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We have made mistakes in the past, but so has everyone else and it is important to not only learn from your mistakes but from others too (hint hint). It only took buying one car new to realize how stupid it was and not to make that mistake again. This was also before we had gotten our financial act together. We paid the car off early and thought that mistake was behind us until I recently got a letter in the mail from the dealership. This is when I realized everyone wants you to be in debt.
It isn’t just car dealerships but banks, the government, and your friends/loved ones. The first two were obvious but you didn’t see that last one coming did you? Yes, everyone. You aren’t normal for wanting to be debt free. Debt is synonymous with the modern American
My sister was having issues with her car so in order to fix the situation she junked the old one and bought a brand new car. I didn’t entirely see her logic in that one but you can liken it to any consumer good nowadays (read: cell phone). She was so proud of the purchase she took a picture and sent it to me, with the tagline “got the other car painted too.” I was concerned so I responded, “oh no did it get in an accident?” To which she responded, “haha no it’s new too.” #facePalm
The only fault with the other car was it was “too old.” (My car is far older)
I know our minimalism has rubbed off on my family but so far our financial practices haven’t.
Mr. BoaS you were talking about Dealerships
Oh yeah, thanks for reminding me, back to the Camry. Let’s examine this flyer that was sent to the BoaS household. The dealership is first trying to scare you by reminding you the warranty is expired. I’m sure this gets most people right off the bat. Every time I hear someone justify a new car is because “you don’t have to worry about it breaking.” Modern cars are far more stable and reliable than cars 20-30 years ago. You don’t have to worry as much about a slightly used car and in fact, Consumer Reports warns you about buying new cars for reliability sake.
Now that they have set the mood to “worry” they go in for your wallet. Our payment would ONLY go up $24 AND we would get a new car! WHAT. A. DEAL! Not to mention we wouldn’t need to hand over any cash on the spot. I don’t know about you but that is way too good to be true because it is.
They are essentially trapping you in more debt for longer. You may have finally been able to remove your gap insurance and now you will be buying new gap insurance. (Gap insurance is when you are underwater on your car. It is insurance that supplements what your normal collision insurance policy would pay out.)
Little do they know we paid off the car back in 2016 so we would be going from no payment to having debt again. Not the best move if you are trying to be financially independent.
How Do I Make It Stop?
You aren’t going to be able to stop the onslaught of people trying to get you into debt or expecting you to be in debt. Banks aren’t going to stop sending you credit card or loan offers (although you can stop that). The government can’t even remove the mortgage interest deduction and you certainly can’t force people to change their minds.
The best thing you can do is surround yourself with like-minded individuals. Listening to podcasts like ChooseFI or Dave Ramsey will keep you motivated to stay out of debt. Hanging out on the Rockstar Finance Forums is a great place to get answers and see what others are doing. Finally, there is no shortage of books you can read too like The Millionaire Next Door or Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.
Above all else is to watch your step because there are lots of pitfalls on this journey but they are easy to avoid if you know the signs and you don’t have to do this alone.
Who keeps expecting you to be in debt? Do you keep getting haunted by past financial mistakes?