We Bought a Used Car

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Good news and bad news! Our Fiesta died after reaching nearly 200,000 miles. It would not start up anymore and our mechanic said the repairs would cost more than the car was worth, so we should just invest in a used car.

But the good news is that we were able to buy a low-mileage used car that only cost a bit more than our preferred $15,000 budget. In our area, sedans aren’t very popular. We couldn’t find a sedan that fit the budget and mileage we had in mind. They all had way too many miles or were luxury sedans that were $5K to $10K too expensive.

We Settled on a Chevy Trax

Luckily there were a lot of subcompact SUVs on the market, including a nice three-year-old Chevy Trax, which is what we ended up going with. We only paid $16,500 for it and negotiated a free brake job into the purchase because they sounded a little squeaky. It only had about 25,000 miles, which we’re happy with. Obviously we paid cash, which felt great! It’s so nice to have the money for a big purchase already earmarked so you don’t have to stress.

Believe it or not, the Trax’s MPG is about the same as our old Fiesta. It tracks the MPG on the dashboard and we’ve been averaging about 37. I’m guessing this is because we drive mainly on backroads, so there isn’t a lot of stopping and starting and we don’t go too fast.

Insurance is a touch more at $30 per month. But we also changed our homeowner’s insurance to lower it by about the same amount, so it’s pretty much a wash. We’re also excited to be able to sleep in the back of the car to save money on hotels when we go on road trips to visit family.

New Job May Require a Move

I wanted to get your opinion on something else going on in our lives. My partner is vying for a promotion to another department, but the new job may require a move. The stated salary range of the role shows that it could be a 40% pay increase over my partner’s base salary. And that’s if my partner only earns on the lowest end of the salary range. It’s possible that even higher pay could be negotiated.

It would’ve been less of a pay jump if bonuses were still coming in, but we’ve gotten nothing since the changes to the compensation structure. And unfortunately, we don’t see that changing based on how the bonuses are calculated. This new role doesn’t have as much bonus potential, which is why the base pay is much higher.

Although we would have to sell the house and potentially rent an apartment or buy a new place, this feels like an opportunity we should not pass up based on the salary increase. Do you all agree that this type of pay bump is too hard to pass up?

Cost of Living in New Location Is Low

Rent prices for small apartments in the new location are only around $700 per month, so it’s a similarly low cost of living area. It’s in the same state, just about three hours away. If we didn’t want to rent, we could also buy a home for a similar amount or potentially even less. I’m open to downsizing and putting some of the money we make from our home sale into retirement to further us along in our other financial goals. What do you all think?

Obviously nothing is set in stone. Right now there’s a hiring freeze, which is why interviews can’t proceed yet. It seems like hiring freezes occur every year at this company, so that isn’t concerning. It’s going to end in about two months, so we should know more then. But my partner has been actively shadowing in the department and having some positive conversations about the new role. So chances are good that there will be a positive outcome. The only hurdle is potentially having to move to the new territory. It’s possible we could negotiate to stay where we are, but we don’t want my partner to lose the role just because of logistics.

I’d love your thoughts!

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