We do love to preach about selling your stuff. Occasionally though, we do need to buy stuff. Clothes. Massages. A car. Wait, what? A car? How is that minimalist living? You should ride-share, carpool, take a bus/train/boat/bike/RV. Yes, that’d be great, and we researched that. But in the end, purchasing a car made more sense to us, even if cars have been one of, if not THE worst investment ever for us.
As we travel around living this minimalist lifestyle we’ve had to buy stuff, we won’t lie. We do make more conscientious decisions about said purchases though, and even more so with our recent car purchase. We spent the better part of three days looking for a car, and to be blunt, I’m pretty sure I’d rather be forced to watch this painful movie scene below over and over than spend another minute looking for a car…
Would you rather: Search for a Car or Watch This?
Okay, that scene is probably more like a train-wreck in that you can’t look away. That being said we were a lot more thorough this time when looking for a car then we were in Panama when we made our aforementioned worst investment ever. And we were A LOT more picky this time. Additionally, we had two “must-haves”:
- Cruise control.
- A centre arm-rest.
We mentioned the cruise-control to one dealer after he showed us a car without cruise. Here’s a dialogue, screenplay style, for your entertainment:
EXT. USED CAR DEALER LOT – DAY
It’s a cloudy, cold, damp day in Hamilton. Shelly and Al are wearing coats, mitts, and hats – Clearly not quite used to the cold Canadian weather as they stand in a used car lot talking to a SALESMAN, late 40’s, scruffy, probably hasn’t made a sale in weeks.
Hi, you guys looking for a certain make or model?
Hey. not really so much as a certain make or model,
just within a certain price range.
Okay, what range are you looking in.
We need to keep it around the four to five thousand range.
Okay, we’ve got a few in that range.
We have two must haves: Cruise Control and a centre arm rest.
We’re driving across Canada so we need some comfort.
Okay, we’ve got a Taurus and an Elantra I can show you.
The Salesman, Shelly, and Al walk over to the Elantra and inspect the inside. Al notices it doesn’t have Cruise Control.
Doesn’t look like it has cruise.
Nope. Doesn’t have cruise.
Okay, well, we really want cruise.
We’ll be driving at least 8 hours a day.
“Yeah, but does anyone REALLY use cruise control”?
What do you do with your foot? It’s still down there anyway.
Al looks over at Shelly then gives the Salesman a blank stare.
Okay. Well…thanks for your time.
Shelly and Al walk away from the lot trying hard not to pass judgement on the SALESMAN. It was very hard for them to not think he was stupid.
Anyway, to avoid a painfully long blog post similar to the movie scenes above, I’ll sum it up.
- Bought a 2008 Nissan Versa with both must-haves.
- Picked up car and airbag light was now blinking (it wasn’t on test-drive).
- Nicknamed car “Blinky”
- Went back to get sensor replaced on Blinky (waited forever, too).
- Replaced one sensor but light still on, needed another sensor (there were two possible replacements).
- New sensor came in, Blinky no longer Blinks.
- Leaving soon to drive across Canada in Blinky. YAY!
Now, we did have some options instead of purchasing Blinky the Blinking puddle-hopper, those options being:
- Fly to BC ($1600) but we’d be stuck at our houses sits because we won’t have access to owners car(s).
- Train. If you’ve ever researched this you know this isn’t the most economically sound way to travel across Canada. Costs are downright stupid.
- Lease-Bust: We don’t want to be stuck with a car past December. We found a few but they were only in Ontario, meaning we’d have to get the car back at lease-expiry, plus we’d be looking at a minimum $300/month over 9 months, totaling $2700. At $6000 for our car, if we sell it at $4299 we come out ahead of this option. Plus we don’t have to give the car back.
- Drive Away / Car Delivery Services. This is a great option if you have flexibility in your schedule. You can drive a car from Toronto to Florida. LA to Vancouver. OR the ever popular route of Dildo, Newfoundland to Climax, Saskatchewan (possibly stopping at Crotch Lake, Ontario). Sadly, there weren’t any Toronto-Vancouver or Toronto-Calgary options for when we needed to leave.
I was chatting with relatives and mentioned that we now live our lives in three month intervals and like to keep our options open. We have few plans past Labour Day (we used to be planners too). Making another “worst investment ever” actually gave us a few more options after we drive it out west though.
- Sell Blinky while out west, sometime after Labour Day to travel some more.
- Stay out west and use Blinky some more!
There are a few quotes that come to mind with this recent car purchase though, so I’ll continue my over-use of lists in this post:
- “Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it”
- “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
- “Stupid is as stupid does.”
We really hope none of those quotes apply to this recent car purchase; moreover, that this doesn’t become another worst investment ever! I do hate cars. They’re sometimes a necessary evil. The inconveniences a car causes seems to overrule the conveniences it provides. We just hope Blinky is good to us!
How about you? What was your worst investment ever? The Ford Edsel? New Coke? Bre-X?
Now go sell all your stuff and avoid making your worst investment ever!