No. of Recommendations: 0
What kind of car is it? Did you buy it new? Have you done good maintenance on it? (Changed the oil every 3,000 miles, gotten the tires rotated, done all the scheduled maintenance on it?)

Buying a new car is waaay more expensive than keeping a paid-for car and paying for the upkeep, even without a warranty, as long as you have a decent mechanic. Where does one get a decent mechanic? I really like going to the Car Talk website, they've never steered me wrong (and with a '93 Volvo with 178,000 miles on it, I need a good, honest mechanic big-time).

If you've taken even halfway decent care of your car, it ought to go at least another 30,000 miles. Why not try it out? Find a good mechanic, keep the car a while past the warranty, see how you feel. With a cell phone and AAA service, as someone else said, you're prepared for emergencies. If you give it, oh, six months, and you just can't take it, well, *then* look at a new car. But honestly, 85,000 is young for a car. Drive that puppy into the ground, it will save you a *lot* of money.

As for getting a consolidation loan, you can give it a shot, but if you're almost maxed out on the cards now, it might be difficult. $38K is doable for paying off $20K of debt. There are folks here that have paid off more than their yearly income of debt--stick around and we'll help you out.

Have you written down everything you spend money on, for a month? It's a good exercise, it helps you track down where the leaks are in your budget. Even just the act of tracking it down sometimes helps you pay more attention to your spending, and that can help, too.

Hang in there, you can do this. :-)

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