I hate being an adult.
Okay, no I don’t.
But I do hate much of the responsibilities that comes with the title. Case in point, my lovely car. Let’s call her Phyllis, because that’s her name.
My freshman year of college, and sophomore, and junior year, anytime I wanted to go somewhere I had to bum a ride from a friend; and anytime I wanted to go home I had to have one of my parents drive an hour and a half to my university to pick me up and then another hour and a half back home and then we would have to repeat that when I needed to go back to school. Was this fun? No. But there was an understanding that if I wanted to have a car at college, or a car at all I would be shelling out the money for it, not my parents. This isn’t meant to sound like a bad thing, it’s just the fact that if I wanted something I would have to pay for it, especially a high ticket item like a car. So the time finally came when I worked my ass off at two jobs over the summer and saved enough to justify buying a car and not going bankrupt.
Walking onto the car dealers lot I knew what I could spend and knew I couldn’t go a dollar over. My family has gotten our last 5 cars from the gentleman so I knew he wouldn’t sell me anything he wouldn’t have his own daughter drive. When I told he my budget $3,500 he immediately said there was nothing, I was devastated but tried to remain optimistic. He showed me a car double my budget that we could set up financing for, so my Mom and I took it on a test drive. It was a piece of shit, it felt like it was going to fall apart at any moment, I didn’t even get half a mile down the road before I said, absolutely not. When we returned, the gentleman had talked to his boss and there was a car that had been sitting in their lot for over 2 months and they were willing to sell it for $3,400. Obviously I was skeptical. If no one wanted this car for 2 months and she was half the price of the other shitty car I had driven that didn’t exactly sound like she was be a dream. But we ended up taking her out and she was absolutely amazing. When we got back my Dad was talking to the salesman about looking at other places and seeing what else was out there while simultaneously I stood by the car holding the keys while my mom took pictures and sent them out saying I had bought a car. We didn’t look anywhere else.
That was in February 2016.
In August of the same year when I would be taking her (Phyllis) back to school I took her to get a checkup and oil change and ask them why she was making a weird sound. $700+ later she was good as new.
In December I managed to scrape by with only getting 2 new tires and an inspection.
But come March, she died in the parking lot at my job. $800+ later, she is good a new. Again.
But now with my upcoming trip to Florida I took her in to get 2 new tires I should have gotten in December but put off, new windshield wipers, and an oil change, and a check engine light. And, you guessed it, $600+ later she was good as new.
Again for now.
I’m stuck, I don’t know what to do. She is still an amazing car out of the 4 other cars in my family she feels the most sturdy and has the best track record from CarFax. But how many more times can I take her to the car doctor (please don’t mansplain me, I know it’s a mechanic, I just prefer “car doctor”) and shell out $400, $600, $800. At what point do I get a new car? Or is paying this much once or twice a year better than buying a $7,000 car I know I can’t afford.
And, hence (one of) the reasons why being an adult is hard.