I’m not very good at making decisions, especially when money is involved. A day in the life:

Should I walk to the store on the corner and get an iced tea? Hmmm. That’s $.99. Perhaps I shouldn’t spend the money. I could just drink some cofee. And that iced tea has all sorts of sugar and whatnot in it. I could just have hot tea here at the office. That iced tea is tasty though. And you get 23 ounces for $.99. That’s a good deal. It’s a lot of sugar though…

Now, imagine this person pondering the decision to buy a new car. Cleary not an easy task. So much to worry about — do we really need a new car? Can we afford it? Is this a rash decision? Does it get good mileage? Is it reliable?

The list goes on.

Last night Jen went to the local Ford dealer with just such a person. Ford has been running a fairly nice special during the month of July, better than the discounts I could get via their Partner Program (thanks to my employer). Now was the time to get a car, and we decided to look at the Focus, which seemed to get very good reviews from anyone and everyone. I was also comforted by the fact that the promotion meant that there was little haggling over the price of the car. The dealer had a Focus sedan, with a manual transmission, on the lot, so we actually got to test drive the car. It seemed good enough — peppy enough to be fun, but not overly sporty as to rattle poor Seb’s head over bumps. Once back at the dealer, all that was left was to locate a car that fit was we wanted (the one on the lot, whilst very inexpensive, was also rather spartan — we can do without cruise and ABS and traction control, can’t we?), which was not an easy task thanks to the promotion.

Finally, the salesman found one at a local dealer, an SES model (meaning it was kitted out with lots of bells and whistles we usually wouldn’t care about) that was priced within our budget.

Decision time.

Remember the iced tea discussion? Over $.99?

Jen tried to make things easier for me. In one corner we have the Outback, leaky headgasket included. In the other corner, we have the Focus, brandy-new, with a very good warranty included in the price. The engine may fall out of the Outback any day. The Focus is brandy-new and under warranty. After doing round after round of budgetary math in my head, I said “gimme more money for the trade and we have a deal.”



I’m still waiting to hear if the dealer could get the car in question, since it was rather late when all was said and done. I’m mildly excited about the new car. I think I’d more excited if I drove it more often (I’m rarely in the car Monday through Friday), and I feel a slight pang of guilt that we didn’t drive the Outback into the ground (though I suspect we’re pretty close). One the plus side, the car is more fuel efficient, and it’s smaller, and I won’t feel like a bobo driving Focus. And I feel good that Jen and the boy won’t be stranded somewhere by the Outback.