Author Topic: Should I buy the car?  (Read 9616 times)

atrian

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Should I buy the car?
« on: May 04, 2013, 03:15:25 AM »
Hello Fellow Mustachians,

I need some advice. I'm a single guy who lives by himself with about $20K debt in student loans, $11K savings, $1500 checkings, and $60K salary job.

I'm currently driving my family's car, but next month I'll have to give it up to my brother who needs a car.

My folks are pushing me to buy a new mid-size sedan (~ $23K), but I'm not sure whether or not I should. I really enjoy the convenience of having a car, but would I be paying too much for it? I wanted to get a smaller car, but it's probably not as safe as a mid-size car. I also wanted to get a used car, but I'm paranoid of buying a lemon.

Would really appreciate hearing another perspective on this. Thanks!

Karl

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 04:59:59 AM »
Do *not* purchase a car at this price!  If you can survive without a car, at least until your debt is paid off, so much the better for you. 

You want to find a car that you can purchase for cash.  Try starting with a copy of the Consumer Reports used car buying guide that you can find at the local library.  Also, take a look at the material on this we page about mustachian rides.  Finally, take any used car that you might purchase to your personal mechanic and have him/her check it over very carefully.  These three steps should help you avoid purchasing a lemon.


Deano

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 06:58:36 AM »
atrian, you should be more concerned about buying a 23k car than buying a lemon. My wife and I make a lot more than you do and we bought a used car for under 10k. That was 5 years ago and it's looking like it will last us another 5 years.

The most un-mustachian thing you could do right now would be to buy a mid-sized piece car at 23k. Buy a small car, they are safe, you don't need a tank to be safe in a car anymore, that's old school thinking.

Maybe it's time to stop listening to your parents, at least about money issues. MMM has a good post about used cars, read it!

tmac

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 07:39:46 AM »
If I could start from where you are, I'd try first to get along without a car, using Zipcars or rentals when needed. I'd use my bike. I'd move if needed to accomplish that. If that really wasn't feasible, I'd find a used car that I could get with cash. There are lots of lists online for the best used cars. Think about total cost of ownership. I've got my eye out right now for cars with good reviews, good mileage, not-too-expensive maintenance, under 100k miles and between $5k-$10k dollars.

homeymomma

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 07:49:00 AM »
My husband and I faced the same dilemma a little over a year ago. We ended up buying a brand new 2012 Hyundai Elantra. I think it was a mistake. We should have bought a 2009 or 2010 certified used Toyota or something. At the time, used car prices were absolutely ridiculous, which is why we made the decision we did - but the car has lost so much of its value just in the 18 months we've had it. Better to let someone else take that hit of depreciation, then buy it when it still runs and smells and looks like a new car, but without the price tag. Even if you spend the same amount of money, you're getting a better quality car if you buy a couple years used. i.e. new hyundai elantra = used toyota in price, but toyota generally makes a better car.

I know the really good mustachians out there will say buy something as cheaply as possible and run it into the ground, because even with repairs that's the cheapest option. I personally don't hold with that because we are a busy family with an infant and we don't have the time or budget for costly, unexpected repairs. But buying a beater may make sense in specific situations.

I think if you're really worried about buying a lemon you can always pay a little more and go to a dealership like carmax, instead of doing a private sale. Either that or make friends with a mechanic.

Spork

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 08:02:43 AM »
Used car prices do seem a little high right now.  I have seen a few where the recently used car is being sold with the asking price of what new costs.

We just bought an 05 Toyota with 55k on it.  I've had it a couple of months and... it seems almost new.  My advice from that purchase:
1. buy from an individual, not a dealer.  Prices are better and they are more willing to wiggle on price.
2. take your time.  I had daily searches emailing me for craigslist, autotrader and cargurus.com.* 
3. don't be overly stuck on exactly what you want.  Have a few models in mind.  Be flexible on color.  (I absolutely wanted a manual transmission, which was the difficult item for me to fill.)


atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2013, 05:11:33 PM »
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the insightful replies. My folks have always been pretty controlling so this is going  to be a difficult decision to make lol. The problem with them is that if one bad thing happens to them, they think it happens all the time (I think they bought a used car that had some problems).

So I'm definitely not going to get the $23k sedan. I looked into the sedans a bit and after I thought about insurance, depreciation, and taxes I realized this would be a very bad decision.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2013, 05:42:45 PM by atrian »

atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2013, 06:43:17 PM »
Oh one more thing, should I buy a used car from a dealership or from a person?

daverobev

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2013, 06:45:54 PM »
Oh one more thing, should I buy a used car from a dealership or from a person?

You'll likely find a better deal going private. If you can, take someone who knows about cars with you, and get any car inspected at an independent garage.

nktokyo

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2013, 06:52:07 PM »
Oh one more thing, should I buy a used car from a dealership or from a person?

You'll likely find a better deal going private. If you can, take someone who knows about cars with you, and get any car inspected at an independent garage.

+1

Do you *need* a car or can you get by with public transport + bike + carpooling until you've paid off your loans?


atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2013, 08:59:01 PM »
Oh one more thing, should I buy a used car from a dealership or from a person?

You'll likely find a better deal going private. If you can, take someone who knows about cars with you, and get any car inspected at an independent garage.

+1

Do you *need* a car or can you get by with public transport + bike + carpooling until you've paid off your loans?

I could easily do away with a car on weekdays with public transport. There's a bus on the corner of my street that goes directly to work. It's really the weekends I need a car for (going back home to visit parents, going out to eat with friends, random meetups, etc).

Quick update on how my search is doing. I was looking for a Honda Fit on CL and I'm amazed at how few are being sold in my area (SF bay). There are only TEN Honda Fits being sold between $8000-$16000 by private owners. And a good deal of them are salvaged titles as well. Meanwhile a search in Miami, FL gives you like fifty of them.

I'll look into other cars, but I might have to get one through a dealership (or "stealership" as MMM likes to call it lol).

olivia

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2013, 09:07:35 PM »
Hmmm why don't you try going without a car for a while and seeing how it goes?  You can always buy one if being carless really is a problem for you. 

If your parents want to see you they could always come pick you up and you can chip in for gas.  (Or, since you say they're controlling, maybe it would be good to not go visit as often?  But I'm straying into unsolicited advice now so I'll shut up!  :P )

Can you ride a bike to hang out with friends?  Or take public transportation there?  Even if you have to take a cab now and then it'll likely be less money than a car.  I love not dealing with a car or paying for one.  Selling mine was a huge relief when I moved to a city with good public transportation.  My husband still has a car (he does need it occasionally for work) but if I had my way we'd get rid of it and he could just use a ZipCar when he needs one for work.

atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2013, 09:26:35 PM »
Hmmm why don't you try going without a car for a while and seeing how it goes?  You can always buy one if being carless really is a problem for you. 

If your parents want to see you they could always come pick you up and you can chip in for gas.  (Or, since you say they're controlling, maybe it would be good to not go visit as often?  But I'm straying into unsolicited advice now so I'll shut up!  :P )

Can you ride a bike to hang out with friends?  Or take public transportation there?  Even if you have to take a cab now and then it'll likely be less money than a car.  I love not dealing with a car or paying for one.  Selling mine was a huge relief when I moved to a city with good public transportation.  My husband still has a car (he does need it occasionally for work) but if I had my way we'd get rid of it and he could just use a ZipCar when he needs one for work.

Lol. I welcome any unsolicited advice.. though I do try to limit how often I visit them (I think I've gone back twice in the past five months). :)

I actually suggested me going carless to them and they were pretty furious about it haha. They thought I was going to get stressed out from the inconveniences of not having a car (which may potentially happen). Definitely not the reaction I was hoping for.

I love to ride bikes, but I definitely don't feel comfortable riding a bike in my area (lot of crazy drivers).

 - Taking the bus to work (very doable). I'm actually ashamed at myself for not doing it already.
 - On weekends, I could probably take Caltrain to get somewhere far; I never thought about taking a cab. Maybe I could carpool with a friend and offer to cover lunch or something.
 - Going back home, I could maybe do a rideshare or something.

Yeah, it's definitely doable. I guess I'm not in such a rush to get a car. I'll think it over. Thanks for your reply!

olivia

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 08:23:07 PM »
Hmmm why don't you try going without a car for a while and seeing how it goes?  You can always buy one if being carless really is a problem for you. 

If your parents want to see you they could always come pick you up and you can chip in for gas.  (Or, since you say they're controlling, maybe it would be good to not go visit as often?  But I'm straying into unsolicited advice now so I'll shut up!  :P )

Can you ride a bike to hang out with friends?  Or take public transportation there?  Even if you have to take a cab now and then it'll likely be less money than a car.  I love not dealing with a car or paying for one.  Selling mine was a huge relief when I moved to a city with good public transportation.  My husband still has a car (he does need it occasionally for work) but if I had my way we'd get rid of it and he could just use a ZipCar when he needs one for work.

Lol. I welcome any unsolicited advice.. though I do try to limit how often I visit them (I think I've gone back twice in the past five months). :)

I actually suggested me going carless to them and they were pretty furious about it haha. They thought I was going to get stressed out from the inconveniences of not having a car (which may potentially happen). Definitely not the reaction I was hoping for.

I love to ride bikes, but I definitely don't feel comfortable riding a bike in my area (lot of crazy drivers).

 - Taking the bus to work (very doable). I'm actually ashamed at myself for not doing it already.
 - On weekends, I could probably take Caltrain to get somewhere far; I never thought about taking a cab. Maybe I could carpool with a friend and offer to cover lunch or something.
 - Going back home, I could maybe do a rideshare or something.

Yeah, it's definitely doable. I guess I'm not in such a rush to get a car. I'll think it over. Thanks for your reply!

Glad you're considering skipping the car!  And hey, only going to your parents' house twice in 5 months makes it seem like you need a car even less! :P  I take back my unsolicited advice!  But I think it really is worth a try to go without a car.  You may like not dealing with it-it was surprising how much relief I felt getting rid of mine!  And of course saving all that money helped too.  :D

GoStumpy

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 08:25:01 PM »
I'd go for an early 2000's car with under 100k for ~$5k... why spend more than you need to???

kendallf

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 08:35:16 PM »
You can DEFINITELY go without a car in SF.. in fact, the parking and traffic hassles are bad enough that I think I'd prefer it if I lived there.  My wife's family lives there and we visit occasionally; I often bring my travel bike and ride all over. 

If you try riding and look at some low traffic routes, you will be amazed at all of the back roads and routes that you find that you never considered while driving a car because they were slower, or went through neighborhoods. 

Then when you've become a cycling enthusiast you can visit Rivendell and buy a cool (but somewhat expensive) commuter bike.  :-)  The guys there are super friendly and offered to let my wife and I test ride their bikes for a day trip into the hills.  Pretty cool.

atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2013, 09:25:00 PM »
I'd go for an early 2000's car with under 100k for ~$5k... why spend more than you need to???

I think now, if I were to buy a used car I'd be willing to spend a bit more (nothing unreasonable) on something certified just to have the ease of mind of driving something covered under warranty.

You can DEFINITELY go without a car in SF.. in fact, the parking and traffic hassles are bad enough that I think I'd prefer it if I lived there.  My wife's family lives there and we visit occasionally; I often bring my travel bike and ride all over. 

If you try riding and look at some low traffic routes, you will be amazed at all of the back roads and routes that you find that you never considered while driving a car because they were slower, or went through neighborhoods. 

Then when you've become a cycling enthusiast you can visit Rivendell and buy a cool (but somewhat expensive) commuter bike.  :-)  The guys there are super friendly and offered to let my wife and I test ride their bikes for a day trip into the hills.  Pretty cool.


I wish I lived in the city, but I live about an hour out in the south bay. Yeah, it definitely doesn't really make sense to have a car in SF because they have great public transportation and parking is ridiculously expensive there.

jamccain

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2013, 09:37:08 PM »
Used car prices do seem a little high right now.  I have seen a few where the recently used car is being sold with the asking price of what new costs.

We just bought an 05 Toyota with 55k on it.  I've had it a couple of months and... it seems almost new.  My advice from that purchase:
1. buy from an individual, not a dealer.  Prices are better and they are more willing to wiggle on price.
2. take your time.  I had daily searches emailing me for craigslist, autotrader and cargurus.com.* 
3. don't be overly stuck on exactly what you want.  Have a few models in mind.  Be flexible on color.  (I absolutely wanted a manual transmission, which was the difficult item for me to fill.)

This is what I would have typed it Spork didn't save me the trouble. 

I have heard a rule of thumb is 10% of your salary is what you should spend on a car.  So, in this case, about $6000.  You can actually get a pretty sweet ride for $6K buying from an individual. 

Another Reader

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2013, 10:00:54 PM »
If you decide to compromise with your folks, there is no need to spend $23k.  If you want a traditional sedan that would make them happy, I picked up a new 2013 Toyota Corolla LE in December for just under $15k plus tax and license.  Very conventional, should last 10 or 15 years, and gets acceptable mileage.  Or go for a base Yaris or Honda Fit for around the same money and get the utility of a hatchback.  The Corolla is the bread and butter car for Toyota and it will be replaced next year by a new model, so it is heavily discounted.  The price I paid was offered by more than one dealer, all in the South Bay.

Newer used cars are overpriced.  Grossly overpriced.  New is a better bet unless you are looking for something that is older than 3 or 4 years.

atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2013, 11:15:28 PM »
If you decide to compromise with your folks, there is no need to spend $23k.  If you want a traditional sedan that would make them happy, I picked up a new 2013 Toyota Corolla LE in December for just under $15k plus tax and license.  Very conventional, should last 10 or 15 years, and gets acceptable mileage.  Or go for a base Yaris or Honda Fit for around the same money and get the utility of a hatchback.  The Corolla is the bread and butter car for Toyota and it will be replaced next year by a new model, so it is heavily discounted.  The price I paid was offered by more than one dealer, all in the South Bay.

Newer used cars are overpriced.  Grossly overpriced.  New is a better bet unless you are looking for something that is older than 3 or 4 years.

That's an interesting point, thanks for bringing that up. Yeah, I definitely have noticed a lot of used cars being sold here close to what newer cars are being sold for.

atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 11:16:19 PM »
Used car prices do seem a little high right now.  I have seen a few where the recently used car is being sold with the asking price of what new costs.

We just bought an 05 Toyota with 55k on it.  I've had it a couple of months and... it seems almost new.  My advice from that purchase:
1. buy from an individual, not a dealer.  Prices are better and they are more willing to wiggle on price.
2. take your time.  I had daily searches emailing me for craigslist, autotrader and cargurus.com.* 
3. don't be overly stuck on exactly what you want.  Have a few models in mind.  Be flexible on color.  (I absolutely wanted a manual transmission, which was the difficult item for me to fill.)

This is what I would have typed it Spork didn't save me the trouble. 

I have heard a rule of thumb is 10% of your salary is what you should spend on a car.  So, in this case, about $6000.  You can actually get a pretty sweet ride for $6K buying from an individual.

Thanks, I'll try to keep that in mind!

Spork

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2013, 07:33:39 AM »
I think now, if I were to buy a used car I'd be willing to spend a bit more (nothing unreasonable) on something certified just to have the ease of mind of driving something covered under warranty.



Don't let me talk you out of that.... but... know what that means.  What that really means is you're paying some amount extra (let's WAG and say $2000) for an insurance policy.  It may very well be worth it.  It may not.  The dealer is charging everyone a little extra, putting that money in a bucket, and waiting for someone to have a claim.  If 1 out of 20 makes a claim, the other 19 are paying for it.

One alternative: do this exactly, but cut the dealer out.  Pay $2000 (or something) extra.  Put it in "escrow" -- meaning, put it in your own bank account and tag it so that you won't be using it.  Sit on it and wait.  If an emergency happens in "the warranty period" then use that money to pay for it.  If not: profit.

Done by Forty

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2013, 08:16:18 AM »
I think now, if I were to buy a used car I'd be willing to spend a bit more (nothing unreasonable) on something certified just to have the ease of mind of driving something covered under warranty.



Don't let me talk you out of that.... but... know what that means.  What that really means is you're paying some amount extra (let's WAG and say $2000) for an insurance policy.  It may very well be worth it.  It may not.  The dealer is charging everyone a little extra, putting that money in a bucket, and waiting for someone to have a claim.  If 1 out of 20 makes a claim, the other 19 are paying for it.

One alternative: do this exactly, but cut the dealer out.  Pay $2000 (or something) extra.  Put it in "escrow" -- meaning, put it in your own bank account and tag it so that you won't be using it.  Sit on it and wait.  If an emergency happens in "the warranty period" then use that money to pay for it.  If not: profit.

That's an excellent suggestion.  If you can self-insure, do so. 

DizzyDaisies

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2013, 08:46:21 AM »
Hi there.  I'm new to the forums.  I think the advice you've gotten here on car buying is excellent.  Can I touch for a minute on your relationship with your parents?  I know it's hard, but you have to make the break at some point if you're going to experience freedom.  My mother has been controlling in the past.  I stopped falling for it years ago and now I have no problem asserting myself.  I don't even get worried about it any more.  If I were buying a car, they wouldn't even know about it until the next time they saw me driving it.  Not because I'm keeping it a secret, but just because I wouldn't even think to mention it.  And if they did have a huge opinion about it, I'd ignore it.  It's not their decision.

My husband, on the other hand, comes from a very close-knit, dysfunctional and controlling family.  It has been a HUGE issue in our marriage, and if I could go back in time, I never would have married him in the first place.  If you're looking to eventually get married or have a committed long term relationship, there is absolutely nothing sexy about a man who allows his parents to control him.  My husband has made some positive changes, but the damage done to me and our relationship is massive and likely impossible to uncover from.

Maybe your situation isn't as bad as ours, but it's still a good idea to work on setting some healthy boundaries.  They'll freak out a little bit at first, but they'll eventually accept it.  A great book on how to deal with controlling or manipulative people is "In Sheep's Clothing" by George Simon.  It's a great book for anyone, because even if your nuclear family isn't controlling, there are always controlling people around. 

Here's a great sample conversation.

Parents "atrian.  How is the car buying going?"
You  "I'm still considering my options."
Parents "The local dealership is offering 0% financing.  I can go with you this afternoon to check out a Nissan Altima."
You  "Thanks, but I've got it covered."
Parents  "But I'd really like to do this with you."
You  "I appreciate that.  If I need some help I'll let you know."
Parents  "But why can't we go over there?  We're just looking!"
You  "Thanks.  But I said I have it covered.  Why aren't you hearing me?"

See?  What you do is state your boundary twice.  If they still ignore it, the issue is no longer the car.  The issue is now that you've stated your boundary and they're stomping all over it.  A nice way to say "back off" is "Why aren't you hearing me?"  Now the conversation is about their lack of consideration and no longer about the car.  It takes some practice to become assertive, but it's an important skill to learn.  And, stopping the information train goes a long way toward not even having the confrontation in the first place.  I realize in this case, the car you're driving has to go back to them, so it makes the conversation more likely to happen, but in the future, these types of decisions are yours and yours alone.  Don't even mention it to them.   
 
Controlling people only have the ability to control you if you let them.  Once you let that truth sink in on a heart level rather than just in your head, it becomes incredibly freeing.  And I totally empathize with you.  It's taken me a long time to get here and I'm sure I still have even further to go.  Best of luck!!

jamccain

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2013, 11:48:49 AM »
Hi there.  I'm new to the forums.  I think the advice you've gotten here on car buying is excellent.  Can I touch for a minute on your relationship with your parents? 

What you do is state your boundary twice.  If they still ignore it, the issue is no longer the car.  The issue is now that you've stated your boundary and they're stomping all over it. 

Wow...  bringing great value on post #1.  Nice work Dizzy.


atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2013, 02:42:21 AM »
Hi there.  I'm new to the forums.  I think the advice you've gotten here on car buying is excellent.  Can I touch for a minute on your relationship with your parents?  I know it's hard, but you have to make the break at some point if you're going to experience freedom.  My mother has been controlling in the past.  I stopped falling for it years ago and now I have no problem asserting myself.  I don't even get worried about it any more.  If I were buying a car, they wouldn't even know about it until the next time they saw me driving it.  Not because I'm keeping it a secret, but just because I wouldn't even think to mention it.  And if they did have a huge opinion about it, I'd ignore it.  It's not their decision.

My husband, on the other hand, comes from a very close-knit, dysfunctional and controlling family.  It has been a HUGE issue in our marriage, and if I could go back in time, I never would have married him in the first place.  If you're looking to eventually get married or have a committed long term relationship, there is absolutely nothing sexy about a man who allows his parents to control him.  My husband has made some positive changes, but the damage done to me and our relationship is massive and likely impossible to uncover from.

Maybe your situation isn't as bad as ours, but it's still a good idea to work on setting some healthy boundaries.  They'll freak out a little bit at first, but they'll eventually accept it.  A great book on how to deal with controlling or manipulative people is "In Sheep's Clothing" by George Simon.  It's a great book for anyone, because even if your nuclear family isn't controlling, there are always controlling people around. 

Here's a great sample conversation.

Parents "atrian.  How is the car buying going?"
You  "I'm still considering my options."
Parents "The local dealership is offering 0% financing.  I can go with you this afternoon to check out a Nissan Altima."
You  "Thanks, but I've got it covered."
Parents  "But I'd really like to do this with you."
You  "I appreciate that.  If I need some help I'll let you know."
Parents  "But why can't we go over there?  We're just looking!"
You  "Thanks.  But I said I have it covered.  Why aren't you hearing me?"

See?  What you do is state your boundary twice.  If they still ignore it, the issue is no longer the car.  The issue is now that you've stated your boundary and they're stomping all over it.  A nice way to say "back off" is "Why aren't you hearing me?"  Now the conversation is about their lack of consideration and no longer about the car.  It takes some practice to become assertive, but it's an important skill to learn.  And, stopping the information train goes a long way toward not even having the confrontation in the first place.  I realize in this case, the car you're driving has to go back to them, so it makes the conversation more likely to happen, but in the future, these types of decisions are yours and yours alone.  Don't even mention it to them.   
 
Controlling people only have the ability to control you if you let them.  Once you let that truth sink in on a heart level rather than just in your head, it becomes incredibly freeing.  And I totally empathize with you.  It's taken me a long time to get here and I'm sure I still have even further to go.  Best of luck!!

First of all thank you so much for taking the time to write all this up! I'm sorry to hear about the state of things with your husband, hopefully things will work out in your favor eventually.

Being assertive is something I've only recently tried doing, but it's always been very difficult with my parents because they know what my "pain points" are. They know I'll fall for the same guilt-tripping techniques they've always used since I was a kid to get me to do stuff I didn't want to. I'm so glad I moved far away; I mean I love them and all but having this enormous distance to buffer things between us was definitely one of the best things that's ever happened to me. 

I actually had an hour-long conversation with my parents last night where we argued a lot over whether I should get a new car or not. I basically told them I didn't want a car and laid out all the reasons (backed by MMM's excellent blog posts). I could tell they were really disappointed, especially my dad who I know LOVES the idea of having a brand new car.

I'm sure they'll keep pestering me about it, so I'm glad I saw your post. I'll be keeping this in mind in the future :) Thanks

atrian

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2013, 02:45:06 AM »
I think now, if I were to buy a used car I'd be willing to spend a bit more (nothing unreasonable) on something certified just to have the ease of mind of driving something covered under warranty.



Don't let me talk you out of that.... but... know what that means.  What that really means is you're paying some amount extra (let's WAG and say $2000) for an insurance policy.  It may very well be worth it.  It may not.  The dealer is charging everyone a little extra, putting that money in a bucket, and waiting for someone to have a claim.  If 1 out of 20 makes a claim, the other 19 are paying for it.

One alternative: do this exactly, but cut the dealer out.  Pay $2000 (or something) extra.  Put it in "escrow" -- meaning, put it in your own bank account and tag it so that you won't be using it.  Sit on it and wait.  If an emergency happens in "the warranty period" then use that money to pay for it.  If not: profit.

Wow, what an excellent point!! I like this suggestion a lot, thank you so much for sharing this!

I think you pretty much talked me out of it hahaha
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 02:47:22 AM by atrian »

Dee18

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2013, 04:48:27 AM »
Your parents should be thrilled that you are doing so well and want to be financially independent.  One approach to take with your parents is to remember you do not have to justify, apologize, rationalize, explain or defend anything you do (jared, for short).  All of those things are likely to keep them engaged in trying to influence you.  I found this a hard lessen to learn, but it works great.

Spork

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2013, 07:35:08 AM »
I think now, if I were to buy a used car I'd be willing to spend a bit more (nothing unreasonable) on something certified just to have the ease of mind of driving something covered under warranty.



Don't let me talk you out of that.... but... know what that means.  What that really means is you're paying some amount extra (let's WAG and say $2000) for an insurance policy.  It may very well be worth it.  It may not.  The dealer is charging everyone a little extra, putting that money in a bucket, and waiting for someone to have a claim.  If 1 out of 20 makes a claim, the other 19 are paying for it.

One alternative: do this exactly, but cut the dealer out.  Pay $2000 (or something) extra.  Put it in "escrow" -- meaning, put it in your own bank account and tag it so that you won't be using it.  Sit on it and wait.  If an emergency happens in "the warranty period" then use that money to pay for it.  If not: profit.

Wow, what an excellent point!! I like this suggestion a lot, thank you so much for sharing this!

I think you pretty much talked me out of it hahaha

We actually take this a step further.  We make a car payment regularly to ourselves.  (Okay, we miss payments now and then, but our lender is really awesome and lets us get away with it.)  At any given time, we've got a short term stash ready for major repairs or replacement. 

thurston howell iv

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2013, 11:11:51 AM »
Some alleged "Mustachians" will take issue with my post but here's my .02.

IF one wants to be a well rounded Mustachian I think that one should should strive to be as self sufficient as possible. If this means learning how to work on your own car then- so be it! (I make this point to offset all of the excuses that come with "wanting" and not needing an newer car)

In your situation, OP, you should look at a car for $3k or less from a private seller... They are out there and they are not all lemons.  If you shop around and look for ones that are specifically designed for good mpg all the better... Also, taking a play from MMM's playbook--- Learn to drive a stick shift if you already don't know how.

I've recently purchased several older cars for under $3k. Yes they are older, yes they may not be perfect, and maybe they're not terribly fancy but, they are paid for.  My personal $2500 econo car just got me 43mpg as of this morning's fill up.    Will your proposed $23k car get the same?

Worst case scenario- You buy a cheap econocar and drive it for a year. If you hate it, you can sell it, dump it, whatever and still really not loose much money. In the interim, you will probably save some cash and learn the joys of driving past the gas station if you're not already riding the bike as MMM suggests...

In the event of the car completely disintegrating under your feet (which, of course is highly unlikely), you would still be able to buy another 6 or 7 cars at this price before ever reaching your proposed $23k!

Just some food for thought... 

nktokyo

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #30 on: May 22, 2013, 06:22:22 AM »
Some alleged "Mustachians" will take issue with my post but here's my .02.

IF one wants to be a well rounded Mustachian I think that one should should strive to be as self sufficient as possible. If this means learning how to work on your own car then- so be it! (I make this point to offset all of the excuses that come with "wanting" and not needing an newer car)

In your situation, OP, you should look at a car for $3k or less from a private seller... They are out there and they are not all lemons.  If you shop around and look for ones that are specifically designed for good mpg all the better... Also, taking a play from MMM's playbook--- Learn to drive a stick shift if you already don't know how.

I've recently purchased several older cars for under $3k. Yes they are older, yes they may not be perfect, and maybe they're not terribly fancy but, they are paid for.  My personal $2500 econo car just got me 43mpg as of this morning's fill up.    Will your proposed $23k car get the same?

Worst case scenario- You buy a cheap econocar and drive it for a year. If you hate it, you can sell it, dump it, whatever and still really not loose much money. In the interim, you will probably save some cash and learn the joys of driving past the gas station if you're not already riding the bike as MMM suggests...

In the event of the car completely disintegrating under your feet (which, of course is highly unlikely), you would still be able to buy another 6 or 7 cars at this price before ever reaching your proposed $23k!

Just some food for thought...

+1

frompa

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Re: Should I buy the car?
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2013, 06:37:01 AM »
Atrian - Should you buy the car?  No.  It's that simple. For all the reasons others have stated above.  Also, you seem to be approaching this question from a fear basis -- and this makes you irrational as a decision maker.  A newer or even a new car is not likely to be so much more reliable as to justify the ENORMOUS depreciation that happens when you drive it out of the lot; even a "certified" used car is not necessarily more reliable than an older, cheaper, uncertified one.  Do your homework on makes and models.  Then go buy a good bike and a good pair of walking shoes.