Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Car Shopping and Other Neurosis

This morning I woke straight up at 3 am. Ok, the dogs had to go out too, but I had that "HOLY CRAP" car payment fear.

I have to buy a new car. The evil Jetta was totalled in an accident (can't talk about that yet), so I have to get a new car.

First it started out with, ok, I'll get a reliable used car so the payments aren't bad. I went to look at a 2002 Toyota RAV4. I want a RAV4, mainly because I've always wanted a jeep, but in Maryland it snows, and gets cold, and frankly the little plastic jeepy covers just don't maintain heat well enough for me. Plus there's always that roll over thing, where the little plastic jeepy cover does really nothing to keep you from flinging out.

Before the accident I had toyed with getting a Cooper Mini, which are adorable, but after the accident, I'd prefer something a bit more tank-like.

After doing the Consumer Reports research, e-pinions research, and generally looking around, the RAV4 is both reliable, affordable, and damn cute, plus it has 4 wheel drive, which in Maryland... it snows.

So I did a Carmax search and found the 2002 RAV4 and decided to give it a try. Went to the dealership, dragging my mom along and sat in it. It's... used. You could tell it was used. While the dealer went to copy my drivers license for a test drive, hubby noticed that one of the back seats wasn't locked in. He fiddled with it. The dealer fiddled with it. Finally, after about 15 minutes of fiddling, I felt that was definitely a sign that this RAV4 was destined to become Satan III, and ran away screaming.

It was at thought point that I went from "I'll buy a cheap used car that will get me to and from work", to "Hey! 2005 RAV4s aren't that expensive, the payments would only be $100 more than a used one!"

Found a cool blue one with cloth seats (I hate leather seats), with all the bells and whistles that I want. Stil within my pre-approved loan amount with the insurance settlement check. Now I'm looking at not only another car payment, but a larger one.

So, I woke up this morning thinking "should I buy a cheaper car?" We could use the extra money to pay off bills, and save money. HAHAHAHAAAA! Who am I fooling? We'd only spend that "extra" money on more toys and junk. At that point I realized that debt is what life is all about. We'll never be out of debt, it'll just keep piling on and on and on. I have a friend who sold their house for a zillion bucks, paid off their debt, moved to Florida and just got a home equity loan to fix up their new house the way they want. They went from debt, to debt free, to debt again. It never ends.

So, if we're going to be in debt, and continue to be the gerbils in the wheels working to pay off that debt... I might as well be in debt and drive around in a kick ass blue 2005 RAV4 with really cool cup holders that actually hold a Starbucks Venti cup.

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