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Please talk me off the ledge...
Old 10-11-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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Please talk me off the ledge...

Hey All,

Long time lurker, first time poster.

Please forgive my ramblings, as this is my first post.

So, you may ask, what drove me from "lurker" to poster today?

Well, I need help. Honestly I'm having a "weak moment" here and I need someone here to talk some sense into me

First, a little background. I'm 39, married, a nice chunk in the savings, zero credit card debt, no auto loans, and we are by our latest figures about 9 months away from paying off our house (fingers crossed).

Right now we are kind of sitting on a small pile of cash saving for the day we can dispatch the mortgage... By all accounts, life is pretty good.

Problem is, there is a very specific, sexy sports car calling my name lately. I seriously, can not sleep at night thinking of the darn thing!

I feel like I am weak and need a trusted member of FIRE to remind me of the "big picture". The worst part, is my wife has actually told me I deserve it, and to GO BUY THE CAR. Even my Boss has told me to GO BUY THE CAR. I seriously have no one to talk me out of this purchase, so I reach out to ya'll

Further complicating the issue, we have recently had 2 arms length acquaintances pass away unexpectedly. This obviously has me thinking no matter how hard you work, or how much you save, "you cant take it with you". (One guy 53, fell over dead of a heart attack last week, lot of good his I.R.A. is going to do him, huh? )

Ok, I am done rambling, I guess my question is, how do you guys make it through rough spots with regard to "temptation"? How do you keep focused on the next goal, and the next one without splurging on that "big vacation" or in my case something as frivolous as a sports car?

Help me fight the urge, and stay on track!!

Gar
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:43 PM   #2
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This is a gut check of what you really care about and how wedded you are to a particular path. If the purchase (or lease) of the car would not derail your plans by a big margin and you really want it, go for it. OTOH, if this would seriously mess up your financial plans, you have to decide what is really important to you.

I was willing to plunk down 15 grand or so to buy a travel trailer that I know with absolute certainty will be junk in 10 or so years, but it did not make much of a dent in my plans. Cars? Meh, so long as the dents on one side more or less match the ones on the opposite side, its all good to me.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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The Now or the Later dilemma...

treat yourself to a few items along the way. Life only happens once. But stash away lots and lots in those retirement accounts. You won't get another chance to save early.

As for the car... We have all been there. This is something for you to decide.

But what's the rush. Why don't you think about it for a month or three before you make a big commitment. there's always something to buy or spend your money on. The car, the big(er) house, the big vacation(s).

Long after the new car smell has faded, you'll still have those car payments or will have lost an opportunity to lower your debt. I suspect that a few months from now whether or not you buy the car, then your life satisfaction level will be exactly as it is now. The car will make no difference in long term life satisfaction.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:45 PM   #4
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I'm similar in age, and also I'll be paying off the house soon. I also fit your descriptor of yourself regarding debt.

How do I avoid temptation? Not to sound sarcastic, I just do. No magic bullet. I simply hunker down and "just do." We're adults and part of being an adult is realizing the value of delayed gratification.

With that said. Wait a year or two on the car. If you still want it then it will be cheaper, and you'll know it was more than a passing fancy.

My tuppence.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:47 PM   #5
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My DD gave me a list of things she likes about me. One was "You know how to save money," followed by "You know when to splurge."

I can tell you know how to save money. Now, GO BUY THE CAR.
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:49 PM   #6
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What is the car? And price? Is there some reason why a second-hand Miata won't do?
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Old 10-11-2010, 04:51 PM   #7
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I'm trying to figure you out. The main purpose of a sexy sports car is presumably off limits to you, since you are married.

Your boss, if he values you as an employee, would naturally encourage you to by the car, since he has no stake in your FIRE, and would actually be hurt by it.

In saving for FIRE I stayed on track because I hated the feeling of having a master. If you do too,

STEP AWAY FROM THE SHOWROOM.

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Old 10-11-2010, 04:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigNick View Post
What is the car? And price?
Does it matter ? The point about wanting something frivolous is the same.

Quote:
The main purpose of a sexy sports car is presumably off limits to you, since you are married.
I don't agree with that. You can be married and enjoy the wind in your hair while skidding around corners.

What worked for me is to have a reliable and moderately inexpensive everyday car and then an older sports car to race around in on the weekends. The effect was the same at a fraction of the cost. Nonetheless, it was still money not well spent from a practical point of view.

Older cars have their own set of issues though.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:03 PM   #9
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Consider waiting until you actually DO pay your house off to reward yourself with the new car. By that time, you'll have had nine months to truly ponder whether or not it's something you can live without.

If you decide to go for it, you can rest easy knowing that it's a modest reward for all the hard work and determination it took to pay the house off. As an added bonus, you can just funnel the money you were paying on the mortgage into the car payment and have it knocked out in just a few years (assuming it's not a Bugatti Veyron ).

Best of luck to you.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:04 PM   #10
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Here's my technique. Don't tell yourself, no, can't have that car. But do impose a moratorium, and spend the time (until you've told yourself you can buy it) investigating what purchase and ownership would be like. Read reviews. Talk to a salesman. Do some test drives. Find where to get the best deal and financing. When the moratorium has expired, if you're still as enthusiastic as ever, buy it. When I've done this, I've found that imagining for a month or so having the thing often cools my enthusiasm for actually having it.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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Here is a good reason not to buy it: Larger cars, trucks and SUVs are generally safer than sports cars.

""So all things being equal, if you're concerned about safety, you want a bigger, heavier car."

Why Small Cars Won't Keep You Safe - Forbes.com

Up to a point, I should add.

"Studies show that extra weight does little or no good after about 4,500 pounds, roughly the weight of a minivan or midsize SUV."

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/...all-cars_N.htm
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by thegarman View Post
Even my Boss has told me to GO BUY THE CAR.
Glad you finally decloaked and talked to us Could it be the boss wants to keep you as a wage slave? What does your DW think about the car?

There is a balance between living now and saving for later. I'd recommend thinking it through for a month and talking to people who really love you and have your best interests at heart. If the answer's still yes then, then buy they car and enjoy! Oh, one thing more. If you do buy it, the forum rules require you to post a picture of it for us to drool over
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:36 PM   #13
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As other's have said, it is for you to make up your mind. In my personal experience some of the cheapest cars Ive owned were sports cars that were bought right. My first car was a 66 corvette convertable that I paid $7,000 for and drove for several years in the early 80's. And I sold it for $8,500. I have had several sports cars over the years and as long as I stayed away from new they were not to expensive for my budget. Ive got 3 Porsche's now, so I may not be the best to give advice.
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:45 PM   #14
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If it's a new car, thinking about how much value it will lose simply because I bought it will sober me up.

Coach
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:46 PM   #15
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A few years ago I decided it was time I owned a corvette convertible. I decided to buy a used low mileage '03 for 33K. It was the best thing I ever did!!! Absolutely a great feeling to just cruise in it. Really the decision is yours but if you want it and think it won't hold you back from the goals too much then go for it!!! I don't think that my purchase delayed my ER one bit. I do feel pretty secure with what I have though and you need to as well. If it will keep you up at night worrying about it then it isn't worth it. Mine has the opposite effect if I have a worry it is time to put the top down and enjoy the ride!!
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Old 10-11-2010, 05:48 PM   #16
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My stab at it. We all know this feeling well, but it can be overcome. I love my 2003 (one day) beater ride, I don't look forward to the day I have to replace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegarman View Post
Long time lurker, first time poster. Welcome aboard.

Right now we are kind of sitting on a small pile of cash saving for the day we can dispatch the mortgage... By all accounts, life is pretty good. My goal is to have big pile of cash, I wouldn't be satisfied with a small pile. I wouldn't think about wasting any of it until the pile was unbearably large.

Problem is, there is a very specific, sexy sports car calling my name lately. I seriously, can not sleep at night thinking of the darn thing! What specifically will buying the sports car do for you? If you answer that honestly, we can probably talk you out of it. If it's wind in your hair, a bicycle will do that. Or you can rent a convertible when the urge strikes, you don't have to own it. If it's a convertible, I'd feel pretty stupid in Winter and parts of Spring, Fall and even Summer.

Further complicating the issue, we have recently had 2 arms length acquaintances pass away unexpectedly. This obviously has me thinking no matter how hard you work, or how much you save, "you cant take it with you". (One guy 53, fell over dead of a heart attack last week, lot of good his I.R.A. is going to do him, huh? ) I never buy this one, sure it happens but most people can expect to live a long life. I wouldn't base my financial planning on the lower odds outcome (a short life). If you base your decisions on the exceptions in your life, you can plan on being disappointed more often than not.

Help me fight the urge, and stay on track!! In the end only you can do that, and you'll need the skill in the future anyway, we won't always be there.

Gar Best of Luck, you'll do what's right for you.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:10 PM   #17
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There are very few (count on one hand) purchases I've made in my lifetime that I still thought were the best ideas in the whole world after a few years of ownership. A car has never been one of those things.
If you truly believe that this car is life changing (and wouldn't possibly be a vehicle to hasten your trip to the hereafter from high speed hijinks) then by all means succumb to your baser needs.
But think really really hard about if the purchase is in alignment with your life goals and if there is another purchase or real need right around the corner that you just can't see right now for the car in front of you.
Okay, I've done my job!

And seriously, if I got a midlife wakeup call like the passing of good friends, I'd want to spend TIME (experiences) not STUFF with those I loved. 'Cause you can't buy time.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:14 PM   #18
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And seriously, if I got a midlife wakeup call like the passing of good friends, I'd want to spend TIME (experiences) not STUFF with those I loved. 'Cause you can't buy time.
+1
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:19 PM   #19
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There are very few (count on one hand) purchases I've made in my lifetime that I still thought were the best ideas in the whole world after a few years of ownership. A car boat has never been one of those things.
If you truly believe that this car boat is life changing (and wouldn't possibly be a vehicle to hasten your trip to the hereafter from high speed hijinks) then by all means succumb to your baser needs.
But think really really hard about if the purchase is in alignment with your life goals and if there is another purchase or real need right around the corner that you just can't see right now for the car boat in front of you.
Okay, I've done my job!

And seriously, if I got a midlife wakeup call like the passing of good friends, I'd want to spend TIME (experiences) not STUFF with those I loved. 'Cause you can't buy time can always buy a boat.
Fixed it for you
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:20 PM   #20
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My first car was a 66 corvette convertable that I paid $7,000 for and drove for several years in the early 80's. And I sold it for $8,500.
And had you kept that car it would now be worth what ? maybe $50k or more. Not every car does that. Most of them just go down and down.
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