We ran into the NEED category for a car. Generally I’ve always been able to pay cash for a car, as I’ve been very fortunate that way. We are frugal people, and I can fix cars, so buying a 15-18k car can be done if planned out, which is what we used to do. In fact, I over paid for my $6000 2226k mile Camry (would have been a $3000 car pre-Covid) in May 2020 due to how expensive and junky cars were then. It’s gotten worse.
This time, the 15-18k car isn’t what it used to be. So, for the second time in my life, I had to finance a car to get something above good. I’ll be driving this for the next 10 years. In 5 we will need to replace my wife’s 2014, most likely due to rust.
Living without debt is going to be tougher for people. Costs are just too high.