Green Sprite Can with an Engine

I was in the middle or writing a post about a theory I came up with about selling my car to take advantage of the crazy deals Detroit is putting out there (See GM and Ford and Jeep), but as I wrote the post I realized how truly happy I am with my car and more importantly the deal I got.

A little history about Evan’s Short Car History

I had one car from the age of 18 (1999) until it died in 2006, and this car was a 1993 with 130,000 miles when I bought it! My friends would joke that it was more or less a dented Sprite can with an engine. This thing made it through senior year of high school, 4 years of college, 3 years of law school and 6 months of work!

Then one day I left work in the cold of New York Winter to find the car wouldn’t start. I called my mechanic friend who had me pop the hood and explain what I saw. “Mechanic Friend, it looks like this large ‘engine looking thing’ has a crack in it.” That’s when I found out it was dead. So a-shopping I went. Luckily, I have a family friend who owns 5 dealerships so there was no B.S. haggling or anything. I just picked the cars I liked. I found 3 great cars that I could see myself buying and driving:

  • A late model 2006 Mitsubishi Sedan with 9,000 miles
  • An amazing 2006 Cadillac CTS with 15,000 miles or so
  • A New Ford Edge

After talking to a few people I heard the usual.

You could afford the CTS or the brand new car

Don’t worry if your payments seem high you’ll be making more, eventually

You need a luxary car – you are a professional

You deserve it

Etc.

It should be noted that the only person who kind of understood my decision to go with the barely used 2006 Mitsu was the Wife. I say kind of, because she is a leasing kind of gal, but that is a whole different issue.

While the financing terms are LONG, and I am way upside down on the car, this will change when I start attacking this debt when the credit cards are gone. I like the car and can’t find a deal as good, trust me I tried working out the math so it will work in the favor of me getting a new car. Basically I tried to establish an arbitrage between my 8.9% interest auto loan vs. 0% on a new but more expensive car to save money over the short term (monthly) and long term (life of the vehicle).

Why Doesn’t Everyone Make Reasonable Decisions?

With a little history behind us, the questions that run rampant through my mind are,

What makes me different? Why am I able to understand real life and repercussions?

I am not judging anyone, but rather I am trying to learn. I have two friends that decided they needed to lease a $425/month SUV because it was, “a good deal”, despite admitting 5 digit credit card debt and problems paying basic bills. Hell, even my father has an $889/month finance payment and complains about cash flow!

I just want to understand. I am not a psych major, nor do I pretend to be particularly sensitive (the wife calls me an emotional wasteland), but I do want to understand.

Please comment and make me understand.