(2008 Honda Hybrid Photo: http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-hybrid/exterior-colors.aspx)
Here are the main reasons why I can wait a while longer to purchase my first car:
- I Want A "Greener" Car. Living a "greener" lifestyle isn't just trendy...it actually is better for the environment. I want a car that will not be a gas guzzler and have the least harmful effect for the environment. For these reasons, when I purchase a car, I'd like buy a hybrid.
- Because of My Lifestyle, A Car Is A "Want" Not A "Need." I am fortunate enough to live near several restaurants, two grocery stores, two drug stores, several dry cleaners, public transportation, a hardware store, and a really nice year-round outdoor market. So, there is really no need for me to have a car on a daily basis except when I need more food or household items than I can carry or cart around in my trusty rollable cart. I can also easily get to work and around the city on public transportation. Note to recent college graduates: consider waiting a while to buy a car if you don't already have one unless you absolutely need it for necessities such as getting to work, or to taking your children to and from school. I mainly desire to have a car for traveling at night and for my regular visits to my hometown which is a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive from where I live. My hometown is also larger than the city that I currently reside in, so I could get much more done during my visits home with a car. I would like a newer (not brand new) car than is no more than a few years old. I don't think it's necessary for my first car to be brand-spanking new.
- Living Expenses...I Already Have Enough Bills! With Student loans, credit card debt and the goal of eventually upgrading myself from apartment living to a home of my very own, I can do without adding to my monthly expenses with a car note, insurance and maintence expenses of a car.
- Building a Savings Cushion While Paying Down Debt. I'd like to have much more in my emergency savings before purchasing a car. Life is full of unexpected mishaps and its always better to be prepared by having a nice savings cushion. I would also like my networth to continue to move in a positive direction by eliminating student loan and credit card debt before taking on a car. It makes more sense to put more money toward savings, retirement and building an investment portfolio than to buy a car that I can really live without. I'd hate to feel years from now that I can't afford to retire early like I want to because I bought unnecessary items like a car I don't even need to drive on a daily basis.
- I Can Use Car Sharing For Instances When I Absolutely Need A Car. For those instances when a car is absolutely necessary, there are several car-sharing companies that are out there that you can register and borrow a car, by the hour or by the day. Here are a few that I am familiar with:
A car would make my life a little easier and allow me to have a more independence (I hate asking for rides...). But rushing into a major purchase like a car is definitely not a smart thing to do; and I do sincerely hope I'm getting smarter with age. So I pose this question to you: Is a car a "want" or a "need" in your current lifestyle?