Man our old LaSalle ran great… Learning to be Frugal

Automobile News has an article / essay arguing that many auto dealers are finding that regular customers are trading ‘down’ — buying less expensive luxury cars to replace more expensive luxury cars.  Other buyers are shopping for used cars, or buying out their lease at the end of the lease.  Some buyers are focused on not giving the appearance of buying a new car — so they need the same model and color of car, or buy a less obviously ostentatious car, say a sedan instead of a convertible — so as not to appear to be doing well.  A related article is about how fewer people are financing cars, or financing less of the car deal, and F&I offices in dealerships are reducing staff.

Searching Google, there are thousands of hits for the phrase Frugal the new black.  Very popular topic, Frugality.

Is frugal the new ‘black’, meaning much more popular these days?  Many of the Generation that lived through the Great Depression in the United States (and the rest of the world for that matter) became stereotypically frugal for the rest of their lives.  Suddenly going from the heyday to rampant unemployment and food lines left a permanent memory of shortages, one they always kept in the back of their mind.  “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” was a household aphorism.

As more and more people learn to cut back on excess, pay off  their debts, and live within their means, is it possible that this will be a permanent sea change?  Will we see the market for new cars continue to stay at the current reduced levels, and the market for used cars continue to be at elevated levels?

How can we be frugal with our Cadillacs?

1) Wash and wax it yourself.  Savings:  up to $10/week
2) Keep your new car for 8-12 years instead of buying a new car every 4-5 years.  Savings:  up to the cost of a new Cadillac.
3)  Maintain your Cadillac; oil changes, oil filter, air filter are all easy to maintain and to learn to maintain.  Savings:  Around $30/oil change doing it yourself; about 1/2 for filters buying online vs buying retail.  A Helm’s shop manual (the official GM shop manuals) is invaluable for this — check ebay for used copies!
4) When you need new parts replaced that you can’t do yourself, ask if you can buy the part online and bring it to the Mechanic.
5) Keep visiting for helpful advice and support.  Questions always welcome about your Cadillac.

Do you have other favorite Frugal Cadillac habits?

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