Author Topic: Talk me out of a second car purchase?  (Read 2536 times)

Brick

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Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« on: March 13, 2017, 06:22:55 PM »
Hi all,

I think I need your help. I'm torn on buying a cheap-ish mazda miata as a toy car for the weekends. As I type this I feel silly, but for whatever reason this thing really has a hold of me. I drive a 2010 prius that I bought used and told myself (before I found mustachianism) that I'd save the gas money and pick up something fun and cheap when the time was right. Now, of course, I know better... hence being torn.

So, what would you do in my predicament? Without putting too many financial details out here on the web, I will say I have a mortgage, but my vanguard account eclipses that balance by at least 10k. I have another 34k in lendingclub that I'm slowly draining to use as a down payment on a rental property, and another solid amount spread across a couple of 401(k)s. I have no other debt and my savings account has 6 or 7mos of living expenses in it that I will not touch. The money I'm planning to use comes out of my tax return and my bonus this year. Given all that justification, I feel like I can spend $6k (including taxes and registration) on a car. I was a car guy before and I enjoyed tinkering and driving on the weekends, and I'd like to return to that a bit. At the same time, I hate the thought of buying a liability instead of an asset, but then I get depressed by that thought.

Am I reverting slowly back to my old sucka consumer ways? Is this a slippery slope to leasing a Chevy Tahoe and maxing out my credit cards? Or am I merely human and should cut myself some slack? I need an outside perspective with financial savvy, and all of you qualify, so... fire away!



RWD

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 06:31:52 PM »
Miata Is Always The Answer.

I think you should by one. At $6k it's not likely to depreciate much further and isn't going to impact your current financial situation. May even appreciate in value as Miatas become classic cars.

Dave1442397

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 06:35:52 PM »
Miata Is Always The Answer.

I think you should by one. At $6k it's not likely to depreciate much further and isn't going to impact your current financial situation. May even appreciate in value as Miatas become classic cars.

That's exactly what I was thinking. $6k is a sweet spot for Miatas - you can still get a great car, and you can probably drive it for years and sell it for much the same.

My neighbor had a 1990 that sat in his driveway almost untouched for fifteen years, and he sold it for $5k. It needed a new top and the (white) paint had faded and crazed in places.

I had an S2000 for seven years, but always thought I should have bought the supercharged 10AE Mazda that I test drove in 2004 :)

Brick

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 06:44:52 PM »
Miata Is Always The Answer.

Ahhh! You guys are everywhere! hahaha

I like your point about depreciation. If I realize later down the road that I've made a horrible mistake I can sell it off and I really only lose insurance, fuel, and repair/upgrade costs.

Brick

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 06:52:03 PM »
I had an S2000 for seven years, but always thought I should have bought the supercharged 10AE Mazda that I test drove in 2004 :)

Oh, man... I've driven an S2000 and they're magical. Have yet to try out the Miata. Nice to know someone who has experienced both would consider a miata! Now I'm even more interested! I feel like I accidentally posted on miata.net! 

khangaroo

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2017, 07:15:17 PM »
I like to go with Dave Ramsey's rule of thumb that you shouldn't have more than 50% of your income in items that have motors in them.

With what you've said, I think you're well covered.

My perspective: I have an '05 S2K, like you did, and it does absolutely nothing but sits in the garage except for when summer rolls around. I always contemplate selling it because I overpaid for it ($22k in 2013 @ 47k miles now @ 51k) and its a garage queen. But when I get to drive it, like I did yesterday, WHOOO WHEEE I am not selling that baby.

Also, I really like the S2K group in my area and we go on awesome group rides during the summer time.

Life's' too short to drive boring cars. Buy the Miata!!

Felicity

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2017, 07:44:52 PM »
With the danger of being anti-mustachian...it might make sense.

I love the book Happy Money, as it goes over general principles of how to get the most happiness out of spending. Cars do not generally add happiness -- unless they're made to be special. That is, if you drive a Tesla every day to work, it loses its charm. You're happier for a while, but then it just becomes normal again, and long-term your happiness stays the same as before. If you only drive that Tesla on the weekends, it becomes an experience and something to look forward to.

And of course, you're talking $6k as opposed to $60k.

You might want to think of the different ways you could spend $6k, or calculate the opportunity cost on $6k -- make sure it's not an impulse decision (which, coincidentally, also increases happiness -- more time to plan and anticipate).

JLee

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2017, 08:14:47 PM »
I haven't had just one car since 2005.

I'm the wrong person to ask. :P  Most everyone has "unnecessary" expenses - for some people it's dogs, for some it's kids, for some it's travel...for me it's cars.

MarioMario

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 12:47:28 AM »
I will try.  The stoic in me thinks you might have some fun for a few months and then you will get use to the fun car in the weekends.  Within a year you will start to feel guilty you don't drive it enough.  Soon you will regret it.  Then you will get some happiness from selling it.

Fun cars are like boats for people who don't live in a lake; great when you buy them and great when you sell them.

Dave1442397

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 05:26:42 AM »
I had an S2000 for seven years, but always thought I should have bought the supercharged 10AE Mazda that I test drove in 2004 :)

Oh, man... I've driven an S2000 and they're magical. Have yet to try out the Miata. Nice to know someone who has experienced both would consider a miata! Now I'm even more interested! I feel like I accidentally posted on miata.net!

The S2000 was a blast. It was my daily driver for five years, and one of my favorite memories is of driving it down I-95 in a snowstorm with the top down. People were looking at me like I was crazy :)  I had a set of OEM wheels with snow tires, and had no trouble in bad weather.

At the time, the Miata I drove was only half the price of the S2000. I probably would have had just as much fun with it. The supercharger really gave it some grunt.

dleavitt

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 07:14:35 AM »
$6k would get you a nice NB Miata.  You could spend even less and get an NA.  94-97 have a little less power than the NB 1.8s, but the car is lighter so performance is similar.  They are super easy to work on too.

Personally I have a 95 that is a dual-(triple?)duty weekend cruiser/auto-x/track car.  Not very mustachian, but very, very fun.

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2017, 09:08:11 AM »
Huh. A lot of Jalops on here. :)

Miata is always the answer. Unless of course the correct answer is a brown station wagon with a stick.

shawndoggy

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2017, 10:54:59 AM »
Fun cars are like boats for people who don't live in a lake; great when you buy them and great when you sell them.

haha as a boat owner I'm going to take umbrage with this.  It's gonna be a sad sad sad day when I sell the boat.  It's going to mean that chapter in life is over and that the kids have moved on and away. 

On the Miata... my only thought is that for a few bucks more it seems like there are some nice late 2000s one owner cars with under 80k.  For example: https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/6017625647.html

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2017, 11:35:20 AM »
Definitely get a Miata, around here you can get a fairly clean one with some work already done (suspension bits, exhaust, aftermarket clutch) for $3-4k

MarioMario

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2017, 12:04:32 PM »
Fun cars are like boats for people who don't live in a lake; great when you buy them and great when you sell them.

haha as a boat owner I'm going to take umbrage with this.  It's gonna be a sad sad sad day when I sell the boat.  It's going to mean that chapter in life is over and that the kids have moved on and away. 

On the Miata... my only thought is that for a few bucks more it seems like there are some nice late 2000s one owner cars with under 80k.  For example: https://orangecounty.craigslist.org/cto/6017625647.html
Not all boat owners or recreational car owners feel this way but as someone who used to be involved with a lot of boating people I know that when many got out of the life they felt great about it.  Some in the moment had to justify their purchase.

Since op obviously has reservations I thought I would point out these reservations could easily turn to guilt and regret.

To each his own!

TheAnonOne

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2017, 12:52:37 PM »
Meh, I've probably wasted 10 times this amount on cars and I am only 27.

Still looking at FIRE around 30 to 32. Is the rest of your financial situation set?

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shawndoggy

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 12:53:56 PM »
Not all boat owners or recreational car owners feel this way but as someone who used to be involved with a lot of boating people I know that when many got out of the life they felt great about it.  Some in the moment had to justify their purchase.

Since op obviously has reservations I thought I would point out these reservations could easily turn to guilt and regret.

To each his own!

Nope I totally get what you are saying.  It really gets to the point that Felicity was making.  For us, the boat has been a family event for many summers and many family memories have been made there (boating vacations, boat camping, etc etc).  It's not only a "thing for me" like a car (though it is a little bit a thing for me too).  We've had a whole bunch of experiences with the boat that I wouldn't have had with a fun car.

On the other hand I've also owned a "fun car" (third car) in the past and that was all about me.  My family wasn't into it at all, my friends didn't really care, never did much in the way of car related events, and eventually sold it to get a more practical vehicle (for towing the boat).


TreesBikesLove

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2017, 01:25:13 PM »
Hi Brick,

You will enjoy the Miata but if you're like me you can quench your thirst for mechanical stimulation through bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, hunting, kayaking, or any other activity that involves a mechanical component. Coming upon this realization a few years ago helped me to downsize my car-related desires but still satisfy the same part of my brain that craved seeing a well-maintained mechanical system perform to its limits. For example, I get the same satisfaction from a snickety-snick gear change in a Miata as a crisp upshift on my XT mountainbike gears.

*click-click* or *thunk* all feels good.

shawndoggy

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2017, 12:32:24 PM »
Well said shaybro. Never thought of it like that. Of course the OP's initial investment on the Miata isn't far off from a nice new XT equipped bike either...


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startbyservingothers

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Re: Talk me out of a second car purchase?
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2017, 02:26:05 PM »
How much do you like the Prius?  How much do you want a toy? 

If you really want something as a toy then go for it.  Just be sure you aren't purchasing an "extra" car from being unsatisfied with the Prius. 

Keep in mind that upgrading your current car will likely save you a minimum of a couple hundred per year in insurance.* VS.  buying a 3rd car .

*  For long commutes  and/or inefficient cars, having 2 cars might be more practical than driving a toy both on weekdays and weekends.

- To me, finding a crafty/economical way to turn a boring commute into something you enjoy encompasses the essence of Mustache-ism.**

** Sounds good to me anyways.  (I'm assuming Op has already weighed ways to discontinue / shorten commute, so the next best option is to enjoy it!)


Additional note:  I would vote for a motorcycle due to being cheap on insurance, but have to vote against it due to the risk factor.