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Cars: Newer Isn't Always Better

Published on 29th August 2018

Written by Sarah Callahan of AMatterofCents.com

The constant inner struggle between doing what is smart and what is desired is a hard one to control. I have bought several cars over my life and with each purchase I always think to myself, I will buy this car and I will drive it until the wheels fall off! Then a few years down the road I find myself seeing things needing repair and my first thought is I better sell this car before the wheels fall off! But is that really the best thing to do when it comes to finances? Having a car is a constant struggle to keep it running and to keep my mind off of buying a new one.

I know I am not the only one! But how can we overcome this insane urge to have the latest bells and whistles?! Marketing is certainly doing its job! It’s not even car commercials that do it, it’s knowing that there are new technology features out there that I don’t have in my 2008 Dodge Caravan (soccer mom van). I can say this: I have a soccer ball in my van right now!

My van runs, it has some rust, it’s got 115K miles, leather heated seats, review camera, two tvs and a dvd player. I can sync my phone to the car so I can drive hands free. I have buttons I can push to automatically start my car, and open the side doors and back door. What else could I possibly want? I want NO rust! I want to tell my car to text someone, but I believe I should be able to do that with Siri, right? But the voice recognition on it sucks. Is this really an entire reason to buy a new car?!

News flash: it isn’t! I work from HOME! I commute to my couch! Or recliner depending on how I am feeling that day and how far I want to travel. But seriously, should I even need to text while I am driving? That is the main thing that I find annoying, that I can’t tell my car to tell my phone what to do while I am driving?! That isn’t safe and it’s not a reason to go further into debt…. Sigh

Yet I struggle! I know this is no reason to buy a new car. I know that my van is almost paid off. I know that my son will eat cupcakes and get crumbs and icing all over the inside of this car. Why do we have these struggles?!

While I can’t shake the need a new car syndrome, I can try and focus my mind on other things that DO make financial sense! My car will be paid off next year; what will I do with that extra $220 that has been going to this van payment? Perhaps invest it? Perhaps hire a weekly maid to come clean my house? Pay down college debt? There are many choices… but I will have my daily struggle with myself about NOT buying a new car.

What do you struggle with that you know is going to be a constant temptation, but a bad financial decision?

Sarah Callahan is a 37-year-old mother, business owner, financial consultant, freelance writer, and wife - in that order. She runs a Wine and Canvas franchise in South Dakota, and started freelance writing this year to explore her creative side. She was formerly an accountant and analyst, so using this side of her brain is a new experience every day! Working for herself allows Sarah the freedom to live life as crazy as she wants to and bring on new challenges every day in different forms. Sarah blogs for http://blog.reviewhomewarranties.com and runs her own site, AMatterofCents.com.

Photo by Alessio Lin on Unsplash

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