Author Topic: How to deal with my weakness?  (Read 7035 times)

CheckEngineLight

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How to deal with my weakness?
« on: November 24, 2013, 10:57:36 AM »
When it comes to being a hardcore mustachian I'd like to say I have been one since I can remember.  Didn't grow up with many luxuries and know the value of a dollar having worked since 12 years old.

All that has paid off in spades over the years and has allowed me to save and live a pretty comfortable life while being able to put away a significant amount of money.  The issue with me has always been cars :(  It's a double edged sword.  My passion for them has made me extremely handy as I couldn't afford to pay a mechanic to do repairs/modifications so I had to learn on my own.  This hobby that's going on 14 years now has phased into a full out shop in my garage, anything from engine hoists to a mig welder, to a plasma cutter, etc I have it (most bought used over the years).  I can fabricate/build/repair just about anything on my cars/house/whatever, not bad for an Accountant I guess.

The car I drive daily to work (7k miles/year) is a 90's honda with over 200k miles.  I've already changed the motor 2 years ago with a lower mileage one, the car drives perfect, everything works, it's cheap on gas, costs almost nothing to maintain outside of regular oil changes.  My other car is a german sports car that I drive about 2k-3k miles/year.  Lately I've had the urge to go and buy a nicer/more presentable daily driver.  I don't need one, there is nothing wrong with the honda, but the urge has been strong.  I hate thinking to myself I deserve it or I should treat myself, but all things considered at what point do I really go out there and actually buy something I like/enjoy?   

I generally don't have an issue with saying "no" to myself about stupid purchases (this being one), i've talked about it with my wife who is just as mustachian as I am and I was surprised that even she agreed I should go for it and treat myself.  Her reasoning is mostly because I've sacrificed a lot over the years on the car front (always drove old shitboxes :) ) and I am the type to really enjoy driving, so in a sense I've deprived myself.

The car I am thinking of getting would obviously be used, but would still come in at 20k after taxes and everything.  If I was to buy it, it would be cash.  We can recoup the 20k in about 4 months based on our current savings rate so money isn't so much the issue, it's just the act of what I am thinking of doing.  I've never spent anywhere near this much on a car and don't feel comfortable. 

Thoughts/opinions?

Janie

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 11:04:59 AM »
20k seems like an awful lot for a used car. Even a brand new Honda Fit can be had for 17.5 k (including taxes)

surfastarian

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 11:18:22 AM »
Personally, I've used the "Well, I've deprived myself of so much lately, so I deserve this purchase" excuse to justify all sorts of bad ideas, and I almost always end up feeling worse and end up having to continue to deprive myself more.  It ends up creating this cycle of bad purchase followed by recovering from bad purchase followed by yet another bad purchase.  My vice was video games, though, which was comparatively cheaper than a car.

Your mileage may vary, though (no pun intended). 

Is there any way that you can monetize your skill with cars?

Also, I agree with Janie that 20K seems a bit steep.  What car are you thinking about buying?

CheckEngineLight

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 11:31:37 AM »
I used to make money on the side doing engine swaps/brake jobs/misc maint. for coworkers in the past.  At this point in my life I have my hands full with home renovations (bought a fixer upper) and my current job pays well where working on cars is simply averaging down my income.   My time is better spent on fixing the home right now.

I am looking at a 2008 Lexus IS350, reliable, they hold their value well if I decide to sell, decent gas mileage for the 306hp, it's comfortable, automatic so my wife can drive it if need be, etc.  They can be had for 15k-20k,  I am being conservative with 20k for cost + tax + registration.

happy

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2013, 01:21:29 PM »
This sounds like another  one of those "Can I have a...?" thread. I'm sorry if this doesn't meet with the tone police, but "cars are really important to me , can I have a Lexus?" (hits head with hand)

If you want it,  just go buy it, no need to get us to angst about it.


Abe

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2013, 01:45:46 PM »
Regarding holding of value, I was looking on Edmund's to see the cost of a Honda accord vs. a Lexus ES over time. I don't have the exact results with me now, but the loss of value (in dollars, not percentage of initial cost) was the same. There were about 50 Hondas and 20 Lexus on the site with matching model trims. Thus, at least in the Chicago area, an entry-level Lexus does not retain value better than an Accord. Consider doing the same analysis for your area.

surfastarian

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2013, 03:33:49 PM »
Random question:  What's the correct plural of Lexus?  Lexi?  Lexae?  Lexuses?

ShortInSeattle

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2013, 04:59:03 PM »
If you can afford it, and it fits in with your overall financial goals... why not?

Obviously this is a want and not a need, but you get to evaluate the tradeoffs. For what it is worth, I wouldn't vote to throw you out of the clubhouse. :)


farmstache

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2013, 05:42:37 PM »
Since everyone is being so nice:

*facepunch*

Why trade a car when yours has a near new motor and is functioning perfectly well? And spending 20k on top? That's crazy!

It looks like you're just looking for justification on a whimsical purchase. I won't give it to you. You buy it if you want, but it seems you already know it's not really a mustachian decision.

*end of facepunch*

I wouldn't kick you out of the clubhouse, either. All of us have our weaknesses. :) Just don't try to blame the purchase on us! ;)

gooki

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2013, 10:17:43 PM »
Random question:  What's the correct plural of Lexus?  Lexi?  Lexae?  Lexuses?

I believe Alan Partridge answered that.
http://youtu.be/4WpAsmD8rUE

scrubbyfish

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2013, 11:46:29 PM »
It's hard to spend after not spending for a long time. Discomfort sometimes comes from there alone.

I agree with your wife! We save money so that one day we can spend and share without worry. I would totally go for it.

Almost one year ago I encouraged my (very frugal for decades) partner to go for it on a "stupid" purchase. Since then, he has been the happiest he has ever been in his whole life. Sometimes it just really rocks to have exactly what you love/crave/enjoy/appreciate. I have very few possessions, but some of those I do have are things I truly get giddy about every single day. And one of them was a car that cost me $20,000.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 11:55:29 PM by scrubbyfish »

surfastarian

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2013, 02:07:27 AM »
@gooki: Bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

Ipodius

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2013, 04:10:47 AM »
Well, to me purchasing a $20k is neither mustachian nor un-mustachian. It completely depends on your situation, reasons, and your personal values / enjoyment. Consider the following examples:

Example A - Non-Mustachian. You want to buy a $20k lexus because it will impress your friends / co-workers, and because you feel like you are depriving yourself in not having a car. You are making a short term decision based on emotions, and in a few months time you may well kick yourself. The real issue is not "I need a nicer car", it's "I need to care less about what people think about me". In this situation, even if you can afford it and are happy to make the sacrifice in terms of delaying FI slightly to have this car, it's probably a bad decision.

Example B - Mustachian. You are well on your way to achieving your financial goals, and you are in a position where you can afford to splurge a little. You really enjoy cars, and you will get a huge amount of enjoyment and satisfaction out of this purchase - more than $20k worth. You've run all the numbers, you have a good idea on what this whole exercise will cost you, and you can easily afford it. You are confident that delaying FIRE by $20k will be more than offset by the enjoyment of owning, driving, working on and maintaining this car - and if you turn out to be wrong, you can easily handle the knock.

To me, it sounds like you fall more into category B than category A.




Khan

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2013, 04:32:54 AM »
I'm normally very supportive of temporary splurges and such... but

*Facepunch*

No, I don't think so. I love cars and vehicles of the faster variety, but I have to ask this: Why? I'm not saying that you can't trade out of a 200k+ mile car to a newer, nicer variety, but why a Lexus(even used)? Are you really gonna enjoy the trim on it that much more? It's 300hp, but you can find other cars that have the same power for less, or more specialized and fun cars for the same price.

I dunno... I just don't really feel going for a Lexus, especially in keeping with the spirit of Mustachianism.

http://tinyurl.com/kkjfqjt

chasesfish

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2013, 05:13:07 AM »
Do you already have enough money so that you're just working for fun and could be fired tomorrow and it just doesn't matter?  If so, then I guess its an okay purchase.

Did I read your post correctly that you have the perfectly good functioning commuter AND a german sports car already?


ender

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 05:34:08 AM »
I spent $300 to upgrade the sound system in my daily driver and haven't thought twice about upgrading vehicles as a result. That was some of the best $300 I've ever spent.

Quote
all things considered at what point do I really go out there and actually buy something I like/enjoy?

The answer is to think about is when it matches your life priorities. We are all on MMM, which is a site for people who more or less minimize the crap out of their expenses which gives immense financial freedom.

If your financial priorities aren't quite this aggressive then your answer is "then." But if your goal is retiring after 15 years working, then it doesn't make sense at all (unless your income is absurd). Most of us can't have the MMM benefits of lifestyle flexibility while still spending a lot of money on cars (or other things).

This is a choice you have to make, for most on here, the idea of dropping $20k on a vehicle is absurd because it doesn't match any of our longer term life goals, especially as relates to finances.

GuitarStv

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 06:50:58 AM »
Why is a Lexus going to make you happier than a cheaper vehicle?

CheckEngineLight

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2013, 07:30:54 AM »
Do you already have enough money so that you're just working for fun and could be fired tomorrow and it just doesn't matter?  If so, then I guess its an okay purchase.

Did I read your post correctly that you have the perfectly good functioning commuter AND a german sports car already?

Yes I know I will get flamed for this, but I do have another car that I don't drive much (it's not costing me anything either, it's only insured the months I drive it).  I thought about it some more and talked it over with the wife and I think I will do the following: winter is here and there is no point to upgrade right now with the crap weather.  This purchase, if it was to happen will happen next spring, I'd rather push it off as a form of discipline.  The only other way I'd consider buying it now is if the civic dies on me or it gets written off and I need another car.  Until then I will have to delay the pipe dream.

As far as the Lexus, it's because that's what I like it.  I already have a raw/track ready car, I want something more refined and with power with a good auto tranny, the IS350 fits the bill better than its competitors in the price segment.  Also, since I work on all of my cars myself I'd rather work on a toyota V6 than all the other stuff out there with turbos and other high maitnenance/high probability of failure powertrains.

fiveoh

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 10:50:08 AM »
I say go for it.  You obviously know what effect it will have on your financial goals and it is worth it to you.  I have a list of things/hobbies that I am interested in that I am willing to spend money on as well(cars being one of them).  Otherwise FI would be really boring(for me at least).  Although I am probably not nearly as hardcore of a mustachian as most on this board. 

Slightly OT but what is your other german car?  BMW of some type i'm guessing..  oh and I love your SN.

MrsPete

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2013, 11:14:09 AM »
I'm with those who say, "If it fits into your overall goals, go ahead." 

You need some splurges in your life; otherwise, you're an automaton going to work every day in hopes of having some fun once you're retired -- and that doesn't sound like much of a life.  BUT be sure you're not saying, "Oh, just this" today to a car . . . and then the same argument in a few months for a vacation . . . and then the same argument in a year for a larger house . . . you get what I'm saying: 

A splurge here and there -- for a person who's financially stable -- is reasonable, but be sure you're not over-doing it.  A budget that allows for plenty of savings and a few luxuries is a great tool to keep yourself on track, and it'll allow you to enjoy your splurges rather than feeling guilty about them. 

Eric

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Re: How to deal with my weakness?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2013, 12:20:52 PM »
Yes I know I will get flamed for this, but I do have another car that I don't drive much (it's not costing me anything either, it's only insured the months I drive it).  I thought about it some more and talked it over with the wife and I think I will do the following: winter is here and there is no point to upgrade right now with the crap weather.  This purchase, if it was to happen will happen next spring, I'd rather push it off as a form of discipline.  The only other way I'd consider buying it now is if the civic dies on me or it gets written off and I need another car.  Until then I will have to delay the pipe dream.

Yeah!  Flex those frugality muscles!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/06/21/frugality-as-a-muscle/