Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Absolutely Spoiled

That's what Jeff called me last week, "spoiled, but not."

I've owned my car for a number of years, and it's been very, very good to me.  A few years ago, I started taking it to an independent shop after the metal radiator hoses cracked from wear.  I used to take it to a dealer, but it was just too expensive.  The shop was friendly and thorough, and involved me every step of the way.  Or so I thought.  The shop ended up doing more damage to my car by not using factory or make-issued parts, and it's degeneration has been constant.  We've been working on it at home when we can, and we've knocked out the biggest problem children (yay to finally having a new sway bar!).

Here's it's wishlist off the top of my head:

  1. New front, driver's side wheel (currently bent and causing frequent tire replacements).
  2. Two new tires (this is going to be four in a few months due to issue 1).
  3. New battery cables.
  4. Severe shaking/rattling that causes several oil leaks.
  5. Persistent oil leak.
  6. Wheel realignment.
  7. New hoses and belts.
  8. Mystery overheating/radiator problem (it doesn't overheat do much as randomly die when it's hot out, and I know the temp gauge isn't broken).
  9. Where the front, driver's side wheel attaches to the car has opened up like a flower from a collision several years ago.
  10. Broken electrical outlet, damaged radio.
  11. Miscellany of broken bits and pieces throughout the car.

A few weeks ago, my dad (who bought the car for me 10 years ago) asked me how it was doing.  I lamented its problems, but shrugged it off.  If it gave out, buying another car was not an option.  I planned to take a bus and we'd be a single-vehicle household until we could save up for another car (or not).

I was mildly surprised when he offered me a consulting gig with him to help finance a new car for me.  It's a sweet deal!  So why am I not excited?

Right now my car is still working.  It gets me to work.  It lets us run our errands (so long as we're not doing too many start and stops in anything above 90 degree weather) with very good gas mileage.  Plus, I'm kind of attached to my car (the deal would require letting my dad donate it for a write-off).  But mostly, I don't want to take advantage of my dad just for the sake of something new.

Besides, I technically could buy a new(ish) car if I needed to.  I could certainly use the savings I've been collecting to use for my fall and winter trips if I needed to buy a new car.  But I don't want to.  I would honestly rather have amazing lifetime memories than get an expensive hunk of metal that will just be a financial black hole.

So that's what spawned the comment from Jeff.  I'm spoiled (yes, I'm absolutely spoiled), but I don't act spoiled (meaning, I don't expect or take for granted the gifts I'm given).  I'm lucky that I never have to worry about going hungry, because my parents would invite me over for dinner, buy me groceries, and help me get some crops started in the garden before they let me go without eating.  I never have to worry about having a roof over my head because my family would cover me and help me get back on my feet if I needed it.  Being so blessed, I'm also proud and have done everything in my power not to put myself nor my family in that position.

Back to being torn, I'm not sure which direction I will go in.  But if a reasonably priced Prius pops up, I totally know what my answer will be!

Ooooo pretty!

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