About coworkers and cars...three quick scenarios;
1. Our admin assistant (makes about $60k/yr and drives a three series bmw while paying $1500/month in rent) and I were on a plane for a biz trip. The stewardess tells her to put her uber-designer bag on the floor under the seat in front of her to prepare for landing. The admin says to me, "this PURSE cost $4,000... UGH!!!!" To which without missing a beat knowing that I make several times her salary, "OMG! Your handbag is worth more than my CAR!!! (2000 avalon, 153k miles, goin strong) She was horrified at my *impoverished* vehicle and I was just laughing and laughing.
2. My junior coworker used to drive a very posh Mustang that was only a few years old but was always breaking down. She told me she bought a new car and was proud cuz she bought it used (late model VW Taureg). She said she got a great deal and I was like, cool! How much was it? Over $25K + extended warranty for $4k BECAUSE IT ALREADY BROKE DOWN FOUR TIMES in the three months she's owned it. OMG, omg, omg!! And this lovely lady who I adore owes almost $150K in student loans for 2 masters degrees... Btw, I really, respect grad school stuff for those who enjoy school (and paying for higher learning), but I get a lot of mileage (bad pun intended) in my prof with a simple bachelors degree. This is someone who is saving to buy a house in Redondo Beach, CA = OMG expensive + >40 miles from work!...
3. Another junior coworker bought a new car: five series BMW fully loaded = >$80k. OMG!!! whaaaaat?!?! And, wait for it... financed the thing!!! She saw me blanch and reach for the wall cuz I was basically gobsmacked to which she said, "yeh, I have a really long commute so I wanted to enjoy the drive.... "
They all think I'm insane. I just don't understand what they are thinking. Granted, I'm older than all three by a few years (I'm 40) but wth, people!!!?? I live 5 miles from the office, drive a 14 yr old car that feels uber posh to me, and dress modestly meaning, I buy nice work blouses, slacks and sweaters (thank God I rarely need to wear a suit) on clearance at the local outlet then proceed to wear them out before I replace them whilst they shop their hearts out on haute couture (which, btw, I really enjoy seeing. They all look fab! But, shopping for clothes makes me shudder. I successfully avoid the activity the high, high majority of the time. Can't even tell you the last time I walked into a mall because they fill me with dread... They are like massive 'thing' mausoleums built in such a way that it feels like you just can't get out....)
Anyway, wooohooo to freedom from pricey cars, student loans and *price couture*!!!