Chuck Bentley: Should I Buy a New Car Before My Baby is Born?

Dear Chuck,

My husband and I drive older, paid-for cars. His is 11 years old and mine is 9. Neither give us any issues.  People are telling us we need to buy a new car before the arrival of our first baby at the end of the year. We’re not convinced. What do you think?

Time to Upgrade?

Dear Time to Upgrade,

When it comes to cars, just like playing cards, you gotta know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em, know when to walk away and know when to run!

Know When to Run

Never buy a new car based on emotional reasons! It feels good to imagine ourselves in a safety brand new car. Most people love the smell of a new car; I know I do! We certainly are drawn to the latest safety features to protect our children. And the new models have loads of technology like a built in GPS, back up cameras, blind spot monitors and those glorious heated leather seats. What’s not to like about all of that?

But just because you are having a baby doesn’t mean it is time to get a new car. That is an emotionally-based decision and I say, run from that advice!

Know When to Walk Away

Buying and owning a new car is exciting and can be a good decision if your income allows you to purchase it without debt. But for most people, when the new car smell wears off and you’re left with payments, it’s a different story.

There are lots of benefits to a quality, well maintained, reliable used car. Let me share some stories and some reasons why I think you should walk away from any car that does not fit your budget.

Thirty-seven years ago, I bought a brand new Volvo just before the arrival of our first child. We bought it because it was rated the safest car on the road at the time (even though it did not have a single airbag). It was a great car that we drove for years, but it had issues with the air conditioner and brakes. We spent a lot of money keeping it maintained. Looking back, a used one would have served us just fine and been far easier on our budget. I should have just walked away from the lot the day I was convinced I had to have a brand new car for “safety reasons.”

Know When to Hold’em

Since that time, I’ve become a fan of owning used cars. My wife and I drive Toyotas: a 2006 Sienna and a 2007 4-Runner. All of my sons drive pre-owned cars; one still owns a Tacoma from the 80s! We chose to drive used cars because it is the best financial and spiritual decision for us.

Ann, my wife, recently confessed that when invited to a luncheon at a local high-end country club, she parked as far from the entrance as possible because of her cracked windshield and dirty exterior.  She was embarrassed by the fact that her car did not appear as new or impressive as the other luxury models in the parking lot. Recognizing her pride, she realized it was a wake-up call to give thanks for a minivan that has served us faithfully for 13 years! In fact, it has never had to have a major repair in over 190,000 miles of service. We remain confident that we can drive it across the country without concern of a mechanical failure.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Chuck Bentley