Frugality 101: How I Stopped Caring About Cars

I was always into cars, I was the kid who would line the entire house in Matchbox tracks (a relic of the past for sure) and imagine that the drivers of these awesome machines were doing these death defying stunts on T.V. for the admiration and amusement of millions. I also used to get my parents to buy me Matchbox cars just so I could look at them. As I got older this Matchbox obsession became a love for the real life automobiles. As a teenager, I would spend countless hours just looking up nice cars that I saw during the day. Checking the price, learning how to tell the years apart between models and even going so far as to calculate car payments for those cars, should I ever have the money to purchase them.

I’m being serious, at one point I could tell you the difference between a 2010 Porsche 911 and a 2011 Porsche 911. I had an opinion on the grill changes that Lexus made to pretty much all of their sedans and SUV’s in order to give them a meaner look. I even, at one point was able to recite the iterations of Lamborghini super cars from the Countach all the way to the Aventador. I also would watch car auctions constantly imagining myself being the lucky collector to walk away with the first iteration of the LaFerrari.

However as I got older and things like bills started to be a reality, and I realized that I was never going to afford those cars. And after even more time, I realized that I didn’t want to anyways. The more and more I worked, the more I realized one key aspect of work that has turned me into a frugal person, work, sucks, like a lot. It makes sense that employment really isn’t for me, I mean I am really stubborn and don’t like being told what to do. However I slowly looked at the price tags of those cars I so coveted so much and realized if I wanted to live that rich guy lifestyle, I was going to have to work like one.

Take Wall Street bankers for example, they probably wear suits more expensive than my car, furniture and counter tops combined. They make an insane amount of money, but they also work an insane amount of hours. I believe that for some people this works out perfectly but as for me I couldn’t pull 100 weeks. When I was working in public accounting during tax season the closest I ever got was 72 hours in a work week and that was enough to turn me off of working really hard in order buy expensive things, that depreciate in value.

In addition to this I also asked myself the question “Who even cares if I have a nice car”? Sure if I saw, say, a Nissan Skyline like the one your would see in a early 2000’s racing movie, yeah I would go an tell whoever owned it that they have a really cool car. But if I saw a $200,000 G-Wagon? To be honest I would probably just think, “Wow, can they even afford that thing?” and literally never think about it again. I think as time goes on we start to realize what is really important, friends, family and time. The last of which is not something I would like to trade for something that depreciates in value. Also not to mention the car that I drive now does just fine, and an Audi A7 and a Honda Accord both get you from point A to point B.

In conclusion I have realized that while having nice stuff is nice. However, it’s not worth the hours you have to put into getting it. Lifestyles tend to inflate as your income inflates. You’re much better served buying a serviceable car that won’t require much maintenance and will get you from point A to point B. Perhaps I were to splurge on an item it would be something like a house or something that doesn’t lose 20% of it’s value after closing.

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