Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Do I Need a Fancy Car?

A car is a man's status symbol. Its a way of showing how he is doing in life. Nice car means that person has a lot of money. Crappy car means the guy is broke. Well at first that how I saw it. I always thought whenever i met a new friend with a fancy car Ill be thinking in my head "wow! This guy must have lots of money!". I was always impressed. Or "this guy must have a good career". But now I understand how it all works now. Some guys are flashy, they like to have all the finer things in life, nice clothes, nice cars, nice shoes, nice toys etc. But it comes with a price.

Take my friend/co-worker for instance. He used to drive a nice Camaro, boy that car was a beast. But he wasn't happy, he had to trade it in for a fancier, newer model with more horsepower. He asked my advice one time, he said he wanted to return it back to the dealership coz his contract got screwed up by adding things that he didn't fully understand and he signed the contract. I told him to go back to the dealership and renegotiate the contract and explain to the dealership that there was a misunderstanding. Then i asked him how much was his monthly payment out of curiosity, he told me $800+. I was like "whoa! You have to go back there and really renegotiate your contract". He seek advice from other co-worker as well, they said that once the contract was signed, there was nothing he can do but to pay for it. Seems like he listened to our co-workers advice. This friend is a good guy, just made a bad financial decision. His monthly car expense in my guesstimate with insurance is around $1,000.

One of my closest friend right now drives a Lexus hybrid. Really good guy, he is humble and practical. Bought the car brand new, he used to drive a 6-7 year old BMW but with the gas price and the headache of maintaining a german car he realized it will be best to switch to a worry free brand new gas saving car. We talked about expenses sure, gave him some advice on money and life, and at the same time I seek his advice as well. He is far younger than me so it is just obvious that Im the one giving more advice. Anyway, he is thinking of switching to a used civic now due to all of our talks of saving money. i don't know how much he pays but my guesstimate is 500+ insurance his monthly is around $700.

Then we have two friends, they both own a used car almost 10 year old, one is civic and the other one is an old suv (I cant remember what kind of SUV exactly). But Im guessing their monthly payment is $0 + insurance of $50 (cost of liability without full coverage). Thats a lot of money being saved! We all work on healthcare and makes approximately same amount of money.

Then there's me, I don't own a car right now, I used to have a car but I was involved with an accident last year so I have no car at the moment. My mother has two cars, I borrowed my mom's old car for 5 months paying zero dollars. I offered to buy the car from her but she refused. I offered to pay for the car insurance but she refused. I felt bad borrowing her car so I returned it back to her. Then my brother borrowed $5,000 from me. He used the money to buy a used car, a two year old diesel car. He had a good deal overall on the car. He said he is selling his 2001 civic, and the proceeds will be used to pay me back. So I said let me use his car for now and I'll pay $35 per month on insurance plus gas. I am on the market looking for a used car on craigslist. My problem right now is fighting this itch. I feel the need of a luxury vehicle, I miss the feeling of having that pride of ownership of having a fancy car. Just imagining myself getting inside that car, appreciating the fine dashboard elegance, and the power of that fine engine. I want a fancy car but if I buy a Camaro just like my friend I know I'll be hitting my head with a big rock while driving it! Should I buy a less fancy hybrid car? Maybe.. its practical with gas but I don't want that much monthly payment. Should I buy a used car, maybe a luxury german used car? I thought of that too. My budget during my car hunting was $6,000, now it went up to $15,000 for a used car. I withdraw some money on my stocks account to purchase a fancy car and I am not adding any more money to my account but I am having a hard time buying it. Coz i know the feeling of having a fancy car will only last for few months and after that its just 'a car'. Thats right, a car, a mean of transportation to bring me from point A to point B. I need to constantly remind myself what is more important to me, is it a fancy car or my financial freedom? I clearly know the answer and yet here I am struggling not to spend that money that was supposed to go towards my investment. Why is it so hard to do the right thing. The answer is right in front of my face, NOT TO SPEND the money and save it. Should I just get the current car that I am using right now? Or should I buy a fancier used car? Clearly I haven't master the art frugality yet. I wish I don't care about material things. I wish I don't care what others think about me. I will do my best to flex my  frugality muscle and stop caring about what others think about me.
I miss my old car

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