Liz Pulliam Weston wrote an article about why people are broke. Her hypothesis? People are spending too much money on, *gasp*, their cars! What a surprise!! According to her article, the average person spends over $8,000 a year on car expenses - payments, maintenance and gas.
I'm not surprised... I am a fairly practical person when it comes to money stuff and material possessions. Sure, I'd love to have a nicer car. But the reality is, my Civic runs great and I still like it. But the best part is that it's paid off! Living in southern California, I surely get car envy from time to time, but I comfort myself with knowing that I don't have some gigantic car payment or worse, a lease payment! I bought my 1998 Honda Civicfor $13,500 in 2000, used with 36,000 miles on it. I paid it off within about a year and a half and have been reaping the benefits ever since.
When I was married, my husband would look at his friends and say, "Look at him, he has a new ______ and his wife just got a new ______. How can they afford that and we can't? We make as much money as they do!" I used to tell him, "They're probably in debt up to their eyeballs, and we aren't. That's how!" It ended up to be true for that couple he knew, and I suspect it's true for lots of people out there. So, the next time you're feeling envious, just think about how much that car is costing them! Plus, it's just a vehicle to get from point A to point B. I'd much rather have that money in the bank. Besides, anyone who wants to judge me for my car, probably isn't the type of person I want to be friends with anyway!