Welcome to My Blog!

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is James Kinson and I am a Cash Car Convert. I hope after spending a little time on my blog and learning the benefits of owning a cash car as I build my case, you too will become a convert.

Why buy a cash car you might ask? Well, I believe too many people spend what could be their retirement savings or kids’ college funds on cars they can’t afford and don’t need. They may want them, but I don’t believe they need them.

Let me use my first new car buying experience as a case in point.

When I was 21 years old, I just had to have a new car and not just any new car, I had to have a Pontiac Trans Am. And not just any Pontiac Trans Am, but a Pontiac Trans Am with the High Performance package and a Hurst 4 speed.

At the time I was making $8500 a year working in a warehouse. Did this stop me from buying a new car for $8300? Nope! I was living at home with mom and dad, so, I figured it didn’t matter how much of my money went to my car. After all, it was a black on black Trans Am with a big gold bird on the hood, right? I just knew it would make me cool.

So, I bought the car and started with four years of car payments at $244/mo. I don’t remember my exact interest rate at the time. Prime was about 11% and I had no credit, so it had to be higher. Also, I had never purchased car insurance, and didn’t know an agent, so, I financed that in with the car as well. Not very smart as you will see later.

The same year I bought my new car there was an oil crisis and gas shot from about $0.60 a gallon to about $1.60. This was quite a hit for me, as my car got 12 miles to the gallon in town and about 14 on the highway. I figure while I owned this car gas cost me between $1,400 and $1600 a year. Ouch!

My dream car quickly became a nightmare that lasted over the next two plus years. From day one it had a starting problem that Pontiac never could figure out. So, sometimes it would not start and I would have to get a jump start on my brand new car just to get home. It took about 18 months to find the solution to this problem. It was solved by local tune up shop who discovered a broken wire under the distributor cap. American car quality was not at an all time high in 1978.

At the end of year one, I received a notice that I needed to get more insurance for year two of my car loan. This caught me off guard, as I thought four years of insurance had been priced in (obviously I didn’t read the contract). I did nothing about the notice, which led to about a $30 increase in my payment as insurance was again added to my loan. So, I was now paying $274/mo in year two. In year three the same thing happened and my payments went to about $311. I know how stupid my decisions were and how much it cost me. At the time, though, I was so naive and I didn’t ask anyone for help. I was too embarrassed.

As I prepared to sale the car, car payments and insurance for the 27 months of ownership put me out $7149. I sold the car for about $3400 and was glad to see it go. This new car purchase was a costly lesson for me, but one I learned well. Maybe you can learn a few things from it too.

I have made many other mistakes buying and selling cars since then, as you will read if you stick around. I never did buy myself another new car. (Full disclosure, I have purchased two new cars for a spouse. One in the 80’s and one in the 90’s.

I hope you enjoyed reading this moment of education in my life and avoid some of my mistakes.

Please comeback soon and give me a chance to make you a “Cash Car Convert”.

Question: What was the worst car buying decision you ever made?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Christina Cosenza

    Our biggest car buying/selling mistake was a $40,000 Tahoe and thinking that the economy was just going to keep getting better. Well, as we all know it didn’t. We rolled the car payment into our mortgage but when the economy got even worse, and suddenly we had zero income, we sold the Tahoe for cash (way less than it was worth) to keep our home and feed our children. So now, several years later, we have no Tahoe but we are still paying for it. After a few more bad car buying decisions we learned our lesson. We are now cash car converts and loving it!

    Thanks James for your candor and transparency. It is so nice to know that we aren’t the only people that have made bad car decisions!

    • James Kinson

      Thank you for reading my blog and your candor in commenting as well. Fortunately for you I made many more mistakes I will be chronicling in future posts. The good news is I also learned a lot along the way and I will be sharing that as well. Regards, James.

  • Becky McAllister

    Impulse buying.. I went to a car lot with a set dollar amount budgeted and left with a fat payment and a sports car. Not even a good sports car, but a Dodge Daytona Turbo Shelby Z… but it looked cool..had T-tops.. and louvers, and a spoiler.

    • James Kinson

      Becky, thanks for reading the blog. I feel your pain as you can tell from my story. I hope you come back and read my site again. I will be getting more information on it as time allows.

  • FrankAnthonyManzella

    Hello James…Just listened to the first podcast. Thanks for sharing your story and taking the lead on this issue. I’m impressed by the fact that you saw a need in the marketplace and decided to start a blog and podcast on this topic. I also think that most of us can apply this logic to other aspects of our lives. Great Job !

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