Take Pride in Your Car
Alison and I's Prius is 10 years old this year. Well, technically, I guess it's 11. We'll soon cross the 250k mile mark and man, is it in good shape. Looking at it from the outside, you'd never guess that it was that old or that venerable. In general, I think that men love taking care of their cars, but I want us to go a step further. I want us to have pride in our cars.
Your car, for some period of your life, is your single biggest asset. There were times, or there will be times, in your life when the most expensive thing the you own is sitting in a parking space outside of your residence. The best way to preserve any asset is to do a fantastic job maintaining it. Keep your car clean with regular washes and cleanings. I prefer to hand wash the Prius because it gives me the ability to really get the whole car clean as opposed to automatic washes which miss spots. Cleaning the interior is just as important. The more frequent the cleanings, the better.
Maintenance is another big part of having pride in your car. Too often we're tempted to avoid maintenance bills by selling the old car and buying a new one. That almost never makes financial sense. Find a quality shop that'll do good work on your car. Make repairs early and always have cash on hand to cover parts that break. If you have the money set aside for "unexpected repairs," you can make better decisions in the moment when the Check Engine light comes on and just make the repair instead of buying new. Maintenance is about making the car last longer as much as it is about keeping your family safe.
The kind of pride that I want us to have in our car is the pride that leads us to keeping it clean and maintained. Too many of us move way past pride and tie up their entire identity in their car. You likely have seen this around town- guys driving trucks with lift kits, giant tires, huge CB antennas, and twin smoke stacks. At the end of the day, your car is just that; a car. In a moment it could be totaled in an accident and gone forever. The car that you drive is not who you are as a person. You should never feel bad about yourself for driving a particular car. As long as you keep it clean and well maintained, even an old car will run further than anyone expects.
And for Pete's sake, please don't have a car that's nicer than your house.