Car troubles, but it's all under control
So we have a 2005 Honda Pilot with 225K miles. Mechanically, it's sound, and running fine. We've been hoping for quite a bit more use out of it. But there's a problem with the key locks, and the ignition switch. Last week it stranded my wife at work because the key simply wouldn't turn in the ignition. . Fortunately we have AAA, so she was able to get help, but didn't get home until really late.
After taking it to a Honda dealership to have it looked at, we decided that the $1,600 cost wasn't worth spending on that old of a car with that many miles. We have a policy of driving our cars into the ground, but when the upkeep starts costing more than a car payment, we know it's about time to upgrade.
Long story short, while we'd been starting to talk about looking at what type of car we need to get to eventually replace the Pilot, our priorities are shifting and we're probably going to buy a new (to us) car tomorrow. But knowing exactly where all our money is going, we know that we have $300 / month that can go to a car payment, which was going to extra debt payment. So we'll have to slow down the debt pay down, but we know that we have that amount available.
It's very comforting to know exactly where we are, and to make an informed decision. And with my bonus I got this month, we actually were able to completely eliminate one debt, and make good progress on another. So we're better off anyway, which makes it even easier to make the decision to upgrade our car.
Anyway, thanks for this community for keeping me motivated, and to YNAB for letting me know where all my money is going. Hopefully the car we're looking at tomorrow is what we're actually looking for, and this drama will be over.
It sure feels good when you're in control! Good luck on the car hunt. Mu co-worker just got a deal. His approach was like this: he knew the model he wanted, he didn't care about the color, trim level, rims, etc. He went to 3 or 4 dealers with the model in stock from last year 2018, took their best deal, walked out each time to compare notes at home, then went back to one, offered a little less, and they accepted. It's a short sales month, they still have quotas to make, and they need to get rid of the 2018 stock. He says his friend just bought a 2017 last month of the same model, with very low miles, and his friend paid a little more. It's just an idea.
I'll be honest in that personally I'd get a new car, but in your situation I'd get it fixed for $1600 if everything else is working okay and you are still paying down debt. That's only a little more than 5 months of the $300/month as opposed to many years. And when that's done you can start saving for the next car.
Congrats! I bet that is a great feeling. I wish I had been using YNAB when I needed to purchase a new car a few years ago. Even though I knew I could afford the payment, it threw everything out of whack and I think is what started my debt - I wasn't tracking where I needed to cut back or move money around in order to fit in the payment.