollars for it. About a year later I put a new clutch into it, $600. Then came a new timing belt, $250, brakes twice, with rotors the second time $600, then new wires, plugs, coil, $700, another new timing belt after 100,000 miles along with electrical work $500, 2 new sets of tires, $850. Air conditioner work twice, $450, about 27 oil changes, about $945. The total is $5395. I was able to put permanent plates on it for about $145. I only had to carry liability insurance which cost about $3,780 over nine years. I have logged about 150,000 miles on it bringing it’s total mileage to around 350,000. The total cost has been $9,320, or a little over $1000 per year. If I had bought a new pickup for $15,000 at 4% interest, it would have cost me $16,560 in payments alone the first five years. If you include full coverage insurance, yearly license tags at $300 to $400 per year, and all the other above costs for maintenance items the total comes to $25,305. The total difference is $15,985.
During those nine years, I managed to get back and forth to work every day, go to Grandma Fat Man’s house 124 miles away many times, to Grandpa Fat Man’s house 250 miles away several times, move two kids to college and back 140 miles away with a whole load of dorm furniture and a box of ramen noodles, and log thousands of miles scavenging at garage sales (don’t be jealous) for my antique dealing business. You know, I lived a normal life. All the while looking as cool as a gray haired old Fat Man could possibly look while driving a 93′ Ford Ranger with a big dent in the door and a Jesus Freak bumper sticker on the tailgate……………………….OK, I didn’t really look very cool, but at least I don’t feel like a big dummy for blowing sixteen grand so I could look like a fat, gray haired, Jesus freak……….. in a shiny pick-up.