Saturday, May 05, 2007

New Car = status symbol?

Okay a bit late, but I never seem to post on the weekend. And with summer coming up I know I'll post less because we'll be outside and working on the house, etc.

Anyway DH comes home on Thursday and tells me "Wow, I want a Lexus." I laugh at him and smirk and say "Sure when you make 2x what you make now and we still don't have kids, no problemo."

Apparently he got a ride at school to his car by one of his classmates. This guy is also 30ish, married without kids. And his wife is a lawyer so for sure she makes more than me. But besides that, they've had a lot more working years to save up for stuff like housing, cars, and retirement. We haven't. Not that we're doing badly, I'll do a quick net worth update tomorrow, but I think we have other priorities in our lives.

I used to think about 10 years ago that a nice car was ultimate status symbol. And in many ways it is to me. If you can afford a new, expensive luxury car, I'd like to think and believe that people who do that don't have debt, are comfortably saving for retirement, college, and have all expenses well in hand.

I have to fight all the time against this mindset, not only from society but my family as well. I have my mom telling me "all these doctors right out of medical school are driving around in a Benz, Beamer, Lexus..." I reply "well I don't have that sort of money, I have to save for other priorities." Her answer "Well they are probably banking on making more money the rest of their lives, you only live once you know. You have to know how to spend it." My mom forgets the tough early years and wasn't with my dad when he didn't have $$$ to blow.

So I'll forgive her for that, but the truth is that I don't want to bank on money we'll be making. I don't think we should and I don't think we can. I think we should only count on money here and now. And unfortunately here and now we're not making enough to afford it.

But I decided to myself personally, not even consulting DH, that one day I'm going to surprise him with the Lexus. This is when we will have made it, meaning our finances will be well organized, on track, and a luxury like a new expensive won't derail us. We'll be living large. Sure people might come on here and bash me for being materialistic and wanting to indulge DH, but the truth is I don't like saving money.

I wish I were a millionaire who never had to work again. I wish I were so rich that money didn't matter. I save and am responsible with my money because I have to be. Not because I'm a really frugal person. I LOVE traveling and eating out, I would LOVE to pay cash for my kids college and graduate degrees at any school, I would love to give gifts to everyone I know. I like spending money! I am probably an anonmoly in the PF blogger world. But I have to say that I only am responsible because I was taught to behave so, think it's right, but if I have the chance I will live large.

So anyway just thought I'd share my thoughts on getting our day in about 10 years I predict we'll buy it. Now if only our crackerjack cars last that long.


English Major said...

Like you, I consider myself a natural spender--travel, eating out, books, clothes, design-related purchases, lavish gifts...if I had the money, I'd spend it. But I don't, and like you, I know that living within my means will allow me to have those things later (though I do still budget for small purchases in these categories, and I'm saving for a major travel experience). I don't think there's anything wrong with not liking frugality--I think I, like you, just recognize that I have do do certain things now to reap the rewards later. Doesn't mean I have to like skipping a mimosa at brunch or a concert by a band I love.

Anonymous said...

A car is just a transportation device. Invest your sense of self-worth in who you are as a person, not in the possessions you have. Hey, I don't even have a car, and I don't plan to ever get one.

Living Almost Large said...

Good for you anonymous that you live somewhere that a car is unnecessary. Many places in the US the car is a necessity. I like nice things and I enjoy having fun. I am not ashamed that I want to travel, eat out and enjoy life. I am not a natural saver and I never will be. But what's wrong with spending and enjoying money? Does it make me less of a person to acknowledge that I'm not naturally frugal? That I don't like to save? That I want to spend like the Joneses?