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Our drastic decision to cut our fuel costs

12 years ago

So we looked at our cost for gas as we were contemplating our summer vacation to Utah. A few years ago we spent close to $800 using our Ram 1500. Then we used a bit less using our Jeep Wrangler towing our pop up trailer. Then we traded our Ram for a Pathfinder because I needed a vehicle to drive kids around and possibly female coworkers/friends and the truck was simply too big. The miles per gallon was even although I did get a few better with the pathfinder on the hiway. Still averaged 14.6.

DH has got back into kayaking at least twice a week. This is adding to our fuel budget. I am driving to the gym now and am the one who runs all the errands. I always make most of my driving but it is adding up.

So last year we looked at trading in my dh's mustang (faron, yes, this was dh's idea) because it was a 2005, had barely 20,000 miles and is a really cool luxury that is not very practical. Plus he has his jeep for his man-card. We looked at a Prius, almost bought it but they would not give us much for the mustang.

We started really thinking again and dh started researching. He loves to research things. He spent the next two months figuring out the cost of gas, cost of vehicle, etc. We test drove all sorts of cars. We looked at resale of the mustang and pathfinder if we ever got desparate. Who is going to want these vehicles if gas gets to $5?

We discovered the Honda Insight. I was leaning towards the Fit until we literally pulled them next to each other and compared them. It just made more sense to go for the Insight. We decided on the base model because it was $1500 to the next level for cruise, vanity mirror, center console, fancy radio. The only thing we really want is the better radio and we can put in our own, actually better, system for around $700. The car only has 2 speakers but has two blanks in back so we can add 2 more.

We managed to get the local dealer to get us two base models. Mine is white and dh's is charcoal. They did not charge us the usual fee to find us our choices and they matched an online price we found on a cool car pricing site. They gave us a good deal on the mustang and I actually made some money on the pathfinder. We decided to do a lease (I know that sounds scary but it really worked out for the best) because with changing technology we may not want to keep these cars. We did buy up the mileage to 15,000 just to be safe. We have locked in the purchase price of the cars if we decide to keep them, maybe give one to our dd when she is 17. We take good care of our cars and they came with insurance that if they get totalled they are paid for. Leases can be tricky but this worked out better. We are actually leasing both cars for 1/3 less than our two car payments. The extra we got for the trades actually paid off our jeep. I tripled my gas savings and dh more than doubled his. And the best thing of all is that his 9' kayak actually fits in the car with seats down so he does not have to take jeep kayaking. We took my car snowboarding. We folded down one seat and all 4 boards and all our gear neatly fit inside. Yes, kids had to sit next to each other but at $14 in gas for the trip vs $30 it was the price they had to pay. If it snows we can always take the jeep.

Today we sit with one vehicle paid for, huge savings on our monthly gas bill, all our vehicles now fit in the garage (pathfinder and mustang barely fit as they are large vehicles), dh still has his man-card, we can still tow the pop up (although we may be selling that and going back to tenting, but that is for another post). We really feel good about our choice. Yes, I kinda miss my pathy but after reading about the safety features in my new car I feel safe on the road. Dh kinda misses his mustang- it was really, really cool model- but we came up with an important phrase...

It is not necessarily HOW you get there but WHAT you do when you get there. And when you have extra dough to do it that makes it even better.

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