I love my '95 Honda Accord, and my '95 Nissan truck is mostly okay. Both have been just what I hoped: They get us from Point A to Point B, and they've done it very reliably since I bought them back in 1996. Both are long since paid for. So where's the pain, you ask?
The pain comes because I absolutely LOVE the 2005 Nissan Altima. (Gratuitous Flash-enabled link here.) And I work at a Cadillac-Nissan dealership. So I see the Altimas, and drive the Altimas, all the time.
Oh, it hurts. I want one. I want one a little more every time I drive one. That, of course, happens every day.
With no payments in my life except for my mortgage, that Little Voice inside my head has been absolutely relentless. I wish I could flip a switch and shut the d#$% thing off, but it's just not happening.
In fact, the only effective means I've discovered so far for duct-taping Little Voice's mouth shut is to step outside and stare at sticker prices for a few moments. At anywhere from $19k to $30k (not employee-priced), those cars ain't cheap. (Not in my world, anyway.)
Truthfully, I'd probably buy a used one, if I were going to buy one at all. But that would still run me from $15k to $16k (employee price). Selling the Honda might gross me perhaps $3k, or just under.
So that's my situation: I want the Altima, but I don't want the payments. I want the Altima, but not as much as I want a bigger pile of savings.
And right now, not wanting the payments — and wanting more savings — is enough.
The thing that makes this battle so tough ... is that I have to fight it Monday through Friday.
As my coworker says smugly: "It's only a matter of time before you give in, Michael."