Confession time. I’ve been thinking about buying a new-to-us car. And by thinking, I mean obsessing.
A little back story -
My wife and I own three paid for automobiles – a minivan we paid cash for in 2007, an 2001 Accord we paid off in 2005, and an old pickup truck that I use for hauling off trash. When we purchased the minivan back in 2007, we did so because our previous minivan was dying, and I didn’t want my wife to drive around in an unsafe automobile. I felt, and feel, that buying the newer minivan was a good idea.
Back in November, I hit a deer with my car. The insurance adjuster visited, and I now have an estimate for the repairs. The collision with the deer really bummed me out – but it also got me to thinking – Do I really want to spend $1000 – my deductible – to fix an automobile that is 9 years old? Perhaps I should just sell the thing, and buy something newer?!?
Fast forward -
And so, for the past several weeks, I’ve been debating about what to do with the car. Should I sell it, should I keep it? Should I fix it, should I drive it as it is? Should I buy something newer, or should I get the Accord repaired? At the end of the day, all of this self-talk managed to do was one thing -
It kept me from admitting the truth to myself!
See, I kinda, sorta want a newer car, and the collision with the deer was just the excuse that I needed to justify the purchase. Plus, I’ve done really well over the past few years, and I deserve a newer car. Right?!?
There, I typed it. I’ve been trying to convince myself that – as a reward for making prudent financial decisions – I should reward myself with a new car.
Instead of just spending the $1000, which I have, and repairing the Accord, I’ve seriously considered dipping into my savings and buying something nicer. Heck, for a fleeting moment, I even considered buying a brand new car. In that fleeting moment, I could actually smell that new car smell, wafting up as I tooled about town in my sweet new ride.
Thankfully, I have snapped out of my own funk, re-read several of my old posts, and come to my senses.
I do not need a new car. My Accord is in great shape – aside from the deer damage – and once it’s fixed, it will look (almost) as good as new. And, if I continue to change its oil on a regular basis, get it serviced regularly, and keep good tires on it, I should be able to drive it for several more years.
So, I’ll spend the $1000, get the car fixed, and continue to drive it. Sure, it wold be fun to have something newer, but the reality is, it’s just a car. All I need it to do is get me from point A to point B, safely. If I have to spend a little money, each year, to keep in on the road, so be it. I’d much rather pay for (reasonable) repairs than to pay for an entirely new automobile.
For a few weeks, I almost got caught up in the power of car fever. Thankfully, I did not listen to my temporary emotions and I chose to stick with my long-term game plan.
What about you? Have you ever talked yourself into a bad financial decision? Or, conversely, have you ever talked yourself out of one?