If you’ve been keeping up with the story so far, we had two sports cars, then we traded in one for a more practical car (kinda: it had four doors, but no power doors/windows/locks, etc.) and got burned because we gave it away for too little money.
Well, after this, we thought we were doing well. I had backed down my 401K contributions to help with the car payments, we only had that loan, and the car was running well.
At this point in our young married life, I was driving the quick five minutes home from work for lunch every day with my beautiful bride. At this time we were expecting our first child, and Virtuous Blonde was getting more sleep than normal.
On my way back, I have a left hand turn onto a busy road. I usually got a good gauge on how fast oncoming traffic was moving, and could make it into the center lane without any trouble. This day I had a problem. The car I was watching had pulled out of a bank up the road, turned into the passing lane, and used her blinker to get into the driving lane. As I watched, she left it on, so I thought she was turning into the road I was currently waiting on– and I thought she was slowing up.
I pulled out and the rest (as they say) is history. She hit the back wheel of my car which spun me around. Her air bag went off, my car was totaled. Yes, that’s the actual picture of my 1992 SC2 (which I really liked). I walked away with a cut to the forehead and some seat belt burns on my neck.
I sent an e-mail to my dad, and my wife couldn’t believe it. She rushed to the scene, and then it was off to the hospital.
Neither one of us was injured, but I made a mistake I wouldn’t do again today. The insurance on the vehicle came back. I had a $1,000 deductible, and I got somewhere around $3,000 for the car. I used that money to pay for some expenses that we had, so that was a blessing. But soon, I felt I needed another car.
For us, it was unnecessary. Most of the driving I did to work– so usually one car was parked somewhere. Also, I had the benefit of having my father driving by my house (which I now use for car pooling).
The point? If I looked at how much I spent on insurance for two cars and then purchasing the two cars with another auto loan, I would now say I made a stupid mistake. Yes, I have a good situation with my dad, but looking at it practically, I would do it differently:
- If I were to replace the car, I would get something I could afford with the insurance money.
- If I could, and if it were at all possible, I would go with only one car to save on insurance and the debt that I put myself in.
It’s more important to be able to pay for what you have than it is to go into debt for what may make your life more convenient right now, but sets you behind in the long run.