Christmas is Almost Here! Would You Buy Me a Car?
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Christmas is almost here my friends. I know some of you have already finished your shopping, maybe on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Others, like me, are procrastinators when it comes to holiday shopping. Well, I was hoping to ask all the Frugal Rules readers a simple question:
Would you buy me a car for Christmas?
Come on, it’s a great time to purchase a car. At least that is what I hear on the TV, radio, and online. December is an excellent month to buy a car. Trust me, I bought a new car three years ago and still
regret (love?) it. That was before I had a financial epiphany, but you live and learn. Anyway, let me know if you would be willing to part with your hard-earned cash to spot me some wheels!
Why are Car Sales so Strong in December?
I really didn’t think much of car sales this year, but after being slammed with ads left and right, I started pondering. Why would car sales be so good this time of year? Well, if you want a Lexus, then you can put a shiny bow on that bad boy and park in the driveway. Just think of the facial expression of the recipient getting to unwrap a new $40,000 present. Oh the good life!
I really never understood gifting someone a car, at least not a new car for Christmas. One, it’s extremely expensive. Most people can’t pay cash for a car, so they get a loan. Well, that costs them more and puts them in debt. Second, you really can’t live up to that gift. What would you give next year, a set of tires? Maybe some jewelry? Seriously, how do you one up buying a car for Christmas? Maybe a house? Who knows. Talk about raising the bar to an unreachable level!
After sitting down and looking at why car sales might be so strong, I realized that car dealers are doing everything they can to close out the year on a strong note. Deferred payments, low leases, rebates, and other incentives are all on the table this time of year. If you are thinking about buying a car, all of this advertising about saving serious cash could influence your decision. Hell, I don’t need or want another car, but some of these commercials got me thinking about unwrapping a huge bow on December 25th!
The biggest reason I believe is that car dealers and marketing teams realize people are spending machines in December. Heck, instead of a gym membership, most people need credit card consolidation and a budgeting class. The spending hangover for normal purchases is harsh and can last for years. Just think of how long the spending hangover will be if you bought someone a car. That would hurt.
Would You Gift a Car?
Here’s the big question. Would you ever gift a car for Christmas? I’m talking about a new car, not a used and sensibly purchased car. Used cars don’t have much incentive right now to purchase, especially not in the holiday season. On top of that, used cars are becoming more expensive as people realize that buying new is costly.
I, personally, would never buy someone a car as a gift. That just seems like an outlandish present to give someone for any holiday. I know people do it and that’s why Lexus has all of those gifts under the tree commercials with Lexus cars as presents. But if I received a new car as a present, the payments would leave a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want to be paying for a present five years later nor do I want someone I love paying for my present five years later. I especially don’t enjoy overpaying for presents and a brand new Lexus under the tree is exactly that. Most of the things I talk about are how to save money and grow your wealth, especially during the holidays so a Lexus for Christmas would be a bad idea for me.
What’s better to wake up to in the new year – more money, or a new car? Don’t answer it quickly. Take a second and let me know your real answer. Remember, the nostalgia wears off after that new car smell disappears.
Now it’s your turn. Would you buy someone a car for Christmas? Have you ever received a car for Christmas – new or used? Do you find gifting such a lavish item a little asinine? What other gifts would you not want to buy someone for Christmas; is there anything else besides a new car you’d never purchase as a holiday gift?