I say "want" because it's not yet an immediate need.
We "can afford it" meaning that if all our requirements are met (and the dealers I've been emailing have confirmed that this is doable) then we can do it if we decide to.
- We have to drop quite a few things from our budget. Hubby is okay, and maybe we should "trim the fat" anyway, but I think small changes are the key right now. In a few months we'll trim some more and then finally everything we can. Maybe. We'll have to see how it goes and be realistic.
- We will not be able to put money towards a vacation fund. Since I've taken over the budget and reworked things to start in May I've been very excited that we have a little room to save up $3000 over the next 36 months. It was a goal that's really important to us to take our daughter (and ourselves) on a "big" (to us) vacation every three years. The other years we'll do a thrifty weekend exploring Florida. This will be nixed.
- Once our student loan payments start again we will have a whole new ball of fun trying to figure out where the money will come from.
- We won't be able to put as much money towards the consolidation loan we took out.
- My income can fluctuate drastically each month. Each client who cancels is worth at least $65, and cancellations are a fact of life. On the other hand I often get calls from new clients worth at least $70. (Old clients have until June 1 to pay the new client rates, which are $5-$10 more.) I also may not be able to get another class (I teach one night a week) immediately after this one ends in mid-August, so that income is not something I can depend on. Or I may end up with twice as much income if the class is full time. It's all up in the air.
- Not having any car payments right now or for the past three years has been awesome.
- Our insurance will go up, but only $16-$20 every six months. (I called and asked.)
Why I want a new car:
- When we bought hubby's car we knew that it was a temporary fix. He'll get my car. His doesn't always start and the fumes are so bad that I will not allow my baby to ride with daddy. (In an emergency she'd have to, and that terrifies me, however an emergency is an emergency.) (Semi-real reason.) It's likely his car will have to be replaced soon no matter what. (Real reason, but not a "right now" reason.)
- My air conditioning goes on and off for no apparent reason. It will be $1200 to get fixed and I am not okay with that; it's unlikely I could sell the car for over $1000 with its mileage and condition. Summer in Florida requires a working air conditioner--especially with the baby. If it was just me I could handle it. There's no way I'm going to put her in a 130-degree car. But, airing it out will help. So we'll stand in the parking lot for 5 minutes in 97-degrees. No problem. And it does work 80% of the time... for a few weeks at a time, then off a few days, then on for maybe a month, then off for an afternoon, then on for a few days... it's really weird. (Real reason.)
- My car is a safe car, however the new cars have even more safety features. With my daughter in the car this has become incredibly important to me. (Rationalization.)
- My car has good gas mileage however we're looking at cars with excellent gas mileage. Our fuel costs would go down slightly, but not enough to make up for a new car. (Semi-real reason but mostly rationalization unless we get a hybrid, but that's far above our budget no matter what we do right now.)
- We cannot take long trips in my car. I haven't seen some of my friends in Orlando for years. Last time we went up there my car broke down and I had to get repairs and rent a car while we were there. It's done this every trip for awhile. So we stopped taking trips. Each one cost gas plus $400+ repairs. Luckily, however, we haven't had any major repairs when we're driving it locally. Since my hubby would only go 15 miles or so a week, maybe 30 on a weird week, we'd be good. I should also say there are some current noises that none of our mechanics have been able to replicate, so it's probably nothing big, but there's always the threat. (Real reason.)