In case you’re not already familiar with our 5-Year Plan (which, by the way, isn’t 100% accurate anymore…amazing how plans change :-)), it entails the purchase of a truck and an Airstream, after which we plan to hit the road full-time as I begin working as a travel nurse. That being said…the other day, my wife and I nearly brought a brand-new (the horror!!! lol!) Chevy Silverado 2500HD pickup truck.
Having spent the past couple months discussing it, along with my researching of various trucks, including used ones, we had test driven and settled on what we wanted. Our initial plan was to get our Jeep paid off and then purchase the truck closer to our yet-to-be-determined departure, keeping the Jeep in storage during our travels. We “love” our Jeep and have often said that we are planning to keep it forever, even making it our son’s first car one of these days. However, we have come to realize that, while the Jeep is awesome, it’s not really the Jeep that we love. I had wanted this Jeep for two years while we were in college and was super happy when we made the purchase after graduation but what we love are the memories that we’ve experienced with it: for instance, my wife drove it out here to South Dakota when we altered our course from Texas; we brought our son home from the hospital and I strapped his legs in wrong as I hurried to get him in because it was so cold and snowing out; and we took him to his first St. Louis Cardinals game during our first ever visit to Denver. You get the idea…it’s those memories that we now and will forever cherish. Realizing this allows for the understanding that we will continue to make new and amazing memories; it’s just going to eventually be in a different vehicle.
Knowing what sort of things we were looking for in a truck, I did what any decent PF-blogger would do and I began looking for a used one. I was looking for one that was in the 2-4 year old range and sadly, my research resulted in trucks that fit into either one of two categories. One group had an average of 40,000+ miles/year driven on them; the second consisted of trucks that hadn’t necessarily had the crap driven out of them but were damn-near just as expensive as a brand-new one. Neither scenario suited my wife and I so we then turned to looking at new. We stopped by a dealer last week, test drove one, and then went home to sleep on it while I, of course :-), ran the numbers.
Over the next couple days, I figured the trade-in value of the Jeep versus our pay-off, the increased monthly payment, insurance, and fuel costs, and then detailed out the increased costs and broke it down to how much extra the truck would cost us out of each paycheck. We knew the math, were comfortable with it, got pre-qualified with our bank, and decided to head back to the dealership the following day.
We drove the truck again, along with a couple others for comparison, determined for certain that it was what we wanted, and had the salesman (who was truly not your typical salesman and a genuinely awesome guy) run the numbers. We sat down, he slid the paper over to us with the numbers (that I already knew and expected!) and I froze. After coming to my senses and realizing that we had already prepped for this, I called my bank. The loan officer, who happened to be the only one that could help me, just so happened to be out on a late lunch. We decided to head out and get some food, as well, and told our salesman we’d be back. Unfortunately for him, lunch was just the opportunity we needed to talk more and realize that there is no rush to buy this particular truck and that waiting another 12-18 months will allow for us to be in an even better position financially.
Since we had kept him busy through lunch, we actually took our salesman a Subway sandwich and explained that, having thought more about it, we were going to hold off that day. However, I explained to him our reasoning and thanked him for his time, as this opportunity allowed us to fully realize that the particular truck we had driven was exactly what we wanted and that we will be back to buy from him as soon as the time is right. Maybe this wasn’t the best thing to say from a negotiating position but, honestly, I don’t really care. We walked away from their offering of a very respectable deal, without any negotiating on our part, so I anticipate similar treatment the next time we go back.
The fact of the matter is, when our time comes to live on the road full-time, our Jeep will be all but useless to us. Even if it had the available towing package on it, the thing could barely pull a wheelbarrow, let alone an Airstream. All-in-all, choosing to practice delayed gratification with this truck purchase will allow us to continue improving our financial situation and decrease the cognitive dissonance that often accompanies large purchases. We will also have the opportunity to ease our way into the increased costs associated with the truck over our Jeep. For instance, now knowing the increased insurance costs, I went ahead and increased the automatic paycheck allotment to our Ally bank account set up for our auto/life insurance premiums. By the time we buy the truck, we will have long forgotten this increased cost and its effect on my paychecks.
The next delayed purchase will be the Airstream, which we are planning to check out next week on our trip to Denver. I’m extremely excited and hope it’s as awesome as I’ve been building it up in my head for the past several months. I’ll let you know!
What are some major (or minor) purchases you’ve made, having practiced the art of delayed gratification? Are you delaying something right now? If so, are you doing so with the hope that your desire for the purchase will fade? Or are you simply waiting for the “right” time?
– RN on Fire
P.S. – I’ll continue searching for the “right” used truck in order to save us some dough, as well. If you have any suggestions on any sites to check out, please let me know! 🙂