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What are Dumb Things You Shouldn’t Spend Your Money On?

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I recently read an article on MoneyTalksNews.com about stupid things that we spend our money on.  Gym memberships, extended warranties, credit card interest, life insurance for your children and new cars were mentioned in that writing.  I can pretty much agree with them all, especially with the details that were included, except for the new car idea.  Why?  Let me explain.

There are those of us who buy new cars only, those of us who buy only used cars and those of us who don’t care if it’s new or used; what matters is getting what is wanted.  There are arguments supporting all three.  However, with the exception of my very first vehicle (a used Chevy station wagon), I have always purchased new vehicles.  I’ve been fortunate enough that I could always do it financially, as some people can’t.

You may be shaking your head at what I just wrote; that I have always bought new vehicles and that I’m foolish.  You would be correct in your assessment when applying that to my earlier years because I did purchase a new vehicle every four to five years and thus, I was losing lots of money in depreciation.  That’s not the case now, nor has it been for me for the past couple of decades, which is why purchasing a new vehicle is what’s best for me.

You see, I buy a new vehicle and “drive it into the ground,” so to speak.  Along the way, I take care of my vehicles with regular maintenance, both with a qualified mechanic and my own limited expertise.  That’s the key to vehicle longevity – maintenance.  By driving my vehicles for years and years, I get the most out of my money.  With the strategy I use, purchasing new and driving for years, I don’t have the issue of repairs due to negligence or mistreatment of the vehicle by a previous owner.  And THAT is what has always bothered me about buying used.

Purchasing new I receive a full warranty offered by the manufacturer, not a brief warranty.  The car is new and hasn’t been neglected or abused.  Additionally, if you need to finance the purchase, you’ll typically pay a higher interest rate with used vehicles than with new.

I would agree that purchasing used is fine for people who don’t plan to keep the car very long, but that hasn’t been the case for me.  I’d like to prove my point.  I drive a ‘98 Ford Escort with (at this time) 241,000 miles on it.  It still runs great, looks fine and I get 34 miles to the gallon (knock on wood).  We have an ’07 Hyundai with over 150,000 miles, and we have a ‘97 full size conversion van with well over 135,000 miles on it (we don’t drive it much since it’s a gas hog, but it comes in handy for hauling and as a third vehicle).  These vehicles will be ours until they metaphorically begin gasping for breath.  They were all purchased new.  They continue to be road worthy because of our due diligence for maintaining them.

I guess what it all comes down to is determining what’s best for your own situation.  What scenario fits best with your lifestyle?  After you’ve logically arrived at your conclusion, buy what’s appropriate and enjoy your ride!

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