My Road to an Audi

Fun and Gratitude

I want to start off by saying this is the fun part! I love writing posts like this because I get to share our rewards of success.

When I think back to how John and I got into debt and worked our way out, I remember the good and bad times. During that time of paying off our debt and even years after, when our focus was catching up, we made choices that weren’t exactly fun. We put money in our 401(k)s rather than buy nice dinners or new clothing. Looking back on it, I know it was all worth it.

Today we have a net worth approaching $500,000. This does not including the equity we have in our condo and fluctuates depending on the roller coaster of a stock market we’ve been riding. This always makes me smile and say, “I am so grateful we made the changes we did and that I have a partner who has the desire to have the best life we can have!”

Getting Our Wants 

John and I keep a list of things we hope to achieve financially in addition to a fantastic retirement and amazing travel. Those two are our primary goals and are set in stone. We build our lives around them. In order to do this though, we have made choices to spend on one thing over another on a regular basis. We look at our purchases and ask ourselves if they align with our primary goals? This means that many of our “wants” get put off. For example, we both would like to redo our bathrooms at home. We have chosen instead to invest in our 401(k)s and spend a month in Australia and New Zealand, a trip that we will never forget.

One of the not so apparent benefits to putting off wants is we know they will always be there. There will always be the reminder of the lifestyle, the car and vacation home that we want. If a want is strong enough it will keep bubbling up to the top of our list. Those Z Cavariccis we wanted back in 1993 are no longer a want. For that reason, they were a valueless want. Fleeting wants are often the worst wants for our budget.

I have a want that has been bubbling for a long time. Back in 2002, I had to get rid of the Audi A4 that my partner at the time (yes, I was being taken care of) was leasing for me. I was working full time and made the decision to go back to school full-time and work part-time. We couldn’t justify the cost of my Audi with the expense of our two year old son and my reduced income. We sold our my Audi and covered the cost to buy out the lease. It was a bad financial decision. Yes, at one time I leased a vehicle. That’s not a choice I will make again. I no longer buy into the Part-Time, Ownerless Society of leasing.

Well, the bubble has become a boil. Not a boil on the butt of humanity, Ouizer Boudreaux! This want is now becoming a need. Our 2002 VW Jetta has served us well, but it’s time for a newer car. Last week, we went to start it and it was dead. I’m pretty sure it’s a dead battery, but that is just one of the issues with a 14 year old car. It’s time for David to get his Audi. Kinda.

Making It Happen

Because we believe in buying with cash and not financing a depreciating asset, last year we opened a new savings account and started to set aside $350 a month. If we finance a $15,000 – 20,000 car for five years, we will spend an extra $1,000 to $2000 over that five year period. We could use that money for better things than paying a bank. Then, back in January, we made changes and I upped that amount to $700 a month. In 2016, we will have about $16,500 in savings for my Audi.

I am going chronicle this journey to a new (to me) Audi in a monthly post that talks about how we are making choices to cut back in some ways get to that $16,500. I invite you to come back each month to see our progress, help motivate us and motivate yourself.

Is the awesome life you always dreamed of
still somewhere over the rainbow?

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Comment List

  • I was hoping you had purchased it already and had pictures! Are you looking at another A4? Garrett had his eye on an Audi for a while, but we went with a workhorse Volvo instead. Good luck in saving for the new car!!

    • David Auten 02 / 09 / 2015 Reply

      I am so ready, but the wallet is not. I don’t want to finance $15k at 3-5%. Even thought we can afford the monthly payment, I can use that money for better purposes, like helping our business grow! I will have pictures and a gigantic smile when I get it. I was thinking about another A4, but the A3 is a bit more practical for the short term. Although I have lost myself in looking at pictures of new S4s and RS3s (only available in Europe). It’s always fun to dream.

      Volvos are great cars. We saw a nice red Volvo wagon on the way to work today.

  • Matt 02 / 09 / 2015 Reply

    Regarding financing, have you considered how inflation reduces the cost of debt, and the tradeoff of the return the money you would spend on the car would get if you didn’t sink it into the vehicle?

    • David Auten 02 / 09 / 2015 Reply

      Your Roaring 20s, I completely get what you mean about the inflations impact on debt, but with the potential for rates to increase, I like my prospects of buying the car with cash. Plus, I feel like I really earned the car when I can save up $15k to buy it. Otherwise it just becomes another monthly bill that I hate to pay. When I would rather be putting my money towards investing. On a side note, we really do need a new car. The Jetta is currently in the shop as I write this. I want to cut that off before the bills start to pile up.

  • Maggie 02 / 09 / 2015 Reply

    I was also hoping you’d gotten it already! But isn’t it a great testament that money means freedom to decide what’s important to you? I think that’s the most important message. When you are financially stable (not even necessarily financially independent), you can make money work for you and decide where you want to put it! I’m excited to see the Audi when the time is right. 🙂

    • David Auten 02 / 09 / 2015 Reply

      Oh, I wish! I am planning ahead. We have invested quite a bit into The Debt Free Guys over the past 2 years, both time and money and for that reason have put off other choices. I kinda put my foot down and said, we need a newer car. I needed to have a level head about it, since this is the one thing I could get into trouble with. We are so fortunate to have learned early enough on in life that this is the best way to live. Now we are ready to enjoy the fun we can have Living Debt Free!

  • We just got rid of our 04 Jetta wagon for the same reasons however I couldn’t bring myself to buy an A4 or A6 so settled for a ’13 Passat and paid cash because we don’t do debt!

    I loved my Jetta but for the next 10 yrs I will love the newer car.

    • David Auten 05 / 09 / 2015 Reply

      That’s awesome that you paid cash. Doesn’t it feel nice? This will be the first time we have purchased a car without financing. It’s going to be a fun conversation with that sales person. How did it go for you?

  • FrugalNev 19 / 09 / 2015 Reply

    Great read! My current Mazda3 has 190k on it and I know it is almost time to buy a new car. It has been so nice not to have any car payments the past few years. Thank you for inspiring me as I also plan to buy my next car in cash. I made the mistake of buying a new car before, so I am excited to save for this.

    • David Auten 23 / 09 / 2015 Reply

      You bet Nev. John bought our Jetta new and then we ended up refinancing it for another 2 years, so we ended up making payments on it for over 7 years. Wow, the amount of interest paid was ridiculous. Buying with cash may mean that I suffer from a bit of dollar deflation, but I also know that I wont be buying more than I can afford/should. Good luck to you getting your new (new to you) car with all cash. I will feel great! What kind of car do you want?

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