My wife and I walked by a BMW convertible and I commented, “That’s a cool looking car.”
“That’s a mid-life crisis car,” she said.
“Man, I sure hope I can afford a mid-life crisis.”
Is it better to buy a mid-priced used car or a new car? How much is that new car smell worth to you? Would you date someone who’s car door was held shut by a rope? If you said, “No,” to that question then clearly you’re not my wife.
It is the common wisdom of financial gurus to discourage people from buying new cars. They always say of new cars, “They are a bad investment.” Really? I’m investing in getting to work on time. How about that?
It never even occurred to me that I was buying a car to make an investment. It’s odd thinking to me. Is a refrigerator an investment? Why not use this same logic when buying home appliances? Buy used because as soon as Sears delivers, you’ve lost 30% on your investment. Is my food cold? That’s why I bought the fridge. I didn’t buy it as an investment. And I don’t buy cars as investments. Cars are just home appliances you keep outside. I buy a car to drive to work to pay for that fridge to keep my food fresh, so I can have enough energy to get up the next day and do it all again.
When I first ventured into a career in standup comedy, I drove everywhere. Sometimes I would get in the car and drive twenty-four hours to the next comedy club. I put a lot of miles on my car and fast. During a stint in Florida, I stopped by an auto dealership and tried to buy a new car. They wouldn’t give me credit because I was a self-employed standup comedian. My mother lived in Florida, so I asked her to cosign.
My own mother wouldn’t give me credit, such is the financial reputation of comedians.
So, I’ve owned my share of clunkers.
There is a term used to describe people who spend so much money on car repairs that they are suicidal – mechanic depressive. You ever call your car a piece of dung and then end up apologizing to it? Patting the dash, “I’m sorry. You’re a good car. Please, please, start – and I’ll replace the garbage bag with a real window.”
When we first married, my car was such a piece of junk that my wife wouldn’t fill it up because she feared the car wouldn’t outlast a tank of gas. I’m surprised that our relationship made it through the string of cars I owned. She should have seen the keys to our financial future scratched in the cars I tried to start.
If you value your relationship, buy the new car.
You know, once you have credit.
There’s no better feeling in the world than someone walking by your BMW and commenting.