…to buy a car.

I’m not talking about this crazy trend of turning sixteen and finding a shiny new (fill in dream car here) sporting a bright red bow parked in your driveway.  We’ve already warned both kids that scenario isn’t anywhere close to a possibility in their future.  Call us old fashioned.  Or stodgy.  Whatever.

There will come a point, through, when you’re out on your own and have to make one of many major financial decisions: whether or not you’re ready to buy a car.  Let’s not be all willy nilly about it.


So you think you might be ready to buy a car…

**  Do you remember to pay your power bill?  Every month?  On time?  You don’t pay your power bill, they turn off your lights.  You don’t send in your car payments, they take the freaking car.

**  Can you say no?  To Sophia, who really really really wants to borrow your best earrings for her date. To Jacob, who forgot his wallet for the fifth time and asks you to spot him a twenty.  Again.  To Natalie, who swears she’ll have your laptop back in time for you to finish your presentation.  A car is the ultimate moochable possession.  If you can’t say no to small things, you’ll never stand up to the onslaught of requests coming your way.

**  Do you know how to check the tire pressure?  Fill a gas tank?  Check the oil?  Sure, the folks at Jiffy Lube are happy to charge your credit card help you out when needed, but there are some bare bone basics everyone should be able to do.

**  Do you have someplace to keep said car?  It doesn’t need a super tricked out garage, but at the very least you’ll need a parking space.

**  Can you actually afford a car?  Don’t eyeball it, write it out.  Here, use this.  Add circles if you need to.  Don’t forget to include purchase price, monthly payments, insurance, gas money, maintenance costs, annual taxes, tag fees, and a cushion for unexpected repairs.  Now look again.  Can you actually afford a car?


A few signs you might not quite be ready to take on this responsibility.

**  You base all decisions on your favorite color.

**  You only eat white foods because you have issues with vegetables, fruit, meat…well, food in general.

**  You object on principle to vacuuming, dusting, or the need to clean toilets.

**  You live anywhere north of South Carolina and wear shorts and flip flops year round.

**  You don’t keep a backup battery in your old fashioned alarm clock.  Or a full charge on your phone, if that’s your thing.  Whichever.

Got a hankering for more?  Check out part 1 of the “if you’re ready” posts here.