Driving a BMW and dealing with temptation
Photo by: Taekwonweirdo
I’ve wanted a BMW for years. I’ve always admired the looks, the performance, the style, and the quality. Being a car nut, there are many other makes and models I like, but BMW has always been at the top of my car short list. My all time favorite being the BMW M3 Coupe. Of course unless I was a multi-millionaire, I would never buy one and even if I was a multi-millionaire I still might have issues with purchasing one due to the extreme cost. Recently though, BMW has released a new model that is reasonable priced as BMWs go, looks awesome, and performs well: The BMW 135i. Believe it or not, I have only ridden in a BMW once in my life, and hadn’t driven one until two weekends ago.
I’ve been reading pretty much every article on the 135i I could get my hands on for the past year. I watched the early announcements, read the industry “leaks”, looked at the spy pictures before it was formally announced, and kept up with it’s development by reading various auto blogs. But I hadn’t seen one first hand, until a few weeks back. I finally succumbed to the temptation and not only did I go see one at the dealership, I…well let me explain.
A visit to the dealership
The only BMW dealership that I know of in our area is a good distance from our house, which is a good thing. The dealership is fairly close to my in-laws house though. We were down that way a few weeks back to borrow a tool I needed from my father in-law. My mother in-law offered to watch the kids for my wife and I if we wanted to get out and do something without the kiddos. Having read that the 135i’s were arriving in dealerships, I mentioned to my wife that I’d like to go see one. Knowing how much I like the cars and being the wonderful wife she is, she agreed. So off to the BMW dealership we went.
It was a pretty cold day and walking around the dealership we couldn’t readily find one. To my sincere joy though, we parked right next to a brand new flame red BMW M3. Wow, what a car….Anyway, we walked around the dealership lot for a bit, looking at the various cars and were finally approached by a salesman.
The salesman was extremely friendly and I informed him that I wanted to see the new 135i. He quickly said, “Come with me.” Turns out, they had one, literally one. It was parked towards the back of the lot, and was jet black. It looked even better in person than in pictures. He opened the doors and let us see the inside. The interior was black leather, with red leather trim. My wife didn’t like it, I on the other hand LOVED it. I hadn’t seen any good interior pictures, and was amazed at the detail and quality. The smell of the new leather was intoxicating. The only thing I was a bit disappointed with was the rear seat room. While the 135 has rear seats, there is very little room. That might propose a problem for my kids.
The salesman then asked the question I knew he would ask and the one that would tempt me the most: “Do you want to drive it?“. My heart rate immediately kicked up two notches. The one marshmellow kid inside immediately shouted “YES! YES!“, but the frugal side of me shouted “No! No!“. I looked at my wife who just smiled, and I thought about it for a good 15 seconds and I said “Absolutely. But I want to be clear, I am not going to buy one today. I can’t afford this car right now, and I am just an enthusiast. I don’t want to waste your time and I would fully understand if you want to change your mind.” To my surprise, he didn’t. He appreciated me being honest and said “Let me go grab a tag and the keys.”
Wow, I was finally going to get to drive one. As my grandfather used to say, I was “happier than a ‘coon in a cornfield“. My wife was awesome too, she just smiled, knowing this was a dream for me. We took the car out on a short spin. It drove and performed far greater than I had imagined. The car handled and cornered better than any car I’ve ever driven. The engine made sounds that were just plain music to my ears, and it was frankly a complete blast to drive. We pulled back into the dealership, parked it and got out. We found the salesman, and handed over the keys and he said “What else can I do for you? Want to take it home?“. Did I want to take it home….who’s he kidding, I would LOVE to take it home! Temptation at it’s best!
The Trip home
We left the dealership a few minutes later, riding in my good old 2001 Nissan Sentra. No, I didn’t buy the BMW. I could have. I can make the payments. Why didn’t I? For many reasons actually:
- We still owe debt – When you already have debt, getting further in debt in just crazy. I don’t have the cash to buy a BMW, and if I did I’d payoff my debt with it, not buy a BMW. I’d rather sacrifice in the short-term and gain in the long. I’ll get a BMW one day, just not now.
- My family’s goals are more important than my own – We want a home with some land and would also like to return to RV camping someday. All of these things are more important to me and my family than purchasing a BMW.
- I won’t sacrifice my children’s future – I want my 6 children to attend college. While I don’t expect to be able to pay for their education, I would love to be able to or at the very least pay for some of it. By spending money purchasing a BMW, I am limiting my ability to do that.
- I just don’t want to pay that much for a car – A BMW 135i runs around $40,000. Is it worth it? Maybe, but it just doesn’t feel right to me to dish out $40,000 for a car, regardless of how nice it is. $40,000 invested in a decent mutual fund would provide me with far more money down the road.
- I don’t make large purchase decisions on a whim – One of the things I’ve learned, is never make large purchases on a whim. When considering a large purchase it’s far better to wait some period of time. Go home, sleep on it, and think it over. Chances are you’ll talk yourself out of it. I did.
I am proud of myself. In the past, I’ve been a complete sucker for temptation, always having a hard time resisting it and paying the price as a result. This time though, I didn’t. Not only did I not succumb, I didn’t succumb to one of the material things I most want, a BMW. I’ll get one someday, but only when I can afford it. I told my wife on the way home that the only way I will ever buy one is if I don’t even have to think twice about it.
What is your biggest temptation? Have you had a recent encounter with it or them? How did you do? Have tips for overcoming financial temptations? Add a comment!