woman in a new car

Financial Fallibility: Settling For Better, Not Best

Over the past few years, my wife and I have done a lot of things right when it comes to our finances. We’ve built an emergency fund, maxed out our Roth IRA, and, most recently, started investing in a “real” brokerage account (yes, it’s actually in the market now and not sitting in a money market account). That’s why, when a recent conversation brought up the idea of replacing our current vehicle, my initial instinct was that such a move would be months or years away, allowing us to save up and pay cash. After all, that would be the soundest financial move short of just not having a car, right?

While that may be true, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that we shouldn’t feel the need to be perfect with our finances. There are far worse things we could do than financing a used car that fits into our budget. Plus, we’ve had our current car for eight years, which is probably longer than most. Could we get a few more years out of it? Probably — but neither of us knows enough about cars to know when trouble is around the corner and our frequent road trips mean we need something that’s not gonna be temperamental on long voyages.

I should also note that, technically, we could swing buying a car in the price range we’re eyeing all in cash. Of course, this would mean dipping into our emergency fund, which is a no-no. Thus, if we want something sooner rather than later, we will need to finance at least part of it.

One thing we do have going for us with this imperfect plan is that we do have strong credit, meaning we should be able to secure a fairly low-interest rate on any loan we do pursue. Nevertheless, the avenue will likely add a few hundred dollars to our total purchase. I suppose I could argue that the extra value we’re leaving on our current car along with any savings we’ll have from not needing to make major repairs to it would cover this spread — but the point is that we shouldn’t feel a need to justify our choice.

Ultimately, whenever we do decide to upgrade our car, you can bet we’ll have put a lot of consideration and research into our pick. Furthermore, we’ll definitely be sure that any car payment, extra insurance expenses, etc. don’t impact our savings/investing goals and that our emergency fund is adjusted accordingly. For those reasons, why it may not be the “best” financial move, sometimes it’s ok to simply settle for “better.”

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

Other Articles by Kyle Burbank

Lemonade Pet logo

Lemonade Pet Insurance Review (2024): Policy Options & What's Covered

Pets have always been an important part of many American families. Yet, I don’t think I’d ever really considered the idea of purchasing insurance for a dog or cat until I learned that Lemonade was adding such an option. Cut to a mere month after when my wife and I...
holding up a Starbucks cup of coffee to a Delta airplane

Delta is Changing the Way You Earn SkyMiles at Starbucks

Look, I didn't intend to write about Starbucks two weeks in a row — so let's call this a Delta story instead. Earlier this week, Delta sent out an email to Skymiles members who had linked their Starbucks Rewards accounts to let them know of an upcoming change. Now, rather...
Tiger sign at Voco hotel

Travel Tuesday: Voco The Tiger Hotel Review (Columbia, Missouri)

This past weekend, my wife and I found ourselves in Columbia, Missouri. Located about three hours away from our home in Springfield, COMO is home to the University of Missouri (better known as Mizzou), which rivals our own Missouri State University. As our Saturday drew to a close, we realized...

It really depends on the status of your car, Its better to buy a new one than to maintain an nto so good car. But if its still doing good, i guess you can wait a little longer to save up for the car that you really like.

Leave a Reply

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get Posts in Your Inbox
Featured Articles
Lemonade Pet logo

Lemonade Pet Insurance Review (2024): Policy Options & What's Covered

Pets have always been an important part of many American families. Yet, I don’t think I’d ever really considered the idea of purchasing insurance for a dog or cat until I learned that Lemonade was adding such an option. Cut to a mere month after when my wife and I...
holding up a Starbucks cup of coffee to a Delta airplane

Delta is Changing the Way You Earn SkyMiles at Starbucks

Look, I didn't intend to write about Starbucks two weeks in a row — so let's call this a Delta story instead. Earlier this week, Delta sent out an email to Skymiles members who had linked their Starbucks Rewards accounts to let them know of an upcoming change. Now, rather...
Tiger sign at Voco hotel

Travel Tuesday: Voco The Tiger Hotel Review (Columbia, Missouri)

This past weekend, my wife and I found ourselves in Columbia, Missouri. Located about three hours away from our home in Springfield, COMO is home to the University of Missouri (better known as Mizzou), which rivals our own Missouri State University. As our Saturday drew to a close, we realized...
items ready to be packed for a trip

Halfday Garment Duffle Review: Travel Hero or Dud?

Have you ever been served ads for a product on Instagram so often that you eventually break down and buy it? As a personal finance blogger, this is not a practice I can endorse. However, as someone who reviews products, I have much more tolerance for allowing myself to give...