I got a new car! Well new to me.
If you’re a long-time reader you may remember that my car is caught up in that whole Volkswagen diesel scandal. After lots of paperwork and waiting, I’m scheduled to sell it back to VW in early January. Obviously I’ll need something to drive and I didn’t want the pressure of finding something right then and there on the VW lot, so I did a little bit of car shopping. Also, my VW really needs new tires for the winter, but this whole process is taking forever and I don’t want to put any more money into this car.
I’ve purchased 3 new cars in less than 10 years. A bit ridiculous. Each time I knew specifically what I wanted. Honestly, I bought my VW for the brand, because I thought it was cool and fancy. But since then I’ve had enough rental cars to feel comfortable in many things and to realize I really only need something to get me from A to B. Most basic models these days have some of the nicer features I’d like (mostly the ability to plug in my iPod) and most small cars have good gas mileage.
So my criteria were: used, less than 75k miles, small, and good mpg, with a budget of $10k-$12k. That’s it. That either makes me the world’s easiest customer or most annoying, I’m not sure. I ended up with a 2014 Ford Focus with 31k miles on it. It was previously a Ford rental car so it’s in great shape. Although I wasn’t looking for anything fancy, this car does have heated seats which are nice to have when it’s -23 outside! And it was within my budget. With my budget I was expecting to find something older with more miles, so I’m really happy with this car! It’s 2 years newer than my VW!
So the financing…I don’t get my check from VW for a few more weeks. I considered nearly wiping out my emergency fund to pay for the car in cash since it’s only a few weeks. But I decided not to. You never know what will happen in life and what if something went wrong with selling my car back? So I took out a loan. For like 3 weeks. My goal is to pay it off the day I get that money from VW, which is before the first payment is even due. But man it made me sick to my stomach to finance another car. I’ve worked SO hard to pay off car loans and learn from my past car-buying experiences. (Check them out here) I never wanted to finance a car again. This situation is a bit different, but it was still uncomfortable at first.
The whole VW scandal is crappy and a pain, but I’m coming out ahead. I’m getting a lot more money back than what I spent on the new car, so I should have a nice little sum to put towards my mortgage.
Oh and remember what I said about my emergency fund and almost depleting it? I kid you not, literally, the next day my furnace broke. It was -13 degrees outside and right before a weekend where it was supposed to get to -26 degrees and I had no heat. So yeah…glad I hung onto that emergency fund! In the end the issue was my thermostat and the whole thing cost me about $225 and a few hours to resolve, but I have heat now!
Also…I hardly drive now. We’ve had some really cold days recently and I’ve still walked to work. I actually prefer it. No scraping the ice off my car, waiting for it to warm up, only to drive 2 cold blocks. It’s faster and actually warmer just to walk! Especially when it’s snowing. Now I just have to remember to go out and start my car and drive it every now when it’s super cold.
So there’s the update…happy holidays!