Categories: values, spending
“Car designers are just going to have to come up with an automobile that outlasts the payments.” Erma Bombeck
The great humorist, Erma Bombeck said this in jest many years ago, but…… there is a lot of truth in her humor. On the contrary, read about someone who isn’t at all concerned about how long his car lasts!
MAIN TOPIC; A Story that Knocked me Over
I took the car in for maintenance and was relaxing in the waiting room, minding my own business. Before I realized it, I was chatting with one of the auto shop workers. I mentioned that I read an article by Joe Plemon at Personal Finance by the Book recently which discussed how 200K miles was the new 100K mileage for a car. I expected a car shop worker to agree with that comment and back up my enthusiasm for the concept of keeping a car for 200K miles.
The worker at the auto shop mentioned that it didn’t really matter to him, because he traded his car in every 2 years or so because he likes to drive new cars. And when buying a car, he got a good deal because he worked at the dealership.
I couldn’t keep my mouth shut! I began lecturing him about how he would be saving lots more money if he held his cars longer.
He had the PERFECT response to me: “I like driving a new car. I don’t go on vacations, buy expensive electronics, or live extravagantly. As a matter of fact, my condo is totally paid off.”
That totally SHUT ME UP.
This man was living his values.
He wasn’t trading in his car every 2 years because he was financially ignorant, but because he valued driving a new car and was willing to sacrifice other things in his life to drive a new car!
Who am I to argue with that?
I don’t know whether he went through a goals or values analysis and deliberately thought through his whole spending process. But, he is a wonderful example of living in accord with your own principles.
In sum, he works at an auto shop (in a dealership), so he can get a good price on his cars and maintenance. He paid off his home. And he professes not to take fancy vacations or spend lavishly! Who am I to disagree with someone else’s values?
PRACTICAL APPLIATION; What does it Mean to Live in Accord with your Values?
Living well is not always obvious from the outside. Don’t make the mistake that I did and judge someone by where they work, what they do, what they own, or any outside criteria.
Think about this: What do you really want in life? What is important to you? And what are you willing to trade for living in line with your own values?
Think about which of the following is really important to you?
- Lovely vacations
- Beautiful clothing
- Spare time to fish
- An expensive TV/Cable package
- An iphone and/or an ipad
- Expensive electronics
- Eating at fancy restaurants
- Buying original art
- Camping and hiking
- Going to sporting events
- Hanging out with family and friends
- Add your own interests___________
There’s no right or wrong answer. Spend your valuable time and money on what counts for you! And don’t assume you know what anyone else considers important!
Get a notebook and label it: “(your name) Personal Finance” and keep it by the computer. Use it to keep all of your personal finance goals, thoughts, activities, and plans.
- Play the Prosperity Game to find out what you REALLY want. It goes like this, day one you get one hundred virtual dollars. You must spend it all (no giving it away). On day two, double the amount and spend it all. Continue for 30 days.
- Jot down what you learned about your “wants” from this exercise. You may be surprised.
- If buying a new car is a top priority now, at least learn how to buy a car the smart way!
Photo courtesy of Cars-photos.com
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Yakezie Short Carnival: Candian ETF’s @ Canadian Finance Blog; Slash your Monthly Car Payments in 10 Minutes @ Car Negotiation Coach-Find the Best Car Price; 3 Tips for a Couples Budget @ Financially Poor