The Tuesday before Thanksgiving I arrived home from a late work meeting in tears. I'd slid through three intersections on the slick, snow packed roads, and then couldn't get enough traction to get across another intersection before the light changed. Thankfully the other car coming saw my predicament and waited.
Monday night I had to be pushed out of my parking spot on the street next to AOII.
Tuesday night I got stuck in the street 100 yards from our house. The City hadn't plowed yet, and last week's snow had been made into mushy white stuff the consistency of cookie dough. Dusty and a kind neighbor pushed me out.
Yesterday we spent $380 on new all-weather tires for my car. I know what you're thinking; "Courtney you live in one of the snowiest places in the US, why not purchase snow tires?"
For the same reason we haven't, and won't repair the $5,500 worth of hail damage to my car last June. Its 6 years old, has 68,000 miles and it's worth $6,000, not deducting for hail damage. I'm not putting $5,500 (hail damage)+ $700 (snow tires & rims)+ $1,000 (new brakes at 80,000 miles) on a vehicle worth less than that. Doing so commits us to owning my car for at least 5 more years.
My car is front wheel drive, it doesn't have Anti Lock Brakes. It's 6 years old. I want something I feel comfortable and safe driving to Pocatello to see my parents in, or driving to Colton to see my extended family in. It would be nice to not ALWAYS take Dustys truck when traveling in the winter. Simply put, reinvesting in it is a poor financial decision.
I bought my car brand new in the fall of 2004. I drove it through my senior year of college. I drove it to and from Kentucky for grad school. Its fine for getting around Bozeman when needed, great for summer road trips. It's been a great car; my family is loyal to Nissan for a reason.
Which makes what I'm about to type even more shocking; I think I want either a new Subaru Outback (which I've made fun of for at least 10 years now!) Or a new Chevy Equinox (me! The educated liberal elite buying domestic!). Both have all-wheel drive, ABS and really great consumer reviews. Not to mention price points below $30,000.
But for the next year or 18 months I will enjoy my new all-weather tires. And enjoy a paid off car. And be a grown up about acknowledging that purchasing a brand new car might now be in our financial future.