7. Auto Loans

Okay, I’ll admit it. I don’t get the car thing.

That’s abundantly clear from the vehicles I’ve owned in my life, starting with the bright blue Mazda station wagon I purchased in college, followed by the Suzuki Samurai I drove in Alaska, and the ever-thrifty little Saturn SL1 I bought with cash after arriving in Southern California. (I was so cheap at the time I refused to spring for electric locks.)

Then there was The Beast—a Ford Explorer whose odometer had turned over twice before I got my hands on it. (When we finally sold it, it had over 265,000 miles—and the new owner assures me that it’s still running.)

The SUV was a hand-me-down from my husband, who does care about cars—at least more than I do. A friend explained that the ...

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