Yesterday a post popped up in my Facebook feed informing me that 8 years ago I had purchased a 2 year old Saab. I got a really good deal on it and I loved that car. I don’t drive very much, so it only had about 60,000 miles on it at the end of last year.
Nonetheless, I had started to think about getting a new car in the fall of 2016. It was starting to have small problems, and fixing an 8 year old Saab was getting pretty expensive since they no longer made parts for it. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Car buying was the last thing on my mind until I got in an accident on the way home from my first meeting with my surgical oncologist. I was sure it was totaled (remember, 8 year old Saab – no replacement parts). To my surprise, my insurance company disagreed and thanks to my friend who owns Twisted Wrench, the car was fixed and looked better than the day I bought it.
Honestly, although I think my insurance company paid more than the car was worth to fix it (but thanks, USAA! You’re the best!), I was so happy I didn’t have to buy a new car in the middle of everything else that was going on at the time. Dealing with the repairs around the time of my surgery was bad enough. And since it looked like new I was totally happy to keep driving it for another year. But after my final two surgeries in December, I was once again faced with the reality that I was driving a (now) ten year old Saab and if something big went wrong with it, it would be very expensive to fix.
Why am I telling you all of this? I guess because I was surprised how scared I was to buy a car. In the past, I wanted or needed a new car and I went to the dealership and bought one. I didn’t even really haggle all that much. This time I spent a solid month getting offers on the Saab and looking for EXACTLY the car I wanted and refusing to pay for a navigation system or LED headlights.
But even before I got to that point, I worried about getting the car I really wanted. Wouldn’t it make more sense to buy a basic Ford or a Chevy or a Honda? Or a used car? Or to pay cash for it? (As is, I put a ton down on it so my payments would be low enough to make me comfortable.) It’s not that I can’t afford the car. It’s not that I have any reason to think my job is in jeopardy or that I couldn’t get another job if I wanted or needed to.
No, I finally realized what my problem was the night I asked my husband, “but what if my cancer comes back? What if I can’t work any more and have to go on social security?” He looked at me blankly. “Why would you think that would happen? And if it did happen wouldn’t your car payment be the least of our worries?” Well, yeah. Once I said the fear out loud, it dissipated in the light of day. I have to remember that. When I’m scared, or sad, or having a pity party – what’s the cause of it? And who can I talk to about it to make it go away? (Or, can I journal about it on my blog?)
I’m glad to say that my worries about the car did indeed go away and I am now the very happy owner of a 2018 Cadillac XT5. Take that, cancer.