Practical Budgeting Tips

Should We Upgrade Our Vehicle?

For the past year or so, Drew and I have considered upgrading my 2003 Camry for a newer CRV. With other finance goals in mind, we’ve been thinking through if buying a newer vehicle is a good decision for us, currently.

Here’s some of the things we’ve worked through:   vehicle

Pros (reasons to buy a newer vehicle):

  • The excitement of a “new car” and liking the look of a CRV
  • This would be a great road trip vehicle and sweet for camping
  • I’d like to trade my car in before we have to put a lot of money into fixing it

Cons (reasons to wait):

  • Vehicles are not an investment, they only lose value
  • I primarily drive my car to and from work, park it all day, and drive home
  • Seems silly to pay ~$12k to park a car all day
  • While some days my wanting a CRV is really just because I like the look of it, many times it’s rooted in pride; pride in feeling good in what I drive, that I paid cash for a nicer vehicle, etc. (the ugly stuff in my heart)
  • We could invest the $12k-13k, instead
  • It’s currently just Drew and me, so I don’t “need” a bigger car
  • I’m hesitant to make such an expensive purchase based on “want” vs. “need,” especially in light of all the ways we could use the money
  • The Camry has been a great car and huge blessing; it’s needed minimal repairs, gets great gas mileage, and has provided sweet memories (the first car I’ve ever purchased and what we’ve had since getting married)

After thinking through the points, above, we plan to keep the Camry and hold off on upgrading. If major things begin to break, we’ll probably reconsider. Personally, I’d only be buying it for a “want” and not a “need” and, for now, it doesn’t seem best to put $12-13k into a vehicle to replace a car that’s been such a blessing.

Additionally, with us not saving for retirement or investing while we paid off our loans, our goal is to “make up for it” now by building up those accounts. We also want to pay 20% down for a home, save for vacations, and other goals.

This conclusion may change tomorrow, but it seems like the best decision for us today.

I hope this post provides encouraging perspective. Perspective to pray through the motives of our heart and use wisdom, reason, and a vision for our life, instead of just thinking about what we want. If we can pursue contentment in what we have and take captive thoughts of wanting the “next thing,” I think making wise purchases gets a whole lot easier.

You may be in a different place today where buying a newer vehicle is a good decision. In all circumstances, however, I encourage you to filter your decision(s) through similar thoughts; pursuing contentment and perspective before making the purchase, and being open to waiting if it seems best. All the while, asking God to reveal the motives of your heart (and this is so freeing! <3).

In a culture where consumerism, comparison, and discontentment run rampant, we need to be prepared to push back. Are you with me?!


2 thoughts on “Should We Upgrade Our Vehicle?

  1. I think you guys made the right choice. I’m facing that same struggle with my car right now, and actually have been for the last year or so. I know it won’t last forever, but there’s no pressing need to replace it right this minute. The thing that really reassures me is remembering that buying a newer car doesn’t magically make repair bills nonexistent, and might actually make them more expensive. Also, insurance would definitely go up, and the money spent on the car would be taking away from our other money goals. It all adds up to me continuing to drive my 2004 clunker for just a little bit longer 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Kyle! I like your perspective. I noticed once we thought this through and decided to wait that I started looking at my 2003 Camry with greater appreciation and contentment. Knowing it was a choice and realizing she’s been good to us. It also feels like a “win” to use that money elsewhere. Hope you get a lot more miles out of your vehicle without any repairs!


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