Over the weekend, Mr. Bacon and I bought a brand new 2014 Chevy Equinox. (Well, technically, he and his father co-signed for one and my name is nowhere on the car loan, but taking a cue from Anna, I am also Transitioning the “Me” Thinking Into “We” Thinking…)
We had been a successful one-car household for a while and were doing pretty okay–when I didn’t need the car every day for work. There were even a couple months when our work schedules aligned perfectly (in that, they aligned completely oppositely) so that I had the car Tuesdays and Thursdays for the office requiring some outside driving, while he needed it MWF.
But once I got promoted to that office full-time, I was constantly needing the car so I could always have the ability to do some outside calls (rehab hospitals and nursing homes) on some of those days (they’re pretty unpredictable). We were carpooling almost every day and it was a bit of a strain. Especially because he starts work at 6 or 7am, and I don’t have to be in the office until 8.
Since I’ve been working so much more but had to get up early to carpool, I didn’t get much opportunity to sleep in when I was feeling exhausted, or do my morning workouts to alleviate the stress. Picking him up after work on some of his 12-hour shifts meant I usually didn’t have time or energy to squeeze in a workout after work either–in fact I would usually just drop him off, go straight to work myself, and then stay until it was time to pick him up. So I was almost working 12-hour shifts too! I’ve been really tired and cranky, which of course puts a strain on the relationship.
Plus, Mr. Bacon didn’t have the ability to work some overtime hours if he was asked, as he didn’t want me to stay up past midnight just to pick him up or yank me around if his closing time changed unexpectedly. Overtime pays 1.5x so we were missing out on some big bucks there!
So yes…having a second car can be seen as a convenience, but I think it was necessary for the health and sanity of our relationship (and some extra income!). Sure there’s now a $300 car payment each month, but getting a new car vs. keeping his old one was also necessary–his previous truck was 15 years old and had a history of breaking down the last few months he was really using it. He was able to sell it for $3200, and used most of that along with his big tax refund ($1400–yay!) for a down payment. His father also has a GM credit card with $2000 in points he let us use to put towards a new car (which is why he is a co-signer), and is also a master negotiator–he haggled another $2000 of credit with various bonuses somehow, taking the retail price down $4k!
I think the best thing to come out of this (other than all the conveniences and benefits of having a sweet new car that will take us on many road trips and adventures!) is that Mr. Bacon was completely motivated to look over his budgets and get his finances in order. SO proud 😉
It also forced me to transition more to “we” thinking and thinking of our combined household finances as one. That whole second parking spot was the impetus for us to start looking for a new place. Yes, an update on that–we are about to sign a 2-year lease for the 1-bedroom condo with two free parking spots for $305 less per month. (Our current landlord never got back to us about negotiating for free parking…but we are ready to get out of a studio anyway.) If you think about it, that keeps our total household costs about the same when you put in the $300 monthly car payment! Only we’ll have a bigger place…with our own washer/dryer and community swimming pools (drooling here!) AND a new car.
I’ll consider this a win-win for the Bacon household. 😀