So my car lease was ending soon. I WAS considering not getting a car again for TWO reasons. Well for one reason and another inside of that.
Mona and I had been arguing and at the time I was thinking that if I wasn’t going to be with her anymore then I didn’t need a car, that I could live without one again.
Flashback: the year was 2000 and I was living in outer Queens. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I was driving back from my sister’s house in Maine. It was drizzling rain. I was on the Maine Turnpike and didn’t realize that it was so cold that the rain would freeze. I hit a patch of ice doing at least 60. The car careened into the median, did a counterclockwise 180 and slammed into the railing.
I’m lucky to be alive. As is everyone I was near on the road. As is my passenger: my then-brother-in-law’s older male friend-of-the-family. We were wearing seatbelts but he hit his head, got a concussion and broke his nose.
He sued my insurance for some amount, not sure what happened.
Anyway… from then I had no car. I moved somewhat closer to Manhattan but not really and survived living a meager life not thriving, but living on the cheap and was able to save due to low expenses. It was a bad time professionally too with little growth. I think I was going through some depression.
Living in outer Brooklyn without a car, still near a subway but a long commute into the city. Seeing friends and family involved subway/Long Island Railroad and usually spending the night over, always asking others for rides and pick ups.
Dating was tough.
In 2007, I got a new job and in 2010 it hit a new gear and by 2012 I was making more than double what I was making in 2000 and I got a car, a lease. Oh the freedom again was awesome. Driving to friends and relatives houses and driving home. Easily going to the beach, road trips, etc.
I got another car lease in 2015, which was a mistake since I had no full time job. Burned a lot of savings. But I’ve been employed now steadily since July 2016, not making as much as my most ever but doing pretty well. I have my side job for almost 2 years now at well, so that’s helped me pay off debt and save again.
Present day: I was thinking that if I won’t be with Mona I don’t need a car and can live without a car again and save some money on lower expenses. My savings has taken a hit and I needed to build it.
I’m now 45. My life has grown such that I NEED a car. Yes, I still live barely commutable by subway, parking is atrocious, but I can’t take my life down again. I NEED a car, with or without Mona. I CAN’T crash on couches now. I need to increase my professional lifestyle to make my life happen with a car.
Enter, my friend Medina. Medina recently got a great lease deal on a midsized car, so I went to his dealer and used that $ figure to haggle a great deal for that company’s compact model.
I went in pre-angered ready to fight for a low price. It took hours (their computer system went down for a bit. I even walked out at one point, and of course the salesperson followed me, blocked my car and offered a better deal.
So now I pay $35 less than my previous car lease. It’s a great compact car, although I look forward to one day moving back to a mid-sized model. I miss the extra horses of a larger engine.