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Pre-buyer's remorse
Old 10-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
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Pre-buyer's remorse

I need a little help on a LBYM issue that has come up. My DW and I have been thinking about buying a vehicle. I'm in sticker shock looking at the asking prices for new cars nowadays. Yesterday we decided that we would buy a slightly used car that was higher end yet still cheaper than the average new car we have been shopping. Our thoughts were that for slightly less money than new, we could drive a fine used car with low miles. We took the night to think it over.
Long story short, I was tossing and turning all night over the expenditure. Although we can buy this car with cash savings, I'm thinking we would be better off using the money to pay down some of the house mortgage. (Our current car is adequate for our needs).
This morning, DW told me to just forget about the purchase since it was bothering me. I'm torn now as to whether I am truly troubled by the purchase as "extravagant" or am I just too much into the savings mode. One side of me wants to be strong and avoid this expenditure while the other likes the nicer things in life. Is there room in the LBYM lifestyle to treat yourself with things like automobiles or is the save, save, save mantra where I need to be?
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:58 PM   #2
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Usually, what I try to do is to prioritize the things that I might like to buy. Then, I do buy myself some of the things that are most important to me. I try to be much more tough about the things that are lower on my list of priorities.

LBYM doesn't mean never buying anything for fun - it just means buying fewer things for fun than you could otherwise afford to buy. At least, that is how I work it, personally.

You say that your current car is adequate for your needs. So, buying this car is not a necessity - - it is one of those fun things on your prioritized list of fun things that you might someday want to buy. Space your purchases of fun things a bit. But don't deny yourself all luxuries if there is no need to do so.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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It seems to me you have the "purchase fever". When I get this way, I get in a twist.....

Put it out of your mind for a few days and revisit the options later. Seeing things more clearly without the guilt has worked well for me.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:52 PM   #4
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Psssttt...always buy used.

Now back to your dilemma...and please understand that I bought a new midlife crisis car (2005) because a) I had the money in the bank, b) I had always wanted a Mustang convertible of my own..., and c) it was the first year of reissue of the car reverting back to the 1969 classic roots.

If you can afford it, and both of you will enjoy it and use it...well...
But if buying it is going to give you too much guilt, then wait a few months and revisit the decision.

PS I took 3 months to make my decision.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
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Can you rationalize the new car in terms of better mileage or sound system or some other feature? Sometimes that helps--you can say to yourselves, sure, it cost more than our house, but the mileage! And the sound system!
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:16 PM   #6
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If you do go the new car route and feel guilty that it's too extravagent, then maybe see where you can cut expenses (delay another major purchase, or vacation, for example) to "make up" the difference.

When I bought new cars in the past, I find myself dwelling on stuff like, should I get all the options or some, etc.

Next time when I buy, I'm probably going to go the used, but recent model route. In fact, I almost went ahead and got a used-but-like-new car when my current one's transmission gave out. But instead, I decided to fix the transimission and wait until the time is right to make that major purchase -- so far so good in that my 13 year old car is still ticking.
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Old 10-13-2009, 04:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CATAMAN View Post
I need a little help on a LBYM issue that has come up. My DW and I have been thinking about buying a vehicle. I'm in sticker shock looking at the asking prices for new cars nowadays. Yesterday we decided that we would buy a slightly used car that was higher end yet still cheaper than the average new car we have been shopping. Our thoughts were that for slightly less money than new, we could drive a fine used car with low miles. We took the night to think it over.
Long story short, I was tossing and turning all night over the expenditure. Although we can buy this car with cash savings, I'm thinking we would be better off using the money to pay down some of the house mortgage. (Our current car is adequate for our needs).
This morning, DW told me to just forget about the purchase since it was bothering me. I'm torn now as to whether I am truly troubled by the purchase as "extravagant" or am I just too much into the savings mode. One side of me wants to be strong and avoid this expenditure while the other likes the nicer things in life. Is there room in the LBYM lifestyle to treat yourself with things like automobiles or is the save, save, save mantra where I need to be?
Wow - ditto! My '93 BMW525it work truck is getting due for replacement - re-installed the back seats and took out the supply & tool rack. It has about 210k on it and the dash lights don't work, the heater valve & controls are NFG, the finish is caca... OTOH, the engine is one of BMW's best, the AC & cruise work, and 23.5mpg overall is normal. On the other other hand, it's starting to get chilly, so I need to time when to pull the clamp off the heater hose - 'course then it's full on heat for the rest of fall & winter. Also due for some winter tires and the tags are due....

Anyway, looking at cars and realized I don't have a clue what I'm interested in - went to Edmunds and saw this on new car sedan brands and prices:
New Sedan Pricing:


A car with a four-door body configuration and a conventional trunk or a sloping back with a hinged rear cargo hatch that opens upward.


So the car makers figure their sweet spot is the $25-$35K range? And they also have great hopes of selling from $35-$85K? Holy cats! I'm not used to that kind of car spending - most I ever spent was on the current car - about $3400. My gal pointed out to me that we don't think of monthly payment cost, just bottom line. True. Kinda funny to think that I just transferred $25k from the rental checking account to CapOne to earn $32 interest before we have to use it to pay property taxes next month. Didn't think much of it, but it would bother me a bunch to hand that money to a car dealer. Wondering if I can handle maybe $15k and thinking of maybe a 2008 Mazda 3.........

Have to admit there was something to be said for the 2009 Hyundai Sonata rental we put 2000 miles on recently - satellite radio is pretty ok...

Guess I'm a cheap piker: http://jalopnik.com/5380680/15m-russ...-penis-leather

They've brought back Ari Onassis' choice in yacht leather for this land yacht.
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Old 10-13-2009, 05:30 PM   #8
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When I get this way, I get in a twist.....
This definitely calls for pictures...
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:20 PM   #9
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FWIW I'm an ex new car dealer, and I drive a 2003 Chevy Suburban and DW drives a 2006 Chrysler 300. Cars just don't get me all jazzed up any more, and I get more of a kick riding around in my older cars while everyone else in my hood (mostly doctors) all drive BMWs and Mercedes, and one dude even has a Lamborgini something or another.

I get a kick out of watching them all drive off to work in their fancy cars when I'm out picking up the paper, then I head back to the house to drink coffee and read or whatnot.

DW probably is not as excited about driving off to work in her older car however.

Gotta go-- my sweetie is taking me out to dinner with her paycheck!
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Old 10-13-2009, 06:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by CATAMAN View Post
My DW and I have been thinking about buying a vehicle.
(Our current car is adequate for our needs).
This morning, DW told me to just forget about the purchase since it was bothering me.
Is there room in the LBYM lifestyle to treat yourself with things like automobiles or is the save, save, save mantra where I need to be?
Sure there's room to treat yourself-- when the purchase has value to you.

What is it that made you think about buying a vehicle, and how will it bring value to you?

We're driving a 12-year-old sedan that has 103K miles on it and has no resale value due to a collision with a guardrail. We're in no hurry to replace it because it drives "good enough" and we expect to get our Prius back in just 306 days when our kid leaves for college.

However the phrase "just forget about it" should be a big ruh-roh red flag to any guy.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:07 PM   #11
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Everyone needs to treat ones self every now and then. It should be something that is meaningful to you. Most people on this board typically have the discipline to not squander their resources.
If this car fits the bill then go ahead. If you are agonizing over it, it may not. Only you and your DW can answer that question.

Due to the recent 'correction', we have deferred our upgrading of our car. We could afford to do so, but it's the 'comfort' factor that me and DW have (or don't have) that made us decide to wait a while.

OTOH, we have taken our treks to Vegas, overseas, ...etc. because they are some of the things we WANT to do.

Good luck
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:19 PM   #12
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I almost bought a new car last week. My 9 year old car has had a number of mechanical problems lately and the repair costs are adding up. It has 110K and a resale value of around $3K. I have been struggling about replacing it. On one side, it still drives very well (between trips to the garage that is), it still looks good, it's still comfortable and it still has a better mpg performance than most new cars, so it doesn't feel that old to me and I still like it. On the other side, I feel that it has become unreliable (I wouldn't take it on a road trip for example and that's a a problem because it is our "good" car) and the repairs are quite costly ($1,000 on average each time it goes to the garage). But with good care, it could take me around town for several more years.

I have had my eyes on a 2010 Camry for a while. We sold some company stock last month so we had enough money in our checking account to go ahead and buy it out right. We almost did. We shopped around, determined exactly which model and options we wanted but in the end I could not let go of the cash. When I factored in the depreciation on the new car, higher insurance costs and taxes in the first few years, it seems like I could pay for a few more repairs and still come out ahead. So, I sent the money to Vanguard instead. I'm sure my math is wrong, but it supports my decision and that's all what matters.

We are definitely in savings mode and have been for several years. Family members think we are nuts.
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:32 PM   #13
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This definitely calls for pictures...
Here ya go.....
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Old 10-13-2009, 11:27 PM   #14
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I adopt the following approach to balancing savings with spending on things I enjoy:

1. a budget for non-essentials - accrued monthly. This is fun money, meant to be spent.

2. I keep a running list of the things I would like to buy and the estimated prices (over priced wine, gadgets, painting, carpets etc). This list tends to move around a lot. This year I purchased a wide angle lens for my camera and a case of overpriced Bordeaux. In effect, I have to prioritise items.

3. anything not spent is carried forward - meaning I give myself the option of saving up for something really expensive.

4. I try to wait at least one month after I have made a decision before buying - sometimes I fail at this.

5. If I am struggling to restrain myself, I will tell myself that "it" is a project for "next year" or "after we get back from holiday" etc. Anything to shift me in to procrastination mode. If I can delay long enough I can usually curtail the urge.

Unless I splurge before year end, 2009 will be the fourth year in a row that I have underspent the budget . While DW has offered to assist me in dealing with this difficult problem, I have assured her that I have the situation under control and, as much as I appreciate the kind offer, I can manage.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:42 AM   #15
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You may feel less guilty about spending the money if you can find a good home for your current vehicle.

The AC on DH's 1993 Volvo 850 (170,000 miles) was failing and the repair bill was going to be half the value of the car because the dash had to be removed. Since AC is a must-have in FL in the summer, we purchased a 2006 Hyundai LX for $10,000. The Volvo went to my BIL in OH whose car was comatose and who is barely scraping by on a disability retirement. We told him the car was his if he came to get it. It's already getting cold in OH and he says the heated seats are heavenly! It has new tires and new shocks and it should give him years of use.

Sometimes I look at the "new" car and think about having the money back in the bank but then I remember how much our old car has improved BIL's quality of life. Priceless!
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:21 AM   #16
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4. I try to wait at least one month after I have made a decision before buying - sometimes I fail at this.
That has always been one of my "rules," also -- personally, as Management, as Owner. And definitely never finalize in the same week.
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Old 10-14-2009, 06:47 AM   #17
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Agreed on taking at least a month to think it over. My own experience has been that impulsive decisions have rarely been good ones. YMMV

In a six-month period in 2003 DW and I bought a brand new house, a brand new car, and a brand new pickup truck. That's something we'll probably never do again! But we thought about those purchases for about three years beforehand. The new vehicles replaced ones that were 14 and 18 years old respectively, and we plan to keep them at least as long.

And when I bought the motorcycle last December that was something I thought about for six months. Even then it was last year's model that the dealer was anxious to get off the floor and priced accordingly. So far that's working out well. The 17.5 mpg pickup hasn't been out of the garage for almost a week and the 50 mpg bike has 7,400 miles on it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 08:46 AM   #18
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I usually look for 2 year old cars, but sometimes you can get a new car cheaper than a used one. That may be the case now, with all the dealers offering big cash back.
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:02 AM   #19
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However the phrase "just forget about it" should be a big ruh-roh red flag to any guy.
I'm embarrassed to say it, but Nords makes a good point. Back when I was married, that usually meant that I was not one bit happy.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:39 PM   #20
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I'm embarrassed to say it, but Nords makes a good point. Back when I was married, that usually meant that I was not one bit happy.
Yeah, it's right up there with "Nothing", "Fine", and "Whatever you say, dear"...
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