I’ve been driving for 24 years and I’ve owned a total of five cars over that time! And just this month my net worth crossed over $4M for the first time. So this is a look at how one millionaire chooses to drive. It’s not always obvious when you’re navigating this world, but in my experience more millionaires drive like me than those who buy fancy cars. Most millionaires want to stay millionaires. And dumping lots of money into things that plummet in value isn’t a good way to stay rich.
Here’s the details on the cars:
1. 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. I bought it from my brother when he went to college in 1997 for $500. I paid cash from money I had working during the summers. It was a total piece of shit.
2. 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I bought this one from my mom (I’m lucky) in 1999. I didn’t have the money so I paid her back over the course of a few years. It was eventually totalled when an 80 year old woman hit it when it was parked in front of my house. She was fine.
3. 1999 Ford Mustang. I bought this from a used car lot in 2006. I put down $5,000 and got a loan for $5,200. That stupid car payment was $400/month and I hated it.
4. 1999 Ford Explorer Sport. Bought cash from craigslist in 2010. A two door SUV, ensuring the perfect blend of inconvenience and poor gas mileage. I loved that car. Cheaper than my previous two, but every bit as fun and cool.
5. 2016 Mazda CX-5. Purchased January 2016. My first ever new car when my net worth was well north of $2M. It’s nice! I’m not sure if I’ll buy new in the future or not. At this point in my life it’s not a big deal because I’m rich.
I also sold every car when I was done with it (or got the insurance payout on the jeep). In most cases for about half of what I spent on it. That meant my cost of ownership on all these cars was crazy low. I vectored the money I could have spent on new car payments into investing, which is partially responsible for my current net worth! :)
As always, reminding you to build wealth by following the two PFC rules: 1.) Live below your means and 2.) Invest early and often.