One thing that I find interesting is how completely different the cars you start out shopping for are from the cars you actually buy. I thought I’d test my memory this Sunday (which is good when it comes to paychecks) and imagine the garage that could have been.

Winner: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 Laredo X 4x2.

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($26,000 Sticker / $22,000 Purchase Price / $28,000 Total)

  • 1st Runner Up: 2012 Dodge Durango 3.6 SXT AWD.
  • 2nd Runner Up: 2016 Hyundai Tucson 1.6t Eco AWD.
  • Honorable Mention: 2008 Dodge Ram 2500 4x2 with a bedcap.

Winner: 2006 Kia Amanti Std.

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($11,000 Sticker / $7,500 Purchase Price / $8,400 Total)

  • 1st Runner Up: 2012 Kia Optima LX.
  • 2nd Runner Up: 2013 Porsche Cayman Base.

Winner: 2012 Jaguar XF 5.0 Base.

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($29,000 Sticker / $29,000 Purchase Price / $32,000 Total)

  • 1st Runner Up: 2014 Acura RLX.
  • 2nd Runner Up: 2013 Lexus RX350 2WD.
  • Honorable Mention: 1992 Acura NSX Base Auto.

I enjoy all three!


So we are 4 years out from when I bought the Amanti (the first of these 3) and 3 years before everything is paid off. That would have been up to $68,400 total spent but early pay offs to move the total debt time to 7 years places the garage spend at $62,000. That happens to be an amount similar to that brand new Porsche Cayman over 7 years when I checked it out back in 2012 as my prospective first car purchase.

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(My stepdad bought the $600 Geo Tracker that was my first car and my mom bought the $11,000 2006 Kia Rio Sedan that was my second car).

The other alternate timeline would have seen me with a $160,000 mortgage back in July 2013. About $810 a month for 30 years. After 4 years I would have owed $148,000 on the house right now. By July 2020 I’d owe $139,000 on the house but it would probably sell at $180,000 which would cover the living differences, furniture, and the other car purchases that would have occurred over those 7 years. Breaking even in every reality.

Paths fork and branch numerous times but they still end up in the same place over time. That’s just me though because I’m a polar bear’s toes, all chill. Excuse me while I go have a Coke and a smile.

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*Oh, I did the check and there is one more car coming around this time next year. Something around $8,000 according to my spreadsheets and my habits. I am keeping the “cash only” promise I made on top of the XJ-SS, GranCabrio, and other cars I said I’d grab over the next 30 years.