Less overheard at work and more a conversation that I initiated, but still kind of took me aback because it came from a coworker who seems on the level financially in a lot of different ways. For example, this guy brings his lunch most days and has managed to provide vehicles on the cheap for his family by learning how to extensively wrench on Jeep Cherokee models and then find cheap deals on craigslist and fixing them up.
So, I was just kind of trying to get some easy sympathy from him (which is kind of narcissistic and I do recognize that) by telling how I had my 'check engine' light come on less than two days after getting my fiance's car titled in her name (gifted from her dad) and less than a week before we're getting married. Checked the code out, and it's the catalytic converter having issues which still could be a ton of different things within the component (cracks, buildup, etc) and most of the solutions involve replacing the converter. So I'm complaining that I'll most probably have to spend over $1k taking care of this issue right before I get married (yay emergency fund!) and boy ain't it shame, etc etc.
I'm paraphrasing but he said very close the following, "Oh, that's just an emissions thing. My check light has been on with the same code since shortly after I got my current Cherokee, it's been fine so far." To be clear, one of the downsides of this issue is that you may be just dumping a bunch of carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, which may not affect performance to a noticeable degree but sure is terrible for the environment, especially if it's an issue on your daily driver. Driving is already bad enough in so many ways without letting issues like this go on for years.
What I didn't tell him is that I needed to get it up to code because in the near future I'm going to be moving to one of those terrible restrictive code-enforcing urban hellholes that actually gives a damn about your emissions. In addition to, you know, trying not to be a terrible human being that subsidizes my lifestyles by externalizing the costs to the environment instead. I'm far from perfect but I do try.
I actually think this is a great example of the difference between being cheap vs being frugal.