You: Hey, Liz! How's it going? What's new?
Me: HI IT'S GREAT I'M BUYING A NEW CAR AND I'VE BEEN SAVING UP FOREVER AND THAT'S WHY I'M ALWAYS BROKE AND NEVER GO OUT BUT I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I WANT AND--
You: (slowly backs away)
Hey, by the way. Did I mention I was buying a car?
'Cause I am. And I did. And here's how it went:
|Me and my first love. March 2005.|
Me with my new (used) car! I am 17 years old and just discovered the hidden 6-CD changer under the passenger seat. This car has special features like leather seats, a sunroof, cruise control, and a cassette tape player. THAT'S RIGHT. #Winning
Fast forward several years. I'm flying down I-44 in Oklahoma City at 75 mph (approximately 20 mph faster than any other car on the road, because Oklahoma) when my car breaks down. Forty-eight hours and five hundred dollars later, I think to myself, Maybe it's about time to think about a new car.
On a particularly plain afternoon--ALSO THREE DAYS AFTER STARTING A NEW JOB HELLO STRESS--I hear my car once again make a noise. Green Gatorade is gushing out the underbelly of my car into my crisp new garage. Seventy-two hours and nine-hundred dollars later, I think to myself, Maybe it's about time I think about a new car.
After marinating on this blog's suggestion of budgeting, I start saving up for a new car. I figure out how much I can afford for a car payment, and decide to start paying myself that much per month so I will have some cash to put down on a car next time mine decides to break. Not that I had any clue what a real car payment looks like. APR? Oh well. Dave Ramsey would be proud.
Knowing I am twelve months from saving enough to buy a car and that I will buy a slightly used 2014, I begin my test drives. I narrow down my list of possibilities:
Nissan Pathfinder (too bulky and not that cute).
Let's be honest, the Jeep is the only SUV I was really interested in. I promised myself I wouldn't buy another car until there was one out there as pretty slash prettier than my Infinity, and the Jeep is the only one to measure up.
I find approximately forty-two Jeeps I want to buy. I take one home for a one-night stand, but I know it's too much money so I end up giving it back. I drive out of state to view two other vehicles but ultimately wimp out.
April 1, 2015
By God's good graces and some generous donations from various family members and friends, I meet my savings goal and begin the search for a car, of which there are none. Literally. Anywhere in the country. After months of research, decision making, mind changing, and test drives, I now know exactly what I want, and there are exactly zero gently used vehicles in the country that meet my specifications. I can feel the money burning a hole in my pocket and no one will let me spend it.
April 15, 2015
I think I've found it. Against my ego, I search the Carmax website, and there it is. It's in Georgia, but it's the right color (okay, it's my verysecondchoice right color, but I'm too excited to worry about it). It has all the fancy features I want. It has crazy low mileage. It's a little pricey, but I can come to terms with that. It has the bigger, V8 engine, and as much as my tree-hugging self scoffs at the extra gas I'll be guzzling, my ego is revving. I make the call.
April 20, 2015
I have one more day to change my mind. The car will ship out tomorrow, and if I don't find anything better today, my deposit will turn into commitment. I take one last look. Cars.com turns up nothing. Sewell.com turns up nothing. No dealer has emailed me. It's 10:45. One last look at Carmax.
I make another call.
I talk to the wrong salesperson.
I'm in trouble with the first over an issue of split commission.
There are more phone calls.
Am I running out of time?
The inquiries come back positive.
Heated steering wheel (What?! Yes, this is a thing).
It was born in Hawaii. A-LOW-HA!
They might pick up the other car a day early.
Please don't be running out of time.
I get passive aggressive texts.
Did it go through?
I leave voice mails.
I call again.
The perfect car has found it's way to me. I made a last minute switch, but I'm so glad I did. For less money, and handful more miles, a smaller engine, and the absolutely first place color choice, I've got the right car.
I'm so grateful for everyone who listened to me as I worked through this process. To my friends who supported my months and months of anti-social behavior so I could save money. To my parents for being excited for each new car I found and went to see. For my grandmother for her generous donations that made it possible for me to afford more than I should. For the endless supply of sources on the internet that piece-by-piece explained the process to me. For the guys at the bank for patiently explaining loans to me. For the salesmen who kept up with me and treated me respectfully. For the salesmen who were real pains in the butts so I'd know that their car wasn't meant for me.
And finally, a big thank you to my first car.
For taking me on countless adventures, detours, and road trips.
For keeping me safe through sun, rain, ice, snow, hail, and tornadoes.
For shuttling my friends and I through our formative years.
For being the only home I never had to pack up and leave.
And for lasting until I was ready to say goodbye.
I sincerely hope you don't end up with ISIS.
This concludes my chapter on "How Liz Bought A Car All By Her Big-Girl Self". Now, would someone help me figure out how to turn this thing on? #RemoteStart
|New car. May 2015.|