Money To Live

September 16, 2008

My stomach and my car

Filed under: cars,spending — by moneytolive @ 5:00 am
Tags: ,

I recently bought a new car and felt bad about the purchase for about 18 hours. My stomach felt funny, which happens whenever I feel unsettled about something.

These are some of the things that made me feel unsettled:

  • I do not like uncertainty. The dealer came out ahead with a better deal, and I do not know exactly how much of a better deal.
  • I do not like parting with money.
  • Overall, I spent a lot of money this past month. A new iPhone, new furniture, new clothes, stocked a kitchen, a new vacuum cleaner, a new GPS, and now a new car.
  • I am waiting for my first paycheck — it will not come for another 2.5 weeks.

All together, these things made my stomach twist and turn. I do not want to feel bad about the purchase, but at the same time, I did not want to feel good about it for irrational reasons (like telling myself that I deserve the car).

Doing these things made me feel better about the purchase:

  • Learn from the situation. What might I do differently next time?
    • In a do-over situation, I might have left and thought about it overnight.
    • Next time, I will talk less.
    • I did some things well: I asked for a lower price and got it lowered. Then I asked for a free cargo cover and essentially got it free. The car price was lowered to cover the cost of a cargo cover, including tax.
  • Go through the numbers. I did not get the best possible deal, but given the circumstances, it is an ok deal.
  • Back in. A big reason that I chose the Fit is that it is so easy to park. When I got home, I purposefully backed into a parking spot. I am tempted to look for parallel parking spaces just to enjoy the ease of parking. I want to feel good about the car, so each time I park I will enjoy how easy it is.

Now, 19 hours after the purchase, my stomach is not completely calm, but much better than last night.



  1. Good analysis and one that squares with “buyer’s remorse.” It’s a typical human response that can pop up on just about any purchase but mainly on the big ones. I think I escaped it on the last house purchase (4th over a 22-year span) but I know I felt it earlier this year when I took a job and then backed out. It’s hard to know when to pay attention to the anxiety and when to ignore it. Your style of analysis is a good model: self-knowledge should be part of the equation.

    Comment by Mary Bold — September 16, 2008 @ 10:44 am |Reply

  2. Even though you didn’t go home and think about the purchase overnight you did think about which car you wanted to buy for some time before parting with the money. This is a good strategy because once the memory of the actual transaction fades you’ll be left with a great little car that does just what you want it to instead of something that seemed like a really great deal but doesn’t make you happy in the long run.

    Comment by denise — September 16, 2008 @ 3:16 pm |Reply

  3. So neat to see what your reactions were and how you dealt with them. Especially, noting what you would do differently and what you did well.

    I love the way you are consciously enjoying the benefits of your new car, that’s brilliant!

    Thanks for this blog. I am soaking it up.

    ps It seems like “deserve” is a link but when I click on it, I don’t get anywhere.

    Comment by katherine — September 17, 2008 @ 12:13 pm |Reply

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