For my 24th birthday, I bought a car. Okay…. so I didn’t technically “buy” a car, it was a loan. A loan that took three and a half years to pay off (paid it off early!), but I still purchased myself a car. I was pretty proud of myself. I worked hard to ensure the loan was paid on time every time, I was petrified of it being repossessed. It was used and it took me a lot of placed that I enjoyed traveling to.
But now the time has come to find me a new set of wheels and this time I’m hoping it can be new. I’m trying to keep the costs as low as I can so you won’t see me driving a Benz any time soon. Do I look like Kim Kardashian?!
I had to come up with a list of reasons as to why I need a new vehicle. Sure I could possibly go $20,000 more in to debt (the 84 month loan, while it’s super long, fits my financial situation), but a car is necessary for me.
1. My type of job. While I’ve been situated in one location the past six months (and quite possibly longer), my job can take me all over the city. Sure we have transit, but sometimes city transit isn’t reliable. Buses can be late or the route has been canceled (can happen in the winter). I prefer to have a vehicle so I can get to work on time.
2. Transportation for my parents. When it’s possible I drive my parents to their appointments and take them to run errands. My dad has been denied twice Handi-Transit (apparently they think he can walk to the bus stop and take city transportation. Um, no!), so he has had to rely on me when I’m available. With both of my parents on disability paying for taxi service can become quite expensive, especially if they have two to three appointments a week.
3. Repairs have become costly. I paid $5000 for the vehicle in 2006. In the second year, I paid $2000 in repair and an additional $2000 in the third year. I know for a fact it will need more repair in the upcoming months/years and when what you pay for said repairs becomes more than what you paid for the car… it’s time to rethink about what you’re doing. With a new car, it will come with warranty.
4. Not reliable. Over the last few years, my car has become unreliable. It’s been in the repair shop numerous times, a good chunk of this is weeks on end. During the winter it’s always sketchy. On cold days it takes forever to start and it has to be plugged in at all times, including when it’s -5C. Yup, it’s becoming a diva. I am becoming worried that one of these days the car is going to die while I’m running errands with my parents and that is something that I cannot deal with. Especially in the winter.
I have become very serious about buying a new car. Sunday was my last day of frivolous spending, even though it was the tasty frivolous kind. I am making sure that I take lunch and proper snacks to work so that I won’t be tempted to go out. If I want coffee, I will make it at home and take it with me. Coffee is 50 cents at work, I will bring tea. I can’t find the lid to my Thermos, so I will have to buy a new one.
I’ve crafted a budget for the next five months that includes the projected monthly payments plus car insurance. In September I will be meeting with the lender where I hold an LOC to work an affordable repayment schedule/payment; in November I will refinance my student loans (stretch out the years I will be repaying) so that it’s not so expensive.With the next two and a half paycheques, I will have five months of payments.
I’ve kiboshed any trips in the next few months, including my mini-vacation at the end of this month. If my budget allows it I will go to Grand Forks for the day, but right now my main goal is being able to afford a new car. No pedicure or manicures, those I will have to do. Dinners with friends will be sparse, only if I can afford it. Coffee with girlfriends will probably be tea. Starbucks won’t see me for a while as I have purchased Iced Coffee for the Keurig. I can make iced coffee every day and I have the sugar free syrup from Starbucks. It’s well worth the $9 to buy a bottle of syrup and make your own coffee at home.
Now it’s all in the hands of the bank. I’ve applied for a loan and I will have to go in to meet with them to discuss it. I am very willing to put a tight rein on my spending habits just so I can afford this car. I’m dedicated, I want it to happen.
P.S. The car in question is a 2012 Dodge Avenger. Sounds like a car that a Super Hero would drive. Up up and away!