This summer we bought a new car which was a big deal for us. The car we replaced was 19 years old.
Four years ago, we pre-shopped. We knew our car was getting old and didn’t want to have to make a quick decision if it died on us. At that time, I fell in love with the Mini Cooper. And as a part of my Surfing Your Enthusiasm goal-setting process, I added it to my list of goals.
During the last 4 years, I’ve dreamt of owning a Mini. I was thrilled every time I saw one on the road and went out of my way to drive past the Mini dealership whenever I was in that part of town.
When our 19-year-old car started hemorrhaging oil, we decided it was time. We went to the Mini dealership, test drove one, and got all the details we needed to order our own custom Cooper. Then we walked out of the dealership and slept on it, and boy am I glad we did.
My husband suggested we check out some less expensive cars. At first I was disappointed. But one of the things I do with my goals is to think about what the essence of what I want is. The essence of what I wanted in our new car was something totally fun to drive. Something small and easy to zip around and park. Something well-designed. Something I loved the look of. And something I was proud of.
I also committed to myself that I wouldn’t buy anything I didn’t feel excited about. Settling for second best wasn’t an option.
There was a lot I loved about the Mini, but there were some things I wasn’t thrilled with. The backseats were tight, and I knew our parents wouldn’t be comfortable getting in and out of them. I read reviews complaining that the Mins weren’t as reliable as people would have liked. And the maintenance costs over the long run were really expensive.
One of the cars we checked out was the Honda Fit. The more I read about it, the more I fell in love with it. It was really cute. It had excellent reviews. People owned these cars for years and found them very reliable. When we test drove one, I was impressed with how well it was designed. And the back seats were super spacious for such a little car.
We ended up buying the Fit. If we had bought the Mini, I would have been settling for less than what I could have gotten. But because I knew the essence of what I wanted, I could easily see the better choice. And on top of that, the Fit was cheaper. So now we have extra funds we can spend on other things we’ve been wanting to do.