Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

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CppCoder
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by CppCoder » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:47 am

VWENX wrote:
msk wrote:I think the OP is too BH :shock: You can afford it, go ahead and splurge. Tomorrow I am going to put down a deposit for a special order Mercedes going for $165k. Even more silly at my age. You only live once. Looking back over my 73 years, my rules-of-thumb have been, since the 1970s: Never buy a house costing more than 3 years' income, never buy a car costing more than 6 months' income, do not save more than 30% of income (otherwise I am being too mean). Obeyed the first 2, failed on the 3rd as soon as my investments got going like gangbusters. OP fails miserably on the 3rd too! Over-saving. In my youth I was making a good income and investing a lot in RE. I still do not comprehend why your "income" should not include the income from your investing. On top of the $160k the OP has at least another $50k from his investments (he can find out how much by taking, say, an average over 3 years). Overall I think you have focused too much on saving and not enough on living your life in luxury appropriate to income. Would be OK if you wanted to retire in a few years. Enjoy...
Good point about the income from investments. I'll have to go in and look at that.
No, that's a bad point. You have no income from your investments during the accumulation phase. The poster of that comment was 73 and is likely spending down his investments, when the situation is much different. Considering the "income" of investments is equivalent to simply knocking 2-3% off your growth projection numbers. Remember, those growth numbers assume reinvestment of dividends and interest.

CppCoder
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by CppCoder » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:53 am

gloss151 wrote:https://radicalpersonalfinance.com/356/

Listen to this radical personal finance podcast on the merits of a minivan, its really great and I always recommend our younger engineers at work get a minivan to stave off spendthrift women. I don't own a car, but my wife does and if we were to replace her CRV with something bigger I'd go with the Honda Odyssey. My arguments in favor of the minivan over the CRV seem to not be effective at this moment.
We replaced our CR-V with an Odyssey at kid #2 (of 2). I was always in favor of it, but I had to convince my wife that the Odyssey was the better car for our situation (vs. a Pilot). It was a great decision. The Odyssey is a really nice car, and my wife loves it, especially the automatic sliding doors and ability for the young kids to climb up into their car seats by themselves. It also has a much more usable third row for driving grandparents, aunts/uncles around. As a bonus, in my opinion, it's a lot more comfortable and rides better than the CR-V. You do have to get used to the size when parking. I recommend getting a trim level with sensors.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:02 am

VWENX wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
KnowNth wrote:I have to say I am very surprised by the overwhelming NO answers. Why save money if can't spend it?

Let me rephrase the question and see if the answers will be different:

Can OP afford to reduce the saving rate from 60% to 30% for two years? then maybe back up to 40 or 50% afterward?
For the unknown - illness, lose your "secure" job, family member's illness, a tornado knocks house down, your 7% deductible is on you, and ih, the market just tanked by 30% and takes 10 years to recover!
To KnowNth, Grt2bOutdoors:
I’m not surprised at the amount of “no” posts. This is a very conservative bunch, and after all, this is not an international vacation, so it is not one of the pre-approved Bogleheads spending categories. But I do appreciate all the input everyone has given thus far. Bottom line is I don’t know what I’ll do. I could even keep my existing car, maybe get a slimmer car seat, and just live with it. Who knows.

In the next two years, we have no real plans to do anything major (except maybe a couple vacations, but they come out of our “fun budget”), since we’re spending all that money on the home improvements and possibly buying a long term car.

Given the numbers above, is this a sound plan when trying to make a large purchase? Imagine it’s not a car if that helps you.
Four years ago, my spouse and I made a significant improvement to my home and paid for it in cash. To say my day to day life has improved is an understatement, but I'm living in my home and even if I don't recoup one penny of that expenditure I fully expect to be in this home for the next 10 years+. Your car? You will not be living in your car 24/7 or even half that time, but if making that purchase will make both you and your wife happy, by all means go ahead, it is after all your money and you will not be taking it with you when you make you leave this planet.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

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HomerJ
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by HomerJ » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:14 am

blaugranamd wrote:Financially you're doing great and can probably afford either. Just remember lifestyle creep is hard to roll back. I am also looking to replace my car in the next 1 to 2 years and struggle finding that balance. One you're used to $70k car and your wife's car needs replaced, that $35k car will seem frugal and the minimum. That's where you start to lose control of expenses. I would have a very hard time owning a $70k new luxury SUV and then buying another car that's more reasonably priced later. I would think very hard about whether you will get $35k more enjoyment out of the $70k car as well. Price numbness might be creeping to far into this decision.
This. Great post. It's probably not a one-time purchase. Once you buy a $70k car, all your cars going forward will very likely be $70k+

You may be the rare individual who can move backwards, but lifestyle creep is tough to roll back.

michaeljc70
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:28 am

Of course, you can afford the expensive car. It seems like you are coming up with all kinds of justifications for it starting with a child. A child doesn't need a luxury vehicle and car seats are easily accessible in many different vehicles that don't cost $75k. It sounds like the car seat is easily accessible in your wife's car anyway.

"I can't see why I would not want to drive this car for 10 plus years." Did you see needing a different car when you bought the last one?

If you want the car, buy it. You see this type of thread frequently when someone wants to spend money they know they probably shouldn't. :D

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HomerJ
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by HomerJ » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:28 am

VWENX wrote:Given the numbers above, is this a sound plan when trying to make a large purchase? Imagine it’s not a car if that helps you.
Yes, you are fine.

Look, I did the same thing around the time we crossed $1 million investable assets and a paid off house, except I bought a boat (pontoon) and jetski.

I think you are correct that we are reacting more strongly because it's a car purchase. And spending too much on cars is the biggest mistake most people make in personal finance. But your finances are in great shape.

Just note that there are indeed diminishing returns in any purchase. $70k for a car is a lot of money, even if you have the money.

I can afford a $100 steak, but it seems wasteful to me when I know it's not that much better than a $40 steak (and usually I'm fine with a $20 steak)

We, and you, didn't get rich by wasting money.

But you have saved diligently for years, and you are definitely in a position where you can splurge a little. If the car will make you happy, you can afford it.
Last edited by HomerJ on Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HomerJ
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by HomerJ » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:32 am

VWENX wrote:
msk wrote:I think the OP is too BH :shock: You can afford it, go ahead and splurge. Tomorrow I am going to put down a deposit for a special order Mercedes going for $165k. Even more silly at my age. You only live once. Looking back over my 73 years, my rules-of-thumb have been, since the 1970s: Never buy a house costing more than 3 years' income, never buy a car costing more than 6 months' income, do not save more than 30% of income (otherwise I am being too mean). Obeyed the first 2, failed on the 3rd as soon as my investments got going like gangbusters. OP fails miserably on the 3rd too! Over-saving. In my youth I was making a good income and investing a lot in RE. I still do not comprehend why your "income" should not include the income from your investing. On top of the $160k the OP has at least another $50k from his investments (he can find out how much by taking, say, an average over 3 years). Overall I think you have focused too much on saving and not enough on living your life in luxury appropriate to income. Would be OK if you wanted to retire in a few years. Enjoy...
Good point about the income from investments. I'll have to go in and look at that.
No, terrible point about income from investments. You don't spend your "income" from investments when you are accumulating.

And sometimes investments go down.

NorCalDad
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by NorCalDad » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:37 am

Rupert wrote:Have you considered how you will react the first time you notice muddy footprints from your kid's soccer cleats on the nice leather of your 70k car? It won't completely wash off (ask me how I know).
My kids get mud and sand on the seats, spill milk and other beverages, drop cereal and snacks, apply stickers in random places, color with crayons and pens. You can try to keep your $70k car spotless, but you'll just increase your stress levels if you're going to be anal about it with young kids. I'd even forget the $35k new car - go with a used version of that until your kids are old/mature enough.
HomerJ wrote:
blaugranamd wrote:Financially you're doing great and can probably afford either. Just remember lifestyle creep is hard to roll back. I am also looking to replace my car in the next 1 to 2 years and struggle finding that balance. One you're used to $70k car and your wife's car needs replaced, that $35k car will seem frugal and the minimum. That's where you start to lose control of expenses. I would have a very hard time owning a $70k new luxury SUV and then buying another car that's more reasonably priced later. I would think very hard about whether you will get $35k more enjoyment out of the $70k car as well. Price numbness might be creeping to far into this decision.
This. Great post. It's probably not a one-time purchase. Once you buy a $70k car, all your cars going forward will very likely be $70k+

You may be the rare individual who can move backwards, but lifestyle creep is tough to roll back.
This is also a great point. It's one reason why I've decided to hold off on nicer cars until I'm fully confident retirement and college costs are covered.
Last edited by NorCalDad on Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

stoptothink
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by stoptothink » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:41 am

HomerJ wrote:
blaugranamd wrote:Financially you're doing great and can probably afford either. Just remember lifestyle creep is hard to roll back. I am also looking to replace my car in the next 1 to 2 years and struggle finding that balance. One you're used to $70k car and your wife's car needs replaced, that $35k car will seem frugal and the minimum. That's where you start to lose control of expenses. I would have a very hard time owning a $70k new luxury SUV and then buying another car that's more reasonably priced later. I would think very hard about whether you will get $35k more enjoyment out of the $70k car as well. Price numbness might be creeping to far into this decision.
This. Great post. It's probably not a one-time purchase. Once you buy a $70k car, all your cars going forward will very likely be $70k+

You may be the rare individual who can move backwards, but lifestyle creep is tough to roll back.
OP can afford the vehicle by any rational metric, this is the real issue. This is not a one-time purchase and OP is completely delusional if they think that spending more on this vehicle is going to mean they drive it for 10+ years as opposed to being sick of the cheaper one in 3 or 4. They'll be asking themselves the same question in a few years, regardless of what vehicle they choose. If they are OK with that, buy it. IMO, this is one of those situations where I think leasing makes a lot of sense.

dspencer
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by dspencer » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:36 am

KnowNth wrote:I have to say I am very surprised by the overwhelming NO answers. Why save money if can't spend it?

Let me rephrase the question and see if the answers will be different:

Can OP afford to reduce the saving rate from 60% to 30% for two years? then maybe back up to 40 or 50% afterward?
I think the answers fall in two basic categories:
1. From an objective, mathematical standpoint can OP spend $70k without ruining his financial future? Basically what you asked above. Almost everyone answering this question says it's fine to buy the car.
2. From a subjective perspective, does it make sense to spend $70k on a car with the information and justifications he has provided. Most people answering this say no.

The problem is there's little point in asking the first question. It could also be posed by saying "here's my financial situation, am I doing ok" with the $70k already taken out of savings. Everyone will say "yes, you're doing fine/great". I guarantee VWENX already knows that, but what he really wants is people to say yes to question #2. To his credit, he admitted in the first post he was just looking for justification for doing what he already wants to do.

My advice is to ask someone that actually matters, i.e. the wife. Wait a little while to make sure the urge to have the nice car doesn't fade (some studies show that delaying the purchase will ultimately make you enjoy it more). Consider the alternative uses of the extra money. Then be glad you get to make the ultimate choice and not us randoms on the internet :D .

VWENX
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by VWENX » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:46 am

dspencer wrote:
KnowNth wrote:I have to say I am very surprised by the overwhelming NO answers. Why save money if can't spend it?

Let me rephrase the question and see if the answers will be different:

Can OP afford to reduce the saving rate from 60% to 30% for two years? then maybe back up to 40 or 50% afterward?
I think the answers fall in two basic categories:
1. From an objective, mathematical standpoint can OP spend $70k without ruining his financial future? Basically what you asked above. Almost everyone answering this question says it's fine to buy the car.
2. From a subjective perspective, does it make sense to spend $70k on a car with the information and justifications he has provided. Most people answering this say no.

The problem is there's little point in asking the first question. It could also be posed by saying "here's my financial situation, am I doing ok" with the $70k already taken out of savings. Everyone will say "yes, you're doing fine/great". I guarantee VWENX already knows that, but what he really wants is people to say yes to question #2. To his credit, he admitted in the first post he was just looking for justification for doing what he already wants to do.

My advice is to ask someone that actually matters, i.e. the wife. Wait a little while to make sure the urge to have the nice car doesn't fade (some studies show that delaying the purchase will ultimately make you enjoy it more). Consider the alternative uses of the extra money. Then be glad you get to make the ultimate choice and not us randoms on the internet :D .
Yep, I'm more looking for the group answer to number 1, to make sure I should even *consider* the expensive one. Good points. In my mind the answer is yes, but I want to be sure that I am not looking at it too emotionally.

chevca
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by chevca » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:04 am

You knew the answer would be, yes, you can afford it... and, no, you shouldn't spend that much. At least from the majority. You are asking this question on Bogleheads after all. What are you looking for at this point?

Have you thought at all about usage and kids trashing it? That is a much more realistic thing to be concerned about.

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weltschmerz
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by weltschmerz » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:55 pm

dspencer wrote:1. From an objective, mathematical standpoint can OP spend $70k without ruining his financial future? Basically what you asked above. Almost everyone answering this question says it's fine to buy the car.
I think you are getting a lot of responses because people can see that you are at a crossroads in your financial life. Up to this point you have been a diligent saver, paid down your mortgage aggressively, built up a $1M portfolio, and have good incomes. And all of this in your 30s. Simply amazing. You are a model citizen of the Boglehead community.

But now you are at a fork in the road. Down one path, you continue to save aggressively and live frugally, your incomes continue to grow. This path takes you to a "maximum wealth" somewhere in the $5-10M range, before it starts to be spent down in retirement.

On the other path, you buy a $70k car. You justify it saying you'll keep it for 10+ years, but it turns out that there is all new safety features and technology in just 3-5 years, so now you need to upgrade to the newest one. Then your kid decides to go to private school, your house needs a whole new kitchen, etc. Your whole lifestyle slowly gets more opulent. On this path, you attain a maximum wealth of $2-3M before you start to spend it down in retirement.

By most standards, both paths are perfectly fine. Neither path leads to ruin. You are doing better than 95% of Americans, and 99% of people in the world. It's up to you to decide which path you want to go down. Is there a significant difference between having $2-3M vs $5-10M? I don't know, maybe people that have saved that much can chime in, I know there are a lot them here among the Bogleheads.

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Watty
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by Watty » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:25 pm

I might have missed it but one thing I have not seen mentioned is that it sounds like your wife will be driving the car 95% of the time.

Reading between the lines I would suspect that the desire for the more expensive car is more yours than hers.

If she is won't get a lot of "warm and fuzzies" out of driving it then why spend that much extra for it?

In some situations having the expensive car could also be a social negative too since so don't overlook that aspect. For example it can be a bit embarrassing to have a conspicuous consumption item like that when visiting friends, relatives, or coworkers that have more modest means. Your child may be labeled as "the rich kid" in the places that you take them to in that car. If she a has to go into less affluent areas for her job or other activities then taking that car may feel awkward so be sure to talk to your wife about that too.
Last edited by Watty on Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sambb
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by sambb » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:35 pm

Based on the discussion, i think you can afford it.
I wouldnt put yopung kids in a 75k car, but thats me.
You may have buyer's remorse once you buy the car, and it wont be as fun as you think it is.
But you can afford it, and you will have less savings in the long run because of it.
I have had all sorts of cars, camrys to exotic sports cars. I buy used and it is a different game with cars 1-3 years old. Much more affordable.

Some may say that one shouldnt 100% believe that one will keep the car for 10 years. Everyone says that, but it often doesnt happen. Technology changes, safety changes, needs change, preferences, lifestyle change, etc.

msk
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by msk » Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:02 am

HomerJ wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:32 am
VWENX wrote:
msk wrote:I think the OP is too BH :shock: You can afford it, go ahead and splurge. Tomorrow I am going to put down a deposit for a special order Mercedes going for $165k. Even more silly at my age. You only live once. Looking back over my 73 years, my rules-of-thumb have been, since the 1970s: Never buy a house costing more than 3 years' income, never buy a car costing more than 6 months' income, do not save more than 30% of income (otherwise I am being too mean). Obeyed the first 2, failed on the 3rd as soon as my investments got going like gangbusters. OP fails miserably on the 3rd too! Over-saving. In my youth I was making a good income and investing a lot in RE. I still do not comprehend why your "income" should not include the income from your investing. On top of the $160k the OP has at least another $50k from his investments (he can find out how much by taking, say, an average over 3 years). Overall I think you have focused too much on saving and not enough on living your life in luxury appropriate to income. Would be OK if you wanted to retire in a few years. Enjoy...
Good point about the income from investments. I'll have to go in and look at that.
No, terrible point about income from investments. You don't spend your "income" from investments when you are accumulating.

And sometimes investments go down.
I acknowledge that income from investments is somehow different from job income, but things are not so simple. Let's start with 3 types of income: job, Real Estate, securities portfolio. Back in the late 1970s/early 1980s my job income was a healthy $70k net after taxes but my RE was netting $100+k. RE income is often very visible and easy to calculate/report annually. Focusing on only my job income as a source of savings (and what car to purchase :twisted: ) IMHO would have been overly frugal. Things get murky if that same $100+k was from the stock market, since obviously the next year it could have been a negative $100k, hence multi-year averaging would be more sensible for a securities portfolio. One should ignore investment income when it is small relative to job income but when portfolio income matches or exceeds job income (many people with Net Worth over $2million?) then over-frugality simply leads to more rich people in the graveyard. I also have another slant on affordability of fancy cars. To some, cars are a passion, to many older BHs not. The OP could also have a passion in, say, astronomy, and he might have asked whether he could afford to spend $70k on an astrophotography set-up :beer useless to most people. The really expensive hobby stuff seems to be boats and flying. I join most(?) BHs in having no passion for either of these money pits :D

ks289
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by ks289 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:27 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:25 pm
I might have missed it but one thing I have not seen mentioned is that it sounds like your wife will be driving the car 95% of the time.

Reading between the lines I would suspect that the desire for the more expensive car is more yours than hers.

If she is won't get a lot of "warm and fuzzies" out of driving it then why spend that much extra for it?

In some situations having the expensive car could also be a social negative too since so don't overlook that aspect. For example it can be a bit embarrassing to have a conspicuous consumption item like that when visiting friends, relatives, or coworkers that have more modest means. Your child may be labeled as "the rich kid" in the places that you take them to in that car. If she a has to go into less affluent areas for her job or other activities then taking that car may feel awkward so be sure to talk to your wife about that too.
This aspect was not clear to me either. My family owns two vehicles. My wife's vehicle has much more space and is the one we use nearly always for family trips. My vehicle would be cramped for such a purpose, so it is used mainly for my commuting. If OP's wife's vehicle is satisfactory and convenient to utilize for the family trips and transporting the toddler, then does OP need to replace their car at all?
Also, is the toddler in a rear facing car seat? Will it be much easier to get them in and out of the seat when they are forward facing and more independent?

If the question is financial only, then sure go ahead and buy the $70,000 vehicle.

mmcmonster
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by mmcmonster » Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:55 am

VWENX wrote:
Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:17 am
It's become clear since my child was born that I need to buy a new car.
You guys are doing fantastic.

Go for a new car. Whether it's a $70k one or something slightly less extravagant is up to you.

My wife had a Lexus RX which she had from when the babies were born and still loved it when it hit 100k miles. We sold it and got her a new RX. She wants to take this one to 100k miles and do the same (or move to a slightly smaller NX now that the kids are 10 and 13). Our local Lexus dealer gives exceptional service so she's not interested in any other manufacturer.

Your finances are a bit better than we were when we got our first Lexus. That being said, you have to be comfortable with the car (both with the car itself as well as the price) or you'll want to dump it early or feel bad for sinking so much into it.

The local dealers make a big difference. Ask your neighbors, friends, and work colleagues what they think about their car dealers' service.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:35 am

Babies and little kids throw up all over $20k cars and $100k cars. They just do. My older son (21) still remembers when he was about 3 and threw up all over himself and his car seat in the back of my Audi. I unbuckled the car seat and brought it and him into the house and into the tub to clean him off. Are you going to be ok with cleaning this up once a week in a $70k car?
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by neilpilot » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:08 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:35 am
Babies and little kids throw up all over $20k cars and $100k cars. They just do. My older son (21) still remembers when he was about 3 and threw up all over himself and his car seat in the back of my Audi. I unbuckled the car seat and brought it and him into the house and into the tub to clean him off. Are you going to be ok with cleaning this up once a week in a $70k car?
If your kid throws up once a week, I suggest you have a more pressing issue than trowing away ~$35k on a luxury family SUV

afan
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Re: Struggling with Justifying an Expensive Car Purchase

Post by afan » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:10 am

OK, full Boglehead answer:

Both the $35,000 and the $70,000 are far too expensive.
Cars are terrible investments. Their values plummet once you drive them off the lot. You are far better off buying a used car, 3 or more years old. At that point the depreciation slows down because the "new toy" value of the car has worn off and you are buying transportation.

I have a hammer. It was inexpensive. It does a perfectly acceptable job of driving nails. It did not cost thousands of dollars and it is not encrusted in gold and jewels. I assume I could find a jeweler who would add gold and jewels to my hammer and charge me thousands of dollars for it. I could probably convince a luxury brand to put their logo on it for a few hundred dollars.

But it would not drive nails any better than my hammer just as it is.

A car is a tool for transportation.

Driving is dangerous, so you want something safe.
Cars are complicated and have many modes of failure, so you want something reliable.
You may have specific needs- such as the ability to get a kid into a car seat. I have never seen a car for which that was a problem, but will take the OP's word for it that the family has one.

I do not have a car that cost anything close to $35,000, let alone $70,000. But when I drive somewhere I am the same place I would have been if I got there in a Bentley.

The BH way to buy a car:

Look at the IIHS list of Top Safety Picks. They have a "+" for those that are, well, better than top, I suppose.

Among those, look for cars that last a long time with good reliability.
Consumer Reports gives evaluations of long term reliability of a wide range of car models. JD Power does the same for initial quality and perhaps for long term (not enough of a car person to look it up).

This is a list of cars that make it over 200,000 miles more than most.
http://www.iseecars.com/used-car-finder ... st-lasting

Many cars lose half their value in the first 3 years. It would be nuts to buy such a car new, but, assuming it passed muster on safety and reliability, it might make sense to get one used at the 3-5 year point.

https://www.thestreet.com/slideshow/142 ... years.html

I have not priced our cars, since we have no intention of selling in the foreseeable future, but taking a rough guess, they are worth about 0.20% of our networth. Maybe less. That figure will decline as the cars age and, hopefully, our networth increases.

They get us where we need to go. They are top cars for safety and have been quite reliable. I don't know what they would have cost new. We got them used and they cost nowhere close to $35,000.

Make a reasonable budget for a replacement car. $20,000 is plenty. Then calculate how many shares of VTI you could buy with the difference between that and $35,000. It is highly likely that, including dividends, the VTI will be worth considerably more in 10 years than it is now. It is certain the car, whether $20,000 used or $35,000 new, will be worth a very great amount less than it is now. When you throw in the depreciation, the answer "Don't waste your money" becomes even more clear.
We don't know how to beat the market on a risk-adjusted basis, and we don't know anyone that does know either | --Swedroe | We assume that markets are efficient, that prices are right | --Fama

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