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Old 01-19-2015, 11:08 AM   #41
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Her lifestyle is different than mine and not what I choose, but hey - lots of ways to live a life.
I think this is a good way to look at it. Any time I feel myself beginning to get a little to happy with myself for my Scrooge-like ways, I remind myself of the same thing too.

With my self-imposed low income, there is not much room for a lot of discretionary spending, though enough to keep my particular personality type content. I have a great friend who just cannot hold on to money - it slips through his hands like water. However, he never, ever blames others for the scrapes he gets himself into, as he knows it is self-inflicted. He's a lovely human being, and much-loved wherever he goes. My take is that I am more than happy for others to live their lives the way they want, as long as they take full responsibility for themselves. The moment they begin to blame others/society etc, or claim that "it isn't their fault", I tune out.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:10 PM   #42
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As I read our posts, I am drawn to thinking that for a large segment of people, a new car is a (seemingly affordable) symbol of some measure of financial success in life that is readily communicated and understood by most others. So, perhaps the cost of the car includes this bit of ego massage and many people are willing to pay for it (whether they understand what is going on or not).

-BB
+1
If it looks good to the outside world "I" must be doing well. Always seemed to me the more expensive the car was, the more insecure and unhappy the owner was.

Excluding the folks that can afford it and have a genuine passion for cars.

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Old 01-19-2015, 12:23 PM   #43
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+1
If it looks good to the outside world "I" must be doing well. Always seemed to me the more expensive the car was, the more insecure and unhappy the owner was.

Excluding the folks that can afford it and have a genuine passion for cars.

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The key words "can afford it." There's a wide difference among my family in what that means. My SIL recently traded in her almost paid off SUV for a new one that the dealer convinced her she could afford. The monthly payments are lower...forget the detail that she is now on the hook for four additional years.


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Old 01-19-2015, 12:24 PM   #44
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Beyond the natural desire for comfort and variety, I suspect a lot comes down to whether your self-esteem comes from within, or is mainly a reflection of others' admiration. If you were vulnerable to peer pressure as a kid, you probably don't want to be considered self-depriving or frugal as an adult.

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That is the position my free wheeling spender friends are in. The eternal struggle of long term goals versus immediate gratification. They recognize the problem and will try in short spurts, but always succumb back to their prior ways.


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Old 01-19-2015, 12:26 PM   #45
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However, he never, ever blames others for the scrapes he gets himself into, as he knows it is self-inflicted.

That's great, and contrary to the experience I have with the spendy types in my life. For them the pattern is:

bad decision
bad decision
bad decision
bad luck

"Hey - I'm in a world of hurt due to this bad luck I had! Someone help me out of this jamb."
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:36 PM   #46
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Me, too! Now if I could just get rid of parasitic relatives, I'd be all set.
I have a certain relative with a plaque on the wall -'He who dies with the most toys-WINS!'

What it doesn't say is most of the toys are bought on credit and other relatives over the decades have bailed him out from time to time.

heh heh heh - I have met many people with a phobia toward money and a total (IMHO) refusal to learn the rules of the road as to credit.
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:50 PM   #47
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I wonder if there are big truck forums where members make fun of their retired neighbor who drives a 1999 Camry and actually paid a mechanic to replace the fuel pump?
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:36 PM   #48
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I wonder if there are big truck forums where members make fun of their retired neighbor who drives a 1999 Camry and actually paid a mechanic to replace the fuel pump?
Absolutely. They even have kits to make diesels deliberately spew out soot onto less than macho vehicles like Prius and others.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:54 PM   #49
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I remember when we had our house built. The saleswoman said they had run our credit scores, looked at our income and "You can afford more house." Trying to get us to go for a more expensive model - as if the one we'd selected wasn't big enough already.

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Old 01-19-2015, 02:04 PM   #50
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I wonder if there are big truck forums where members make fun of their retired neighbor who drives a 1999 Camry and actually paid a mechanic to replace the fuel pump?
Actually I have a big truck and am on those forums, thank you very much. I sue it to pull a 30' travel trailer. All paid for.

Mine does not spew smoke but have done a few mods to it.

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Old 01-19-2015, 02:05 PM   #51
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Another story: Years ago DW was friends with a woman from another country. English not being this friend's native language, she was often unintentionally less-than-subtle.
One time DW mentioned our upcoming vacation plans, to which this friend exclaimed "I can't imagine how you can afford to go on vacation when your cars are so old." Actually, at that time our 2 cars were maybe 4 or 5 years old. But this spoke volumes that she thought that they were "so old" and of course she was judging our lifestyle by the cars we drove.
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:06 PM   #52
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I remember when we had our house built. The saleswoman said they had run our credit scores, looked at our income and "You can afford more house." Trying to get us to go for a more expensive model - as if the one we'd selected wasn't big enough already.

Amethyst
We had a similar experience. When my new wife and I were shopping for houses at age 25 our realtor was dumbfounded that we were pre-qualified for $800k but only wanted to look at houses that were half of that.
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:18 PM   #53
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I'm very much of the delayed gratification camp and watching the actions of a time payment sibling used to make me crazy. Then I started repeating the mantra; "lots of ways to live a life".

...
She continues to work, but also has a pension that she can count on. I don't think of myself as working, but have no pension (or IRA or Roth). I can count on only me to fund my future and aged self.

Her lifestyle is different than mine and not what I choose, but hey - lots of ways to live a life.
There is a lot to be said for this. I sometimes wonder what I missed out on by taking some "less risky" paths in life. I can compare this to folks who repeatedly risked it all on business ventures. We remember the ones who either made it big or failed spectacularly. So many in the middle we never notice.

Other people wander the country (or globe). They never worry about security or health insurance. They are willing to let the chips fall where they may and have no qualms if other people (taxpayers for instance) wind up having to foot the bill for their end days. Its another way of looking at it I guess. The last use to bother me more than it does now. Now I only get a bit steamed at those who wind up in the last category and then complain that they want more. I can accept if they made their choices and got what was the social "contract" at the time but not when they want to rewrite the rules at society's expense -- or at the expense of my retirement!
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:19 PM   #54
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We had a similar experience. When my new wife and I were shopping for houses at age 25 our realtor was dumbfounded that we were pre-qualified for $800k but only wanted to look at houses that were half of that.
I've never owned a house I couldn't pay cash for since 1989. That really blows their minds. The upselling goes into high gear then.
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:33 PM   #55
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Not really similar :-). We were 2 middle-aged govvies, one planning to retire in a few years, and mortgage rates were 10.5%. We felt we were taking all the financial risk we dared!

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We had a similar experience. When my new wife and I were shopping for houses at age 25 our realtor was dumbfounded that we were pre-qualified for $800k but only wanted to look at houses that were half of that.
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:41 PM   #56
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Me, too! Now if I could just get rid of parasitic relatives, I'd be all set.
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Old 01-19-2015, 02:44 PM   #57
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The good thing about buying a car with a loan is that you can usually get a better price from the salesperson, who figures to make up some profit from initiating the loan for the bank. I used to negotiate the price, making sure to say several times that I needed a good price to keep the monthly payments low. Then, as soon as the bank sent me their coupon book and intro letter, I sent back the first coupon paying off the loan in its entirety. Of course this only works if you pay off the loan!

-BB
Seems like a win-win for both you and the salesperson. You get a better price (even though you could pay cash), while the salesperson gets a kicker for the financing piece (which more than makes up for the better price). As long as there is no early-payment penalty for the loan, I don't see any downside (except for the credit issue of having to take out a loan). Even if there is an early-payment penalty, there is probably nothing that prevents you from paying off everything except for a nominal remainder (e.g., $100).
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:06 PM   #58
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I remember when we had our house built. The saleswoman said they had run our credit scores, looked at our income and "You can afford more house." Trying to get us to go for a more expensive model - as if the one we'd selected wasn't big enough already.

Amethyst
+1

This happened to us all three times we purchased a house. I can understand bringing it up one time, but if they pester you... well, we dropped a realtor for doing that. When he came with the "I'm only trying to look our for your best interests", I replied "no, you have proven to us that you are a bad listener, and people who do you have our best interests at heart also listen to us".
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:07 PM   #59
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I took my 2009 Dodge Ram in to a dealership to get a recall item fixed. The next week I got the below email from the dealership. Also I paid cash for the truck and I plan on keeping it for many more years:


We see that you recently visited our service department on 1/9/2015. The purpose of this email is to let you know that based on the current equity position in your present vehicle, we believe you can trade your 2009 DODGE RAM 1500 for a newer model vehicle with no money down and keep your current payment of $691.00. Your new payment may be even lower than it is now! To participate in this unique program, please reply to this email to schedule a VIP Appointment with your Vehicle Exchange Coordinator
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:08 PM   #60
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There are 3 aspects to financial decision making at a high level

1 is cash flow
2 is balance sheet
3 is how those two things change over time and how each item on the balance sheet is linked to each item on the cash flow

Most people only make decisions based on cash flow (can I afford the payment). I have an ex wife like this, and Al has a neighbor like that too.

Some people do think about their balance sheet, but until they learn to grow their assets they haven't mastered #3, and I would venture to say a lot of what people here teach me are details about all 3, especially #3.
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