Back in 2003, Steve and Annette Economides started a financial-fitness-type newsletter, the HomeEconomiser, to help direct people to better manage their finances much like they had the previous 20 or so years.
It seems appropriate, considering their family surname name starts with the term “econo.”
America’s Cheapest Family
Today they call themselves “America’s Cheapest Family,” a couple who paid their first mortgage off in nine years, as they started having children, by paying a bit more than was due every month.
Among their “Principles for frugal family living”? Paying cash for used cars instead of buying new cars on credit.
It’s no secret that the financing of large purchases has become a booming business for those who front the cash to consumers. If you can avoid financing, the savings can be enormous.
Paying cash for used cars is one of the secrets of the Economides’ success. But, of course, not everyone has the ability or resources to do so.
And paying cash for used cars is just one of the large purchases Americans face in life. Of course there is the home mortgage, and other finance-able transactions such as student loans or home improvement projects.
But for any such transaction, the Economides say, it pays to shop around.
The World of Financing – When Paying Cash for Used Cars is Not Possible
Shopping around is crucial if you cannot apply cash for used cars, or for that matter cash for any large purchase. If you do finance, do so patiently.
For example, before purchasing their first house, the Economides looked at 40 homes and called 10 banks to find the best deal. Then, prior to refinancing three years later, they again called 10 lenders.
It’s almost like the KISS theory, albeit without the K for “keep.” It’s simple. The more time you dedicate to searching and learning, the more money saved.
Home financing is much more challenging than automobile purchases, hardly anyone can pay cash for a used house like they pay cash for used cars.
So the time needed to research multiplies by several factors. But enough about financing and home purchases…back to cash for used cars.
Purchasing cars is one thing. But what if it’s the other way around: you need cash fast?
Maybe it’s for a family financial emergency, or to buy a different car, or perhaps you just have an extra car that’s expendable (more commonplace now that gas prices have hit the roof).
You can receive cash for used cars, too.
On the Flip Side: Receiving Cash for Used Cars
The Economides list “5 Steps to Money Saving Purchases” includes “Consider buying Used or borrowing an item instead of purchasing it.”
That means there are people out there thinking the same thing. So if its cash for used cars you seek, understand that there is a market out there.
There are two avenues to explore. First there is the tried-and-true method of selling to a private party.
Advertise your car for sale somehow, whether in a classified advertisement, signage, a word-of-mouth campaign, or all of the above. Buyers will surface.
From there you have to deal with inquiries, questions, meetings, test drives, etc. Few people appreciate such processes. Are there options?
Another route is to seek new services out there that offer cash for used cars. The number seems to be increasing in recent years, and they understand the power of the Internet and many have robust websites to help.
Usually these services use paying cash for used cars – as opposed to trade-ins or other lures – as a major marketing message. That can be attractive if it’s fast cash you need.
If you can pull it off, consider another of the Economides’ axioms: Pay with cash, not credit.
The Economideses don’t use credit cards. They save for large expenses and pay not only cash for used cars but also cash for home repairs, groceries and new clothes.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could do so? At least learning from their example, we know it’s possible. It just takes a strong commitment.