Having a car is great. It’s convenient and when you’re young it’s probably the first big ticket purchase you’ll make. I bought my first brand new car when I was 27 years old and I was so proud. Little did I know that it would end up being the worst financial decision I ever made.
Buying a car is expensive
At 27 years old and living in a city away from my parents I didn’t know that the price of a car was negotiable. I have come to learn that everything in life is negotiable. Everything – even the price of a brand new shiny car. We haven’t bought a car since selling our 2007 Honda Civic in 2010, but from telling my story to others I’ve come to learn that you can ask for extra accessories to be thrown in for free and even negotiate the purchase price.
Then there are maintenance costs
Our car payment alone was $500 a month and that didn’t even include any of the extras. We chose to purchase our car and finance it with the dealership, however choosing to lease a car offers lower payment options but it doesn’t give you any ownership rights.
When you add the car payment onto other monthly expenses that come with owning a car such as the cost of parking, the price of gas to fill the tank, car washes and monthly insurance premiums owning a car can cost as much as your mortgage or rent payment. With everything combined we were paying over $800 per month. That’s a lot of money considering at the time our rent was only $1025.
You’ll be sitting in traffic
There is nothing more that I hate than waiting. Whenever I’m sitting in traffic all I can think about is all the other things I’d rather be doing. Sitting in traffic is a waste of both time and money. I remember when gas prices were extremely high drivers would shut off their cars at red lights or while sitting in traffic. That’s the economical way to deal with sitting in traffic.
I would personally much rather take public transportation or walk to my destination. I would rather pay $3 to take the subway than be stuck in traffic and looking for directions. It’s a little bit less convenient, but it’s a real money (and time) saver.
Looking for parking is a pain
I can’t even count the number of times I was late for an appointment because I was looking for parking. Every single time I tell myself that if I would have just taken the bus or subway I would have been there already.
Then there is the payment for the parking. The constant need to have change in your pocket is a major pain. Oh and then there’s the need to run outside every hour or so to put more money in the parking meter. That’s also a major inconvenience. However, paying a flat rate for a parking lot is very expensive. So the parking meter is the lesser of two evils.
In short, everything is expensive when it comes to having a car and that’s a really good reason not to buy one. It may be a more convenient method of transportation, but it’s also more costly. Are you willing to pay the price?