Bug Budget


“She wants a Cadillac (or Mercury) when she can only afford a Volkswagen.” 

a mortified teenager’s grandfather talking to the car salesman

One Liner Wednesday “Mercury” / host: Linda Hill

** Re – post from prior blog

This above prompt, reminded me of the teenager me, when it was time to go car shopping.

I worked at a fast food restaurant my junior/senior years of high school, and saved up $2,000.00.  I was so proud of myself.  My grandfather came to visit, and when it was time for me to begin looking at used vehicles, my grandfather went with me to the local Honda Dealership.  In the late 80’s/early 90’s, the Honda CRX’s were the rage.  That’s kind of what I had my eye on, and hoped I could find a used one, it was 1990 and I was thinking maybe they would have a 1985 for sale that I could put most of my money down with maybe a few payments.  Nope.  They were outrageously priced, for the used ones.  And that was their “cheap” car that parents were buying their kids.

My grandfather had no intentions of finding me a car that day.  And, the Honda Salesman had no intentions of actually coming together on a price.  NOPE.  All used cars were the price they were.  I think he thought my grandfather was going to buy me the car.  (hahahah, joke was on him)  my grandfather grew up in North Dakota during the depression.  His dad died when he was young, and he and his brothers dropped out of school to help maintain the farm.  Then he fought in World War II, came home, got a semi and hauled things like sunflower seeds for the rest of his life.  My grandfather, though a high school drop out, was smart as a whip and shrewd with sales and always a bargain hunter = which meant FRUGAL.  He did a lot of reading and just knew things.  So he and the Salesman went head to head.

At first, I was pleased to have him with me.  He kept wanting me to look at cars that were basically jalopies.  NOOOOO.  the 19 year old me yelled.  That’s NOT what I want.  I’m not going to spend my hard earned $2,000 on that!  I would be mortified to drive it to school!

And while talking to the salesman, I about died – NOOOO, I don’t want a Cadillac or Mercury or any big boat of a car!  Then he told the salesman I could only afford a bug – NO, I was already driving my mom’s 1968 Volkswagen bug.  I understand what he meant that I wanted something I couldn’t afford and unwilling to get what  I could afford, which was NOTHING at that Honda Dealership.  All the used cars were pricey.

I didn’t go shopping with him again, after that.  I ended up going into the Penny Saver weekly magazine, and finding an add, and buying a used 1978 Toyota Celica Hatchback from an Elderly Couple, who could no longer drive themselves, for exactly 2k.  A few years later, I saved more money (and secured my very first loan), and got the cute Toyota Paseo and liked that more than the CRX.  This was Toyota’s equivalent to the Honda.  However, I found it a better car, and it cost less than the CRX.

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