I have struggled for most of my life. As the saying goes “the struggle is real”. That being said, the struggle was one self-inflicted financial burden after another to keep up with the Jones’. I was a victim of consumerism and the billion dollar industry that is marketing and advertising that had me convinced that I needed one status symbol after another. New cars, clothing, and a perfectly appointed home with every creature comfort and way more space than I needed. I worked two jobs to maintain that lifestyle and missed out on countless family events as I worked to give my family everything that they wanted. In the end they had the stuff and not time with me, we all lost. I was under immense stress to maintain not just the lifestyle, but the stuff itself. Yeah, all cars need maintenance, but my Corvette needed to only be driven on sunny says and frequently waxed and rubbed with a cloth diaper after every outing. My stuff was killing me; I had a permanent twitch in my right eye was gaining unhealthy weight, developed Acid Reflux and never had extra spending cash despite all the work I was doing.
Minimalism has freed me of all of those concerns and I will now get to the point of this post. My minimalist car. I drive a 1997 Toyota 4Runner SR5 2 wheel drive with 233,450 miles on it. Gods honest truth, that car is perfect. No it’s not perfect as in ” a show car”, rather, it’s perfect for me. I have driven this vehicle for over three years now and she has been a great vehicle, dependable, comfortable, low maintenance costs, and most of all… No payments. Registration fees, taxes, and insurance premiums are all greatly reduced when you own an old car.
The 4Runner is a 4 door vehicle, seats five, has an automatic transmission and a very strong and historically long lasting V6 engine that gets reasonable mileage (22mpg) for a rather large car. I did install an awesome after market stereo complete with subwoofers, but, I love music and like to hear good quality sound when I’m listening to Amorella, my favorite band. I don’t need an in dash GPS that needs new CDRoms to be updated every few years, I have a fantastic Garmin that mounts on the windshield, has a very clear screen, is very intuitive to use and the updates are free for life, all this for under $100. Yes, I have anti lock breaks, Air conditioning that will freeze you out and heat that will make you sweat.
The point is that this car does everything and more than I need it too. It is 19 years old, but I I do the routine maintenance pretty religiously. It is not a status symbol, and no one except me would probably feel lucky to drive it, but I drive it with so much pride, because it is a quality item that I hope lasts for the rest of my life.