Author Topic: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...  (Read 7608 times)

RentingIsPatience

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My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« on: July 19, 2014, 09:19:05 PM »
And decided she needed a Cadillac Escalade with air-conditioned seats.  And a new camper so that they don't have to get 2 hotel rooms for their 5 person family when they travel. 

I have tried to counsel her on making more frugal choices with her money, but it all fell on deaf ears, so I have stopped trying.

Two days after she got the Escalade, I read MMM's April Fools post (I was a little behind in my reading - I binge-read MMM and get my fix until the next time I need a figurative punch in the face) and cracked up.  Sent it to my husband who almost busted a gut. 

I love my cousin to death, but I feel that this choice is completely wrong and I am so sad that I know she won't listen to me even if I tried to talk her out of it.  I tried to sound happy for her (it was so hard) because she was so happy about it and I didn't want to beat a dead horse.  My mom told me what I knew, but didn't want to admit...that she is an adult and is entitled to make her own decisions.  I have given her the information that was so valuable to me in reining in my life and getting on the path to financial freedom, but at some point, you have to just live your life, make the right decisions for you, and hope that someday, she will see the successes you have had and ask you how you did it.

It still makes me sad though that she and her family will not be as well-off in the future as I know they can be and as well-off as I envision us to be.  I know I am not 100% mustachian (it is hard to get my husband to even read a whole MMM post) but I am changing my thinking and considering my life in a different way and I can say for certain that I have shifted my purchasing habits since starting to read MMM.  Slow going, but we are getting there (we are actually now saving almost 50% of our income toward a house).  Maybe when we buy a house with 100% cash (our goal) it will get their attention (that isn't why we are doing it, but it would be a welcome side-effect, wouldn't it?).

kyleaaa

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2014, 09:53:48 PM »
It's best not to give unsolicited financial advice. Not everyone shares your values.

RentingIsPatience

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2014, 09:55:08 PM »
Yeah, that is why I stopped a while ago.  She lives a few states away, so I have been doing the equivalent of the "smile and nod" over the phone.

frugalecon

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2014, 10:15:48 PM »
Why is it necessary to give your cousin any kind of reaction about her purchases, other than something neutral like, "it sounds like you are very happy with X." I generally don't see a need to congratulate others on spending money, though I suppose that has gotten me in trouble before.

I would try not to let other people's bad financial decisions affect your emotional equilibrium. Perhaps you can find some satisfaction in serving as a positive role model. That is really all you can do.

Cpa Cat

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2014, 10:21:33 PM »
What are air conditioned seats and how are they superior to regular car AC? Do they blow air right on your bum?

Breck

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2014, 02:22:15 AM »
What are air conditioned seats and how are they superior to regular car AC? Do they blow air right on your bum?

Indeed, I believe they do. You know the plush leather can get a bit sticky in the summer heat...

Sarcasm aside, my aunt had a Avalon with some sort of vented seats, and I must they were an exceptional experience. But alas, I rejoined the plebeians with my sweaty butt '92 Miata.

TomTX

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2014, 07:37:52 AM »
In Texas, that vented seat thing sounds divine. I don't want any of that HEATED seat crap. They get heated enough on their own!

Of course, my commuter car doesn't even have AC anymore... Thinking to get a used ebike.

ltt

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2014, 10:35:05 AM »
What are air conditioned seats and how are they superior to regular car AC? Do they blow air right on your bum?

Hahahahaha....

MgoSam

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2014, 06:50:46 PM »
My uncle has an air conditioned and heated seats in his car (Lexus I think), and while this isn't something that I would buy, they sure are really comfortable when he picks you up in the middle of a Midwest winter.

gimp

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 07:39:27 PM »
Heated seats are the bee's knees. I remember when my parents got a car 15 years ago, it had heated seats, awesome in the winter. Then I got my car and it didn't have heated seats. I think about three times I have said or thought "fuck it's cold, wish I had heated seats." Three times in three years isn't worth $xxx to me, however much that option costs.

And of course now I'm in CA. No need for heat. Now, air conditioned seats... I'm perfectly happy being ignorant how nice they would be on my balls when my black car is 140 degrees during a heat wave after being parked in the sun. Hell, until today I didn't know it was a thing.

Primm

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 08:03:42 PM »
I hired a car to drive around Germany once. It had heated seats. I got distracted during the day looking at all the pretty places and ended up in town too late for any of the accommodation places to be open, so I slept in my car.

Trust me, when you sleep in a car in February in a town near the Black Forest, you *need* heated seats. Otherwise, not so much.

Cassie

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 10:02:58 PM »
You do not need 2 hotel rooms for 2 parents & 3 kids. WE would either get a roll away bed for the little one or when they were all small put all 3 in one bed.

Left

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 11:48:25 PM »
um... why do you feel the need to pity her? what makes being frugual superior to buying things if they have the income for it? if they want to work longer than why not let them?

it's the same as if a homeless guy pitied you for paying to live in a house... but a lot of homeless dont have the option so it isnt a good example. another is having kids. should i shame parents because kids arent mustachian? maybe talk them into aborting them because it'd be cheaper than raising them?

part of why i dont like this section of forums, there's nothing inherently shameful about being non mustachian to me. i mean everyone here aims to be fi, being frugal is only one way, working until 60 is another way... or should i be shamed because i'll hit fi at 40 or 45 instead of 25 or 30?
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 11:56:16 PM by eyem »

LalsConstant

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2014, 07:46:15 AM »
um... why do you feel the need to pity her? what makes being frugual superior to buying things if they have the income for it? if they want to work longer than why not let them?

it's the same as if a homeless guy pitied you for paying to live in a house... but a lot of homeless dont have the option so it isnt a good example. another is having kids. should i shame parents because kids arent mustachian? maybe talk them into aborting them because it'd be cheaper than raising them?

part of why i dont like this section of forums, there's nothing inherently shameful about being non mustachian to me. i mean everyone here aims to be fi, being frugal is only one way, working until 60 is another way... or should i be shamed because i'll hit fi at 40 or 45 instead of 25 or 30?

I feel some pity for this person because I used to think like that, that I "needed" unnecessary things when what I had was already amazingly luxurious.

I don't think they are bad or shameful people for buying something expensive, rather it's shameful they are wasting their limited resources.

I'm a little sad for their wasted opportunity.  It sounds like they already had what they wanted, and bought something that's not only expensive but is probably actually worse for the purpose.

In other words I doubt very much these people are going to enjoy the Cadillac enough to make what they paid for it a fair value.  I could be wrong.

But more likely than not, these people were probably going to be happier, in their own value systems no less, paying off debt or saving the money as cash for an emergency or taking a trip with their Odyssey or buying some income producing assets or any number of other things.

It's true people have different values, but most people, if they stopped to really think about it, would probably realize they don't value things and consumption as much as they think they do.  That's what I realized, I didn't need to buy crap to "feel good" and in fact it was counterproductive in many cases.

As a culture we're so far in the weeds with consumerism it is getting far past ludicrous.

I will grant you being extremely anti-consumerism isn't inherently any better, but I think it's fair to wish people would more critically assess what the best use of limited resources is.  It's not so much everyone should choose the same things, but rather everyone should choose better according to their true desires and not those imposed on us by a culture run amuck.

I'm certainly not as frugal as I absolutely could be for sure, but I've learned a great deal about what I value and what I don't, and as a result I generally spend a lot less overall than I used to.  Where it genuinely does make me appreciably happier, I've stayed about the same or even increased spending.

RentingIsPatience

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2014, 08:57:40 PM »
LalsConstant - I don't think I could have said it better myself.  I don't think "being frugal is superior" but considering the conversations I have had with her in the past regarding finances (that I didn't flesh out here on the forum), I have a good picture of what their situation is and I think they could have made a better choice when it came to picking out a new car.

I don' think it is "inherently shameful" for them to be this way.  I love them so much and want the best life possible for them and in my eyes, this is several steps backward, after they had been so proud of a few steps forward.  I want them to be happy and maybe I am completely wrong and this "happiness" is it for them, but I don't think I am.  In the end, it is not the stuff that matters.  I just hope they realize it sooner rather than later.

And I am not saying I am perfect (by any stretch of the imagination) or above them (my cousin and her family) just because I am choosing frugality.  I have mental fights with myself all the time (my inner-child recently got jealous of my co-worker that traded in her '10 honda civic for a shiny new blue '14 honda civic and it made me want a new-to-me car).   In many ways I wish I could be more like my cousin - she is actually a pretty awesome person and she has a beautiful family.  I want her to be able to enjoy what my husband and I will eventually be able to enjoy and it just seems to me that we are headed in completely opposite directions.  Everything is in the choices we make.  It is a tough road to find yourself in debt and make enough right choices to fight your way out, and then keep making enough right ones to eventually achieve FI. 

wizlem

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #15 on: July 26, 2014, 10:52:04 PM »
um... why do you feel the need to pity her? what makes being frugual superior to buying things if they have the income for it? if they want to work longer than why not let them?

it's the same as if a homeless guy pitied you for paying to live in a house... but a lot of homeless dont have the option so it isnt a good example. another is having kids. should i shame parents because kids arent mustachian? maybe talk them into aborting them because it'd be cheaper than raising them?

part of why i dont like this section of forums, there's nothing inherently shameful about being non mustachian to me. i mean everyone here aims to be fi, being frugal is only one way, working until 60 is another way... or should i be shamed because i'll hit fi at 40 or 45 instead of 25 or 30?

I think some people like to come here to vent their frustration of seeing other people who completely disregard practicality. Personally, I find unmustachian behavior shameful because it is a waste of resources. Supposedly, Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world's population yet consume 26 percent of the world's energy. If everyone were mustachian, you wouldn't have such a disparity and you could easily argue that would be a good thing. I don't find it justifiable that just because you can afford something you should be able to do it if you want.

Mustachianism is so much more than just becoming FI. It's about making a better society. Discussing societal ills seems like a necessary component of that.

RentingIsPatience

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2014, 09:29:51 AM »

I think some people like to come here to vent their frustration of seeing other people who completely disregard practicality. Personally, I find unmustachian behavior shameful because it is a waste of resources. Supposedly, Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world's population yet consume 26 percent of the world's energy. If everyone were mustachian, you wouldn't have such a disparity and you could easily argue that would be a good thing. I don't find it justifiable that just because you can afford something you should be able to do it if you want.

Mustachianism is so much more than just becoming FI. It's about making a better society. Discussing societal ills seems like a necessary component of that.

You have a point, but I believe you need to walk before you can run.  We can't change the direction of society in one night, one year, or even a decade, but if more people eventually stop being wasteful with their finances, it will be easier for one thing to lead to another in each person's life.  Our personal spheres of influence (excepting of course those talented enough to create a blog that people read, like MMM) are pretty small compared to the whole world.  I know I can't make everyone mustachian, but maybe convince one person to be more frugal.  Then maybe she will teach her kids to be frugal, and so on.

Mustachianism IS more than just FI, and it is a good discussion to have, but even though we want change to happen overnight, it won't.  That is why I have stepped back and am letting my actions speak for themselves.  I have tried other ways to convince people and maybe one of my flaws is not being very good at persuasion.  We all do what we can, and maybe what I can do is passively leading the life that I believe is right and hoping others take notice.

Ayanka

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Re: My cousin got tired of her Honda Odyssey...
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2014, 12:33:21 PM »

I think some people like to come here to vent their frustration of seeing other people who completely disregard practicality. Personally, I find unmustachian behavior shameful because it is a waste of resources. Supposedly, Americans make up less than 5 percent of the world's population yet consume 26 percent of the world's energy. If everyone were mustachian, you wouldn't have such a disparity and you could easily argue that would be a good thing. I don't find it justifiable that just because you can afford something you should be able to do it if you want.

Mustachianism is so much more than just becoming FI. It's about making a better society. Discussing societal ills seems like a necessary component of that.

You have a point, but I believe you need to walk before you can run.  We can't change the direction of society in one night, one year, or even a decade, but if more people eventually stop being wasteful with their finances, it will be easier for one thing to lead to another in each person's life.  Our personal spheres of influence (excepting of course those talented enough to create a blog that people read, like MMM) are pretty small compared to the whole world.  I know I can't make everyone mustachian, but maybe convince one person to be more frugal.  Then maybe she will teach her kids to be frugal, and so on.

Mustachianism IS more than just FI, and it is a good discussion to have, but even though we want change to happen overnight, it won't.  That is why I have stepped back and am letting my actions speak for themselves.  I have tried other ways to convince people and maybe one of my flaws is not being very good at persuasion.  We all do what we can, and maybe what I can do is passively leading the life that I believe is right and hoping others take notice.

You can not change frugality in one year, you can change frugality in one generation. Not from one extreme to the other, but you Can change people. I learned in school that it is bad to throw things on the floor. No it doesn't help for everyone, but it stuck for me. I also learned as an adult that the economy and how much money the government gives will probably get worse. If we teach our kids, there is not going to be more money/resources, you have to make the best of it, what are the odds they will remember it when adults? No not everyone will be Mustachian or even frugal, but they will have been thought the idea. And the idea will stick.