Mr. Money Mustache Cars – Northern Colorado Edition

Howdy! I’m Dr. Seth. Y’all know me from peddling mustache wax, beard oil, and soap for over 8 years now. I’m starting a new journey. Still will be doing Dr. Seth’s and will be using it to help forward a personal and community goal. To become financially independent and use my extra time not teaching, making products, being a great dad and husband, to help organize and run community events.

To that end, I have run across Mr. Money Mustache who happens to live nearby. He recommends not financing a car or leasing, and buying used for all car purchases. Here is his list of cars that fit the bill. I still like feeling involved in driving from place to place, so I have opted for mostly manuals. These are all Craigslist finds on October 12, 2020. I’ll share how I found them because they will not be around long. There isn’t a way to automate Craigslist ads yet, so it must be semi-regularly checked.

All are under the “Cars and Trucks” section under “For Sale”. I also filter to only showing “Owner” vehicles; I don’t want to deal with dealerships. Be safe and meet near police stations or other public, well-lit places. Always drive before buying and/or have a known mechanic check it out for $40-60.

2011 Nissan Leaf: $5000 – Batteries are about 66% life left. Still kinda pricey but the experience of fixing individual cells and learning about EVs would be invaluable. And no gas, no oil changes, no direct emissions. Automatic. FWD.

199? Mazda B series truck – $1800, Light on details but seems to be in good shape and everyone wants a truck! Manual, RWD?

2004 Saturn Ion 2 – $2500, the last fun Saturn coupe 2+2, with the wacky suicide door for the backseat, and offset dash, in a superb color! My first car was a 1993 Saturn SL2, so maybe I’m nostalgic but this would still be a fun car. Manual. FWD. Suicide Door.

1986 Ford F250 XL Diesel 6.9 RWD – $3000, Big diesel truck with a manual transmission, a half ton of fun! Manual. RWD. Diesel.

1988 Honda Prelude Si – $3250, Hondas run forever when maintained, Preludes are very fun. Manual. FWD.

2013 Chrysler Sebring convertible – $1700 (might be a typo but it IS a Sebring), not in any way serious but man, what a great way to spend $1700 on a car that will not get you into any trouble as it is slow as molasses, convertible, AND a MANUAL transmission! I want to buy this as my daily driver and then ruin it by turning into a Gambler 500 car for next year! Manual. FWD. Convertible. Ridiculous(ly awesome).

2005 Honda Element – $5400, needs rear suspension work so talk them down a few hundred, manual, super awesome rear seats, stainproof floors. Manual. FWD. Cool Seats. Suicide Door.

2010 Toyota Prius – $6500, a bit pricey but this one is immaculate pretty clean and these things do run forever, AND give you a chance to learn about EV battery systems. (okay, there are some black marks on the driver seat. Auto. FWD. Two sets of wheels.

2004 Toyota Prius – $3200, great price, will need new tires soon so keep that in mind, also includes a rear hitch. Auto. FWD. Hitch included.

All of these purchases would be HIGHLY dependent on mechanic’s inspection and/or personal drive (radio OFF, listening for sounds), no weird smells, no check engine light, no creepy individuals (trust your instinct).

Get them while they’re hot!

Also for reference we currently have a 2006 Scion xB and 2005 Mazda 6 wagon. Less than $5000 purchase price for both. We have about $2500 into them in two years of driving, includes gas and insurance.

Follow along on our journey!