Guidelines

I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.








Friday, June 9, 2017

Used Car versus New Car

This post is not about the AMC Pacer, the Pontiac Aztek, or any car for that matter.....

Imagine if you had an older model used car that you liked to drive from time to time.   And, from time to time having this car has really helped you enjoy a better quality of life.  Sometimes, you have really relied on this old car….

But because the car is older—it has some issues. People make fun of it because it is older and looks kind of funny.... It doesn’t get the same gas mileage it used to; maintenance is becoming more costly because things are starting to break down.  The paint is fading and the headliner is starting to droop inside the cab-tires and struts need to be replaced and it needs transmission service and a brake job.  But the engine is solid, and the old car still runs “real good” and gets you where you are going when you need to get somewhere!
This post is not about the AMC Pacer, the Pontiac Aztek, or the Chrysler PT Cruiser...


But you really want to get a new car, so you don’t have to worry about the pesky problems of maintenance.  Hey—who doesn’t like a shiny, brand new car complete with that new car smell!??

So you tried selling your old car—but buyers simply were not interested.   And then there is the irritating fact that you still owe a little bit of money on the old car, a few more payments worth…

But you still really want a new car!!

What should you do?

Here’s the thing:  What you can’t do, what defies logic and common sense, is to scrap this car until you have a plan for a new one to replace it with no gap in car ownership.  As much as you would like to wring your hands of this old, ugly car—the fact of the matter is that you still owe money on it, from time to time you really need it, and to not have any car would be devastating to your quality of life.

So the idea of running the old car off the cliff to get rid of it sounds good, it almost sounds cathartic.  But what would that leave you with?  Answer:  nothing.  No car and still a few more payments to make.


So what is the prudent thing to do, then?

Answer:  you develop a workable plan to replace the car, a plan that fits within the current budget, but that does not lead to any gaps in car ownership.  You can’t “go into debt” to replace the old car, because you're just about to do that to remodel your flooded-out basement  at a cost of about 25% of your average yearly salary.   You're determined to overspend on the basement project, because experts have convinced you that you must,  so therefore you can’t take on any more debt because that would not be smart and it would hit your credit rating-making financing much, much more expensive. 
This post is not about the AMC Pacer, The Pontiac Aztek, Walter White, or Breaking Bad....


So the answer is, if you value having a car, even an older, ugly one, you continue to maintain the one you have (even as costs increase) until you pay it off ---so at that point you can start using your “car-payment” money to start saving for a replacement as more options become available.  

You unfortunately have to abide with the status quo until you get a windfall, have a relative “go in” on the purchase, or develop a better plan to get the new car. 

Sometimes the best course of action is to stand still.


Nope, driving the car off the cliff without a replacement would be stupid, it’d be just a reckless idiocy demonstration, a flight of fancy through a la la land of fiscal irresponsibility…..

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bay Center?

Anonymous said...

or the jail? or ECAT? sorry I didn't get the pNj cartoons either..haven't lived here long..staying tuned. I love a good story and a mystery. ?? and a parable.

Anonymous said...

Bay center remains and the
flooded basement is the jail. In debt because the power that be above dictate it???

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anonymous: We, as a board, hold all the cards and we have the "raw power" to do what we will on a variety of subjects (ECAT, Jail, Economic Development, Beach Traffic) However, I worry that with respect to some of these items the course we are on is not the most prudent one and I am trying my best to do my part to ensure we make the best possible decisions. Some of the decisions that have been made before I got here, I must say, have left me scratching my head....

Anonymous said...

I re read your March post about the jail again. I really appreciate you writing this blog. I also respect your power on the board and the decisions you have to make. Have you been able to answer some of those questions you were asking yourself about the jai? I realize the vote for the bonds passed and things have come down to three choices for construction companies so it is happening. The fact the county over paid for land is disheartening. I heard the Feds dictate what has to be done with the building of the jail, I don't know. Do they? I just want to let you know though, on another note, to me it seemed disheartening that in one meeting BCC vote to spend millions on a traffic circle even SRIA was not in favor of and also announce a shortfall and also the (mis understanding or not) about Ecat being defunded all at once right after a holiday weekend. With respect but also I have been scratching my head..even if these things need to be done, seems in some ways a disregard for the poor and working folks and seems to favor hotel owners, and sheriff and I can see how myself it all raises unpopular feelings with some of the citizens. Sort of a bull in the China Shop cavalier approach I suppose. I live in the county and never go to the beach nor ride ECAT so it doesn't affect me a lot. I mostly am enjoying learning about my local government. I look forward to clear understanding here by your written words CMR Bergosh.

Anonymous said...

Finally--It is..OLF 8 but as long as we are talking in "parables" It has become like the movie The Money Pit 1986 Tom Hanks and we have the Movie TOP GUN Playing "Highway to the danger zone in the background"

Anonymous said...

Really? "We, as a board, hold all the cards and we have the *"raw power"* to do what we will on a variety of subjects (ECAT, Jail, Economic Development, Beach Traffic)"
? So the public has no say so, just the board with raw power? Explain why you and the board do not want to hear from the pathetic taxpayers?