Hoping For Something To Break In Order To Buy A New Car

Ever hoped for something to break in order to buy a new car? Well I am! I want to buy a new car.

I have to admit, I'm having withdrawals from not driving a different car for over 3 years now.  I used to get a new (used) car every year by wheeling and dealing on Craigslist, but I stopped once I found Moose.  Moose is so handsome and adventurous, even the ladies love him.

I picked up a friend of mine one evening to go grab some grub, and she mentioned a week later that her stalking neighbor, who has a crush on her said he's frustrated that guys who own “Moose-like” cars always gets the girl.  Maybe buddy, it's the creepy way you stare out the corner of your window to spy on women that makes you still single?!

A year ago, Moose's passenger side electronics seat stopped working to my dismay.  Luckily, the seat was in a comfortable, semi-reclined position so I let it be.  I told myself then that it might be time to start looking for another car soon as fixing the thing might cost $500+ dollars.

And so, I made a decision that as soon as the driver's seat electronics also stopped working, I'd go and buy me another car.

Each week that went by, I started secretly hoping my seat would stop working.  I was hoping for something bad, but not too bad to happen, so I could justify buying something new!  Screw it, I thought.  I'm going to go visit the dealer and check out the new rides anyway.  Moose ain't ever gonna fail me!

Buy A New Car At The Dealer

As I was inhaling the wonderful rich smell of leather and glue, a service man came up to me and asked if I wanted to consider trading-in Moose for something new.  I started feeling horrible since Moose and I had grown so attached. 

But, I did tell the serviceman I'd consider it.  I revealed the only problem with Moose was the non working passenger side seat, and he said not to worry.  He came back 5 minutes later, opened up a compartment under the seat, and swapped out a fuse.

“Your car is as good as new!” the service man shouts.

“Sweet crap,” I think to myself as now I have no reason to exchange Moose for anything else.  I also wondered why I didn't go into the service department to buy a $1 fuse long ago.  I told the serviceman that given my car was “as good as new“, I'm good to go and am not interested in spending $58,000 for a new Moose.  Now I realize why car dealerships keep Service & Sales separate!

Buy A New Car? Nah

If Moose is a babe magnet, handsome, reliable, and inexpensive, why do I long for something new?  Change is human nature and unavoidable so it seems.  It's just like asking why Tiger Woods can't just be happy with Elin, his family, and his mega millions?  The longing for something different is so hard to conquer.  It's almost like an addiction.

Changing cars frequently is one of the stupidest things you can do if you don't have the financial capacity.  You pay taxes with each purchase, often lose money with each sale, your auto insurance may go up, and you never quite know what you are going to get. 

Cars are money pits, which is why I seriously recommend you never spend more than 1/10th your annual gross income on the purchase of a car. If you find a car that gives you little-to-no problems, cherish it completely and forever. Buy a new car if you need to. But only if you can afford to using my 1/10th rule for car buying.


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Related: The Safest Cars To Buy To Survive A Crash

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40 thoughts on “Hoping For Something To Break In Order To Buy A New Car”

  1. Money Reasons

    I keep hoping my TV will break, but it seems like I’m always able to find tricks to fix it. I’m not in a hurry to get a new one, but I think my family (especially the kids) might really enjoy a new high def LCD (or LED) TV.

    Nice save on Moose, if I ever have that problem, I’ll look the fuse box now!

  2. Invest It Wisely

    What is a moose? Haha. Sometimes I feel this way but I’ve lost some of this urge as of late when it comes to cars. They just cost too much money and I really don’t think I’m going to see much difference between a new Civic or new anything else that costs a similar amount of money. If I were to switch I’d try to find something that was older so cheaper but still nice and fun to drive.

  3. It always seems to me that the items I’d like to last awhile wear out faster than the (ancient) items that I wish would fall apart! Especially when it comes to clothing and electronics. E.g. The only cell phone that has ever broken on me was the one time I didn’t take a “free with contract extension” model. And the cute shirt I bought last year is already pilled, while a 10-year old shirt that I’m tired of still looks as good as new (even though I throw it in the dryer, speeding up its lifecycle…and yes, I feel a little guilty).

    A flip side might be the question of when does “getting good value” out of something cross the line into “beyond reasonable use”? Many objects don’t self-destruct and demand replacement; when trying to be frugal, how do we avoid crossing the line into cheap? (Important to avoid because “cheap” sends negative social signals.) Thoughts?

  4. Maybe not so much with a car, but with any electronics it is pretty common to buy a new one when something goes wrong.

    My habits were to keep my old mobile phones running with duct tape and other fixes, meanwhile my wife is looking for a new mobile within 12-18 months of getting a new one!

    I usually end up honoring the wife and getting her a new mobile.


  5. Sam –
    I think that everyone has hoped something would break so that they could get a new one (if they had the means). I’m in a similar situation with my computer right now. Its getting old (like 5 years) and is starting to get rather slow. I’m getting a lot of gadget envy, but because I’d rather pay off debt, I’m withholding my impulses (for now). I’ve actually moved to the point where I hope it doesnt break, because I dont have the money to fix it!

  6. I was in the same situation – I have a 95 eclipse gs-t for about 6 years and the car turned too poop. I told myself that when i finished college id get a new car – which i did – another used car but newer LOL. Yes cars are money pits unless you get a new car with a warranty – then your set for a few years – but paying taxes on each transaction does SUCK!

  7. I’m not sure I ever wanted something to break so I could get something new. I know I lied to my parents when I was a kid about outgrowing my clothes and shoes in order to get new gear but once I started paying for things on my own that changed. :) I think it’s also because I view shopping as a bit of a hassle now – but perhaps that’s because I spend so much time searching for the best deal and reading a lot of reviews before I actually buy something. I guess I also like to use things for as long as I can too because it feels good not wasting things and keeping things simple.

    1. Hey! You be tricky! Shopping is a PITA. I understand why celebrities hire personal shoppers. Why can’t everything fit and look good? You know what I’m saying?

      YEah, waste sucks. Having inventory is disconcerting.

      1. Yeah that’s a perfect point about personal shoppers. I used to think people were crazy for doing that but I totally get it now. I’m nowhere rich enough to have one but if I won the lottery I’d totally have them do all my shopping – drugstore, groceries, Christmas gifts, clothes for work, etc.

  8. My BF is going through the exact same thing- the other day his Mazda 3 had some issues starting, and then he started saying that he really needs to get a new car. He’s at about 148,000 km’s. His next car would likely involve some lifestyle inflation.

    Then I mentioned about the Engagement Ring Rule that you had, and he refused to spend X amount of dollars on my engagement ring LOL. Understandable though.

    Don’t give up on Moose- I’ve grown attached to him too! Though that new car smell of glue and plastic is so alluring… I used to get high on it.

    1. BWHAHAHAH, awesome! There you go! Team work! If he’s gonna upgrade from his dinky Mazda 3 to a more expensive car, he better be able to pony up the same amount for your ring!!!

      You win both ways! He probably spends less on a car, and he spends more on your ring! WHOOO HOO!

      1. LOL.. no, the thing is, he wants to spend MORE on his car and LESS on my ring haha!

        He even went so far as to try and lie to me about how much his brother in law spent in his sister haha.. the tricky bastard!

        I couldn’t ask for him to buy me a huge rock though. Just a moderate one. lol. It’s not in my character :)

        1. Well that’s what I’m saying! You tell him straight that he SHOULDN’T be spending more on his car than he is on a rock. To do so is selfish! Guilt trip him to death! Then, you say ‘honey, all i need is a $10,000 ring’ and he’ll get a sweet 5 year old Honda Civic! Perfect!

  9. I don’t suffer from this at all when it comes to my car. I bought it 5.5 years ago with 112K miles on it. It’s 13 years old, with 183K miles on it now, and I never want to get rid of it.

    I look at it this way. Every day that I drive it to work, it makes me money. Since I’m not making payments on it, this is an even better situation. Buying a new car would cut into the amount of money that driving it to work allows me to make and bring home.

  10. Sunil from The Extra Money Blog


    Agree with the overall premise, and I see where you are going.

    1/10th is a bit low don’t you think? For someone making $120k for example, a $12k auto budget seems too low. You can probably get a Chevy Cobalt for that sum.

    1. I think 1/10th might be too much. If you make $3 million a year, you’re not likely to spend much more than $300,000 a year on your car. For$12,000, you can buy a great 3 year old Honda Civic.

      BTW, I shot you an e-mail. If you could send back your post in HTML that would be great. Thx!

  11. All I can say is this…. where were you 5 hours ago, before I wasted most of my day talking to some tech guy from who knows where? I think I’m set now! (At least I went through my IN box) while waiting :)

  12. Sam, All I can say is this; I have just spent the good part of a day and at least 3+ hours with the customer service rep trying to get my NEW BEAUTIFUL MULTI FUNCTIONAL printer to wirelessly work from my desk top and laptop. New stuff always has the flip side to it… more time and work to get it going! I’m blogging about it next week :) And I’m totally frustrated.

  13. Great example of how small repairs can be made at very low cost, thus alleviating the “need” for a new purchase. It’s mental/emotional discipline at play, and you came through here. It’s amazing how many folks don’t make the cut with that. We’ve all fallen for this, myself included.

    I recall when much younger, I had a used car (as I should have) which unfortunately had some used, I had some kind of brain wave that I needed a new BMW. Yes, it doesn’t sound like the Squirreler of today, but that was my initial, immature thought. You see, I had a very close friend who bought a brand new BMW as soon as he graduated. For the chickmagnet factor. Anyway, my father – who’s a very calm, rational person – basically told me I was nuts for even thinking about it, which thankfully jolted me back into reality. My friend, who’s still a good friend now, now acknowledges that he was stupid for buying such a car.

    When buying a used car, be very careful, though. As long as you get a good one, you’re in great shape. I too agree that it’s good to follow more strict percentage of income rules in term of buying a car, vs. what many of us do. My current car was purchased used a few years ago, and it’s worked out great.

    1. But I was secretly hoping it would be unrepairable, so I could pick up a new used Audi R8 coupe! So money those cars :)

      I’m impressed your buddy could buy a new BMW right after graduation. Hope he had a lot of fun and got a lot of action!

  14. I traded my FJ Cruiser for a used 2006 Honda Civic last year in what was probably the best financial decision I ever made. No payments, low gas and low maintenance costs. Problem is now I’m bored out of my mind driving this thing and am just hoping it will die so I can buy something new. Problem is that it only has 47k miles and is running like a champ. I swore I wouldn’t buy a new car until this one breaks down so I’ve got some time to go. Maybe detailing it like someone mentioned will do me some good.

    My gf also has a Civic and it’s at 200,000 miles. She laughs when I tell her I hope it breaks down in 2 years.

    1. Agree there, it’s not gonna break for a loooong time. If properly cared for, they last well over 500K miles. :)

  15. Sounds like you made a wise decision.

    My pick-up is about 10 years old with 100 +K miles. I get the new car fever every now and then. I take a couple of aspirin, and the fever usually resolves!

    Certainly buffing it up with a detail, new stereo, floor mats or something is cheaper than replacement!

    1. Indeed… but here’s the thing.. in reality, you only live once and you will probably die with MUCH MORE money than you need. Imagine when you are 60, looking back at your 30s, 40s, 50s with your beater car. You could have EASILY afforded something nicer, but you didn’t. Too late, b/c your life is over!

      Will take some aspirin now.

  16. I am waiting for my laptop to finally give up on me so that I can justify bying a new, long dreamed of MAC. But I am not really saving for it, so on another hand, I am dreading for my laptop to break. Oh well… whatever happens happens…

  17. I love my Honda Element and often “joke” with my husband that I want to keep it forever until it becomes a collectible. (Most people think it’s really ugly, but that’s what I love about it.) Given that we only own one car, he’s been hinting lately that he wants to *gasp* trade in Ellie! I’m trying to get him to wait another year or so, then Ellie might be able to stick around and he can go and purchase some dumb truck. ;) This must only be a problem men experience – wanting to trade in cars every few years.

    1. Haha, yes, maybe it is a man disease. Yes, I admit, I was inflicted by it years ago. I went to the Land Rover dealer today to look at the new LR4s with 20 inch rims. So sweet!

      Nice you call your Element Ellie!

  18. My 3 years old laptop at work takes 5 minutes to boot up. I am due for an upgrade, but I just want to drop kick the thing down the stair. I hate it! I can’t bring myself to destroy properties though.
    What is Moose? We had a ’98 BMW Z3 and loved that car. We had to bring it in for repair about once a year and last summer it overheated and blew the head gasket. It was going to cost too much to repair so we finally let it go. We needed a bigger car anyway for the incoming baby.

    1. Oh gosh, I went through what you did for 1 year with my old Mac iBook. SO SLOW. I finally bought my loved one a new MacBook Pro so I could inherit or new Macbook :)

      Moose is a beast. A 11 year old secret vehicle that goes to the Tahoe snow with ease.

  19. My car is 16 years old! It has roughly 156K miles and is in superb condition. It could easily last another 16 years. The truth be told, I am bored with it. My plan was to replace it in the next year, but it makes no sense. My cure was detailing it. It looks brand new. Cars do not make you money, so I am putting it off.

  20. I have a HUGE big screen tv in our family room. It is a giant box with a 55 inch screen. That damn thing is so reliable though! Fortunately, it lives in a nice corner and is not obstructive at all. But when I see all the other sleek sets with gorgeous pictures, I sometimes want this TV-beast to blow up. (Even though I would have to pay about 100 people to come haul the thing out of my house.)

    I am glad Moose is staying. Even though I just met Moose, I too have grown attached. He deserves some more time…

    1. I feel ya! I got a mega TV as well that I wanted to get rid of, but SOMEONE didn’t let me! That said, it’s worked fantastic for 7 years now, so…… it is well worth it!

      Yes, Moose deserves a longer life. Will tell him. Thx!

  21. twentysomethingmoney

    I find this happens all the time. I bought a new TV recently, and the biggest reason why I held off for so long was my old tv still worked… had my old TV gone up in smoke, I would have bought a tv instantly…

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