I just bought a used car, and it’s already in the shop!


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With a family of 8, sharing one vehicle was getting difficult. Yes, our one vehicle holds 15 people (Ford E-350) but our schedules are constantly conflicting, making people late or having to schedule appointments in an odd way. I was getting tired of it! I had enough and decided to get my own car. I bought a 2003 Mazda Protege for $950. Yes, you read that right! At that price, I knew it needed some work, and I would have to put in about what I paid for it, to be road ready and safe for my kids. I bought it, insured it and registered it on Friday, by Monday it was in the shop getting a new alternator and belt, which cost me just over $400. The mechanic was hopeful that it would be all that was needed, but 15 miles down the road and the check engine light came on, so back to the shop it went. It will stay there tonight, and I should have an answer tomorrow about what else it will need. I am thinking a new radiator hose will be required, hopefully not an entire radiator, though it is possible. I am stressing out a little about price, but I trust our mechanic will figure it out and make it safe for my kids. In the meantime, I am in the process of researching new car seats, and once I decide on them, I will make sure to have them checked for proper installation. Have you ever bought a really cheap used car, knowing you would have to sink a bunch of money into it right away?

Willow Stevens

Willow is a mother of six who begins to feel the empty nest, with faer oldest child living with his long-time girlfriend in another state, and the next three begin their talks about jobs and the excitement of college and living alone. Willow started couponing in 2007 to save their family some money on the grocery budget. That's how Freetail Therapy was born, so that fae could share their knowledge of saving money with others. Though the site has become so much more since then, and now includes homeschooling and homesteading info, Willow still does it all on a budget and shares how. Willow enjoys snagging freebies, snuggling with their dog, Xander, drinking decaf coffee, gardening, cannabis and of course, their large frugal family.

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