I always end the year by writing about my accomplishments, failure, regrets, and resolutions. I love this time of year because the calendar naturally moves me to reflect and take action. This post is all about 2021 accomplishments.
It would be easy to label my book as the biggest accomplishment of the year, except I’m sick of talking about it — and my most significant achievement was buying a new car.
That’s right. I bought a new car in the middle of a global chip shortage. The purchase was long overdue. It’s not my first new vehicle, but I was driving around a decade-old Volvo that was perfect — except for the 28 things that needed to be fixed. But, new cars are expensive. The average new car costs $46,000, an all-time high. Plus, I’m allergic to monthly payments and debt on items that don’t move me closer to my personal goals as an entrepreneur.
Also, I have a lot of guilt and fear about spending money on myself. I’m happy to tell you to put yourself first, but I’m not always sure the rules apply to me. For example, do I deserve a new car? What about a luxury automobile? Will my car make other people feel bad about themselves? And what if I suddenly go homeless? Can I live in the backseat of a high-end SUV?
It took almost two years to wrap my head around getting a new car — and it only was when the engine mount of my old Volvo failed and bent my control arms that I decided to pull the trigger. And it still took me six months after that to buy something.
So, here’s what I did.
- I resolved to pay cash for my car.
- I set a worry-free number thanks to Ramit Sethi. (Not gonna lie, still worried.)
- Accepted that I deserve nice things in my life.
- Test-drove every vehicle under the sun to truly understand what was important to me and what was just vanity.
- I picked a car and didn’t question my choice once I decided.
- Researched the value of my trade-in.
- Vowed to buy a car on the last day of the month, a few hours before closing.
- Found a vehicle on the lot with 95% of what I valued.
- Leaned into discounts through Costco and dealer programs.
- I had a final number in my head and didn’t budge.
My husband came to the dealership because he’s nice, but I did 100% of the negotiating. And I bought myself a 2021 Volvo XC40 in a cute color with tons of extra features. Got a great deal on my trade-in. Paid cash. Transferred my plates. And it still took us 3 hours even though I was prepared.
But I’m happy to report that I spent less than my worry-free number. It feels good to have a nice car without a monthly payment. And I get lots of compliments from people over the age of 60.
I just haven’t learned to park it yet.
That’s next year’s goal.