Living Large on a Small Budget

The following is a modified excerpt from my recently published book, “100 Tips for Having a Champagne Retirement on a Shoestring Budget”, which was a collaboration among all of my associates. 

Can you have the car of your dreams even if you don’t have a lot of cash?  Absolutely!  A friend of mine owned a high-end Range Rover and one day I rode with him and really liked the car.  Now this is an expensive car which he paid $100,000 for new.  He also happened to like to trade cars often so I kept checking in with him until he was ready to sell.  By that time, the ‘Kelly Blue Book’ value was $45,000 which is what I paid him for a car I love that had only 36,000 miles.  Ok, I know $45,000 is a lot of money but the point is that you can do the same thing with the car of your dreams.

  • Step 1. Decide on the car of your dreams.
  • Step 2. Ask yourself, “Does anyone you know own the car you want?”
  • Step 3. Let them know of your desire to purchase their car when they are ready to sell and keep in touch.  Every few months, I’d remind my friend that I had ‘dibs’ on his car.  He’d laugh and say, “Great!”  When he got ready to sell, I was the first person he thought of.
  • Step 4. Research to ensure that the agreed upon price of the deal is relatively close to fair market value as determined by a reliable source such as Kelly Blue Book.
  • Step 5. For any used car purchase, spend a few bucks and get a history report from  This should tell you if the car has ever been wrecked, in which case you may want to either negotiate a lower price or move on to your next prospect.
Buy A Used Car Under Warranty

Most new cars depreciate (drop in value) about 20% or more as soon as you drive them off the lot.  By buying used, you’ll instantly save 20% or more.  With a used car, people worry most about inheriting someone else’s problems.  However, if you buy a used car that is still under warranty, you get two benefits:

  1. Any problems you have will be fixed at no cost to you during the warranty period.
  2. Typically, you can review all the warranty work done on the car before you purchase it.  Just have the seller give the dealer permission to release all repair/warranty work paperwork.  If there’s an unusual amount of work, this car might be a lemon that you’ll want to avoid.
What to Do Before You Purchase a Car That Is Out of Warranty

If you are buying a car that is out of warranty, you’ll want to do two things before you buy:

  1. Get the seller to give their repair shop permission to allow you to review all repair records.  Then you should review the records looking to two things.  First, are there any repairs of a major significance such as a blown head gasket or a bad transmission that would suggest you to skip this car?  Do the repairs show that the car was brought in for regular maintenance?  You want to buy a car that the owner took pride in keeping up the maintenance.
  2. Finally, as a last step before you buy a used car, have a mechanic who you trust, give the car a full inspection.  Any deviations from the seller’s description of the condition of the car can be used to negotiate a lower price and lastly have a moving company to deliver it when you got the deal.

A close friend is a master of this ‘dream car’ strategy.  She wanted to own a Mercedes and using the tips above found just what she was looking for at a price under $10,000.  It had about 90,000 miles but was in excellent condition and she only wanted to drive it for a couple of years before moving on to her next dream car. SEO or search engine optimization is the acronym for search engine optimization. Please visit Silver Dollar SEO on-page seo. Thank you!