While the house continues to get built I thought I might start making posts about things we do to try to be as frugal with the money we have, as possible. After all, that's really how we are affording this house! The insulators left yesterday and now their big trailer is out of the way in the front to take a picture. Inside just looks like a bunch of insulation, LOL
One very main way we are frugal with our money is our vehicles. We currently have 3 cars/trucks. One is our very first brand new car, bought in 1986. We put over 200,000 miles on it. Our son drove it in high school. DH just has sentimental attachments to "stuff" (so not frugal!) but honestly, the car is probably worth about $500 (it does run) and DH just keeps it.
DH has a pickup that we bought new in 1998 (1999 model). It only has 54,000 miles on it, because it is his "baby". It's in pristine condition. It does get used if it has to (to haul something) but otherwise gets driven very little. I have the minimum insurance on it, since it literally gets driven a few times a year. He was posting on this message board he frequents (for gear head type guys) and several have told him he could probably get $50,000-$60,000 for his truck - because of the condition it is in and because it is before "all the emissions stuff" they don't like.
Our main car "my car". Though now that I don't have to drive to work anymore, DH does most of the driving of it. We bought it used in 2011, but it was a 2011 model. DH found it on Craigslist. Turns out a guy bought it from an auction, fixed it and sold it. It had 4800 miles on it when we bought it, still smelled brand new and the plastic was still on the floor mats. It came back with a clean carfax, though later, in googling the vin# I discovered it's history (so not sure how the carfax was clean). It had been owned by a car rental company and had gotten in an accident. It appears the front bumper/valance was pulled off. Pretty minor, really. Someone probably ran up over a parking curb and pulled it off backing up. And apparently the car rental company had to total it. The guy we bought it from put a new front valance on it and it's been a perfect car for 8 years now! (knock on wood). We paid half what it would have cost brand new, so we've always felt like we got a great deal on this car. We are hoping it's going to last us a few more years. We just had some repairs done to the front end (new tie rods) and since we now do not put very many miles on it anymore, we are going to keep driving it as long as we can.
We take care of routine maintenance. DH is very thorough about this. Oil and filter changes, tires rotated, etc. We also keep our vehicles very clean inside and out. We have found keeping them clean (and smoke free) has really helped in resale value when we do sell a vehicle.
I honestly don't know how much this has and does save us over the years. Obviously, we don't have any car payments. The low miles we now put on mean less wear and tear and less often to replace tires. The ages of the two vehicles insured means lower premiums. I show the last time we filled up my car with gas was on Dec 20th and we still have over a half of a tank left. DH pulled his pickup out of the shop the other day to move his car trailers and realized he's put 10 miles on his car since we moved here....that was his last trip from town to here, LOL. Sometimes I think I should just cancel the insurance on it, since it just sits in the garage/shop 99% of the time, but the few times he does take it out on the road, I worry something might happen.