The holidays are full of commercials that feature cars of every kind with bows on them, and Christmas-themed sitcoms where the husband surprises his wife with a brand new insert name of car here. So it’s easy to think that you too should be living up to this tradition, and buy your spouse or loved one a new car. But can you afford to do it? Or is your other half more likely to get a caramel candy in their stocking?
Are You in Debt?
It should be pretty clear that if you’re in debt, you may not want to spring for a new car (or even a used one.) If both of your cars are currently working just fine, then this would ultimately be a fairly poor decision. The exception would be if your spouse’s car is on their last legs and they absolutely need another one. But in that case, your spouse would also likely have to pitch in for the car, meaning it would be one lousy present after all.
How Much of a Minefield Are the Holidays?
Let’s say Christmas is always a bust for you and the one you call sweetie pie. No matter what is going on, you somehow manage to do the wrong thing. One year you get her a frying pan when you know she hates cooking or you get him tickets to Ghost on Broadway when he can’t stand going to plays. And then the next year you manage to have the same fight about the year before. Then the next year you just decide to get yourself something nice since you’re never going to win this game anyway. But this year, you’re determined to go all out so you avoid the resentment and hurt feelings that constantly build up around this time of year. There’s no doubt buying a car is a grand gesture, but if the holidays are already full of thousands of unsaid and said slights or hurtful comments, you may just open yourself up to another go-around of the same argument. What if you buy the wrong car, or you spend too much of the communal money? What if the insurance ends up being far higher than you ever expected because your spouse didn’t let you in on thirteen speeding tickets they got that year alone? There’s a danger in being overly generous, and it’s a price some people aren’t willing to pay.
Have You Been Good This Year?
If you’re still wondering whether or not you can afford a car this year, your next best bet is likely to write to Santa. This guy is very clear that if you’ve been good, then you should be able to score what you like. Now, whether or not you contact him by email, phone or mail is of course up to you, but you’ll likely want to remind him that your heart is really in right place this year (and that you managed to donate to Green Peace after the 20th time they sent you address labels.) There are no guarantees on this method.
No matter what you’ve done this year, keep in mind that you can get your drivers record cleaned up if you take a defensive driving class. They can take points off your license and potentially shave dollars off your insurance policy. The bonus is that taking a defensive driving class fortunately doesn’t have to be boring, and it’s much, much cheaper than a new car.