Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Are you riding high?

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!


Erin said...

Ugh. I have loved not having a car payment, and honestly, it's the only way I could afford to live before October. Now that I have to seriously look at and plan for getting a new car sometime this year, I'm dreading it. I know I'm going to buy a good gently used car, but it still won't be pretty. No car envy for me. It's just not worth it!

sedjtroll said...

I've been thinking the exact same thing... I'd kinda like a nicer car, but I can't bring myself to buy one. It just costs SOOO much!

Stephanie said...

Erin - Now that your job is so much better, I'm sure you'll be able to afford a decent used car. Especially since your car is on its last wheel! :-)

Sedj - I am on the same page. I'm choosing to wait. My car only has 115K miles on it. It still has lots of life left!!