Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why I Had to Trade in The Stratus for Kia Rio

This post is long overdue (by over four months!!!). While I've been settling in to my new job, I have finally been able to wrap my head around my new life and all of the exciting developments. A little over four months ago, I was driving through a parking lot in my 2001 Dodge Stratus, my first car, and the only car I had known for 11 long years. As my car creaked and groaned, people darted out of the way and looked terrified by the noises that were coming from my direction.

I knew I needed a new car. We had been paying down the student loan debt for months at this point, and a "new" car was in the back of my mind, although not something I had planned on purchasing anytime soon. All of my babysitting cash was deposited every week directly into my savings account and I had been tucking the money away for months. I also set up an auto-deposit from my checking into my savings for $50 every two weeks. Over the months, it added up, and I finally had upwards of 5,000 in my savings account.

Skipping ahead so I don't bore anyone with the details, I ended up with a 2012 Kia Rio hatchback which had 34,000. I traded in my old Stratus for $750 off the "new" car, and put $4,000 down. I regret it now, but at the time, I went ahead and purchased the maintenance plan and warranty for up to 100k miles. The car payment is set at $307 per month for 36 months. Once we pay off the student loans (which will be April 10th), I'll then shift my focus to this car loan and my husband's car loan (more on that later!).

After four months of driving my "new" car, I have to admit that I'm pleased with my purchase. Sure, it has more bells and whistles than I really need, but this car will be paid off within the next twelve months. That's right—I'll own this car soon enough! We're on track to be student debt-free in three weeks, and then we'll have $1,200+ freed up for other debt. At the moment, we're currently paying $600 each week towards those student loans to get rid of them.

I was slightly sad about letting my Stratus go, but this car is a long-term investment that will be completely paid off and way more reliable that my Stratus! And now, some pics to commemorate the event.

The "new" car, a 2012 Kia Rio hatchback.

The keys to the heart of my Stratus.
The last photo of my Stratus. RIP. I'm sure it was crushed, as it was no longer fit to drive!

Our zombie family and my brother's band, American Fangs.

Kelsey is a passionate vegan living in Houston, Texas, spreading the word about the benefits of eating a healthy, plant-based diet. She's also a minimalist enthusiast, a self-proclaimed financial guru of her household, and founder of The Little Red Journal.

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