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Creating Freedom Through Financial Independence


Confession Time: The Most Unfrugal Thing I’ve Done in 10 Years…

November 30, 2019

There’s no other way to describe it.  Outrageous Extravagance!

In an uncharacteristically spendy move, the Strong Money household has let loose with the purse strings this month.  I opened up my wallet, let out the family of moths, then dusted off the old debit card and swiped my life away.

It felt naughty and strange at the same time.  And if I’m being honest… a bit exciting.  So, what the hell am I talking about?  What did we buy?


We bought a NEW CAR!

Now, maybe you’re thinking, “Dave, who cares!?”

OK, I get it.  People buy cars all the time.  So why does this rate a mention?  Am I running low on content ideas?

The truth is, I’m talking about this like it’s a big deal… because it is a big deal!  A purchase this size should never be taken lightly.  Instead, it requires examination, questioning and even some soul-searching.

But to be honest, the end decision matters less than your willingness to question yourself over it.  Because it’s this layer of scrutiny – this filter – that helps you make drastically better financial decisions, creating the difference between a broke employee and being a wealthy, free individual.


So what happened to our old car?

Well, despite being nicknamed “The Rolls,” and “The Limo” for the last few years… it was anything but!

Our old car was a dinged-up 2000 VT Commodore.  I bought it almost ten years ago for $4k.  It had low kms and the price was freshly discounted thanks to damage from a bad hail storm in Perth at the time.

Since I was saving aggressively to build an investment portfolio for Financial Independence, I wanted to spend as little as possible.  So forking out much more than this was not even on my radar!  I had zero interest in the car’s aesthetics, so the hail damage was actually preferred lol!

This car served us well over the years.  But it had reached the stage of increasing upcoming repairs… where once you start taking things apart to fix one problem, other issues are very likely to pop up and it soon becomes a game of whack-a-mole.

The hoses needed replacing, oil was leaking into the coolant, it needed 4 new tyres and the rego was about to expire.  The immediate or near-future costs were multiple times the value of the car itself!

And given we couldn’t limp The Rolls along until the robots take over (more on this later), we figured we’d need to purchase another car anyway.  So, with those excuses out of the way, let’s dive into the details of our car-buying experience.


The research process

How did we decide what type of car to buy?  Window shopping?  Best finance deal?  The sexiest SUV in the market?  Bzzt.  Nope.

We sat down and thought about what would be a sensible choice based on our needs.  There’s only two of us, plus our dog, so a small hatch is more than enough.  We wanted something reliable, fuel-efficient and with enough space for bags and the dog when we go on road-trips around WA.

After reading too many car reviews, we narrowed it down to either a Toyota Corolla, or Hyundai i30.  Both cars rate well by customers and car sites.  And both models have a good reputation, though Corolla more so due to its longevity.

After looking online for about a month, we had a decent idea of which were reasonably priced and which were not.  At that point, we found a couple we liked and went shopping for our new car!


The dealer from hell

Before I reveal the car we bought, I’ll tell you which car we didn’t buy.  It was a very well-priced Corolla in a burnt-orange colour.  I’m not much for colours, but this one was quite nice.

Anyway, we rolled up to the dealer, wandered around the vehicle having a look.  We sat inside and the condition was good.  I got out and went to open the hatch.  Looking at the space inside with me, the dealer said (with a straight face), “you could fit a couple of dead bodies in there.”

I smiled and assumed he had a dark sense of humour, while at the same time being surprised and thinking I’d never say something like that to people I’m trying to sell a car to – whether they got the joke or not lol.

We hopped back in the car and looked around as he went to fetch the keys.  He came back and we started the engine… well, we tried to.  It wouldn’t start!  So, off he went to find jumper leads.  We decided to play around with the screen and tech while we waited.  But that wasn’t working either!

It wasn’t looking good at this stage.  After a few minutes, the dealer returned.  He lifted the bonnet and grumbled to us, “Bloody youngster left these under the bonnet of another car.  It’s lucky there’s a law against killing people, or there’d be corpses everywhere.”

Hmm okay, sensing a pattern here.  Maybe I didn’t misunderstand his humour after all?  Maybe this guy is a genuine psychopath!  Car dealer, or self-appointed undertaker… you tell me!

As you can imagine, we didn’t get the best vibes from this place and left soon after (while we still could!).  Alright, no more suspense.  Here’s what we ended up buying.


Our purchase

We bought a 2014 Hyundai i30.  It’s in excellent condition, has done 86,000 km and has full log-book service history.

Price paid – $12,000.  Less a few hundred bucks for The Rolls which we decided to trade-in last minute, instead of trying to sell it privately for a bit more.

Why this car?  We wanted something in the sweet spot of not too new, yet not too many kms.  Something around 5 years old, with less than 100,000 km on the clock, which would comfortably last us 10-15 years seemed to fit the bill.

This gives us a reliable and efficient vehicle which should last until humans are banned from driving cars.  No I’m not joking!

The stats on self-driving cars will eventually be so clear that humans are insanely dangerous compared to a computer driving.  Then lawmakers will have no choice but to ban humans from driving, in the interest of safety and public health.

For example, Tesla Autopilot is already significantly safer than the average human driver and continuously improving.  It sounds scary now, but as a society we’ll eventually come around to this idea.

Just like we did with having our bank details online and all new technology as it rolls out.

By the way, we’ve called our car Holly the Hyundai!  Anyone else got a name for their car?  Here are some pics…



“But you said a NEW car?”

This IS a new car!!  Anything 5 years or less is still basically a brand new car!  5 to 10 years old is still in the new-but-not-quite-as-new range.

Age 10 to 20 is a ‘middle aged’ car.  If your car is older than 20, THEN you’re allowed to call it an old car 🙂

If you’re thinking in terms other than this, you’re doing yourself and your wealth a disservice.  You may have even fallen into the novelty trap, seeking constantly new things for the sake of it.

This trap sucks happiness from our lives in pretty obvious ways.  Like increasing our spending, debt levels and associated stress, while simultaneously keeping us playing the fake status game with our peers – you know, trying to act like a wealthy person, instead of actually becoming wealthy!

Since you’re reading this blog, you’re way too intelligent for that nonsense now!


A tale of two car buyers

Let’s consider for a minute how an aspiring early retiree buys a car versus the average person.

Average person:  What’s the most I can afford?

FI-minded person:  What’s the most affordable car that meets our needs?


Average person:  Which new car is my favourite?

FI-minded person:  Which used car is the best value?


Average person:  What finance and warranty deals do you offer?

FI-minded person:  I’ll be paying cash.  And don’t even ask if we want extended warranty, window tints, and any of the other crap you’ll try and up-sell us.


Average person:  Completely ignores depreciation of new car, fuel efficiency and ongoing costs.  Mostly concerned with weekly repayments and enjoying the car for the next 3 years, when a further upgrade is in order.

FI-minded person:  Considers depreciation and ongoing costs, questioning whether there’s a way around this purchase entirely!  Thinks about the lifespan of the car and enjoyment over the next 10+ years.


Average person:  Has a perpetual car payment due to constant upgrades, huge depreciation on brand new cars and no savings.

FI-minded person:  Has zero debt for cars, ever.  Due to good savings habit, sensible purchase and long term ownership.


Average person:  “Oooh yeah baby, my friends are gonna be sooo jealous when they see me!”  (snaps 7 selfies from various angles to show everyone straight away)

FI-minded person:  “Oooh yeah, this car is gonna last us soooo long, we’ll practically NEVER need to buy another one.  It’s super compact and efficient and perfect for us”  (snaps zero selfies… due to being a grown adult!)


Maybe that’s a little harsh, but I don’t think it’s all that far from the truth.  By the way, I wrote a post on cars a while back titled, “Driving Your Wealth, with Frugal Car Ownership.”


The outcome

Overall, we’re happy with our new car.  It feels insanely new and very luxurious!  We actually consider it our ‘forever’ car, due to the future of self-driving cars.  I have to admit something though…

Transferring the five-figure sum felt like the equivalent of giving birth.  And we also had to say goodbye to The Rolls, which was a little sad.  But that’s okay.  Being able to buy a car with cash is one of the lovely benefits of building a solid financial life for yourself.

You no longer have to rely on loan-shark finance, because you’re regularly saving and have your spending under control.  But you’ll probably still feel equal parts pain and satisfaction, forking over the cash for a car purchase.  That’s because you’ve learned that money is much more useful elsewhere!


Final thoughts

Even though it feels like pure extravagance having this sexy new car parked in the driveway, this silly display of excess could hardly be labelled a reckless decision.  Especially since it represents something like 1% of our net worth.

You know you’ve fallen deep into the loving arms of frugality, when buying a sensibly-sized, efficient car with cash seems like a huge blowout!  And that’s when you know the habit of maximising enjoyment while minimising waste will help you throughout your life.

Whether you’re already FI or just starting out, your decisions small and large determine your financial destiny.  And just to put your mind at ease, the debit card has now been firmly placed back in its happy home… in the deepest recess of my wallet.

Rest well, good friend.  I may need you again someday.

What do you think are ideal car options for frugal FI-minded Aussies?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

And were we justified in our opulent purchase?  Or are these just convenient excuses so we could treat ourselves? 😉 


63 Replies to “Confession Time: The Most Unfrugal Thing I’ve Done in 10 Years…”

  1. If you need a car I think that’s a great purchase. My girlfriend has one and it has been reasonably trouble free. The only minor niggles are that the front window mechanisms pack it in just after the warranty expires (which is brilliantly precise engineering when you think about it), but it’s only an hour and a 15 dollar kit from eBay to fix it, and the front headlight bulbs are a little hard to change (you need to remove the reservoir or headlight). I definitely think one of them or a corolla are the way to go.

    I’ve had exactly the same feelings about any major purchase since my moustache really filled in. I think childbirth is an accurate comparison, often accompanied by severe post natal depression…

    1. Cheers mate. Hahah that is clever – maybe there’s a timer in the electrics somewhere? 😉

      Also like your mention of the mustache and post-spend depression lol!

  2. Congratulations Dave! Wondering what you thought about the 7 year warranty offered by Kia. You can have a new Ceratto for around 20k which translates to around 1-2k depreciation per year on the 5 year old but you get the warranty. I personally don’t find the cars in the 1-3 year age to have depreciated enough to make it worthwhile? At least not in the small-mid size range in Australia.

    Well written article! Excellent points!

    1. Thanks Mike! Lots of cars seem to offer the extra long warranty now, it’s interesting. I still wouldn’t like to wear so much deprecation though, as well as having more cash tied up in the vehicle (opportunity cost is very real compared to having that money invested). The 3-7 years old seems like a decent balance between cost/benefits.

  3. Great post! We bought a 2009 Toyota Corolla off my MIL 2 years ago. 45,000 km and basically brand new. She only used it tondrive to the shops etc., I think buying cars off older people (who are often more careful drivers and look after their cars well) is the way to go.

  4. Nice move Dave. The i30 is a nice car and you missed paying the toyota tax.
    Do you do your own services as this can save a small fortune. 🙂

    1. Hey Cheers Darren! They seem to be well regarded so hopefully it serves us well. Unfortunately I’m absolutely useless when it comes to anything mechanical/handy so that won’t be happening. That stuff is definitely my downfall and I get so angry at myself for not being able to figure things out, so for my sanity I’m happy to outsource lol!

  5. I could not decide for a long time if I should buy a new car or keep the old one. It was 19 years old, 2 doors did not open ( when I want to open the drivers door I have to roll down the window), the boot would fill with water when it rains, broken radio, oil leak, problems starting when it was rainy etc etc. I bought it for $750 3.5 years ago and the next repairs would have been at least $1800. ( and I had already paid for a total of $2200 of repairs in that 3.5 years).
    So I had a look at a 2015 Toyota Prius-C with 58000km.
    I bought it the same day which is probably stupid and emotional but I felt everything was fine with it. I felt so sad for leaving the brown blizzard/red flash/ fat fatti ( traded it in) and I doubt that they can sell it. It was such a good car and i am still amazed that it lasted 3.5 years.
    However, driving a car with no issues is AMAZING!!! And as it is a hybrid I see already how much money I save on petrol – it used to be around $35 per week, now it’s around $18!

    1. Thanks for the comment Viola. Nice work on the Hybrid – those petrol savings are huge!
      Sounds like your old car was a little past it’s prime 😉

  6. Congrats on the new ‘baby’, Dave! Very nice! And it looks like the windows are already tinted, so no need to spend on that either. 🙂

    Speaking of window tint, though – when I bought my current car back at the beginning of 2007 (pre-FI aware, so new), I was sold on the window tinting and rustproofing (etc) package, and boy was I peeved when I discovered I could’ve had the same thing done by Tint-a-Car for half what I paid the dealer! That said, the difference was very noticeable with the window tinting, which my previous cars hadn’t had – no feeling of the sun burning your skin, and easier on the eyes in the harsh Qld sunlight. I wouldn’t be without it now.

    1. Thanks FFO! Oh man those extras the dealer throws at you are such a rort – that and financing and the real moneymakers. This dealer was quite good but another one we went to see that I didn’t mention was a nightmare (very salesy). It’s good you’re happy with it now but a shame on the cost!

  7. Good Article Dave loved reading it , your so right new cars are just throwing Money away , your now got a car that will get you from A to B at very little expense from the High cost at the Bowser ……well Done ….happy Motoring

  8. We feel your pain Dave. There was a distinct lack of excitement when we upgraded our car last month too. If we didn’t have to spend money, it would be very exciting so there was an element of mourning for the sudden hole in the bank account. Our faithful old 2005 Nissan Maxima had almost clocked up 160,000 kms when we decided to give her up last month after some rumination on up coming maintenance (tyres), repairs and rego. We purchased her for $20,000 back in 2009 and it had only done 27,000kms. With the “new” car we too settled on a Hyundai. We found a blue 2015 I40 wagon that has only done 51,000 kms for $19,000. We were rather disappointed that they would only give us $1300 for our reliable old Nissan. After much deliberation and sad looks, we managed to get the I40 for a straight $16,000 change over. As you pointed out, the joys of paying with CASH. (or a bank transfer as how it’s now done) . Hopefully this car will take us through to “the New Technology Era”. In the meantime we will appreciate the lower rego and reduced fuel costs due to not having to buy Premium anymore. We are crossing our fingers that it proves to be as reliable as the reviews portray too!

    1. lol ‘distinct lack of excitement’. You got a good run out of her over that ten years. Shame about that deprecation though, that’s rough! Dealers are notoriously stingy with their trade-in offers so probably did quite well.

      Fingers crossed both our cars last until we have low cost robot chauffeurs everywhere!

  9. When I was young and foolish I did buy a car with GMAC financing. I did wise up and refinance with a cheaper personal loan. But I kick myself how many dollars that car cost which could have have been more productively invested.

    Btw: my last buy was a second hand Volvo XC70 for $10k cash. Best car I’ve ever owned. Comfortable, reliable and huge load space – the rear seats fold perfectly flat for a massive cargo capacity.

    1. Thanks for sharing John. It’s good being able to look back on past decisions like that and at least you can comfort yourself knowing that no such slip-ups will occur in the future 🙂

  10. Hey Dave 🙂
    You saw our Shermi yesterday… admittedly he wasn’t cheap but he does the job of towing the caravan. He is a 2012 model and we only got him in December last year. Being diesel, with 141,000 on the clock now, he still should have many years of life remaining!

    But my Pulsar back in Melb is a 2001 model and cost me $10,000 cash. It happened to be the TI model which meant it was “top of the range” – ($28,000 new). Has all the fancy options. Not getting rid of it anytime soon, unless we relocate to another state. 🙂

    Enjoy your NEW car!!!

    1. Thanks Laura! Yes, well you guys are doing plenty of kms in Shermi so he’s serving you well so far!

      Who knows where you’ll end up 😉 In the meantime, keep enjoying your freedom!

  11. We recently upgraded our 2009 Hyundai i30 Diesel (base model) which we owned for 5 years.
    Only reason we replaced it was we got paid $8k (after some negotiation with insurance) to let go of it.
    I managed to get a 2012 top of the line Hyundai i30 for 10k.

    this is way less of a fraction of our network compared to yours, but I also found it to be unnecessary at the time.

    Now owning the car, there are things that I’ll want in my future car as well (leather, climate control and auto headlights are must have and improve your everyday experience.

    I don’t care much for the sunroof, bum heater, cruise control or rain sensing wipers.. yeah they’re nice but you don’t use them everyday.

    I agree with you, Musk is onto something and way ahead of the competition. our next car will either be a Tesla, or we will just have robo-taxis that we call when needed.

    1. Thanks for sharing Pepe. Sounds like a very sensible car choice (but of course I’d say that lol). Hopefully that’s a sign and means the i30 has been good to you?

      I’m a bit the same to be honest – much of the fancy features are completely wasted on me. I just want to drive comfortably when necessary!

  12. Nice article. Thank you. I’m also in the process of buying a “new” car. My 2008 Hyundai Elantra transmission burnt out whilst on my way to work on a non-stopping zone. Had to join RAC on the spot for towing. Very expensive day. I’m also tossing up between a corolla, i30 or Mazda 3. I really like the look of the Mazda, but nearly every man an his dog recommends the corolla. I guy from work told me since the corolla are soo common, parts for it would be very cheap from wreckers if anything goes wrong down the track which I thought was a solid point….
    Would you consider buying a car from the “auctions”. I saw a good corolla’s for around $15k from Pickles which I was considering. Thought I would wait a few weeks just after Christmas to see if any Mazda come up.

    1. Cheers Ty. I think they’re each good options, not that I know much about cars, but reputation for reliability. I think Corolla just has a longer track record than the other models. We considered the auctions, but you can’t test drive the car first which is frustrating so we decided not to bother with that. Even though they’re probably fine we still wanted to drive it before buying.

  13. Haha, way to splurge mate! 😉

    Around about this time last year I went on a rant at a family dinner about how wasteful buying *brand* new cars are – forgetting that my cousin at the other end of the table had just bought one. ????

    Not the best thing to do leading into Xmas…

    My chariot was ~1.5 years old when I bought her back in 2013. Like new condition with a +30% discount! I like cars and wanted a ute so spent a bit more than what getting from A to B required.

    I hope your forever car lives up to its name… and congrats!

    1. LOL way to put your foot in it mate. But that’s okay, sometimes people need a bit of tough love!

      That’s extremely new (probably still had the new car smell?) but at least you got a good discount on it! And it also proves very useful for carrying a shitload of alcohol in the back 😉

      Thanks Kurt.

  14. Hi Dave .
    Very well put together article .
    My personal psychological trick to myself is to strongly remind myself that a car is nothing more than a tin can in which to travel from A to B and back again ; in other words , to not become emotionally attached to a mere machine !
    Best wishes , Ramon .

  15. Nice blog Dave..I’m a DIYer and looked after our cars for years doing most of my own servicing etc, had a Magna wagon for 17 years which ran like clockwork when we traded her in, broke my heart to see her go but the reason I traded her was safety. The new cars are safer and come with all the safety bells and whistles and thats the only reason I upgraded.
    Kia and Hyundai are the best at providing customer support, they will honor warranties most times and make a decent attempt to fix problems, not 100% but better than the rest.
    The long warranties are a marketing gimmick, you are protected by consumer law when buying a new vehicle so if anything unreasonable occurs the car company has to fix it regardless if the warranty has expired.
    Cars are a necessary evil but we now have two new ones due to the improved safety tech stuff and are very happy with our Kia’s.. a 2017 Cerato and a 2019 Sportage. We treated ourselves as retirees and I reckon its important to do so especially when safety is the big factor.
    Dont feel guilty and enjoy that Hyundai i30,keep safe…..

    1. Thanks for that Mark! Given you’re already in retirement mode, I think that’s totally reasonable 🙂

  16. Good choice Dave
    We drive a 2013 Kia Rio 6 speed base model (out of the same parent company as Hyundai I hear) with only 55K on the clock. It tows our camper trailer just fine into all the state forests etc that we love to go to.

  17. This was me 12 months ago, even had the same cars in mind though I went for the Corolla. I’ve had no issues so far and hope I don’t have to buy another car again either ????
    I love the way you jazzed up the story and made what I found a tedious task sound exiting!

    1. Haha thank you Miss B! Tedious is a good way to explain it – hopefully that’s the last time both of us ever need to do it again. The crazy dealer story was not for effect though, that was legit lol.

  18. I’m in a similar situation at the moment.

    Still runnning a 2000 Subaru RX. I had it serviced two months ago which cost me $450 but it was highly suggested that I get the tyres replaced and the timing belt next service, that’s at least another $1400+.

    There’s a couple more issues too that would probably add an extra $400-500.

    Apart from that it still runs well and I only really use it to get to work which is 15mins drive. If i head into the city I generally catch the bus because it’s more convienant as I don’t need to park and I can have a couple of drinks too.

    But it’s pushing 20 years now with over 300,000km’s! lol. Perhaps a replacement in 2020.

    1. That’s some impressive kms racked up over its life Scott! I feel your pain with those mounting costs. Given you don’t use it much, I wonder, is there any public transport you reach by foot/bike in getting to work?

      1. Yeah that would be ideal, unfortunatley because I do shift-work for a logistics company there’s no viable public transport at certain hours. A bike might be possible but sometimes I get called in on short notice so it’s hard to plan around..

        I guess on the upside, I don’t spend much on fuel.. so that adds to the savings 😉

          1. Well, I ended up biting the bullet.

            Bought a 2010 Mazda 3 Sedan, 144,000km for $8,500.

            It feels weird to spend that much money, even though it’s only about 4% of my net-worth. But running the numbers, it would of cost me $2000-3000 to fix everything in my current car which is 20 years old with 300,000km’s+.

            I bought an extended 3 year warranty which I now think was a waste after reading online, I wish I researched this harder beforehand and would usually avoid this but some part of me figured.. used car, 10 years old.. I guess time will tell if this was a mistake.

            Still coming to terms with parting with a large sum of money, most people get excited to spend but I almost always feel buyers remorse, no matter what I buy.. even if it’s a need rather than a want, such as in this case where the old car was too cost-ineffective.

            Otherwise hopefully I can get solid 10 years out of this!

          2. That sounds pretty reasonable Scott. I don’t go for the warranties as they seem incredibly expensive and are simply an add-on to boost margins.

            It’s typically not fun forking out cash for stuff after learning the power of investing, but with a bit of luck this car should last you a good decade and see you through to the other side (autonomous low-cost electric cars, where no car ownership is necessary).

            Thanks for coming back to share!

  19. Careful….our I30 reached 7 years and everything started falling apart…even the driver side window disappeared into the door well…because the whole window unit broke…exxy repairs. Air con crashed as well, electrics started playing up…all timed to coincide with the end of any 5-7 year warranties. In the meantime, enjoy! Good little car.

    1. Holy shit, that’s no good Luke. What a sucky experience – hopefully we don’t get that.
      Enjoy? After that story I’m not sure I can lol 😉

  20. Thanks for the article, timely for us as we are considering upgrading our Kia which we only bought new 2 years ago. Maybe time for a downgrade instead.

    1. Cheers John, hope you found it useful!

      Upgrading a 2 year old car… wwhhhaaaattt??? The car has barely rolled off the factory floor! Think of a downgrade as an upgrade in efficiency. Similar levels of convenience, safety and luxury with more cash to add to investments 🙂

  21. My now 68 year old husband bought several new or near new cars in his youth and sold them off. They are now collectors’ items and worth a fortune!!! Sad face!

    1. Wow that’s interesting! Don’t feel bad… hard to know that was going to happen. And to ease your pain further, to keep them prob would’ve required a huge amount of upkeep and ownership costs over the years.

  22. Great post, Dave.

    We bought our Corolla for a similar price about a year ago, but it was a 2015 model. Also low Kms.

    The main thing is to hold on to it, and not need to upgrade just because.

  23. Hi Dave, I’ve very much enjoyed your posts, thankyou for the effort you put in to this site. Good work getting the most out of your VT and choosing a sensible replacement. As you purchased the car outright it should cost marginally less to insure conpared to a car on finance – another FI win. All the best with your i30.

    1. Cheers Dave! My pleasure mate, thanks for reading 🙂

      Generally not a big fan of insurance so it’s unlikely we get it covered (simply CTP that comes with our WA rego and covers humans). Wrote about it some time ago here. For the overwhelming majority of possible (yet still unlikely) accidents, we could cover this comfortably.

      1. Hi Dave, thanks for the quick reply!

        Thanks for the link, it was good to re-read. Hopefully my comment above is of use to those of your readers who do opt to insure their cars, and will obviously have no bearing on those who don’t.

        Again congrats on the ‘new’ car, I hope it serves you well, and keep up the quality posts on here, I enjoy reading all of your updates.

        1. Definitely useful Dave – I had no idea financed cars cost more to insure! I appreciate the kind words mate, thanks again.

  24. I paid cash for my 2014 Mazda3 sedan new because I wanted the active safety package which needs to be factory fitted and cost me an extra A$2000. With similar safety features becoming more common, my hope is it will last long enough for me to buy that autonomous driving electric car that has that capability built in.

    1. It might last long enough that you won’t need to own a car at all, as autonomous electric Uber-like vehicles will be rolling around by themselves giving people rides much cheaper than they are today 😉

  25. Cars are one of those things which are just so darn tempting to upgrade :’)
    I bought a 2011 Toyota Corolla when I was a 2nd year in uni – nearly new, $17500, had only gone 10,000km. I still have that same car 8 years later and its still going strong, though now close to 150000km and much more battered in appearance than it was back then. I’ve been thinking of upgrading my car for 3 years now and so far have kept strong and kept pushing it back, telling myself the old car is still perfectly serviceable! It’s just strange sometimes when I park at work and all my patients have newer cars than I do (yet still insist on being bulk billed!)

  26. Out of interest what kind of insurance did you get. 3rd party or fully comprehensive?
    Mr MM says if you can’t afford to loose it, u shouldn’t have brought it but I think he was referring to his bike lol

    1. 3rd party. It’s not about our car, it’s about the tiny chance of an expensive accident. My partner feels better with it and it’s much cheaper than I thought. If it was totally up to me, I’d probably go entirely car-free 🙂

      1. nice… I am also trying to decide between fully comprehensive or 3rd party. $500 for fully comprehensive with the max excess ($2k) or $250 for 3rd party ($500 excess) for my $15k corolla.
        If I have a car accident, it won’t financially destroy me but would definitely be a bit painful to the wallet.

        1. Yeah I guess deciding depends on a few things. Your current net worth, your savings rate, how much you drive, how much traffic is in those areas, how careful you are, whether you’d buy another 15k car, and so on. If the chance of being down $10-15k is too painful to bear, then full comp might be the go. A lot of insurance is built on fear and avoiding pain, but it can also be a practical solution and help people sleep better at night.

  27. A little bit late to the party as I’m reading your blog from the beginning

    But Mazda has just taken over Toyota in car reliability

    Mazda 3 a good little car for the price

    But who needs that when I-robot is driving

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    The numbers behind our recent solar installation and how much we’ll save.  A breakdown of solar FAQ, whether it’s a good investment and what to watch out for.

  • Strong Money Survey Results

    I share the findings from surveying my audience.  See how wealthy the average Strong Money reader is, how much income they earn, and find out the most common money worries.

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10 Steps to Financial Independence