Helping deciding if i should make the truck purchase

  • Alright so I have been debating on making a vehicle purchase, but truthfully I do not usually like debt but need help deciding on purchasing a truck. A little background on my personal situation at the moment. Me and wife both work in healthcare, I am a paramedic and she is an RN, we both work in very secure areas so not really a concern of getting laid off or hours cut. We make about 110k before taxes as far as bills we have our house $425 her car $230, and of course the normal stuff like insurance, etc. Total monthly bills come out to about $1100. We have $7k in savings and $2400 in checking currently. I have a 2000 Ford F150 with 271k miles. It is paid for I do want to keep driving it, BUT i will be going to school this fall for critical care class. I got this truck used for a great price about a year back, the neck vehicle I get I will drive it for a long time. My question is should I get another vehicle, one I have looked like an example is 2013 f150 at $22k with 100k miles one owner. I am wanting to stay in that price range or a more radical option of buying a new 2019 F150 and utilize my company discount along with the rebates, and 0% apr for 84 months so about $37K. I really appreciate it guy/gals in advance, really been torn with this decision we live a very minimal lifestyle, I do want a more reliable new truck, BUT do not want my “wanter” to cloud my better judgment.

  • Global Moderator

    You didn’t say why you’re considering a new(er) truck or how far away your classes are. You hinted at reliability (which could be based on a concern about what could happen vs. actual mechanical issue)… yet also called it a “want” and a “debate,” not a need or necessity. Why debate taking on debt if it’s not a necessity? BTW, if you “need” to replace your truck after a year, you probably didn’t get that great a price for it (though you hint that maybe you didn’t intend to drive it for a long time when you bought it).

    In this volatile economy, there’s no way I’d take on $22K - $37K in debt for a truck (even considering the down payment, discounts, rebates, and low/no interest). We’re seeing the unprecedented, unpredictable and unimaginable (if not preposterous) things happen on a regular basis, so you cant (IMHO) make the normal projections about how secure your finances will be (and that’s not even considering the typical stuff like natural disasters, illness, disability, etc.).

    If it’s a “want,” not a “need,” I’d keep driving the current truck and save diligently for a 12-18 months or so until things stabilize. Meanwhile, put what you would have spent on a monthly truck payment in a high yield savings account for use towards the next truck purchase. Likewise, if you haven’t already, take advantage of the recent Fed interest rate cut and refinance your mortgage at 0% interest… put the difference in your mortgage payments in a HYS account monthly until you’re ready to buy. After 12-18 months, you’ll easily have at lest another $4K - $5K to put towards a down payment or 100% cash purchase on a less expensive make/model/year. If your new certificate will result in a higher salary, you’ll also be able to pay off a loan more comfortably and faster because you waited. Maybe also consider swapping autos with your wife when you have a class (if you decide there’s no need to upgrade after the class is done, use the additional savings to pay off/down your wife’s car).

    If it’s a “need,” not a “want,” buy what you can afford to pay cash for right now, even if it’s a temporary auto/not your ideal. Consider settling for a cheaper/older (but more reliable) truck. Consider cheaper sedans that will also save a lot on gas. Save as suggested above for 12-18 months, then buy your preferred truck.

    If you plan to sell your current 2000 truck with 271k miles, I wouldn’t factor whatever you get for it into your buying power for a newer truck… it will probably be eaten up/more than offset by the increased insurance premiums on a much much newer/higher value vehicle.

    That’s my 2¢. HTH.

  • @medic221
    You might find that your 2000 model ends up being more reliable, over a longer time span, than the 2019 models. The turbo-charged direct-injected engines just aren’t as reliable. Plus, at load in a truck, the better gas mileage on paper ends up as worse gas mileage in the real world.

  • Is it necessary to have truck & not a car?

  • Global Moderator

    @medic221 Sooooo… what did you end up doing?


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