Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I'm Out of Debt!

I got a statement from my car financing company yesterday and was ecstatic to see that the balance due was $0.00! The statement was 31 of 60 which means I paid the car off in half the loan time -- 2 1/2 years instead of 5. This is the first new car I've ever purchased because I said I'd never purchase a new car because they lose value when you drive them off the lot. Well, the new 2005 PT Cruiser models had just come out and I was finding the used ones to be only a few thousand dollars less than the new ones. The list price on the 2004 model was $19,500, and I had $5000 for a down payment and only wanted a $10,000 car loan. I didn't want a car payment of more than $200 a month because we were in the process of moving across the country. I lucked out because my car salesman was new to selling cars and was previously a computer salesman, so he didn't have the hard sell down or the gold chains. Once we were seated in the office, he brings in the "accountant" (who was wearing gold chains and had an oily sheen about him, along with a tough guy accent) to run the numbers and he come up with a figure of a $5000 down payment and a $10,000 loan, but it didn't include the taxes, title, and all the junk that comes with it. I said I wasn't paying for that and I didn't want the total loan to come up to more than $10,000. He left the room and came back and said he got it down but that I'd still have to pay the license and some other additional items. I was adamant that I would not have a loan for more than $10,000. Gold Chains left the room and came back looking exasperated and said "Fine. Your loan is $10,000. Are you happy?" Well, he didn't say the last part, but I could tell he was thinking it. Basil couldn't believe I did it. $10,000 was the biggest loan I'd ever had before and it was a little frightening. My car is 2 1/2 years old, 36,400 miles, and paid for. I plan on driving it for at least another 8 or 9 years, unless I save up enough money and can find an electric car before then. So now I'm out of debt, but as I have one son in college and another one starting in a year or so, I don't plan on having tons of extra cash lying around. I have a 401(k) from a previous job and a Roth IRA that I haven't contributed to yet this year. I have around $3,000 in savings and want to save for a trip to Australia and New Zealand before I have to see them with a walker. Now I have to figure out my next step.


Lisa said...

Wow! I am impressed (and motivated). Congratulations. It must feel great to know that your money is going towards saving for a dream trip.

db said...

^5 Bianca!! The first debt I paid in full happened to be my car loan, about 1/2 the way before it was supposed to end too, so I really know that feeling!! It's great!

Now on to bigger and better things for you like a cash lifestyle, a great trip down under, and cheering Basil on from the bleachers.