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Buy Used to Avoid Debt

September 19th, 2006 at 03:42 pm

When I Tell people we have really had no debt, except our mortgage, they look at me like I am lying for the most part. LOL. I think the general concensus in mainstream society it just can not be done.

I have had people tell me that it is impossible and I can't have a decent credit score then. Well my credit score last I checked was 700/800. But that is another post for another day.

Anyway, as far as the school, people then say - well your parents paid for your school. Um, no. I went to public school & community college. IT so happens the college in my hometown had a pretty stellar accounting program, but I didn't even know what my major would be when I started. That was the point my parents said uh uh no way. I really wanted to go to UCSD, but wihtout a major in mind my parents said I could go to community college or State for a while, and live at home. I did State for 5 years actually, but supplemented with classes in the summer at community colleges.

I was pretty stubborn and moved out on my own pretty fast. I was frustrated my I was out on my own and my parents weren't paying, but that I could not get assistane due to their income. I just had to work a lot of jobs. THe last year I had a semester or 2 paid by sholarships though.

I probably learned how to survive overall from my dad who's parents were too poor, and so he did it on his own. So I followed his example essentially.

I am sure my parents helped a little, but it was not an expensive education overall. Nothing that would have left me in debt either way.

I have taken this philosophy and am not into college funds for my kids. My goal is to pay off our mortgage by then so the money is there if one of them decided to be a doctor or a lawyer. BUT beyond that I leave it up to them to work for it if they want it. I have been pleased after being told over and over this is dumb, that Suze Orman agrees. ; ) I know we can pull the money together if they need help, but they are going to public school, that I Can guarantee...

The other thing no can believe is I have never had a car loan. My philosophy has been to always drive old. Find a car with lo miles (30k at most) that is a 7-10 year old model - even older - and you get a new car that is pretty dang depreciated. The key here is to have a trusted mechanic to give you a thumbs up befoe you buy anything. Though I did look at plenty of cars that at a glance you could tell were not worth it - not maintained well, etc. Big red flag. IF you go for those well- maintained cars, guess what, they look as good as new too since they are so well cared for. I wouldn't say we have had junkers, we have had nice cars, they have just been old. We have 2 very nice cars today. We have probably saved 100k over the years in car payments and interest. I am even getting a cute (used) sports car just for fun in a year or 2. We'll have the money no sweat with all we have saved on cars. & mostly that has freed up a lot of money for other things.

But it is not just the big things. The furniture in our house and a lot of our clothes. IT is all used, used, used. At face value no one would know. We buy the things that people bought and turned around and sold the next day. You can get "new" things and take the benefit of depreciation. Washer and dryer - we have always gotten used ones from the paper. $50/each and we used for about 10 years. we just recently bought a new washer/dryer because we felt we had the money. BEfore then the used did us well. Honestly, I miss the old ones - I like them better - LOL.

Another one is we wanted a 2nd fridge so we got one out of the paper for $50 or so. Was a little ugly but just sat in the garage - what did I Care. ; )

I spend $100/year on my sons' wardrobes. USed/used/used. I mostly buy things neevr worn and with tags still attached.

I have hardly bought a baby item new - people use them for such a short time - there are a lot of nice things to be had used.

Look out for those used bargains and watch yourself bound ahead financially. & keep in mind that used does not always mean it was really, well, used. Take advantage of the things that other people regret buying. ; )

I do like to think that one day we will buy some more "new" stuff. But the more we have the means for the "new" stuff, the more I don't want to waste the money. It really feels like a waste. & Frankly we still can't afford it years later with substantially more income and assets. Maybe one of these days I Will have enough money that the idea of buying new won't feel so overwhelming. In the meantime, I keep buying used...

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