Saturday, May 14, 2011

Poor Decisions Regarding Cars

So, I'd previously mentioned that I'm back in debt again. It makes me sad when I look at how far I came before and where I am now. Granted, I'm making more money than I ever have before. I have great benefits. I absorbed my Stunt Guys salary with some extra. I should be in great shape. So why am I not?

Well, there were many many contributing factors. One of the biggest ones though was a 2002 Ford Escort affectionally named " I Hate You You Stupid Car".

When I moved to Las Vegas in January, I took a look at my beloved 1996 Toyota Corolla and I realized that it wouldn't make it to Nevada without falling to pieces. I thought about what to do and decided that what would be best would be to leave it in Atlanta and buy a new (to me) car once I got to Vegas. I figured that I should be okay to find a car quickly.

I got to Vegas in the middle of the night and quickly realized that I would be spending a fortune if I had to apartment hunt with taxis. As I was losing relocation expenses every night I spent in a hotel, I decided to hurry along and buy a car to make my life easier. I found a dealership with a $2900 (eek!) car that looked promising, and took a taxi there in the morning, knowing I would be driving out of there in a car.

This was my first mistake. I was in a hurry and I left myself with no room for error. When they didn't have the car I saw online in stock anymore and I asked what the next cheapest one would be, the only option I was given was a car that would be $5,000 including taxes. I shouldn't have done it, but I decided maybe that would work. It was a much newer car, a 2002, but I wasn't too worried because I figured I would drive it to death and it would be fine. I asked to finance it.

Then, things went very very wrong and this is where I should have walked away but I didn't.

They wouldn't finance a car less than $8,000. Not wanting to spend that much, I decided to pay cash for the car. That would save me money in insurance too I thought. I also bought a warranty because I wanted to make sure the car wouldn't break down. Because I didn't really have the cash, I called my bank, extended my credit limit and charged the car.

This was the dumbest decision I think I've made in a long long time. I shouldn't have done that. I regret it. It was the beginning of a big pile of trouble. Extending my credit limit mean that my minimum payments on the car would now be much higher. I was also a lot closer in the realm of maxing out that card than I had been.

Bad choice. I should have found a cheaper car. I should have taken more time, but I was in a hurry. So I messed it up. Now I'm paying for it. That car also ended up needing $600 of work. I haven't really paid off any of it yet.

So my advice is don't rush, take your time, and listen to yourself when you realize you are about to make a mistake. I'm going to be literally paying for this one for a long time.

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