I know I have lived a fairly privileged life, some may even say I'm spoiled. I realize this when friends my age talk about making their college loan payments and stress over filling out new financial aid papers in order to obtain further degrees, meanwhile, I've never paid for a class in my life, including the Master's Degree I am currently working towards that my father is paying for (I am buying my textbooks but he is paying tuition). My grandfather died when I was small and left my brother, cousins, and I more than enough money to go to school. It was so much in fact that I nearly outright paid for my first house with what was left over (the only part I had to finance ended up being $400 a month for 5 years and that included a new car payment as well.) That particular new car I never really had to shop for either. My first car was my grandmother's old Omni, then my parents bought me a new Cavalier for my HS graduation (with the understanding that I had to keep my grades up in college or I would take over the payments - I kept my end of the bargain and they kept theirs, I never paid a penny towards that car.) When I flipped that Cavalier (an accident in which I was deemed not at fault) my dad again stepped to the plate and found me a similar Cavalier, made the deal (after asking me if that was OK and it was what I wanted), then because I was also in the process of buying my first house arranged it with the bank to roll all of it into one nice low payment. I kept that Cavalier until last year when my husband decided to buy me a Jeep while he was deployed as a surprise for our anniversary. I've never had to deal with any of the "behind the scenes" money issues with buying a car, despite now owning my 4th car. My Jeep is the first time I've ever really had a car payment (remember, the second Cavalier was rolled into the $400 house payment).
Don't get me wrong, I know I have been very fortunate in my life and I appreciate everything that anyone has ever done for me. I don't expect my father to pay for things for me, but it is nice that he does offer. I have offered to try to pay him back on a few things and most of the time he refuses saying it is just nice to know that I was willing to. Growing up I didn't realize how much money he and Momma had. We shopped at Wal-Mart, JC Penny's and Sears for back-to-school clothes and my brother and I had to work in the orange groves on the weekends so we never felt like we were spoiled. However, we always had more than enough to eat, never went without, and when I needed a new $70 Speedo for swim team, or a new gown for prom (because I definitely couldn't wear the one I wore the year before) I got it. We didn't have a maid or anything like that. Heck, we didn't even have a dishwasher (mom would ask me why we needed one when we already had one as she pointed at me) or cable TV.
Hubby is now looking at buying a new truck for himself. I know, I know, gas prices are astronomical why oh why would he want a big truck? The answer is simple; No matter where we live or what he does for a living, you will never get the redneck outta the boy! He has wanted a big truck for as long as I've known him and now because the gas prices are so high, the prices on bigger trucks are really low since no one is buying them. The dealers are practically throwing them at us as soon as we say we are interested in a crew cab Titan. Due to my lack of experience with car salesmen, what I didn't expect is how freaking pushy they are! Yes, I know the stereotypical idea of a car salesman is for them to be pushy and lie, but man do they seem to live up to that! I understand that they are on commission and are just trying to make a living but someone needs to inform them on a little secret my grandmother told me when I was little: You get more flies with honey. Don't push me. Don't assume it is now a challenge because we said we are 'just looking today' and don't call me several times a day every day for a week to see if I still want the one we were looking at.
Lots of people, family and friends, are offering great advice on car buying which is good, because like I said, I'm clueless to this stuff. I'm not a newby car owner, just a newby car buyer. It almost seems overwhelming though. Luckily for me hubby is dealing with most of it since it is going to be his truck after all. All of this is boggling my mind! I've never been good at math and budget issues are lost on me. It takes all I have just to keep my checkbook balanced but then you want to throw in interest and all?? UGH!
Most of the time I feel all grown up and like a real adult, then we go to do something that everyone else has to do like buy a car and I feel like a little girl all over again... a spoiled little girl who doesn't know what's going on.