In my first post of the year I laid out my themes for 2013, one of which is freedom. Here’s one way I’m playing out that theme: I bought a 2006 Ford Focus.
This car fosters freedom because I paid cash for it. (I do realize that having enough cash on hand to buy a car means I’m fortunate to begin with.) This had been my dad’s car, and he upgraded recently. A Focus isn’t the car of my dreams, but it’s been reliable, Dad took good care of it, and the boys and the dog all fit inside.
You know what I’d love to own? A new 3-series BMW coupe in black. I’ve wanted one for 20 years. Siiiiiiiigh. Just look at it. Isn’t it dreeeeeeeeeamy? There is no doubt in my mind that driving it would bring me immense, intense pleasure every day.
I just optioned a BMW 328i coupe at bmwusa.com. I didn’t even dream all that big and the price tag still swelled to $41,595. If I trade in my Toyota as a down payment and take a five-year loan, I could swing the payments – well, as long as absolutely nothing goes wrong in my life.
I am not going to be bound to that.
My older son turned 16 yesterday. My old Toyota seems like a perfect first car for him. And an unsexy hatchback will get me from A to B just fine. Meanwhile, I can save my money for a rainy day. All kinds of rain can fall on me and I can just keep driving my paid-for car! And the Focus is surprisingly fun to drive – it has good acceleration and handling for an economy car. It’s no BMW, but I’m looking forward to taking it out on a twisty highway and seeing what it can do.
Costly things do happen, course. Read my story about when several happened to me at once.