My Aveo wasn’t the nicest car. In fact, it was the absolute cheapest car I could find at the time. But it was there when I needed it. And even though we would later come to have a series of bumps (literal and figurative) along the road, the Aveo was an important symbol to me. It marked the start of my financial recovery.
My divorce was… hard. Every divorce is difficult, I’m sure, but mine took a particularly harsh toll on my finances. The fact that I got laid off during that same period certainly didn’t help. I lost 95% of my material possessions – including my condo, its furnishings and my beloved BMW.
When my son and I moved back in with my parents, I was also given my brother’s old car to drive. It was paid off and it was available. Those are really the only things it had going for it. At the time I couldn’t be picky. When that car ultimately died (just a few short months after I wrote the linked post above), my savings for a new car hadn’t progressed much. I had a job and I needed a car. A cheap car. That’s when I found the Chevy Aveo.
My parents helped me buy it. Without their help, I would have paid upwards of 25% interest on a car loan. But the Aveo was titled in my name. For the first time since declaring bankruptcy (a side-effect of the divorce), I owned something besides just the clothes on my back. I had a car. Things were getting better.
The Aveo would eventually cost me thousands of dollars in service repairs and hours of my life spent stranded, waiting for roadside assistance. That’s what happens when you buy the cheapest car you can find, I guess. The Aveo also took my son and I on road trips to Charleston and Cleveland. It shuttled us back and forth to more sport practices, games and tournaments than I could list. That car took me to my brothers’ weddings (two brothers, two different weddings). And of course, the Aveo made the yearly trip to Ocean City, Maryland with us.
We had some good times in that car. It was ours.
As of Sunday, I have a new car. It’s beautiful and shiny and quite a bit nicer than the Aveo ever was, even in its prime. I am sure my son and I will have many good times in this new car, too. But I can’t help feeling a bit nostalgic about our Aveo. That car meant a lot to me when I got it. And even though replacing it now is a sign that things are still getting better, it’s a little bittersweet to let it go.