Lame Excuses for Buying a New Car

July 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Spending

Second only to those who are house poor are those who are car poor:  Their cash flow and budget are demolished by car payments.  Yet these same people are unrelenting in their need to buy new and buy often.  I went on a personal finance message board to gather lame excuses offered by new car purchasers who really could not afford it.  Here are some of them, along with some proposed tough love responses: 

1.   “I deserve a new car.”  Tough Love response:  If you deserved a new car, the government would give it to you.  Isn’t that the way it works nowadays?  Then you could park it next to your Katrina trailer… oh ….maybe you didn’t really need that either?

2.    “My old car gets poor gas mileage.”  Tough Love response:  If your poor gas mileage is not a recent phenomenon, why did you buy that gas hog to begin with?  Run the numbers on trading up then convince us that you will keep that new car until the money break-even point ……in 2025.

3.     “I’m embarrassed to be seen in an old car because my friends/family make fun of me.”   Tough Love response:  Put a big sign on your car that says “This car is paid for – is yours?”  If that doesn’t shut them up, send them to this site and I will take care of them for you.

4.      “I need a car that’s reliable.”  Tough Love response:  I’m looking right now in Wikipedia and I can’t find the rule that says only vehicles that require monthly payments to the bank are reliable.  I did find something about finance and depreciation costs compared to maintenance costs.  Have you looked at that?   I didn’t think so.

5.   “It helps the economy because Ford and GM are in terrible shape.”  Tough Love response:  Do you think Ford or GM will help you out when you have to choose between rent and car payments because you lost your job?  If you want to help the economy, give your money to companies that are actually designing good products.

6.  “I want to buy a green car (hybrid) to help the environment.”  Tough Love response:  Want to help the environment?  Ride your bike.  That will save you some real green.

7.   “I can afford a new car.”   Tough Love response: Does “afford”  mean that your monthly payment will be lower than your rent or mortgage?  Do you even have a budget?  Do you know what your net worth is or are you focused on your FICO score?   Try using an online budget tool to get the real picture.

If you have any other excuses, post a comment.  If you still have a need to buy new, try bringing some fear of debt into the deal. That might help.

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