When I got my first big-kid job, I took most of my savings from over four years of nannying and bought a used car with cash. Seven years of hard commuting later and that car was a thirteen-year-old dinosaur with over 300,000 miles on it begging to be put out of its misery.
When I refused to let the poor thing die with dignity (because I definitely didn’t plan to buy a new car while in the middle of Operation Student Loan Decimation), it made the decision for me and offed itself.
I didn’t have enough cash saved up to buy a new car without a loan because I’d been spending every last shining penny on my student loans at the time. This process had drained all but a minimal emergency fund dry, so buying a new car with cash was out of the question.
And making my forty-mile round trip commute by bus was actually more expensive than driving: four hours and $10 a day, to be exact.
So I needed to buy a new car. Here’s what I learned from the process.Read More