Basically, because I’m cheap 🙂 But another reason is that it still running – and if it ain’t broke… The real reason is that I love the flexibility this car allows me, along with the fact that I own it out right. She’s a beaut in the snow (it’s her Scandinavian ancestry…), and can haul around 6 kids (and me!). She is a 2007 Volvo, the last year they made this type of wagon which has two extra seats that fold down from the trunk area. I feel like getting rid of this car would be like getting rid of my community. I’m the mom that can take extra kids to soccer practice, haul a whole other family to Six Flags, and pick up neighbors who are trudging through a blizzard having abandoned their own cars while mine just won’t stop. Plus, she has a name, courtesy of the kids – ‘Elsa’, a nod to her Nordic heritage.
But seriously – financially speaking, buying a new car or taking out a loan to finance even a used car, is not a wise way to spend our limited resources, my fellow NPs!.
If you do need a new car and have some time to save up for it instead of financing, your second consideration should be how dependable it is. Before purchasing my used Volvo, I went on-line to Volvo forums to see the most common problems others had experienced with the 2007 wagon so I could estimate repair and maintenance costs. You can also get consumer reports ratings on the car you are considering which include gas mileage and average maintenance expenses. I belong to my neighborhood’s ‘Next-Door’ email list-serve of 30,000 members and frequently go to them for general recommendations. I often see posts on deciding between different cars to see neighbors’ experiences have been. When I have more information on a big decision I making, such as a car purchase, my anxiety around spending this money decreases and I feel more powerful over the decision – and less powerless over the loss of money.