do bogleheads have no aspirations for "flashy wealth&qu

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
jmbkb4
Posts: 280
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:47 pm

Post by jmbkb4 »

rrosenkoetter wrote:
Peace of mind because you have $300k in savings is SO much nicer than that new-car smell (which disappears in 6 months anyway)
Actually, I have a BMW that is 5 years old. I don't know how or why, but it hasn't lost the new car smell one iota. Everyone who gets into it says the same thing.

Just a point.
jmbkb4
Posts: 280
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:47 pm

Post by jmbkb4 »

OP:

You could buy a used Infiniti, Lexus, BMW -- whatever -- for half of a new car.

There is no sense in buying a new car at your age.

But I think there's also nothing wrong with enjoying the finer things in life.

Many BHs are so consumed/obsessed with money that they lose perspective in tremendous ways.

Read enough threads on here and that fact will become abundantly clear...
likegarden
Posts: 3042
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Post by likegarden »

In 2004 I bought a Buick Century because I liked the car, and my 1993 Century needed to be replaced. Now after 55,000 miles the car is still in great shappe, and I still love that car. Plus most important, its trunk is big enough for ten 2 cft bags of mulch with the lid closed. That vehicle also is needed therefore in my garden hobby which gives me a lot of enjoyment as a retiree.
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 15999
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Post by HomerJ »

jmbkb4 wrote:Many BHs are so consumed/obsessed with the value of money
Fixed that for you.

And, of course, moderation is key. I don't think many of us Bogleheads are miserable misers. I don't think we're all waiting until 65 and retirement to enjoy life...
User avatar
tetractys
Posts: 4836
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:30 pm
Location: Along the Salish Sea

Post by tetractys »

I've been on a CD binge. I bought 2 CDs a week ago, three CDs three days ago, and then three more yeasterday. I've been listening to them as they arrive, and even loaded one into my iphone.

Living high on the hog, Tet
RESISTANCE IS FRUITFUL
staythecourse
Posts: 6993
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:40 am

Post by staythecourse »

Johnathan Clement wrote in one of his books that people should spend money on experiences and not material objects. I would presume the reasoning being no matter how nice something is when you are salivating over it, it becomes "old" in your eyes after time when owning it.

A teacher once taught me a great saying which has ALWAYS held up in life: "Familiarty breeds contempt". The basically, mean man will always take for granted for what he has over time because he gets used to it. It ALWAYS happens that way.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle
realitytruthprozac
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:38 pm

Post by realitytruthprozac »

I say he caves.
Topic Author
baconbff
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:00 am

Post by baconbff »

wow, so many great responses. Thank you for all your input and I'm glad to know that some of you have also struggled with this in the past. I've always tried to place a far greater emphasis on experiences/skills acquired in life rather than material possessions, but cars are definitely my Achilles heel. I can resist buying electronics, clothes, eating out, going on trips, always needing the very best, but i, without fail, gape and stare whenever i saw a r8 or 911 cruise by. Hell, I even ignore whatever I'm doing when a bmw m3 drives by. Top gear (the british version) is one of my favorite shows to watch. Its pathetic: i chuckle when I see women walking by with gucci bags wearing aviators or whatever, guys with rolex watches and ferragamo ties, but then i drool whenever a six-figure car drives by. Its not so much the luxury component of expensive cars that I like, its the driving capabilities- I would want a 911 anyday over a phantom. I test drove a boxster just for fun and that was definitely a fun car to drive. I imagine a 911 is 10x better. One day, one day....

I've done some searching on craigslist and found a 2009 nissan 370z selling for ~24000. Also found a 2008 subaru wrx sti for around the same price. Going to check them out tomorrow. Not saying I'm going to commit to anything, but damn....they're nice cars. Not as well-regarded as a g37 but they're more economical and fast enough for my tastes. Figure i can add half my CD to my investments and use the rest for a car that I plan on driving not just into the ground, but until i hit oil. Thanks for your responses.
Topic Author
baconbff
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:00 am

Post by baconbff »

okay, time to be serious. I still plan to follow my IPS when my CD matures in a few days. A little bit glad the funds came off their year long highs due to the oil price drop, but I would've bought regardless of what happened- i don't know much about investing but I know the perils of market timing at least.

My original post was more of a rant than anything I would actually do, at least in my current financial situation. While I do have the proceeds to buy a g37, it right now is not very smart economically. My mazda3 is a great car, surprisingly fun to drive, large enough to store my surfboard inside (something a coupe can't do), more fuel efficient than sports cars, the maintenance work is simple enough that I can learn how to do it, the insurance is cheap, and whereas i might punch something if i scratch a new g37, I might only curse if i scratch my mazda3. I've made a small agreement with myself- after i finish school and figure out where i go for residency, I might decide to "upgrade" my car to a nissan z, subaru wrx sti, mitsubishi evo x, or a car along that price range, purchased second hand of course as a reward to have made it through. My mazda3 at that time will be 7 years old and have ~150k miles.

I definitely have noticed, though, that more and more of my classmates from highschool are purchasing higher-tier cars, even if they have to take out loans. I don't know, maybe its a generational thing? I grew up the kid of 2 baby boomers, and I'm guessing my generation is probably the laziest, most spoiled generation. We haven't really had any political/economic hardships that defined our generation. I don't count the war on terror or the stock market crashes of the 2000s because we were still in school and the impact on the majority of us was minimal compared to my parents' generation with the vietnam war (when they were drafted), racial segregation, or the cold war (with the constant threat of a nuclear attack), etc....

Enough with the rationalization- i am grateful for all the support and personal anecdotes that the bogleheads have provided. Your collective wisdom and past experiences are always more than welcome. Stay the course!
tim1999
Posts: 3816
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:16 am

Post by tim1999 »

baconbff wrote:I definitely have noticed, though, that more and more of my classmates from highschool are purchasing higher-tier cars, even if they have to take out loans. I don't know, maybe its a generational thing?
Keep in mind that just because someone in their early 20s has something, doesn't mean they can really afford it. There is an attractive 25 year old single woman in my department who makes about $45k/yr. and leases a $35,000-$40,000 BMW 3-series. Maybe daddy pays for 100% of it, or maybe she has to go home to a crappy apartment, eat Ramen, and get guys to buy her drinks at bars because so much of her income goes to the car.

When my dad was in his early 20s (1960s), he drove a beat up car, but spent his money on booze and women. Not really a generational thing, just his priority at the time I suppose.

I guess my point is that you don't know a person's situation, so you can only look at your own and make your own choices for yourself.
biasion
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:23 pm

Re: do bogleheads have no aspirations for "flashy wealt

Post by biasion »

baconbff wrote:was kind of curious if anyone on this board has had the urge to make a fairly significant purchase primarily based on the prestige accorded, rather than the utility you could derive from the object. The most common example that comes to mind is buying a luxury car.

The boglehead doctrine shuns such practices, but I'm curious if anyone has ever been tempted to buy a sports or luxury car, and if you caved in and did it or if you were able to fend off your desires.

My friend is in the market to buy an infiniti g37- a luxury entry-level sports coupe, ~40 grand.
I always wanted a fancy car. I drive very hard, probably the biggest draw is something like porcelain brakes so that I wouldn't warp the brakes within 500 miles of a new brakes, something I do with alarming consistency.

I was tempted to buy an M-3, a Porsche Cayman or 911 Turbo and other cars recently along the way. But I have small children. I could afford all these cars, but the issue lies here:

My wife doesn't care, she would let the kids trash them because "oh, they're little, look how cute they are running around the garage waving a wrench in their hands (hitting/scratching everything in sight)". Or the kids would just trash them period.

Plus, I am a car buff, I like to really drive a car. I like the visceral experience of a vehicle. I find luxury vehicles just add weight and bloat. They have extra safety features which takes away from the driving experience.

I commend you for the Mazda 3. One of my favorite vehicles remains the Mazdaspeed 3. I might just buy one and mod the hell out of it and blow the motor after 15,000 miles. But that's a lot cheaper than beating the crap out of Porsche!

Hence I go for cheap. I know myself too well as well, I just drive cars too hard to want to own an expensive one because I know I would beat the living daylights out of it into a twisted pulp. I could never bring myself to shift even 50RPM before redline or not 4 wheel drift a curve. It would be a mortal sin to destroy a 40k, even 80k car. Cheap is good.

Have you ever driven a Honda Fit? I'd get 5, because I'd know that 4 would be in the shop at any time with something falling off with me behind the wheel. But those Fits are more fun to drive than almost anything on the market.
1. Do not confuse strategy with outcome | 2. Those who fail to plan plan to fail | 3. Do not assume the unlikely is impossible, and | 4. Be ready to deal with the consequences if you do.
User avatar
HomerJ
Posts: 15999
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Post by HomerJ »

baconbff wrote:whereas i might punch something if i scratch a new g37, I might only curse if i scratch my mazda3.
This actually is my favorite part about owning a semi-cheap car... I really don't care if it gets scratched or a door ding.

I've made a small agreement with myself- after i finish school and figure out where i go for residency, I might decide to "upgrade" my car to a nissan z, subaru wrx sti, mitsubishi evo x, or a car along that price range, purchased second hand of course as a reward to have made it through. My mazda3 at that time will be 7 years old and have ~150k miles.
I think this is a great compromise!
I definitely have noticed, though, that more and more of my classmates from highschool are purchasing higher-tier cars, even if they have to take out loans.
Most people in my neighborhood drive expensive cars... Doesn't mean they're rich... In fact, it likely means they're not... But who knows?

Read "The Millionaire Next Door". Seriously, it's a great book... Most people who save a million bucks are able to BECAUSE they don't buy expensive cars... Most people who buy expensive cars aren't able to save a million bucks BECAUSE they bought expensive cars.
Harold
Posts: 3154
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:50 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by Harold »

retcaveman wrote:In reading through the thoughtful posts, I find myself reflecting on my earlier reference to Madison Avenue marketing.

Just think of all the things we say we like because the population seems to have embraced them as perennial truths.

- retiring in some southern location
- living in a homogenous gated community
- having a membership to a private golf course
- taking lavish vacations
- owning expensive toys eg boats, ATV's, RV's
- traveling a lot - the more exotic, the better
- having the latest electronic gadget
- Rolex watches, Viking stoves, etc
- sending kids to the most exclusive (not necessarily the best) schools
- driving the latest "Black Forest" (German) luxury cars
- having a lawn service vs mowing your own lawn - same for snow removal
- even investments - what no ETF's?
- etc, etc.

After my teen years, I lost most of my interest in these things.

Now clearly there is nothing wrong with any of these, if it's something you really want and enjoy. But do we want these things because we want them or we're led to believe they are what we should want?

I feel sad sometimes for people who seem to be directed (imprisoned) by the tastes of others. They are too often defined by other people's values.

While we don't have kids, I have often said that if we did, the thing I would most want for them would be the ability and strength to think for themselves. To stand up to peer pressure and not get pushed into doing something they didn't want to do.

There is price however that you pay for being this way. People get uncomfortable with people who are not like them. They are "different" - "weird." Oh, but we love diversity because it's so in to do so.

Sorry for the ramble. I have pondered these things most of my adult life and continue to be fascinated by this dynamic.
Right, I find this fascinating too -- mainly because most people are totally unaware of how they arrived at their preferences (and will even resist the notion that it's anything other than their own independent thoughts/desires).

Your list could be made even more basic -- e.g. having a lawn service vs mowing your own lawn - same for snow removal could be simplified to having a lawn. Most people take that as totally given, without giving a moment's thought to how that item might have become so important in their minds. You mentioned some, and there are tons of other examples.
mortal
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:15 pm

Post by mortal »

I'm a car guy. A little over a year ago I bought a lightly used 2 seater convertible sports car. I love that car. I bought that car for *me*.

I never understood people that buy expensive cars to 'show off'. The thing is, the people who are attracted to expensive/fast cars are mostly, well, male. This isn't exactly the demographic I'm trying to attract. Women don't *care*. They mainly care that a car is not dirty, wont break down on them, and doesn't smell.

Furthermore, the next time you're at the office, or in class, actually stop and try and picture the people around you with the cars they drive. Wana know a secret? We hardly ever associate the people we know with the cars they drive. If you were really wanting to impress folks you'd be much better off buying nice clothes.

Don't even get me started on traffic, speed limits, and cops. Go drive any road curvy enough to be rewarding to drive. Even *if* you're not caught up in traffic, the speed limits will be set so low that a mini cooper can have just as much fun as a corvette.
User avatar
tuckeverlasting
Posts: 295
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:50 pm
Location: The Emerald City

Post by tuckeverlasting »

A formidable display of Boglehead values, with much wisdom here for the taking. For myself, I have found it useful to keep in mind that we should own our things--not the other way around, as sometimes can happen to the unwary.
User avatar
norookie
Posts: 3016
Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:55 pm

Post by norookie »

mortal wrote:I'm a car guy. A little over a year ago I bought a lightly used 2 seater convertible sports car. I love that car. I bought that car for *me*.

I never understood people that buy expensive cars to 'show off'. The thing is, the people who are attracted to expensive/fast cars are mostly, well, male. This isn't exactly the demographic I'm trying to attract. Women don't *care*. They mainly care that a car is not dirty, wont break down on them, and doesn't smell.

Furthermore, the next time you're at the office, or in class, actually stop and try and picture the people around you with the cars they drive. Wana know a secret? We hardly ever associate the people we know with the cars they drive. If you were really wanting to impress folks you'd be much better off buying nice clothes.

Don't even get me started on traffic, speed limits, and cops. Go drive any road curvy enough to be rewarding to drive. Even *if* you're not caught up in traffic, the speed limits will be set so low that a mini cooper can have just as much fun as a corvette.
Hey! Stop ragging on speed limits! My 02 Honda/acura does 1800RPMS @ 80mph on CControl :roll: I deserve a extra tax for speeding. Meaning my cars almost at a idling RPM @ 65/75mph. U Hear the newest bill. Your TAXED on the miles you drive by annual inspection sticker milage. :roll: U drive more you pay more for the sticker (MA). The fuse is getting shorter. And the tax scheme stronger. :twisted:
" Wealth usually leads to excess " Cicero 55 b.c
IMADreamer
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 12:12 pm
Location: Illinois

Post by IMADreamer »

Cars will be the death of me. Well my bank account anyway. I'm a car guy, love working on them, love making them go fast, love racing them, love cleaning them. It's an expensive hobby I know. I get made fun of alot by friends because I have a pretty simple house, that's well kept mind you but simple, and two cars, one is a Corvette. Now keep in mind it's used, and they are hardly that expensive anyway but everyone says I have more car then I do house, which may be true but I don't need a big house. I'm not a materialistic person and I don't have much stuff at all. I like it that way. I don't own my cars to impress anyone or to keep up with the neighbors but for me. Nothing let's you forget a long day at work by blasting down a backroad and listening to the engine roar. Well that's my therapy anyway.

I grew up pretty poor, but never starving and one thing my parents who worked hard all their lives for not much always said is never forget to have fun. My parents fun was music, singing, playing whatever, and board games. Good cheap fun. My fun is cars. More expensive but still great fun. So I've worked hard to get to the point where I have some money to invest and a little money left over to have fun with and I'm going to.

So my advise is, don't buy a car or fancy things for others, buy them for yourself if they will really make you happy long term. Investing is a long term thing, things you get pleasure from should be too.
User avatar
gravlax
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:29 pm
Location: Cole Valley, CA

Post by gravlax »

IMADreamer wrote:Cars will be the death of me. Well my bank account anyway. I'm a car guy, love working on them, love making them go fast, love racing them, love cleaning them. It's an expensive hobby I know. I get made fun of alot by friends because I have a pretty simple house, that's well kept mind you but simple, and two cars, one is a Corvette. Now keep in mind it's used, and they are hardly that expensive anyway but everyone says I have more car then I do house, which may be true but I don't need a big house. I'm not a materialistic person and I don't have much stuff at all. I like it that way. I don't own my cars to impress anyone or to keep up with the neighbors but for me. Nothing let's you forget a long day at work by blasting down a backroad and listening to the engine roar. Well that's my therapy anyway.
Sounds like you're getting your moneys worth. :)
yobria
Posts: 5978
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:58 pm
Location: SF CA USA

Post by yobria »

Cherokee8215 wrote:
baconbff wrote:I definitely have noticed, though, that more and more of my classmates from highschool are purchasing higher-tier cars, even if they have to take out loans. I don't know, maybe its a generational thing?
Keep in mind that just because someone in their early 20s has something, doesn't mean they can really afford it. There is an attractive 25 year old single woman in my department who makes about $45k/yr. and leases a $35,000-$40,000 BMW 3-series.
There's a reason "financing" is the centerpiece of all those luxury car ads...

Nick
Topic Author
baconbff
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:00 am

Post by baconbff »

i swear it's karma or divine intervention telling me to stay the course. Just today i was driving home along the highway and a rock came down and smashed into my front grill. It was large enough that if it went over my hood, it definitely would've shattered my windshield, possibly injuring me and if it went under the car, it likely would've caused significant damage. Instead, it lodged itself behind the grill of my front bumper. Had to take the plastic undercarriage off to take it out. Luckily there isn't too much damage but if i was driving a 911 or even a g37, I would be mad as hell. Instead, I laughed at how lucky i was that it didn't hurt me or cause too much damage, and took pictures of it to show my family and friends. I'll try post pictures up later. It's so freaking weird.

cherokee- that woman sounds like a couple of my highschool classmates- as soon as they get a job, they immediately go out and buy the bmws, infinitis, acuras, lexuses, range rovers, whatever. I KNOW that most of them can not afford it. My parents are a lot like your dad- they see a car as a utility device, meant to go places, whereas it seems my generation likes to stay in debt and buy high-prestige things.

biasion- haha, that would be hilarious to see some dude pull up in a 911 turbo with random scratches, paint splashes all over it. And by hilarious I mean a tragedy of epic proportions. My first instinct would be to carjack it and take it to an auto garage to care for it like a wounded dove and nurse it back to health. I loved the mazdaspeed3 too! the only minor issue I have is its a hatchback. I just prefer a sedan. I heard that mazda was working on a sedan version, but no idea when its coming out. The mazdaspeed6 looked beastly. holy crap, you're a freaking getaway driver- do you ever go to the tracks? The honda fit is an awesome car to drive- one of my more reasonable friends has one and we usually take it to the beach because we can fit both surfboards in the car. Heard the mini coopers are good, too, but i've never driven one yet.

rrosenkoetter- a freaking rock smashed into my front grill and got lodged there! I can't even calculate the odds of that happening- surely its one of the strangest accidents i've ever encountered. Definitely seeing the appeal of a cheap/semi-cheap car in terms of random accidents and fender benders. The millionaire next door is a great book- one i've borrowed from the library 2x in the last year already.

mortal- i never thought of it that way but it makes sense. whenever i go to an auto show, 95% of the people there are guys, 4% are girlfriends/wives who look bored as hell obviously kidnapped by their signifiant others to attend, and the other 1% are import models who are paid to be there. I wonder why more women don't buy supercars to attract men? Purely rhetorical question by the way. Don't need no snarky answers here....

IMADreamer- that's great advice, i definitely love driving and am learning to "tinker" and do my own car maintenance. I know i'll never be competent enough to restore a classic car or some project like that, but I just get a sense of satisfaction from working on my car, even if its something as simple as an oil change which is pretty much all i can do at the moment.
Post Reply