The purchase of a vehicle is generally the second biggest purchase most Americans will make, with their home being the first. Now it can be argued that a college education is the second biggest; I know I am still paying off both my undergraduate and graduate loans but that’s another issue.


Good intentions…


My fiancé and I broke down a few weeks ago and made that second biggest purchase, a new car. Well, a new to us car. It is a few years old but had low mileage and the price was right, so we bought it!


It is amazing how quickly we were able to talk ourselves into it. Both of us are the type of people who when we buy a car, we plan on keeping it for as long as we can. Her car was twelve years old and had over 150,000 miles on it. It was in need of major repairs that would have totaled more than what the car was worth.


Reliable transportation on steroids and a stop at Gucci…


Now this is where we start to go astray. Her car was a Ford Escort with no bells, no whistles, and a stick to boot. I think most of you already know where I am going with this. The vehicle we purchased is an SUV with every bell and whistle imaginable down to the heated seats and programmable remotes. It is awesome! It’s got a V8 and a towing package which we don’t need because we don’t own anything to tow. We do not “need” anything more than reliable transportation. Instead we got reliable transportation on steroids and a stop at Gucci.




Our common cry was “We deserve it! We work hard, we put up with that small car for so long. We are going to keep it until the wheels fall off.” It is so easy to rationalize why you “need” something, or how you “deserve” something. I like to think that we live within our means and aren’t too extravagant on perks and luxury items. Do we have enough in our savings account? NO. Have both of us maxed out our 401K or Roth IRA contributions? NO. Do we have other debt we could have put the money towards? YES. So why did we buy it? Simple, we wanted to and we could.


Now this doesn’t mean we did everything wrong with purchasing the vehicle. We did our research and picked a make that has great reliability ratings. The make is one we are familiar with as I have had the same make for the past four years and have been very happy with it. Our financing was already in place when we arrived so we knew how much our payment was and it fit our budget. The dealership we chose is one we purchased from before and we checked to make sure the price was well under book value. It is only a few years old with less than 30,000 miles so some of the factory warranty still applies.


We will have this vehicle until the wheels fall off.