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By the author of What School Should Have Taught You.
Everybody is getting hit with inflation pretty badly at the moment. Food prices are through the roof, paychecks don’t pay the bills like they used to because of decreased purchasing power, and the best way to avoid getting angry while at the gas pump is to just look at your shoes until the car is filled.
With all of this going on at the moment, I have to ask, is keeping a truck around just for the occasional truck necessities worth it?
Here are some of my thoughts on that at the moment.
When I first got my truck, one of the initial advantages was that it allowed me to dispose of my trash without having to pay for trash pickup. That’s a minuscule savings for what one pays for a truck, but it was something that was appealing to me.
Plus, I’d always wanted a truck, and my little old car was just about to bite the dust.
I bought an inexpensive used truck, sold the little car, and was able to save a little bit of money by taking care of my own trash. What I spent on gas compared to that little car, however, easily more than ate up whatever trash savings that I was able to put away in my pocket.
So if the only reason you keep a truck around is for trips to the dump, you’re not saving money.
The other reason I wanted a truck was because I do a lot of fixer-upper projects around the house, and it’s literally impossible to get those accomplished without a truck. I spent years renting places that needed stuff fixed, but I was always able to just get the landlord to take care of it, or I was able to somehow stuff everything into my little car if I left the trunk open.
I can’t even begin to count the number of times I had lumber hanging out of the back of my little car. If you have a house that requires fixing up, new construction, or general maintenance issues, I’m not entirely sure how to accomplish all of that without having a vehicle large enough to move everything.
One of the things I think about a lot is outside landscaping work.
It’s just about impossible to get all of that accomplished inexpensively without a truck. Sure, you can buy bags of dirt and gravel at Lowe’s, but that is insanely more expensive than just having an excavator fill the back of a truck up with dirt.
If you only have to do this once – maybe you’re doing gravel landscaping – odds are you could find somebody with a truck (those are always popular friends) that would be able to help you out there. If you use mulch, do a lot of landscaping, or regularly need to move drywall, lumber, and other large construction materials, I do think that having a truck is the way to go unless you have regular access to a friend or family member with a truck of their own.
Outside of that type of relationship, it would probably just be cheapest to rent a truck on the off occasions that you need one.
If you raise any type of livestock whatsoever, I don’t know how one would make it without a truck. With a small number of chickens, perhaps, you would be able to just stuff the bags of feed you would need into the car, but with anything else, I think a truck is the only way to go.
The back of my truck has carried goats, chickens, and a pig. Try stuffing a pig into a Honda Civic. Tell me how it goes. (That being said, I did sell a little goat to a lady that just put it in the trunk of her SUV. It promptly joined her up front.)
I say all this to help you to get a better handle on whether or not a truck is worth it for you.
If literally, the only advantage you get out of it is a small weekly savings on trash hauling, you could save a lot of money in gas with a cheaper car and make a pretty good chunk of change by selling the truck to boot. I’m not sure if you’ve looked at the prices of used trucks at the moment, but it’s obscene how high they are.
If you do have 2-3 trips per week that require a truck, then I think we’re talking about something that has some definitive use for your household. Otherwise, you’re just paying property tax for something that isn’t really doing you a lot of good. It has tangible value, yeah, but if you have bills that really need to be paid or debts that you owe, selling that truck that does more sitting in your driveway than it does being driven with a purpose is probably something you may want to start thinking about.
What are your thoughts here? Is a truck worth it?
Do you feel having a truck is worthwhile for you? Why or why not? Would selling a rarely used truck be a good option for paying off debts? Tell us in the comment section below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.