Resisting Spring Automotive Fever
To some of you, Spring Fever means those last few days of school before summer (for students and teachers alike), and for others it the desire to get out of the office and enjoy the beautiful weather.
Well, to me, spring fever means I want to shop for a new car! While I haven’t bought a car for myself in the last 5 years, I have bought cars for my wife. For some reason, when the weather gets warmer, I just get the urge to buy a new car.
In my current situation, I’ve still very happy with my 2006 Honda Ridgeline truck. It does exactly what I want, and has even taken us 4000 miles roundtrip to TX and 2000 to FL in the last year with no complaints. But I’m not looking to replace the truck; rather, I’m looking for something either:
- more luxurious (like a Town Car, Lexus LS, Merc S-Class or some other large highway cruiser)
- sportier (like a Nissan 370Z, Porsche Cayman)
- more commuter-friendly (like a Ford Fusion Hybrid or even a Chevy Volt…when the cost comes down $15k!)
But my current temptation is somewhat a mixture of all of the above…
A 2005 Mercedes SL500.
A specialty dealer near us actually has 2 SL500’s in stock (a 2003 and a 2005), but the 05 is much sweeter. Convertible hardtop with photochromatic roof (like transition lenses), heated/cool/MASSAGING SEATS, and a host of other luxuries. I don’t need rear seats because I have the truck, and the trunk has enough for a weekend trip. And it’s priced at least 60% less than new (they run over $100k new).
So what keeps stopping me?
I actually have a few reasons I’m resisting buying this car. The lesser reasons are:
- We don’t have a garage. You don’t keep a car like this out in the weather.
- It’s black and you know how hard it is to keep a black car clean?
- Having a nice car just means that much more to have to worry about such as dings, scratches, etc. You want it to stay nice, but you also want to get your money’s worth out of it and drive it. Lose-Lose.
- Yet another vehicle to insure and maintain. Mo cars, Mo $$.
But the biggest reason I’m resisting buying ANY new car (unless something really cheap comes up…that’s a different story) is because it’s not in our future plans.
Granted, we have a problem that we don’t really know what our future plans are!
What our future holds…maybe
Since I like lists in this article, here’s a list of things we may or may not want to do in the near and long-term future:
- Probably not have kids, but you never know. Kids aren’t in the cards right now as we pretty focused on our jobs and travel, as well as our nieces and nephew.
- Maybe move somewhere totally different. I can’t imagine moving to a different home in the D.C. area because we like our house, our neighborhood and our city, and it’s easy to commute to many jobs we find. However, my wife is getting tired of the grind of her job and is thinking of something totally different (she doesn’t have a clue what yet), while I’m working on saving up money just in case.
- When I say moving somewhere totally different, it could be out west like AZ or CA, or somewhere south like NC or SC, or even overseas (although that’s a major, major decision we’re not ready for)
- Maybe make some major changes to our home. If we decide to stay where we are, we have plans for some nice renovations to make it more livable (like redoing our upstairs or adding a sunroom/Florida room).
- Definitely travel much more. I don’t want to give much away on timelines, but we’re definitely going to Germany within the next year, and we’d like to visit friends in Kenya and maybe go back to Ireland again.
Therefore, throwing, 20,30, or $40,000 at a car just isn’t in the cards, as much as I would love a new ride. Until we figure out what we want to do with our lives, we need to play it safe. And neither of us want to make a decision just to have some permanency. In other words, we don’t want to just have kids to get the decision over with and get that “monkey” off our backs.
For now, we’ll enjoy the extra income coming in from the lack of debt (except our ever-decreasing mortgage) and the assurance that we’ll be covered with whatever decision we choose down the road.