I watch quite a few Youtubers and one girl that I watch vlogged her experience with buying a car. The video starts where she’s going to get her dream car (a Jeep) and ends with her getting a Honda CRV. I thought it was such a great video because it was unfolding in real time (as much as a vlog can at least) and she came to the conclusion that the Jeep just wasn’t going to be the best financial decision. And even though she wanted a Jeep, she would have been buying a Jeep for the wrong reasons. It really resonated with me.
I’m obviously quite involved with social media, as it’s my job, but I feel like what that Youtuber shared is never quite the message that comes across. Even if the message isn’t explicitly saying “You need [insert a noun] to have a [insert a positive adjective] life,” I can see how it could be interpreted that way en masse.
While I feel like I do a fairly good job of showing real life (whether it’s sharing a personal struggle or re-wearing clothes instead of just buying new all the time), I know I could be better.
And, I have to admit, I fall victim to the pressure of “keeping up,” too.
Mike was buying a new car last weekend and I came along for moral support. But of course, we’re sitting in these car dealerships looking at brand new, very shiny cars and all I could think about was how I wanted to upgrade my car. As much as I love my Subaru (and I do, a lot!), it’s not the fanciest car. I was looking at these fancy cars with their big digital displays and customized packages feeling like my car was totally not up to snuff.
Which couldn’t be farther from the truth. My car is GREAT. Not only is it a practical choice (the Forester retains its resale value for, like, ever), it’s a super safe car too. I bought it with those two things particularly in mind. Realistically, I may not have this car forever, but for right now? There’s literally no (solid) reason for why I’d need to trade it in or sell it currently.
Could I afford a “nicer car”? Sure. But is it a good financial decision? Nope. Is it even necessary? Definitely not.
And probably most importantly: Does not having a luxury car make my life any less interesting? No.
Mike and I have been sharing a car for the last year because parking in Hoboken is tight. It made more sense to just have one car and since I already owned mine but didn’t need it on an everyday basis here, he drove it to work every day. I haven’t driven much at all in the past year because I didn’t really need to. It was easier most times to call an Uber than it would be to get my car out of our parking garage and then try to find and pay for parking somewhere else.
But I did miss it! Having a car was one of my favorite things about moving out of NYC when I moved to Connecticut. Since he bought a car on Saturday, we drove home separately and, honestly, it felt like I had a new car again! All of my feelings about wanting that luxury car melted away during that forty-minute commute. I reprogramed my phone into the Bluetooth system (I hadn’t driven it in so long that I had a new phone that I never connected!) and got everything resituated.
I spent a good bit of the drive home thinking about how I wanted to write this post. And I’m not even sure that it makes sense. But, since I loved that Youtuber’s video so much because of how realistic and normal (not to mention smart) it was, I thought I’d throw in my two cents too.
Even though I’m no financial expert, I want to put together a post for the future about basic, common sense money decisions I think women in their 20s should make. Putting yourself in a good (even great) financial position doesn’t have to be that complicated. Let me know if you’d want to hear my thoughts on it! 😬