That new car (my stupid purchase)

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Lindsey wrote an awesome post about stupid things she’s wasted money on, and I was inspired to share my story of my one BIG stupid thing.
It was the winter after 9/11. I was activated for Homeland Security at the ripe old age of 19, but I was making the paycheck of an average school principal. Between my base pay, military bonus money, my per diem and the fact that I didn’t have to spend money on rent, I was making too much money for someone my age. Really, it was too much. I didn’t know what to do with it all. I was already spending money on take out lunch and dinner every day, and shopping at the nearby mall every week. But for some reason, I felt that I needed a car.
Now, since I was taking a trip back home to see my family every weekend, I did need a dependable car. One that would get me through the New Jersey storms and the long rides back and forth. The responsible person in me knew that I could find a dependable used car, but the teenager in me wanted a brand new, top of the line car. I was insane.
Did I mention that this was my very first car? I had used Mom and Dad’s whenever I need it during high school and didn’t see a point of getting my own at the time. But, once I had the funds and the quasi-independence, I spent the money. I had no credit, no savings, and champagne tastes. I ended up with a 2002 Honda Civic EX, and paid quite handsomely for it every month.
Now, the car really was a stupid purchase. But the stupidest part is that even with all the money I was making, I didn’t pay off the car. I could have had it paid in full within 6 months and I didn’t. THAT was the stupid part. I had planned to pay triple payments while I was on orders, but lobster, Macy’s and 4 vacations that year got in the way.
Still to this day I think about not only the ridiculous amount of money wasted on the car, but that whole year. It was my most expensive life lesson, but it was the best one to date.
Ignorance is bliss….until you get the bill….

About Amiyrah

My name is Amiyrah and I'm an an African American fashion & lifestyle blogger based in Ohio.

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  1. 1.12.12
    Free!~ said:

    Several years ago I was kind of in the same position and thought I just had to have a brand new Nissan Pathfinder. I stopped making as much money and could no longer afford my $730 a month payment. They came and took my beloved away from me while I slept one night and I ended up paying cash for a simple little station wagon for $3000. It makes me sick to think how much money I put into the Pathfinder.

  2. 1.13.12
    Carol Webb said:

    I think the purchase of a Honda Civic with the intent to keep it for a long time because they are dependable is a very smart idea and the fact that it was new doesn’t bother me either, however yes you should have paid it off when you had plenty of funds to do it. Don’t beat yourself up about it, we have all been there. The great thing is you have recognized where you could have made a better judgement and that will prove fruitful next time you run in to a similar situation. I wish I could have made some better decisions in my financial past as well. Hang in there.

  3. 1.15.12
    JennysMom said:

    Yes, lady, I’ve made a couple stupid financial mistakes in my life too. I call ’em “stupid tax”…

    And that you can remember the car purchase from 10 years ago and reflect on it now shows REAL personal growth. Just my 2 cents…

  4. 1.16.12
    CJ said:

    I agree its silly to make payments on a car when you have the money to pay it off. I bought my first new car in 1996, paid it off in 2 1/2 years (I had nothing in savings at that point in my life) and kept the car for 13 years. When it finally died 2 years ago I paid cash for a new car. Its a great feeling to know I dont have to shell out $300 every month and all the wasted interest that would go with it.

  5. 1.19.12
    Jenny said:

    I can understand desire for new car but probably not the very first car. I did the same but it wasn’t even for me so I had 2 yrs of payments for my sister instead and then after 5 yrs of her driving i got stuck with repairs and maintenance. 12 yrs later it still runs. At least you picked a good one that has good resale and long life history. But all those twice-a-day eating out and weekly shoping was more of a waste than your car 🙂 chuck it off to being young.