jackholloway wrote:My rule has become pretty simple - how much joy would I get out of each expense? Money saved can always be turned into a fun experience, money spent has been turned in, so be cautious in direct proportion to the expense size and frequency.
Balance that against just under an hour a work day, or 2000 hours in the car over its likely ten year life. Put another way, I am paying between ten and twenty dollars an hour for commute time.
This math is what made me reject all of the Tesla grade cars - there were just too many experiences I wanted more. It did not make me reject new cars altogether. Do your own math.
I used to apply the same analysis to my life, but I am fortunate enough to be wealthy enough that this sort of analysis no longer makes sense. I could retire comfortably today if I wanted to (I don't because I like my job). So it's not the car or extra hours of work - I'll continue working anyway. It's not the car or the vacation - I can do both. (Within reason of course - I could certainly accomplish the feat of running out of money if I tried hard enough.)
Following this analysis, I start to think that I might as well spend $100k on a car because the money isn't doing me any good just sitting there and piling up. But then I ask myself "really how much better is the $100k car, surely I shouldn't spend money so frivolously"... hence this thread.
Same here, can buy anything I want (there are many things I can't afford but I don't really want any of them) so there's no particular trade off between other consumption, present or future, and a more expensive car. I can get a Lambo if I want to, it's just not practical, neither would a Tesla be, and at a certain point you do get sucked into the 'pretentious' thing, even if it's just at nth-order level (do they think I think they think I think I'm better than them because I drive this car?...). I accept as objective fact that my relatively modest, for me, new BMW 328 isn't twice as good as the best $24k car. But if I don't spend the other $24k on the car, and don't feel I have to deprive myself to give more to charity (to me, 10 or 15% of spending to charity is enough and that's that), and don't feel the kids need a marginal increase in their inheritance, there's not much alternative utility to the extra $24k. If something else comes up that costs $24k and we want it, we'll get that too. So the BMW doesn't have to be much better, just a little better, which it is in our opinion.
I don't condemn the more conventional BH attitude about stuff like this. I had it, and it's a good attitude while you're making your money. But if fortunate (or however else you want to characterize it) enough, that attitude eventually reaches a limit IME. You really can't take it with you, and scrimping to free up every marginal $ for charity/heirs is seldom people's real attitude IMO. That's more likely an excuse for people who just can't break out of a frugality that doesn't suit their situation anymore. But if one needs to watch their spending, the marginal benefit/$ of a luxury car might well be inadequate to justify its purchase.