Once in awhile, I humor myself by asking my husband if I can trade in my car so that we can buy an Audi for
me. His answer has always been a resounding, “NO, we don't NEED a new car!” I pretend that I’m upset and storm out of the room, huffing and puffing, “I NEVER get what I want!” (Real mature, I know! What am I, 6? LoL!)
Then one day, probably fed up from my whining, Carlos says, “OK, let’s go! Let’s go get you an Audi.”
Wait, what?!? Is he serious?!?
really hard. We can afford it. You’ve probably thought a lot about this already. Let’s do it! I don’t want you to think I’m only here to tell you why you can’t have the things you want.”
This isn’t the way this game is supposed to be! Doesn’t he know?!? He’s supposed to tell me NO! But… is he right? Have I really thought about this? Is this really what I want?
On one hand, I HAVE wanted this for a long time! I DO work hard! Dammit, I DESERVE this! And it’s not as if we can’t afford it - WE CAN! We’ll just have to shift some of our retirement savings - slightly reduce our Roth-IRAs perhaps - or move some of our investments, BUT it’s very doable. We wouldn’t even really feel it financially, at least not in our day-to-day expenses! And because we make pretty decent money and we have great credit, we can probably go into any Audi dealership and leave with a new car within an hour or two. (This is looking VERY GOOD indeed!)
But wait just a second, I know that I WANT it but do I NEED a new Audi? I already have a perfectly good car – my 2006 Honda Civic Coupe. It’s certainly nothing fancy - a bucket next to an Audi - but it gets the job done. I get from point A to point B just fine. Plus it gets great mileage, which is important because I have an hour commute each way to get to work. Additionally, the maintenance cost on my car now is very manageable because of the abundance in Honda auto parts. Since Audis are notorious for being expensive to maintain, I would also have to account for this increase in cost long-term. And most importantly, my car is fully paid off! Do I really want to start paying for a car loan again? It’s been so long since I’ve even had a car payment!
All of a sudden, I found myself not being too keen on the idea of getting this new car after all. (Oh, I surprise myself sometimes!) Just because we can afford to buy something, it doesn’t mean we have to buy it. (And can we REALLY afford it if we’re going to finance a big part of the purchase and pay it off eventually?) Further, I’m not willing to cut down our savings, slash our travel fund, or liquidate some of our investments just so I can drive around in an expensive car that I think I DESERVE to drive. What do I value more - looking cool in my shiny, expensive car or having a financially secure future? That seems like a no-brainer to me!
Once I started to analyze what my NEEDS are, I realized that I am perfectly fine with the car I already have – my dependable ol’ Honda Civic. It might not be an Audi, but my little car fulfills all of my needs – what else can I really ask for?
“Nah, I’m OK. You know I’m kidding! I don’t really want an Audi!” I finally announce. "I'm gonna drive my Civic until the wheels fall off!"
And this time, I really mean it.
[Note from Carlos: the reverse-psychology worked, so proud! *tear]
Have you ever had to choose between your NEEDs vs your WANTs? What did you ultimately decide?