2016 Honda Accord, 2016 Toyota Camry, 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe, 2016 Ford F-150. Cars are a status symbol. Car companies like Ford and General Motors are looked at as the backbone of America. They are such a backbone that the United States bailed them out during the “Great Recession.” Majority of Americans have cars. Some have cars to get from point A to point B, and others have cars for another reason. That other reason keeps that person in debt for their entire life. I am sure you are saying to yourself that is not true.

Well lets take a look at car purchases. When a person buys a new car the mentality is usually not about getting to work and back. It is about having a nice looking car. A nice looking car that other people will compliment you on. Having a car with all the bells and whistles that the car dealer offered at the car lot.

Doesn’t matter that those bells and whistles up the price tag of the car thousands of dollars because you had to have what others don’t. When you seen other people, friends or strangers you had to be able to say “look at my new car, look at what it has inside!” “I bet your car doesn’t have this!”

When you use a car to impress other people then it turns into downward slope of endless car payments. After a few years the car gets old to you. The compliments have ended and people have stopped sneaking glances at your car at the stop light. When this happens you feel that you need an upgrade and you head to the car dealership. Your car could be running perfectly fine, but in order to justify a new car you will make up all types of reasons to sign your name to a new loan. Your car keeps making some noise so you need a new one. Your family is growing so you need to get rid of your car that fit five people for a new car that seats five people! This expensive car will make people take me more seriously in my industry. Reason after reason why what you have is not enough and why you need more.

These impulses every few years are looked at as a way of life because everyone around you is doing the same thing, but when you look back over your life you will see what you gave up for a piece of scrap metal. You will see that you never traveled the world even though that was your dream when you were a little girl. Instead your travel money went into your $25,000 Toyota Camry. You made a promise to yourself that your child college would be paid for out of pocket, but somewhere along the eighteen years that $20,000 Honda Accord and Nissan Altima became more important. You vowed that in retirement you were not going to struggle like your parents did and you can’t understand why you don’t have more saved. When you were on the car lot you didn’t realize how far $50,000 would go if invested in a 401K instead of a BMW 720i. Living in the present erased the future you wanted.

I used to be someone who lived in the moment. That is why when my husband said we should get a new car I gladly signed my name to a $25,000 Chrysler 300 even though we already had $25,000 in student loans. I liked the gazing stares we received from strangers. I loved the compliments from our friends and family. That need for attention took $25,000 away that could have been used for retirement, or college savings, or world travel. I have been where you are and I promise it is not worth it to let a piece of scrap metal ruin your future!

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