It’s amazing to see how one person’s life can change so much and to see priorities get shifted as you get older. The past decade of my life has been an ever-changing story book and the past year has completely turned my life around. A complete 180 degree turn! For the better of course. From having zero investment assets to now having 8 real estate investment properties and a decent stock portfolio, from not having a steady girlfriend to being married, from living in the heat of Austin to the winter tundra of Indianapolis. And now for what is proving to be the biggest hurdle of them all, getting rid of my Jeep Wrangler and replacing it with a Minivan! Nooooo! My baby! My super tough, rugged and manly baby will be moving on to a new life!! Here is why I am going from a Jeep Wrangler to Minivan.
For the past 5 years I have owned and driven as a daily commuter a 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X. I have had so many awesome memories driving this vehicle. From driving on the beach (literally on the beach) to rock crawling on some super awesome off-road courses in TX. I have taken it muddin’ and it’s even been across the country! The pictures in this post are of my actual Jeep and the fun times I have had with it. Summer was always my favorite because I would completely undress the Jeep and roll with no doors, windows or top. It’s such a liberating and free experience driving the jeep when it’s in summer mode.
If you are an avid reader of my blog, than you would know that I am a stickler for personal finance. I try my hardest to increase my net worth, make passive income and save money in any way that I can. Well the last remaining remnant of my pre-financially savvy life is the Jeep. It’s a gas guzzling, money sucking, depreciating asset yet it is also a beautiful bringer of joy. People of all shapes and sizes love Jeeps and man do they look bad ass!!
The financially smart investor in me (the good angel on my right shoulder) has always been telling me to get rid of it but the spendthrift personality in me always took precedence when it came to the Jeep. Money was no object when it came to accessorizing, making custom mods or paying the thousands of dollars in gas that I have spent on the Jeep. Well the time has finally come and it’s officially time to move on and part ways with the Jeep. It’s painful for me to have to do this but it is a necessary move for this stage of my life.
You see, I am currently in the asset growth stage of my life where I want nothing more but to build my assets and most importantly create as much passive income as I can. I need to do this all while being in the early stages of marriage and eventually building my own family. My wife and I are technically still newlyweds and we do not have kids yet but they are the next step and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if we decide to start having babies sometime this year. That along with the reasons below are what has helped me make the final decision to replace my Jeep Wrangler with a Minivan.
Top Reasons To Replace a Jeep Wrangler with a Minivan
1) Fuel Economy
- Lately I have been averaging 12 mpg while driving my Jeep. Yes that is 12 freaking miles per gallon!! That is horrendous. I literally have to fill the tank up after about 3 hours of driving every time. If you read my last net worth update you would have seen that my wife and I took the Jeep cross-country from Indianapolis to Houston. It was a huge pain having to fill that thing up every 3 hours and I stopped counting how much money we spent on gas because it was too painful for me to see. Grant it I do have a 2 inch lift and 33 inch rock crawling tires on it so that is what makes it really bad.
2) Comfort and Noise
- If you are ever in a lifted jeep with a soft top, rolling down the highway at 70 mph, than you will know that you have to yell at the top of your lungs for just the passenger to be able to hear you. It’s a little much especially if you are going on a road trip. Jeeps aren’t meant for long road trips. Not to mention, having a lifted jeep with a custom suspension means you are inline for a nice and bumpy ride. 🙂 Your hands will be sore from death gripping the steering wheel for so long on a long haul. This does not make for a comfortable ride.
3) Money Pit
- This one is more personal to me but once you have a Jeep, you want nothing more but to keep buying accessories and making custom modifications to it. The Jeep community is basically a way of life, every Jeep can be customized to your liking and the possibilities are endless when it comes to accessorizing your Jeep. If you are like me, then money will not be an object when it comes to hooking up your Jeep. My Jeep easily has over $12k in custom parts/accessories. Yes that is $12,000. I could practically put a down payment on an investment rental property in Indy for that amount.
Top Reasons I Will Miss Owning a Jeep Wrangler
1) The coolness factor
- Seriously, this may sound corny, but when you are riding the jeep in “summer mode” (no doors, windows or top) then you can’t but help feel like the coolest baddest person on the road. People literally give you thumbs ups and approval nods everywhere you go. Motorcycles love pulling up to the side of your Jeep while on the highway cruising, giving you a thumbs up, then popping a wheelie to entertain you. I had this happen to me multiple times while living in Austin, TX.
2) The Jeep Community/Jeep Wave
- I am not lying when I say owing a Wrangler is a way of life. Jeepers across the world unite together and are super friendly with other Jeepers. Other Jeeps on the road will wave at you, you will get flyers and letters put on your Jeep to join clubs and other Jeep groups. Its a really cool experience and you will make new friends just by owning a Jeep Wrangler.
3) Off Road Capabilities
- You wouldn’t believe what this Jeep is capable of until your sway bars are disconnected, the air in your tires are dropped to under 20 psi and you are doing some super intense rock crawling. It never seemed to amaze me what the Jeep could do off-road and we did some serious off-roading down in Texas. It’s super fun but a very expensive hobby.
What am I replacing The Jeep With?
This bad boy!! A 2016 (used) Chrysler Town & Country. This puppy gets 25 mpg highway miles, has stow ‘n’ go seats which gives it ridiculous cargo space in the back and is the luxury model of the minivans. The comfort and drive-ability of the minivan is not even comparable when it comes to my beefed up Jeep Wrangler. It’s night and day. The minivan really is nice vehicle and my wife loves it.
It may not be the coolest looking vehicle but all my research led me to owing a minivan. The fuel efficiency they have along with cargo space combine to make this the perfect road trip vehicle. My wife and I are planning on taking a lot more road trips in the future with our 2 dogs and eventually we plan on having kids as well. It was an easy decision for us to decide to go with a minivan. Plus I found a killer deal on this guy. I had to drive 2 hours to get it, but it was well worth it as I literally saved thousands of dollars by doing this. I am so happy with the deal that I got that I could write a whole post on how to buy a used car and save thousands!!
I have sacrificed my toy, my Jeep Wrangler ultimately because it was a financially smarter move for me to do. It was not easy but necessary and I am happy with the decision. Have you had to sacrifice something you love to improve your finances?
A minivan with no kids? You got something else to tell us? 🙂 We had a minivan for years and loved it for a number of the reason you mentioned. Comfort, gas mileage, and storage. Yes sure you take a step down in coolness, but a step up in practicalness. Good luck!
Haha yeah it is kind of weird that we now have a minivan with no kids but it really does make for a good travel vehicle especially because we bring our 2 dogs with us when we travel. Not to mention I would not be surprised if we have a kid by this time next year. 😉
Kudos to you! I couldn’t do it without kids. I’m sure you guys will have a lot of awesome memories in that minivan in years to come though!
Thanks Ryan! We already have a few big planned road trips for 2017 and are excited about it. I cant wait!
We have the 2013 t&c
You will love it
Hi Mike!! Oh we are loving it so far! Its such a smooth and quiet ride.
Hey man I’m an avid Jeeper myself and I am disappointed to find out you are selling your baby (but I didn’t know you had a Jeep to begin with so I got over it quickly). I will though point out that while you spend more on gas and such for the Jeep, fixing it is MUCH easier since they are so modular and there are so many forum threads out there on the most common repairs. I have yet to come across a failure yet that wasn’t fixable with a few cheap parts and some elbow grease, along with a detailed write up on exactly how to do it. I got into an accident last year and got t-boned in my rear axle and was able to swap out the axle with an upgraded version and pockedt ed about $2300 from the insurance payment with minimal time commitment.
So hopefully I’ve convinced you! LOL But anh man I understand your reasoning and have thought the same thing at one point or another. BUt going to hold onto it for now (hell probably till it dies).
Ha yeah its very disappointing for sure. 🙁 You bring a solid point to the table, there is literally a guide for doing anything and everything to our jeeps which is super cool. That is wild you got t boned last year, glad you are okay, sounds serious!
I think later in the future when I have tons of expendable money and am no longer in “growth mode”, I will be able to start buying my toys again. I used to have a motorcycle and had to sell that too.
12 miles per gallon! Way to make the tough decision, I’m sure it wasn’t easy.
I always wonder about people who go the frugal path though – when is enough enough? How do you know subtracting a joy like this from your life is worth it? I almost always would choose taking on extra work to save more (like doing the rehab work yourself) over cutting expenses. But obviously both is better!
Thanks Brian, it wasn’t easy but im over it. I think everyone’s own threshold to what point they will cut back their own personal luxuries is different for all but I think it all comes down to how serious you are about your finances and goals. I mean for me, I am highly motivated to be financially free and it took me years to finally part ways with the Jeep and even though it will probably not even make a dent in my financial freedom, it was not contributing at all. If you arent contributing (jeep), you gotta go!!!
Makes sense. To be clear, I wasn’t criticizing (it’s so hard to tell sometimes on internet comments) – I’m impressed you are making changes on both ends of earning more and cutting back spending!
No worries, I didnt get that impression at all. Thanks Brian!
Turn it into an asset and rent it on Turo. I’ve actually been looking to buy a jeep as a side car but renting it out, ironically.
I have actually never heard of Turo but I just looked it up. Very interesting!! I would be so scared though about someone destroying the vehicle. I didnt realize this existed. Apparently it hasnt made its way to Indy yet though.
I sold my 2012 Mustang GT to get a family vehicle this year as well. It was sad. It’s just a car, but, it was a member of the family nonetheless.
Although I still wish I had it, I too started a new chapter in life and it was time for it to part. For Christmas, my wife did surprise with a used 2004 V6 Mustang that was a tenth of the cost of what I sold my GT for. So, I still have something fun to drive to work & keep miles off the more valuable family car.
Wow that was awesome of your wife to do that for you. You got yourself a keeper there!! 🙂 In the future I will be getting another jeep im sure.
Great move here Alex! I love how you’ve told the story on why you’re making the decision as well 🙂
One thing that I really should be sacrificing is travel to then advance quicker on my FIRE journey although still haven’t particularly cut that cord yet :O..
For me I suppose it’s about being honest with myself about how much you want something!
Thanks Jef! You know you are absolutely right! Travel is actually my last remaining sacrifice I need to make but I dont think ill be able to do that. Travelling all over the world has defined who I am and given me so much more life experience. I Love travelling and I wnot be able to stop. The only thing I can do though is at least try and cut costs like in transportation, lodging and eating while I travel.
I have 3 kids and love my Honda Odyssey. I’ll probably keep one even when the kids are grown and gone. Lots of space. Great for road trips, camping, good gas mileage (better than an SUV).
I feel the same way right now, they are just so practical and useful. Everyone should own one!! 😉
Hey at least you can haul materials for that new house renovation. Also you will save much on gas on those road trips in the future. I have a minivan as well, and it has served us well so far.
Great choice, especially if you’re thinking of having kids.
Minivans get scoffed at, mostly by people who’ve never been inside one, let alone driven one.
A few years ago I had to pick up an antique dresser a 18 hour drive away. Did I get a truck? No way. I rented a minivan and made an extended weekend of it. It was a peaceful and comfortable drive through some incredible scenery that would have been torture in a truck.
I expect our next car will be a minivan too. No complaints here!
Haha yeah its surprising how some people don’t like them. I think they are the most practical vehicle to get.
Awesome! I bought a minivan recently too and wrote a post about it. A couple of people teased me for getting a minivan…apparently minivans are not cool! I have 2 kids…I couldn’t care less about the coolness factor…minivans are so practical and like you said, better gas mileage (and cheaper to buy). The people teasing me were also parents…and they drive big SUVs instead. Not sure why those are cooler?? Anyways congrats on the new car and glad to hear another person who doesn’t hate on the minivan…especially someone who doesn’t even have kids yet! =)
I havent had too many people tease me yet about the minivan but even I admit its kind of weird we have one I mean considering we dont have kids and stuff. Its just the ultimate travel vehicle and we love that aspect. Plus I foresee kids in the future anyways so might as well prepare now. LOL
The gas guzzling SUVs look nice but they arent the best financial decisions for sure. I cant complain though as the Jeep was just as bad.
Growing up is hard to do…my wife and i are going to upgrade to an SUV for similar reasons…it’s also smart to buy a used car, no need to spend extra cash for a car that is only 1 year younger…take care, Mike
haha indeed growing up is hard to do!! Good luck on your vehicle search, try to find a killer deal even if you have to drive a few hours away to get it.