I have always been good at resisting peer pressure. Until recently.
My dear friend Tiffany bought a new Ford Escape.
My dear friend Amber had a run-in (no pun intended) with a deer. As a result, her car was totaled, so she bought a new Ford Fusion.
And with all of the talk about car shopping along with the experience of getting to ride in their new vehicles and remembering what that new car smell is like, I began to think that maybe it was time for me to have a new car.
Was there anything wrong with my car? No. Did I have any reason to believe that it was nearing the end of its life? Nope. Had I reached a point where I no longer liked my car? Not at all.
I just wanted one. That's all.
So, on Saturday, I drove myself down to Sid Dillon. There, I met with a salesman named Dan. I told him what it was that I thought I wanted. Dan made a recommendation that sounded good to me.
I test drove it.
I loved it.
I told him that I would buy it (after checking insurance rates, of course).
I am a teensy bit impulsive sometimes. Not a quality that I'm particularly proud of.
So, over the rest of the weekend, I contacted my insurance agent (Olivia Heidinger at Farm Bureau) to make sure that I would be able to budget for my car payment plus insurance. I also read every single consumer report I could find to make sure that I was getting a safe and reliable vehicle. I checked prices at every other dealership in the city to make sure that I wasn't getting ripped off.
I figured that if I was not supposed to buy this vehicle, there would be a sign. Here were the signs that I received over the next 24 hours:
1) Sid Dillon finance lady called to say she was able to save me an additional $1000
2) Insurance agent Olivia informs me that the insurance for my brand-new vehicle is $45 less per month than my ten-year-old car was.
3) Dan from Sid Dillon called to say that the price of the vehicle I wanted had gone down and thus lowered my monthly payment by $20.
All signs pointed to buying the car.
So I did.
On Monday after class, I went to pick it up. Are you ready for introductions?
Friends, meet my new companion, a 2010 Nissan Rogue. Nissan Rogue, meet my blog readers.
1) The lights do not come on automatically. I'm going to have to put a sticky note on my steering wheel to remind me to turn them on and off.
2) It is a bit trickier to get in and out of parking stalls when driving an SUV. I'm going to need some practice.
3) The speedometer is marked in increments of 10 miles per hour instead of in increments of 5 miles per hour. When going any speed that ends in a 5, I'm going to have to watch very closely to make sure that I'm not speeding.
Overall, though, I love my new purchase. It rides amazingly smoothly. The air conditioner produces really cold air almost instantly. The seats are really comfortable. It's an SUV, which is almost a necessity for a person of my height.
I am, however, struggling with a case of buyer's remorse, similar in nature to the purse incident of 2008. When I got home yesterday, I felt a little bit sick at my stomach thinking about what I had done. You see, over the past several years, I had become quite comfortable with my lifestyle My expenses are relatively low, which has allowed me to work on my Masters degree, travel, and enjoy leisure activities without thinking much about money or budgeting.
But now, I have a car payment. Yuck.
Oh, well. I think I made a good purchasing decision. I'm excited to be able to offer a ride to my co-worker friends whenever we go places. The all-wheel drive will make me feel much more safe when driving in the winter months. And I no longer have to worry about when the next thing will go wrong with my car. I suppose a measly car payment is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
At least that's what I'm going to tell myself for the next 36 months.