Story from a friend of mine:
Cars, for some people, are much more than just a way to get from point A to point B. For me, cars are a lifestyle. That lifestyle can be very expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the car itself but you have to pay for insurance, and routine maintenance.
When I look at cars I do not just see a box with wheels. I see my car as a part of me. It is a way for myself and so many others around me to express ourselves. However, playing with cars is a very expensive hobby and if you are not careful, you could lose everything.
At the time I had been driving a 2013 Ford Focus. It was nothing special but it was a fun car to drive and I loved the general styling of it.
Then, in 2015, Ford released the Focus RS and it was like every fantasy from my childhood had come true. A four-wheel-drive, four-door hatchback, six-speed manual transmission car with drift mode! I know, it is almost too good to be true.
With a base price of around $35,000 for the RS, I was a bit far off from the estimated $18,000 plus tax and title fees that I paid for my 2013.
I financed my base model 2013 Focus after trading in my 2007 Nissan Frontier that had been wrecked.
Due to the fact that I still owed more money on my loan than my truck was worth, I had to rollover my leftover balance to the new deal with the Focus.
The Focus only cost $11,995 at the time of sale. I rolled over a little over $6,000 of unpaid loan and that was just the beginning.
I was satisfied with my little hatchback even though I knew that I had paid entirely too much for it. In reality, I should not have traded my truck because the payments were low and the damage was only to the body panels.
It was just ugly and I wanted something newer. With this deal, my payments went from $212 per month for the Frontier, to $375 for the Focus.
What have I done?
I had been struggling for about a year to make the payments on the Focus and pay rent on top of child support and other costs. I have always been an impulse buyer and car dealers sure do a good job of making it sound like it is a good idea to financially drown yourself.
They make you get in this car and before you can even pull out of the lot the salesman tells you to put the car in drift mode. What? I was spinning donuts before I even signed the paperwork.
Oh, remember the $6,000 that I rolled over from my truck? That more than doubled when I signed the papers for a new RS. I had agreed to pay a bit over $600 a month for a car which was more than I was paying for rent.
Goodbye Focus RS
I literally had no money. Every penny from my paycheck went to trying to pay for that car. I was quickly evicted from my apartment and forced to move back south with my family. I would sell belongings and things around the house to try to make payments and then one day I woke up and my RS had disappeared from the driveway.
other valuable readings:
My family suggested I call the police but instead I called the bank and as I had assumed the vehicle had been repossessed. When I financed my Frontier I had a credit score of 720, now my score is 500 and my credit report will show a repossession for the next seven years.
I know firsthand how the temptation of owning the latest and greatest car can be. I can only imagine what it would be like for other things such as jewelry or appliances or whatever else people spend their money on.
One thing I have learned is that people will go to great lengths to prove something to another person only to make themselves self-destruct in the process.
I invite you to share my story on Facebook so that others can learn from my mistake and hopefully save themselves some serious financial hardships.
Image Credit: Pixabay
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