Why we Drive a 2000 Dodge Stratus with 190K Miles

October 11, 2013

Many of you know about it Debt Free Journey. Sometimes we get asked, “So now that you have no debt, why don’t you get a nicer car?” We drive a 2000 Dodge Stratus with 190K miles on it.


There are many many days that I want an upgrade. And in reality we have enough cash to go out and buy a nicer vehicle now if we wanted to. But then I remember why we choose to keep this car. The video below gives the explanation of what we are doing.

You won’t see the Teixeiras with a car payment because we can do math. When it is time to upgrade someday, we will pay cash from our Drive Free Cars for Life Fund we are saving for in the bank and the car will be at least a few years old, since we will let someone else pay the steep depreciation costs instead of us. We could upgrade now but we want to get as much life from this car as possible because the longer it lasts the more it allows us to save for other things on our priority list as well.

We are tortoises, what can we say? Everyone knows that the tortoise beats the hare, it just won’t be for a while! If you are reading this and have a car payment or a leasing a vehicle (most expensive way to have a car btw) please know we aren’t judging you or hating on you. We want you to win with the money God has entrusted you to steward.

Check out Financial Peace University  or Total Money Makeover and discover how to  begin making your money work for you and not a bank! We will be your cheerleaders along the way!

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  • Reply Mark Baker October 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Interesting. What do you think of buying a new car if you can pay completely in cash? I am opposed to that as well because so much depreciation is realized in the early miles. I think people forget that cars exist primarily to get you from A to B, not to make you 100% comfortable. Also, I think it’s worth talking about how a long commute can be reckless financially.

  • Reply Amanda October 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Mark, as far as buying a new car in cash…I would say that’s fine but probably only if you can afford the depreciation of 60-70% in the first few years. Dave Ramsey has said that unless you are a millionaire (net worth) you can’t afford the lost value.

    I also agree that the commute is a killer on people’s budgets as well as buying cars with poor gas mileage if they have a long commute.Thanks for sharing that point!

    I hope people reading this have nice and reliable vehicles, just in the right way so it doesn’t take away their opportunity to invest, save, and give. We don’t plan to stay in the Stratus forever or to replace it with another jalopy…but we also won’t let too much money get tied up in a car that is always going down in value. It will get us from A-B and hopefully be something we enjoy driving.

    I don’t think people realize that cars go down financially. I hear things like, “we invested in the new Jeep”. Investments go up as a trend, not down. 99.9% of cars aren’t investments (unless they are show cars or something super specific like that), they are expenses. Do you ever hear comments like that?

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