July 19th, 2004

Roman

New car guilt

I lay in bed last night, fretting over my new car. I have never bought a new one before, and in this case I was fixated on getting a Honda hybrid. The only choice was between the civic and the insight - and then between the automatic and the standard. When I went to the dealer I didn't expect to find one on the lot. This threw me and I was unprepared for it. I think that's really the crux of it. A lot of "shouldas" are going through my head: shoulda checked on the APCD credits ahead of time, for example.

One thing I had the smarts to do was to buy an extended warranty that includes money back if I don't use it! That's a hard one to pass up. And I got the good interest rate.

So what am I fretting about? I do feel guilt over it. I have a car that runs well. I could have waited longer, gotten a bigger down payment, for example. I could have gotten a non-hybrid, a used car... Which is what I have done in the past.

It is only in the last several years that I have bought NEW appliances. This is rather an extension of that, rather a more expensive extension of course.

I think the real worry is the money. Will it cripple me to make that payment every month? I don't think so, actually. In fact, I have been thinking of looking for a way to pay off the high-interest loan for my teeth, using a lower-interest loan, which will smooth things over somewhat. In fact, when my teeth are paid for, that money will go to the car and I will be back where I was before yesterday.

I have simply never done this before, never chosen a car that was not the least expensive I could get with what I needed. I bought it because I wanted it and that's that. I feel this weird rush of consumerism and it isn't making me feel good, unfortunately. I think I'll feel better each time I recognize that I am doing a small thing to help the atmosphere and the earth. Although my old car wasn't that awful that way either!

Now the decision about my old car. Without air conditioning it doesn't seem like a good option for mary, but I'll ask her first. Perhaps I can sell it and give the proceeds to her for car repairs on her current car.