Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cross Your Fingers That All Goes Smoothly

So, I'm in the process of buying my first ever car on my own. See, the car I've got I leased. This was mainly about commitmentphobia and a lack of liquid cash for a down-payment. And did I mention the commitmentphobia? But part of this whole Operation Financial Freedom thing in part had to do with the fact that I felt like a loser for leasing when really I know it makes more sense to buy and to just take care of the car whilst driving it into the ground. But dude, this is totally a scary enterprise. Did I mention the whole fear of commitment business?

At any rate, what makes me hilarious is that I am managing to do 99% of this whole thing over the phone. Because I'm a loser who feels more comfortable doing it that way. And I've got this awesome sales lady who's working for me, who's not trying to sell me bullshit (probably because I called her completely certain and having done my homework) and so it's likely I'm not getting the super-best deal in the world, but I'm certainly not getting the worst.

And I shall have a cute wee little car that gets excellent gas mileage!

You know, I suck with this adult shit. I hate doing it. I have fantasies that someday I shall happen upon a life partner who will do all of these things for me so that I can focus on more important things, like kittens and lazing about and inventing recipes and rereading the Harry Potter books over and over and over again. Or if not a life partner, that I will come into a grand sum of money so that I can have a business manager who does this all for me. Because you know what? I find this sort of thing totally stressful and not empowering in the slightest. I mean, it should be empowering, right? Don't you think? But no, it is totally not.

I think it's that I'm basically, deep down, an irresponsible person. Or rather, I'd like to be an irresponsible person, but I know that to be irresponsible is stupid. So I'm basically responsible but I'm not terribly... I don't have great acumen with money. If I could just not think about money - just totally not think about it - I'd be a happy lady. It's so funny: I really admire people who aren't like this, and yet somehow it is not in my nature to change. Hmmm.

In other news, you know what is very, very hard for me? When somebody tells me a piece of news that has nothing at all to do with me, tells me not to tell anybody about it (which obviously I'm going to, because dude, we all know that I can't keep things to myself), but then also tells me not to blog about it, which I'd never have considered doing in the first place had the person not told me I wasn't allowed, and so now I've got a burning desire deep down in my soul to blog this thing that's not even mine to tell and that I'd never have even wanted to blog about anyway.

Some people. Sheesh. :)

Edited to add: Ok, so I was willing to give Dealer #1 the benefit of the doubt throughout the day, but by our most recent conversation (in which I felt like I was being played), I decided that I needed to do some shopping around. So I called up Dealer #2. Smarmy Car Salesman #2 seems very, very motivated to take business away from Dealer #1. Now, SCS #2 also comes off as smarmier, but per our most recent conversation, it's looking like he's also offering to give me what I want at about 3K less than SCS #1, who initially seems less smarmy but who also, I feel, is trying to screw me. So. I'm meeting with SCS #2 tomorrow morning, and depending on what happens there, I will potentially see SCS #1 on Saturday, instituting a competition for my car-purchasing dollars! I do not feel excited and financially empowered by all of this, but I do certainly love feeling like I'm wheeling and dealing and like playing the game of trying to get the lowest possible price. What's ridiculous about this whole thing is that I'm on the market for a bottom-end car, so there's not really much room with price in terms of negotiations. In other words, this wheeling and dealing that I'm doing ultimately is sort of meaningless, compared with wheeling and dealing that others might do. But so now, it's time to get ready for the teaching.


Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

YEA for the new car!!

Doing it all yourself is scary, but paying it off and driving it for a long, long, time will be really good. I'm close to paying off my little corolla and I love it more every day!!

Thoroughly Educated said...

When I finally succeed in doing scary things like this, it is empowering, but oy, the gnashing of teeth while I work up the courage to do it. That's why once I've done one Big, Scary, Responsible Thing, I try to keep the momentum going and do a whole bunch of them at once before the wind goes out of my sails.

But I really want a life concierge to do these things for me.

El said...

I know what you mean. I absolutely hate doing things like that. I also have an unfortunate tendency to date people who have social anxiety, and I wind up shouldering all the 'grown up' work for the BOTH of us. It is definitely NOT double the fun, but I figure I'll get the hang of it someday.

helenesch said...

Um, I brought my father with me when I negotiated this mess of car dealership guys about four years ago. I know, pathetic of me... But I didn't want to get ripped off, and it was my first new car purchase. Not that you need to blog it, but I'm curious to know what you're getting! My Honda Civic is almost paid off now, and I'm very happy with it.

Thoroughly Educated said...

I'm curious, too! My station wagon is getting old and full of miles and I'll be looking soon for something smaller and more efficient. My aunt recently got a Fit and she loves it...

Susan said...

I'm terrible about such things for myself, but once went with a friend who was buying a car. I was the one who said, "Right, this is too expensive, we'll go elsewhere." So the trick is to find a buddy for such jobs who has NO stake in it at all. (My husband is terrible at it, though they say that couples can do the good cop/bad cop routine.)
But oh, the life concierge? I am ready to sign up. Yesterday.

Psych Post Doc said...

Good luck with the car buying.

I don't feel empowered by this kind of stuff either, I'd rather just have someone else take care of it for me. :)

chutry said...

I've acquired my last two or three cars from my dad. I did buy one or two used cars when I was younger, but I have no desire to deal with all of the negotiating or whatever.

Of course my dream is to live in a city where I don't even *need* a car. The DC Metro system is my dream mode of transportation. NYC and Chicago will do, too.

Doctor Pion said...

There is a great book about buy cars called "Don't Get Taken Every Time". If you have a credit union, they might make it available to you. Google shows a link to a pdf of the first 10 pages or so, to give you a taste of it. I recommend it to anyone buying a car. We saw the author speak, and that knowledge has proved invaluable to us.

One key point is to separate financing from purchase by talking to your bank or CU before you go car shopping. Many dealers make their profit on the loan rather than the car. Another is to do what you did first, the homework, and what did later, which is to walk out the door when you got played.

Now you can go back to SCS#1 and see if he will match the deal you got at the other place. If today's market panic about a downgrade of the GMAC, Ford, and Chrysler credit operations is any indication, it is a buyer's market right now. Just remember, you will still get taken ... you just want to minimize the pain and maximize the gain.