My husband and I never know what to do about our cars. They’re both ten years old and run perfectly, but are beginning to show their age in small but annoying ways. For instance, Brandon’s car has a non-functioning seat belt clicker and mine has no air conditioning. The no-air thing is particularly charming when I’m barreling down the expressway next to semi trucks and trash collectors. One kid is screaming that it’s too windy and would I please put the windows up, and the other two whine that it’s too hot with the windows up and would I puh-leeeze [!!] put them DOWN?! Of course I can barely hear a thing, the radio is useless in the chaos, but HEY. That sweet little kitten is paid for. Thank you Dave Ramsey.
Still, being the person I am, the allure of something new with artificial climate control is quite sexy. I would love to ditch the 1999 Chevy for something with a built-in nav screen and better gas mileage. BUT…we don’t particularly like those monthly payments or the insurance increases that come along with it [adios vacations]. Plus, let’s be honest: we’re dealing with three kids and a dog [who occasionally needs transportation], spilled milk that dries to a lovely yogurt-like consistency, smashed french fries between the seats, stepped on M & M’s from grandma, banana peelings and a variety of wrappers littering the inside at any given moment. Why would we upgrade to just make a mess in something more expensive?
The answer to that question is Cash for Clunkers. Unless you’ve been spelunking or investigating the ocean floor for the past several months, you’ve heard about this program. Basically, the government is offering people like me a nice chunk of change [toward the purchase of a newer vehicle] as an incentive to get gas guzzlers off the road. Sounds great, but like I said, our kids leave such a Hansel-and-Gretel trail of food behind them that we could feed a small refugee family on the spot. And there’s still that nasty monthly payment thing and that “new car = no vacations” crap.
Well, today I think I made a breakthrough in my arsenal of persuasive arguments to be used with Brandon [in love and with all gentleness, of course]
Say what you want about driving with no air. Pretend it’s still 1956 if it makes you feel better. Say you’re saving gas by keeping the A/C turned off–or not fixing it. But when you look in your rear view mirror…
…and see that your 7-year-old is wearing snowboarding goggles to ward off the wind…
…it may be time to consider a change.