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The Value of Sleeping on It? This time - about $10K
Old 05-12-2018, 05:18 PM   #1
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The Value of Sleeping on It? This time - about $10K

First the back story. I've always preferred to drive older cars; find something I like, pay cash, drive it 'til I'm bored; wash, rinse, repeat. It's definitely not a frugal approach - it's more of an indulgence....

Anyhoo, I'm in a 2007 Honda Element. I really like it. A lot. So, I've contemplated buying a 2011 (last year of mfg) AWD model. Lo and behold! I see one at the dealer while mine is being serviced. And golly gee willikers, do the gears start turning. Of course, since they're getting scarcer each year, Elements command top dollar amongst it's peers. Elements are mediocre good at a thousand things (that other vehicles are not), while being excellent at one - lasting well over a quarter-million miles without issue. ie, I clean the floor in mine with a leaf blower. If I'm in a detail mode, then I follow up with a Swiffer.

So, I go home and start number crunching. Asking price $14,999.99 (plus a few more 9's somewhere, I suppose). I've got a nicely equipped 07 Santa Fe that should fetch ~3.5K in trade. Assume there's perhaps $1500 of wiggle room (usually is, if I start heading for the exit during negotiations). So, I go to sleep that night with a plan to head to the dealer in the morning and commence with the heavy breathing straight away.

As usual, I'm up around 6 AM gulping strong black coffee and surfing / watching the news with beloved fur kid at my feet. Then, it slowly creeps in. Do I really need to drop $10K on a jalopy that is 4 years newer than current jalopy? It's been a great year so far, plenty of unspent cash to easily cover the $10K. But really, $10K just to have different seats to fart on? I don't really need AWD, but it would be nice to have for the 1-3 good snow events we get most years (but I'm retired, and could just stay home, as most normal folks would).

Three days later? Still the proud owner of an ugly-ass 07 Element that runs just fine. Furthermore, I've earmarked the $10K as additional funds for our western Europe visit later this year. As I've learned to "Blow that Dough," it's become rather obvious (for both DW and I) that we prefer experiences to stuff. Also, I was able to avoid the DW "You're gonna buy What?!" waterboarding. Four years back, I decided to sell my Nissan Frontier and buy a Miata. It was like "The Scene" out of The Exorcist, where the kid's head rotates 360 degrees. I think she thought I was having a mid-life crisis. Actually, I just wanted the perfect roadster. (she never took a shine to the Miata, so it had to go once I had my BL time in it).

Glad that I slept on it and did not buy stuff.

Any nutty "saved me from myself" stories out there?
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Old 05-12-2018, 05:40 PM   #2
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At what age will you not worry about saving yourself from spending some money? The blow that dough thread has ruined me.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:35 PM   #3
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Throughout my entire life, I've found sleeping on it has ALWAYS helped me make a better decision. Your brain keeps working without all the other clutter from being awake.

Whatever makes you happy.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:36 AM   #4
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I went through something similar, back in 2003. At the time I was driving a 2000 Intrepid that had about 85,000 miles on it. I went car shopping with my Dad, to a few places, and we ended up at the dealer I bought the Intrepid from. Well, Dad found a car he liked an '03 Regal that had been a rental. It already had 19,500 miles on it, but we got it for around $11K. It probably stickered for around $25-26K new, although nobody paid sticker for a GM car back then.


Anyway, while we were there, I spied this black 2002 Intrepid R/T that had about 35,000 miles on it. Fully loaded. I think they wanted $16-17K. Seemed tempting as hell, at first. But then, the dealer couldn't answer any questions about the factory warranty. In 2002, Chrysler had switched from a 3/36 bumper to bumper to something like a 5/70 powertrain (plus the 3/36 bumper to bumper). But it was during 2002, so it didn't cover all 2002's. They also couldn't produce any service records, and I remembered my 2000 needing a few things around that mileage...mainly just front brakes, transmission service, and a few minor things...but I didn't want to fork over a bunch of money, just to turn around and have to do those items...again.


I still owed about $4700 on my car at the time, and they offered to give me that in trade. At the end of the day, I passed on the Intrepid. I know I could have gotten them down in price, but by the time you throw tax and such back on, I'm sure it still would've cost me at least $15K...just for a car that was 2 years newer, 50K less miles, but admittedly, better equipped.


My Dad ended up buying the Regal, though. I inherited it when he passed away last year, and I still have it. I thought about trading it for something I really wanted, but then, driving it, I got used to it. It's a typical old man's car, but it's comfortable, gas mileage isn't bad, and while it ain't no banker's hotrod, it doesn't hold up traffic, either.


As for my 2000 Intrepid, I ended up driving it until November 18, 2009. On that fateful day, with about 150,000 miles on the odometer, someone pulled a hit and run on it in a parking lot, and the damage was just enough to total it out. I was tempted to keep it and try to fix it myself, but salvage laws here in Maryland don't make it so easy to do that. So, I let the insurance company have their way with it.


From that day in late 2003, when I saw that '02 R/T, to the time the car was totaled, I estimate I put around $10,000 into it, plus gas, plus insurance. That counted the remaining payments, registrations, emissions tests, repairs, maintenance, and also includes the $2000 I got from the insurance company. So, I'm pretty sure I came out ahead. After all, that '02 R/T would have needed repairs and maintenance along the way. It might have cost more to insure, as well.


I can sort of see Dawg52's point though, about having to blow that dough one of these days. I was only 33 when I made that decision to not buy that '02. I had yet to even crack the $100K barrier in investable assets, so that purchase price was a pretty big deal. But now, I'm 48, and there are times when I can make, or lose, an easy $15K or more on the stock market in a single day. My tastes have also changed. If I was to get a new car today, I think I'd be swayed towards a Dodge Charger, and I'm sure the type I want would be $30K or so. But, in the overall scheme of things, even that's not a huge outlay for me. Heck, I think the median price of a new car these days is around $33-35K, thanks partly to the popularity of SUVs and trucks. But, I'm not the type to spend money, just for the heck of it. Oh well, eventually old age will probably get Dad's Regal, and I'll be forced to.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:13 AM   #5
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:30 AM   #6
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I've done the sleeping on it for months when it comes to cars, and invariably I finally opt for the "what the hell am I saving this for?" option and just do it. Can't say I've ever regretted it. Have done same for other stuff, and must admit I've bought some camera equipment and tools that I haven't fully used. Oh well.
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Old 05-13-2018, 07:51 AM   #7
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Just last week, I went through a similar experience.

2008 Honda Accord LX - well maintained w/136k on it. Serviced regularly and the interior was in excellent condition. I had planned to keep it another 5+ years.

Low and behold, a private party wanted to purchase my vehicle for their granddaughter at $6300.

I couldn't pass that up so wifey and I spent two days looking at the base 2018 Crosstrek and the 2018 RAV 4. Wife liked RAV4 better, so I spent 4 days comparing all different models at three different dealers.

I ended up getting a base RAV 4 Hybrid with AWD and an upgraded interior. Paid 24,969 OTD.

The net result was paying $18,669 for a new vehicle which could be serviced 2.3 miles away. It gets 34MPG instead of the lows 20's. I sit up in the vehicle which will protect from future muscle pulls when getting out of the vehicle. All Wheel Drive which will help in the 1-3 snow events. A bunch of new safety options. Free servicing for 25k miles and I only have 270 miles on the car.

Did I feel guilty? Sure, but I realize that this will probably be my last vehicle and virtually all errands and part time gig are 5 miles away.

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Old 05-13-2018, 08:02 AM   #8
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Sure would like to know how you got a RAV4 Hybrid OTD that cheap, CarGurus says the lowest price right now (nationwide) is over $24k before TTT.
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:23 AM   #9
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Three days later? Still the proud owner of an ugly-ass 07 Element that runs just fine. Furthermore, I've earmarked the $10K as additional funds for our western Europe visit later this year. As I've learned to "Blow that Dough," it's become rather obvious (for both DW and I) that we prefer experiences to stuff. Also, I was able to avoid the DW "You're gonna buy What?!" waterboarding. Four years back, I decided to sell my Nissan Frontier and buy a Miata. It was like "The Scene" out of The Exorcist, where the kid's head rotates 360 degrees. I think she thought I was having a mid-life crisis. Actually, I just wanted the perfect roadster. (she never took a shine to the Miata, so it had to go once I had my BL time in it).

Glad that I slept on it and did not buy stuff.

Any nutty "saved me from myself" stories out there?
I agree with your decision, but you still own an "ugly-ass car".
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Old 05-13-2018, 08:52 AM   #10
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Sure would like to know how you got a RAV4 Hybrid OTD that cheap, CarGurus says the lowest price right now (nationwide) is over $24k before TTT.
I actually took the higher of the two quotes. Two local dealers had given me their best prices. One was 2 miles away and the other was 11 miles away.
The dealer who could get me the gray LX on the 21st wanted 24.8k OTD. The dealer 2 miles from me wanted 25.2k OTD. They did not have the vehicle at their dealership but promised to get it from their sister dealership.

Anyway, I contacted them via e-mail and let them know that I had the 24.8k quote. The salesman gave me this "song and dance" regarding relationships. Anyway, the next morning, I called the dealership which was 2 miles away and asked them the question "if I brought you a check for 25k, would you turn me away?" I let him know that I wanted to do business with him, but I understood if $200 was going to null the deal. I told him he could call me back.

30 minutes later, he called me back and said they would accept 25k. In the meantime, the vehicle at the sister dealership was sold and they needed to make an arrangement with another dealer - 150 miles away. Long story short, I walked in at 4:30 pm and they had my vehicle.

Oh, they took $31 off the price because I was transferring plate from Honda which I sold.

Only dealer installed options were - Carpet Mats and USB pkg.

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Old 05-13-2018, 08:56 AM   #11
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I went through this when I was driving my 99 Camry with 321,000 miles on it. Still drove and ran great, but I was nervous driving back country roads at night by my self. Went and looked at cars, found one I liked, decided to sleep on it. Went back and bought it the next day.
I just gave my old Camry to my nephew, and after putting in a new battery and tires, he says it drives and runs great. Hoping he gets many more miles on it.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:38 AM   #12
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Throughout my entire life, I've found sleeping on it has ALWAYS helped me make a better decision. Your brain keeps working without all the other clutter from being awake.
What Marko said

Ms. gamboolgal and I always take our time and sleep on it. Well not always, especially when younger/dumber and more impatient.

For work, I almost always wake up with solutions, options, better way of doing it, etc. Looking forward to when I retire and don't wake up with work on my mind.

There is for sure value in "Sleeping On It"
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:09 PM   #13
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I agree with your decision, but you still own an "ugly-ass car".
Fully agree!

I even nicknamed it the Gamma Goat after the Army M-561 Vietnam era vehicle. It too was butt-ugly, and even less useful than an Element.
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:43 PM   #14
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Red Badger made me Lol! We too name our vehicles. We have one I call White Lighting and DH calls Marsh Mellow, La Bomba, Darth Vader, and Big Brown (RV).
We also follow the sleep on it rule. Back when DH was the best thing in a flight suit this gal had ever seen and dating me, he bought a new Honda Prelude. I had paid off my first and only car loan in anticipation of freedom. After discussion the Black Widow Honda went back to the dealer under a 72 hour contract clause. He bought a used Fiat X-19. That damn Honda was a deal breaker.
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:18 PM   #15
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Fully agree!

I even nicknamed it the Gamma Goat after the Army M-561 Vietnam era vehicle. It too was butt-ugly, and even less useful than an Element.
Have a good friend who still has his, I think must be 2003 or thereabouts, and he refers to it as his clown car! As in you expect about 30 clowns to come rolling out of it when it stops!
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Old 05-13-2018, 03:26 PM   #16
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But really, $10K just to have different seats to fart on?
+1 for an amazingly colorful perspective.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:29 PM   #17
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I am frequently amazed by the seemingly irrational decisions people make when purchasing autos.
Last year I developed a strong desire to acquire an older Corvette. Not a high dollar '63 split window, but something reasonable like an early 80's vintage with low mileage. I spent hours on line researching the plus-and-minus of various year models. The fever grew stronger until I committed to go the the Mecum auto auction in Kissimmee, Fl, with my DW (who was fully on board)! There were nearly 300 vettes to be auctioned over the week-long event. I was like a kid in a candy store, except I chickened out and didn't bid on anything. Since then I have completely lost interest in Corvettes. Go figure!
p.s. I have never actually even driven a Corvette, so it is unclear where my initial fixation even started.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:46 PM   #18
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I am frequently amazed by the seemingly irrational decisions people make when purchasing autos.
Last year I developed a strong desire to acquire an older Corvette. Not a high dollar '63 split window, but something reasonable like an early 80's vintage with low mileage. I spent hours on line researching the plus-and-minus of various year models. The fever grew stronger until I committed to go the the Mecum auto auction in Kissimmee, Fl, with my DW (who was fully on board)! There were nearly 300 vettes to be auctioned over the week-long event. I was like a kid in a candy store, except I chickened out and didn't bid on anything. Since then I have completely lost interest in Corvettes. Go figure!
p.s. I have never actually even driven a Corvette, so it is unclear where my initial fixation even started.
I owned a '65 Stingray roadster with both tops once upon a time. I still lust for that C2, but can't justify one anymore. I can afford it, but I just don't think I can feel good spending near $100 K for one.

What year/model did you have an interest in?
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:53 AM   #19
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I owned a '65 Stingray roadster with both tops once upon a time. I still lust for that C2, but can't justify one anymore. I can afford it, but I just don't think I can feel good spending near $100 K for one.

What year/model did you have an interest in?
I was interested in a C-3 or C-4 series, primarily because I liked the looks and they seem to be currently at the lowest price point of all the Corvettes. I can do most routine maintenance, but lack the skills and tools to do rebuilding/restoration. Picturing myself under the car chasing an oil leak or other problem was probably what turned me off to the idea of getting a 30+ year old vehicle.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:08 AM   #20
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When I was younger I had a fairly fail safe method for avoiding impulse purchases (with small items anyway). I would carry the item of interest around the store for about 20 minutes while I looked at other things. If it still attracted me, then I would buy it. I would estimate that 9 out of 10 impulse buys were avoided this way. After 20 minutes I felt like I owned the item and it started to lose its luster! Couldn't figure out how to do this with things like refrigerators, of course. :-)

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