When can one determine if they can afford toys?

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Nukeboilermaker
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When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Nukeboilermaker »

I am curious about maybe getting some rough numbers on a "what does it take to afford it" type scenario. I am 25 and have always loved classic and muscle cars, I drive ~75 miles a day and often take the dog for a cruise around town/in the country just for the heck of it (basically i like driving). So my question is at what point numbers wise could I consider myself to afford something like a fun/recreational car?

Scenario:
6-8 months of efund
Save the maximum for IRA and 401k every year
10k annual in ESPP
Only debt is a Mortgage (with extra principal payments)
Even with the "toy" car the total value of all cars owned would be less than half of gross income (Dave Ramsey Rule)

If I wanted to buy a 30k car, should a person wait until they have maybe 2x the desired car price in additional cash above efund etc? If fortunate enough, maybe dedicate a year or two of bonuses to such a luxury? I guess I am curious at what point can a person start to have a decent enough retiremnt foundation to start enjoying life along the way.

I am married and the wife enjoys going on drives around the scenery here in Illinois , we will likely only have 1 kid and I think it would be awesome to have a fun car to do special things with my kid. My dad finally bought himself a harley davidson when he was a little over 50 and that was one of the few things we did together was early morning bike washing followed by a day of riding and stopping at where ever we felt like it. Maybe the idea of doing something similar with my future kid has something to do with it...

I look forward to hearing some responses

cheers,
Nuke
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lj3jim
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by lj3jim »

In 1987 at age 34, I bought a brand new Buick Grand National. Most people would say it was a poor use of my money. And, if I considered the car as an investment, it would indeed have been a terrible decision. However, I had always wanted a muscle car. I had some extra cash at the time, and we decided to buy it.

My kids were 5 and 8 when I got the car. The family memories that we have because of that car are priceless. I still have the Grand National, and now my grandkids are beginning to catch on. My daughter's family just visited the Grand Canyon, and her youngest daughter kept calling it the "Grand National" Canyon. It doesn't get any better than that. :)

[Edit] BTW, with regard to "numbers," you're doing far better at 25 than we were doing at 34. At age 37, I finally realized that I needed to do something. We saved as much as we could. We retired a year ago (I was 57). It's a modest retirement, but it fits our lifestyle very well. As Jack Bogle wrote, we have "Enough."

Regards, Jim
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by scone »

Have you read about the 2014 VW GTI? It's supposed to be about 150 pounds lighter, and maybe 20 HP more. That squares it up with the WRX. It's also practical, it actually seats real people with legs, and it has a trunk that you can put golf clubs in, hence the name. The classic and original "hot hatch." You could trade in your everyday car, and have a fun car you can drive all the time. Here's some pics and commentary, don't freak out, the car is disguised:

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/volksw ... hotos-news
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yobria
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by yobria »

I think the dog would enjoy cruises in a $10K classic car about as much as a $30K one. So I'd buy the toy, just a cheaper one.
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bottlecap
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by bottlecap »

yobria wrote:I think the dog would enjoy cruises in a $10K classic car about as much as a $30K one. So I'd buy the toy, just a cheaper one.
It's really hard to know without knowing more about your finances, but I think the idea of going with a cheaper one is spot on. Find something more like $10k and continue saving. If you're having great fun with it, you can either keep it if that scratches the itch or sell it a couple years down the road and get your $30k dream car. There's very little downside - you get to have fun now, but have the option of trading up later with very little, if any loss.

Good luck,

JT
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by TA_Lurker »

If you're maxing out your retirement savings, have an adequate emergency fund, you have no other debt, you pay all your bills on time, can pay for the toy in full in cash, and the wife agrees to the purchase, go for it!

After you knock those obligations off your financial to-do list isn't every additional dollar meant to be enjoyed?
livesoft
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by livesoft »

As I've mentioned before, my metric is the amount our portfolio goes up or down on a single day. One can pick a typical "really good" or "really bad" day if you want to for that single day. This gives one the amount of "noise" in one's net worth, so any toy requiring that much money is just lost in the noise of net worth. And one can only spend this amount annually (not every week!).

So if your portfolio has gone up or down by $50,000 in a single day in the past 6 months, feel free to buy something for $50,000 without guilt.
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Hector
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Hector »

livesoft wrote:As I've mentioned before, my metric is the amount our portfolio goes up or down on a single day. One can pick a typical "really good" or "really bad" day if you want to for that single day. This gives one the amount of "noise" in one's net worth, so any toy requiring that much money is just lost in the noise of net worth. And one can only spend this amount annually (not every week!).

So if your portfolio has gone up or down by $50,000 in a single day in the past 6 months, feel free to buy something for $50,000 without guilt.
Interesting metric. If one is looking for single really good or bad day in last 6 months, 6 months after huge crash would be a time to buy more expensive toys.
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Toons
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Toons »

Go for it enjoy yourself,,,I remember buying a New 1987 BMW325I,,,kept it 18 years and had a blast cruisin in it.
You are saving enough,,,,,this journey of life you are on is no dress rehearsal you gotta enjoy the fruits of your labor :happy
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Simplistically speaking, if you have to ask, then you can't afford it.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by bottlecap »

Hector wrote:
livesoft wrote:As I've mentioned before, my metric is the amount our portfolio goes up or down on a single day. One can pick a typical "really good" or "really bad" day if you want to for that single day. This gives one the amount of "noise" in one's net worth, so any toy requiring that much money is just lost in the noise of net worth. And one can only spend this amount annually (not every week!).

So if your portfolio has gone up or down by $50,000 in a single day in the past 6 months, feel free to buy something for $50,000 without guilt.
Interesting metric. If one is looking for single really good or bad day in last 6 months, 6 months after huge crash would be a time to buy more expensive toys.
It might be a more appropriate metric if you are retired. But if you're 50, with 15 years to retirement and have $600,000 in stocks and $600,000 in bonds, that means that you can spend an extra $30,000 a year (say a 5% swing on $600,000). That's a lot of change to blow on toys every year....

JT
livesoft
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by livesoft »

My portfolio has never swung 5% in a day. Sure, some individual positions have done so, but not the whole portfolio.

A day after a huge gain might be a better day to buy your toy than a day after a really bad day.

Don't forget that RBDs should be used to rebalance or TLH. No advice on really good days is given.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by German Expat »

scone wrote:Have you read about the 2014 VW GTI? It's supposed to be about 150 pounds lighter, and maybe 20 HP more. That squares it up with the WRX. It's also practical, it actually seats real people with legs, and it has a trunk that you can put golf clubs in, hence the name. The classic and original "hot hatch." You could trade in your everyday car, and have a fun car you can drive all the time. Here's some pics and commentary, don't freak out, the car is disguised:

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/volksw ... hotos-news
The name is not from putting golf clubs in them, its after the 'gulf stream' written 'Golf' in German at a time when Volkswagen named their cars after winds (Passat, Jetta, Scirocco etc.). It used to be called Rabbit in the US when it came out.
In Germany people used to make fun of Golf drivers, e.g. I passed a BMW on the highway with a sticker on its back 'I rather play Golf then drive one' meaning I am rich enough so I can afford to play golf (and own a nicer car).
NB1
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by NB1 »

You can get alot of fun out of a car for 5-10k. Your best bet is to buy used, and look for something that has done most of it's depreciating already (so that you dont take the hit if you get bored with it). Last year I bought a mint 1999 Mazda Miata for 5k. Its probably the most fun you will have in a car, its reliable and easy to work on, and as far as I can tell it will be worth 5-6k until it hits about 110k miles (has 60k now), and probably even a bit more in spring if weather is nice. Even 1990 models with similar mileage are going for that price so it seems like overall a Miata holds its value if maintained properly.

The thing about a fun car is that you might find you get bored with it or find you simply bought the wrong toy and want something else and you need to protect yourself from that. A couple years back I had some serious ATV fever and probably owned 15 in a 2.5 year span, thanks to seeing great deals on Craigslist. I ended up figuring out there was a sweet spot where 4WD atv's generally didnt go below a certain value for a particular engine size/suspension as long as they were a 2002+ model. Thing is, because I knew the market, I made a $300-$500 profit on each one when I got bored or found something cooler (and I always did, the guys in my ATV club thought I was nuts). The sercret was that I would only buy one if the owner had priced the unit below what I determined through observation to be the market price. I always kept cash in hand to make a quick deal. But the point is I was able to try out alot of different machines and satisfy my urges with no losses by buying used and being aware of the market.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by bottlecap »

livesoft wrote:My portfolio has never swung 5% in a day. Sure, some individual positions have done so, but not the whole portfolio.

A day after a huge gain might be a better day to buy your toy than a day after a really bad day.

Don't forget that RBDs should be used to rebalance or TLH. No advice on really good days is given.
That's just the stock portion. If you assume the bond portion stays the same, $30,000 is really only a 2.5% swing on a $1.2 million portfolio, certainly a RBD, but not unheard of.

JT
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Pennstateclj1 »

We "toyed" (pun intended) with this idea regarding a third fun car. I really wanted the new SS Camaro Convertible, but the price tag was going to be upward of $45k. We instead waited and found a used 98 SS Camaro Convertible with only 26,000 miles. It was quite a deal. I'm sure you could find a similar compromise. Paying 1/4 of the cost of our original plan made it even better, and it's still as much as fun as the one we originally pictured and we're saving 30% of income.
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Nukeboilermaker
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Nukeboilermaker »

Pennstateclj1 wrote:We "toyed" (pun intended) with this idea regarding a third fun car. I really wanted the new SS Camaro Convertible, but the price tag was going to be upward of $45k. We instead waited and found a used 98 SS Camaro Convertible with only 26,000 miles. It was quite a deal. I'm sure you could find a similar compromise. Paying 1/4 of the cost of our original plan made it even better, and it's still as much as fun as the one we originally pictured and we're saving 30% of income.
This was kind of along the lines I was thinking, or a mustang, or a classic car in general. I have an 08 Mazda3 which I bought new and quickly paid off. I all ready have 100k+ miles on the car and get it serviced every two months because of the mileage I put on it. I plan on driving this car until it is rubble, then likely get two used cars (ex Civic or Mazda3 and an AWD like a Subaru since I live in Illinois and work Shift work so I often have to drive in the winter at odd times. I will of course consider getting a WRX as maybe a toy car/winter car? Of course I will try a Miata which I here very good things about, and if you look around online they often are considered the best bang for your buck when it comes to driving fun.

I will keep all my options open, I was kind of curious on what metrics a person can use to help determine if they really can afford something (even if they have the cash on hand... doesn't mean they can really afford it). Thanks for the input all ready!

But of course there is nothing like classic american muscle/hot rods. Hmm, maybe growing up watching tool time has something to do with this little seed...
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by FrugalInvestor »

I waited until I retired to get my fun car. We did upgrade to near-luxury family cars when my salary increased substantially in my 40's but, being frugal and wanting to retire early, I couldn't bring myself to do the fun car thing until I knew I had reached my primary goal.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by bb »

+1 for cheaper fun car or find a daily driver you also consider fun - although that
would rule out a classic car.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Sidney »

livesoft wrote:My portfolio has never swung 5% in a day. Sure, some individual positions have done so, but not the whole portfolio.
It has been a long time but Black Monday is still fresh in my mind.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by livesoft »

Hmmm, ours probably moved by more than 5% back in Oct 1987, too. I just can't remember though.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by bottlecap »

Sidney wrote:
livesoft wrote:My portfolio has never swung 5% in a day. Sure, some individual positions have done so, but not the whole portfolio.
It has been a long time but Black Monday is still fresh in my mind.
Yikes!:

http://online.wsj.com/mdc/public/page/2 ... ltime.html
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by gwrvmd »

Go for it!
You can get a used excellent condition Mazda Miata for 5k as mentioned previously and they are fun to drive.Two caveats: They are considered a little "Girlie", but don't let that bother you and they are not good on snow or ice. I have a 1990 (1st year), had it for 12 years and still love it! Make sure you get a manual transmission.
The recession has knocked the hell out of the classic/muscle car market as those of you know that watch the Barrett Jackson Car auctions on TV know. Three years ago I bought a beautiful red 1987 Corvette Convertable for $7,000. It has been in every local parade since. It is not a "Collectable Year " so prices are cheap.
People always want the Corvette but for my own enjoyment, I drive the Miata
Today, you can buy a very nice enjoyable classic car for what it costs for 2 people to go on a cruise for a week. The cruise is soon forgotten but not the Miata...........Gordon
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by NB1 »

People who consider a Miata "girlie" have never driven one. Have not met one car guy who has driven mine and not had a huge smile on their face.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by wshang »

I am just about twice your age, essentially retired, with a net worth daily fluctuation greater than the cost of your car. (55/45 Bond/Stock AA) According to Livesoft I could buy your toy (or two) without a second thought). Whether it is worth it to you is essentially restating the question, "Do you want the money which would buy your freedom later, or the happiness from car now?" All throughout my life, the answer to this question has been the former. My family has enjoyed annual Club Med type vacations, but I have not bought an expensive car since getting married. Now that I have the time, health and money to enjoy these toys, I am glad to have waited - even though it has never been a difficult decision.

I have noticed among my friends, if they have a high burn rate, it is hard to retire early because they and their families have mentally adjusted to this rate into their mid-life.
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Nukeboilermaker
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Nukeboilermaker »

Lots of interesting comments, I have no plan to purchase anytime soon. I would rather trade up our home first and that is still a little ways away (~2 years). I was really curious on some "rule of thumb/metrics" to help critically asses if when I get more serious I can evaluate if I really can "afford" a luxury item.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by MWCA »

We have a saving goal we set each year. We try to make that first before we decide on big purchases. Becoming financially independent was an important goal for us. I suppose it depends what you value more.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by sscritic »

wshang wrote: "Do you want the money which would buy your freedom later, or the happiness from car now?"
If you guarantee that if I put $50,000 away today I will be set for life and my future freedom bought and paid for in full, I would take you up on your offer. Unfortunately, I don't think $50,000 is going to make or break my future. Maybe it will yours.
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Nukeboilermaker
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Nukeboilermaker »

sscritic wrote:
wshang wrote: "Do you want the money which would buy your freedom later, or the happiness from car now?"
If you guarantee that if I put $50,000 away today I will be set for life and my future freedom bought and paid for in full, I would take you up on your offer. Unfortunately, I don't think $50,000 is going to make or break my future. Maybe it will yours.
Well 50k does go a long way for us youngsters! Which is why we have a paid for Mazda3 and Civic opposed to more fancy cars (I know a handful who all ready are driving BMWs) despite by the average American standard we could easily afford (obviously many of us believe people are a little underdeveloped on their savings muscles). I choose to live paycheck to paycheck because any extra money I have over my bills and needs I transfer immediately over to my savings. But we do live comfy and eat far more than we should!

But I do want to have some fun and find a good balance with fun activities and toys and not be a frugal miser my whole life :twisted:
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by sscritic »

Nukeboilermaker wrote:
sscritic wrote:
wshang wrote: "Do you want the money which would buy your freedom later, or the happiness from car now?"
If you guarantee that if I put $50,000 away today I will be set for life and my future freedom bought and paid for in full, I would take you up on your offer. Unfortunately, I don't think $50,000 is going to make or break my future. Maybe it will yours.
Well 50k does go a long way for us youngsters!
Will it change your retirement in a meaningful way? What is the difference between having $5 million and having $5.1 million when you retire? (note that I allowed your $50k saved to double by retirement time) I don't think it will make much of a difference. Now if your choice is between having zero saved for retirement or $50k saved for retirement, ... no even then it won't make much of a difference, you will be broke either way. :)
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt »

Nukeboilermaker wrote:But we do live comfy and eat far more than we should!
This is a bit off topic.

We do not scrimp on meal quality. We eat nothing but the best, period, and while it is more money, it's not exorbitantly more expensive than the awful crap/slop that most establishments try to pawn off on people who can't cook.

I see people pulling out of fast food places, can only shake my head. For the price of those garbage meals, you could pick up choice, maybe even prime, steaks, make them at home, pair with some vegetables from a farmer's market, and it will be 1000% better than the happy meal garbage.

Reasonably priced five-star gourmet dining at home is a reality if you (a) learn how to prepare meals, (b) invest in a good meat thermometer, and (c) invest just a few hundred dollars in some basic cookware, cutlery, and knife sharpener. In fact we now often have to compare whether the restaurant meals are as good as what we could have made at home, and I can tell instantly when the restaurant is using canned garbage instead of farm fresh ingredients. We often do better at home. Often.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by livesoft »

^ Ha! You need to find better restaurants, but that is a worthwhile hobby in its own right. :)
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by XtremeSki2001 »

IMHO, buy the toy now - especially if it will make you happy. My DW and I usually have a thing where if we talk about it for a year and still think it makes sense, we buy it. No sense in waiting until we're retired and then finding out we're not in good health to use the toy, or worse, not around to enjoy our savings.

We know a couple who deferred their fun until retirement and, unfortunately, one of them ended up with cancer. Live today.
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Dagwood »

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wshang
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by wshang »

sscritic wrote:
Nukeboilermaker wrote:
sscritic wrote:
wshang wrote: "Do you want the money which would buy your freedom later, or the happiness from car now?"
Unfortunately, I don't think $50,000 is going to make or break my future. Maybe it will yours.
Well 50k does go a long way for us youngsters!
What is the difference between having $5 million and having $5.1 million when you retire? (note that I allowed your $50k saved to double by retirement time)
Hmmm . . . long-term stock returns are about 10%, LT bonds around 5%, lets say 7% for a reasonably balanced portfolio. Using the rule of 72, then doubling every ten years is not unreasonable. (granted things look not so good as of late) So $50k for our OP friend now works out to $100k in ten years, $200k in twenty, $400k when he hits 55 y/o and $800k when he retires at 65 y/o. Granted, while this is not inflation adjusted, but not chump change. For our OP, saving more now until his early 30's is worth far more than any equivalent saving effort later in life.

One more note. . . . if you have read the Millionaire Next Door, you know we don't drive BMW's by and large. A general surgeon at my hospital who recently parked his new BMW next to my Prius will have to work until 67 and barely has a million dollars to call his own. Who do you want to be?
snyder66
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by snyder66 »

$10,000 will get you one sweet classic ride, depending on what you are looking for. Why don't you price some out and post them here.j
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stemikger
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by stemikger »

I didn't read the other replies, but IMHO I don't think anyone should buy a toy if they still carry a mortgage.

I am not a car person, but buy a brand new car every ten years. I pay cash. I always buy an economy car which is around $17K. I know most guys are into cars, but to me a car is just to get me from point a to point b. The way they make cars today a $17K car feels like a high end car used to and has all the same safety features.

Here is what I do with every large purchase. I save until I have the cash. Dave Ramsey would tell you the same thing. He never would tell any of his callers to take out a car loan.

I'm older than you (48) and will be paying off my mortgage in 5 months. After that I will be cash flowing home repairs and will never take out a loan of any kind again. If you can afford to pay it installments, you can afford to save for it. It is a brave new world we are living in and no job is really secure any longer and things happen. It is because of this I no longer believe in borrowing money for anything.

Having said that when I was your age I was less strict but was much more naive.

Good Luck and do the right thing for yourself and your family.
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Nukeboilermaker
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Nukeboilermaker »

snyder66 wrote:$10,000 will get you one sweet classic ride, depending on what you are looking for. Why don't you price some out and post them here.j
Something like this?

http://www.gatewayclassiccars.com/displ ... cation=CHI

If it had a standard tran it would be even better!
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Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by wearymicrobe »

OK I read here quite a bit, but have never posted, mainly looking at investment strategies.

Buy the car if,

A. You can pay cash (Don't pay interest)
B. You buy the car right and can sell it for 90% of what you paid for at the drop of a hat. (Buy below market)
C. Can eat the maintenance and insurance as a cost of having fun and deal with the possibility of something going wrong. (Learn to do your own maintenance)

Does not matter what the cost is, or any ratio if you can follow the rules above. I am loth to admit it, here on this board, but my last car cost nearing 230K new, bought it used and 10% below market when it was nearing the bottom of its depreciation curve. Drove it for two years and sold it for a small amount over what I paid because I bought it well. I did pay for the increase in insurance/gas/title and the usual stuff but that is the cost of the hobby. I bet there are people on this board who spend more then I spent on golf course fee's in the same time period but do not see that as an extravagance.

What ever you do DO NOT RESTORE a car, unless you know exactly what you are doing and can eat the loss when you need to sell. Most of all have fun.
Valuethinker
Posts: 42165
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Valuethinker »

German Expat wrote:
scone wrote:Have you read about the 2014 VW GTI? It's supposed to be about 150 pounds lighter, and maybe 20 HP more. That squares it up with the WRX. It's also practical, it actually seats real people with legs, and it has a trunk that you can put golf clubs in, hence the name. The classic and original "hot hatch." You could trade in your everyday car, and have a fun car you can drive all the time. Here's some pics and commentary, don't freak out, the car is disguised:

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/volksw ... hotos-news
The name is not from putting golf clubs in them, its after the 'gulf stream' written 'Golf' in German at a time when Volkswagen named their cars after winds (Passat, Jetta, Scirocco etc.). It used to be called Rabbit in the US when it came out.
In Germany people used to make fun of Golf drivers, e.g. I passed a BMW on the highway with a sticker on its back 'I rather play Golf then drive one' meaning I am rich enough so I can afford to play golf (and own a nicer car).
The language insider tip is much appreciated! I always wondered ;-).

It is also the world's bestselling car these days (surpassing the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla I presume).

I don't know if that includes the SEAT and Skoda versions which are essentially the same car with a Spanish or Czech brand name.

Germans live in a different world where a Golf, which by the standards of most countries is a pretty nice car (good performance etc.) is an 'ordinary' car that 'dull' folks drive. It has I think to do with the history of quality and performance motoring in Germany dating back to the invention of the car, plus the (historic?) lack of speed limits on the autobahns (that increased the performance spec of all German cars). Eisenhower so admired the autobahns that he created the Interstate Highway project, probably the largest public works project in American history, to duplicate it.

As a point of reference, a decent Golf sells for £18,500 here, so say in US terms $28k. it's a very popular car, albeit one with a higher depreciation and lower reported reliability (higher Total Cost of Ownership than comparable Honda or Toyota cars). Partly that may be who drives them: there is a touch of the 'boy racer' about GTI owners.

It's Hyundai that is coming up on the outside lane: really taking market share on the 'basic transportation' area. If I was VW, Hyundai would worry me, as it is already taking share from the Japanese.

The old Rabbits were a nightmare on the rust/ reliability front. The Jettas were better, but they cost a lot to repair-- you didn't want a used one. VW pulled out of Pennsylvania, but they have started up again in ?Alabama? I think the US Jettas are made in Mexico?
Valuethinker
Posts: 42165
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: When can one determine if they can afford toys?

Post by Valuethinker »

Nukeboilermaker wrote:I am curious about maybe getting some rough numbers on a "what does it take to afford it" type scenario. I am 25 and have always loved classic and muscle cars, I drive ~75 miles a day and often take the dog for a cruise around town/in the country just for the heck of it (basically i like driving). So my question is at what point numbers wise could I consider myself to afford something like a fun/recreational car?

Scenario:
6-8 months of efund
Save the maximum for IRA and 401k every year
10k annual in ESPP
Only debt is a Mortgage (with extra principal payments)
Even with the "toy" car the total value of all cars owned would be less than half of gross income (Dave Ramsey Rule)

If I wanted to buy a 30k car, should a person wait until they have maybe 2x the desired car price in additional cash above efund etc? If fortunate enough, maybe dedicate a year or two of bonuses to such a luxury? I guess I am curious at what point can a person start to have a decent enough retiremnt foundation to start enjoying life along the way.

I am married and the wife enjoys going on drives around the scenery here in Illinois , we will likely only have 1 kid and I think it would be awesome to have a fun car to do special things with my kid. My dad finally bought himself a harley davidson when he was a little over 50 and that was one of the few things we did together was early morning bike washing followed by a day of riding and stopping at where ever we felt like it. Maybe the idea of doing something similar with my future kid has something to do with it...

I look forward to hearing some responses

cheers,
Nuke
-30k is not huge money for a car (at least not in British terms, I realize US prices are much lower)

- you only live once

- remember though that 30k invested now is 60-240k on retirement (let's assume 7% pa return between now and retirement and so 10 years x2, 20 years x4, 30 years x8). Or do it in real terms (say 3% real return) then in 24 years it is a doubler, c. 35 years a tripler

In other words, $30k is retire one year earlier (that's a good way to look at $60k in real terms).

I would say go for it but:

- buy a car which has a sensible resale value
- only buy when you can pay in cash - save to buy the car, not to pay interest on it

Your life circumstances can change a lot in very short notice: you have twins, not one kid. You or your wife lose their job. Etc. etc.
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