How To Pay Cash For A Car

In a recent article, I expressed my opinion that car payments should not be a way of life.  Not for military members, and not for anyone.  I got some interesting feedback from readers, and some people certainly disagree with me.  As someone who has had no car payment for years, I can’t imagine going back to that budget drain.

This weekend, at the FinCon Financial Writer’s Conference, I met a fellow named James .  He does a series of podcasts called Cash Car Convert, in which he attempts to convert people to the idea of paying cash for their cars.  James also includes some general “be responsible” messages in his podcasts.  Cash Car Convert wants to motivate you to create a life with no car payment, and then give you the tools to create that life.  As you can imagine, I really liked what he had to say.

James is up to episode 44 in his Cash Car Convert podcasts, and he’s got a lot of fabulous information available to help all of us.  I especially appreciate that there is a written article to go with the podcasts, as I’ve never quite gotten into the podcast craze.

My favorite episodes include:

14 Steps To Your First Cash Car

Getting Out of The Car Payment Business

4 Reasons Not To Be An Average American

Cash Car Convert is a great resource for people needing the motivation to escape from the car payment trap, or to improve their financial lives in general.  (Hint:  these two things often go together without even trying.)  Listen to, or read, an episode or two and see if your attitude towards consumer debt changes.  Use the tips provided, and then go out there and discover how great it can be when you have no car payment!  I promise, it is an awesome feeling.


About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • ken

    You better know how to work on cars if you spend $2500-$5000 on used cars.

    • Kate

      I disagree. Both my husband and I drive cars that were purchased used, in the $2500 to $5000 range. Both cars have repairs and maintenance in the expected range for the amount we drive them. Obviously, it is important to select the right car to start, but this has always worked well for us. It would take a lot of repairs to exceed the price of a car payment!

      • guest

        Agreed, my previous car was a 2k “beater”, drove it for 6 years…probably put around 4k in it (tires, brakes, water pump etc) so my cost of the car ran a little over 1k a year when you include insurance…less than what some people pay in car payments in 2 months. In that time we saved up cash to purchase what we thought were going to be good “new to us” cars. Cash for clunkers limited the supply enough that it was actually cheaper for us to buy (after dealer incentives) a brand new car…but we still paid cold hard cash for them both. The dealer kept asking who we “got the loan through” as I was writing the check for the 4Runner…I kept saying no loan, it’s cash….he honestly could not fathom that someone actually had CASH in their bank account to buy a new car…

  • Wade

    I have not had a car payment since 1975. Paid cash for every one since then. But I don’t get a new car every 2-3 years so saving up for 10 years and paying cash is easy to do.

    Dealers just hate to see that check book come out. And none will even discuss my using a credit card so I could get points (lol) even if my credit limit has always been north of the cost of my new car.

    • guest

      Lol, they let us use the credit card, but only for 5k of the purchase (yay free points!). They totally HATE seeing the checkbook come out…that’s why we negotiate price before we tell them what method we are paying with.

      • Kate

        It never occurred to me to use my credit card! I am absolutely doing this when we buy our next cars after our PCS next year.