Ask the Readers: Are We Hypocrites?

Hi there, Mrs. 1500 today.

The Mister and I are looking at a car. Used, of course because that’s how the FI community rolls. And we would pay cash because 0% financing isn’t available. (Our last automobile purchase happened during the economic downturn and 0% was available. We put as little down as possible and did not pay a dime ahead. Free money doesn’t come around very often.)

But we’re not looking at a sensible older-model Accord or Camry. We’re not picking up a used pickup truck to help us haul stuff around or to tow a camper so we can enjoy frugal weekend activities.

Future 1500 mobile? To drive or not to drive…

In fact, we don’t need this car at all. We have two cars already. Mr. 1500 does all of his work from home, so he doesn’t really need one very often. I work from home 3 days a week, so I don’t really need one, either. We need about half a car, but this purchase would bring us up to three vehicles.

So, what are we considering? This:

So badass. Looking at its beautiful lines gets me all worked up.

Cost: Not yet negotiated, but somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

Are we hypocrites?

I don’t think so, but you may not feel the same.

The Case for Purchase

We are financially free. Our Freedom Number was $1,120,000 which we reached back in April of 2016. Our investment portfolio sits close to $1.4 million right now.

I have a full-time job that I love and have no plans to leave. My salary covers our expenses, so we do not dip into our savings or investments for everyday expenses, although we would dip into savings to pay for the car.

Our expenses are low and our savings rate is high. Our debt is non-existent except for our mortgage.

While it’s a high-end, fancy sports car, it’s not super-expensive to maintain. The Acura NSX is a Honda and comes with the reliability that the company is known for.

The insurance is low. $197 every six months for full coverage insurance. (It’s nice to be an adult with a long, clean driving record.)

It may be an appreciating asset. Acura only produced the car from 1991 to 2005 in very limited numbers. 9,000 came to the states and it’s thought that less than half of them are still around. Acura just released a new NSX, but the updated version lacks the beautiful, timeless styling and simplicity of the original. Prices for the used models have been on the rise for a long time. If we tire of it, we will simply sell it, and maybe even for a profit.

I love your F-16 inspired shape NSX.

The Case Against

We don’t need a third car. We don’t even need our second car.

It’s a sports car – only seats two – but we’ve got four people in our family so it’s a completely impractical purchase.

It costs half my annual salary.

It is a vehicle, and while it is currently appreciating, vehicles typically do not retain or gain value. There is no way to determine how long the prices will continue to rise or how much they will rise by.

Frugal Weirdos – Do We Lose the Title?

We preach frugality – this is hardly a frugal purchase. However, it has not stopped us from continuing our frugal path. We haven’t changed any of our other spending habits, just this one, and just this time.

Admittedly, my “Pro’s” list is far longer than my “Con’s” list. If I thought there were more “Con’s” than “Pro’s” I would not consider purchasing it.

But I do care what you think. Do you think we are hypocrites? Before you answer, Mr. 1500 would like to chip in.


A couple more things…

Mr. 1500 here. I’m blushing just a little because I’m considering this. Please listen to my side of the story.

Long time readers may recall that I wrote about another silver NSX almost exactly one year ago:

Now that I had the money for my silly, silver toy, I didn’t want it quite as much. “Quite as much” is the key phrase here. I still wanted it. I wish I could say I didn’t, but I’m not that well adjusted. However, now that I have the money to have an NSX or just about any other car I desire, it just doesn’t mean as much as it once did.

Stupid confession: I still want one. I wish I was better adjusted and didn’t have this desire, but I’m not. And hey, at least I’m honest. And really (and strangely), the NSX is the beginning and end of fancy hard-working stuff I want. Why am I like this? Let’s take a trip down memory lane.


My First Word wasn’t “Car”, but it Almost Was

My first was word was f***. Yes, the f-bomb. As my mother tells it, my dad hit his hand with a hammer and I repeated it. Not a good start. My second word was car. I’ve been obsessed with mechanical machines ever since. I was the kid with pictures of cars all over my bedroom walls.

The NSX came out when I was in high school. I first read about it in one of the car magazines at the school library. It was the perfect sports car. Produced by Honda, it would be reliable. It was simple and lightweight. Aryton Senna, the legendary F1 driver helped tune it. I was in awe.

I’ve never named a car, but I already have a name picked out for this one. It is Phaedrus. Bonus points if you can tell me what that’s a reference to. There are clues below…

Growing up without money, I dismissed my NSX dreams. I’d never be able to afford such a thing. But now, I can. And it wouldn’t make much difference to our finances. The worst case scenario is that we realize it’s a stupid purchase and sell it in a year or two. If we lose money, it would be minimal and I can live my life with no regrets.

And I’m not alone in my geek worship of the NSX. Mr. PoP just picked one up. I’ve talked about them with MMM and J$. It’s the super car for geeks and thinkers.

Stupid confession #2: I overanalyze everything to the point of ridiculousness. One day, it took me an hour on Amazon to pick out an $8 phone case. Now, imagine the thoughts that go through my head when considering a toy that costs almost $40,000.

I’ve been thinking about two quotes from the book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:

The test of a machine is the satisfaction that it gives you. There isn’t any other test. It the machine produces tranquility, it’s right. If it disturbs you, it’s wrong until either the machine or your mind has changed.

Will I enjoy working on it? Will driving it bring me joy? Will the NSX bring me happiness? And it if does, am I a fool? (Mrs. 1500 note: I am quite sure it will bring ME happiness. Happy wife, happy life…)

Sometimes, it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.

I fully accept that the fun in this endeavor may be looking for the right car and the anticipation. Owning one could be a disappointment. (Mrs. 1500 note: I do not share this viewpoint at all. Anticipation is nice. Know what’s better? Fulfillment.)

Maybe I should just acknowledge that this is a ridiculous idea now and move on? (Mrs. 1500 note: Um, NO!)

I have no idea what we’ll do:

  • Maybe we’ll flip a coin?
  • Maybe I’ll let J$ make the decision.
  • Maybe I’ll just go with whatever commenter #3 or #7 recommends?

We’d appreciate your input! Go easy on me though (just me, Mrs. 1500 can handle anything). I’m sensitive. Babies make me cry. Only when they’re screaming in my ear and the crying is out of pain, but kind of the same, right? (Mrs. 1500 note: Or when they blowout their diapers. Ask him about the McDonald’s Play Place incident…)



Addendum: Check out a similar post over at Full Time Finance. It’s worth a click just to see his beautiful Corvette!

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113 Responses to Ask the Readers: Are We Hypocrites?

  1. Avi says:

    Go for it! Rather regret something you did do than something you did not…

  2. I use to live near Redskins park and the players would drive some really nice cars. I always remember that Brian Mitchell would drive an Acura NSX. He would definitely take advantage of the open road and the sound of his NSX was magnificent. So whenever I think of an NSX I think baller!!! So I’m all in and if you have the money and have reached FI. Why not?
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Is Dollar-Cost Averaging Is Dead?My Profile

  3. Team CF says:

    One comment: DO IT!
    Why? Simple, if you do not, you will regret it for the rest of your life. You have thought about it for a long time, it’s not a impulse buy. The money clearly is not an issue, it will probably but a smile on your face and make you happy (at least for a while) and I will come over for a drive 😉
    Team CF recently posted…March 2017 Dividend UpdateMy Profile

  4. Mrs PoP says:

    Hahaha, if you didn’t already know what Mr PoP thought, you’d have to read his post from this morning. =)

    A couple months in, the car is still making him stupid happy every morning, and he really feels like he’s not neglecting long time dreams. And that’s worth more than the money to us right now I think.
    Mrs PoP recently posted…Buying a Classic Supercar-The Emotional PartsMy Profile

  5. Do It. This era of car is going to appreciate for the foreseeable future because the people who grew up with the car can now afford to buy it. I’ve several times considered trading the corvette in for a Ferrari 328 (slightly newer version of the car Magnum PI drove) for similar reasons. In my case I’ve stuck with the Vette as the Ferrari lacks reliability. I can’t say that about the NSX. I had a friend who had one years ago. Very smooth riding, but also a lot of fun,

    As for frugal, I posted a article on his last week, picture of the Vette and all. I asked is having a sports car and going on nice vacations make me not frugal. It’s all about what keeps you happy and not spending other money. If the car keeps you happy and your out driving it rather then spending on something else, then it may be financially advantageous to you in the long run. You can buy anything just not everything. Just make sure it’s one and done. You have that NSX 10 years from now and not a used Veryon or something other.
    FullTimeFinance recently posted…Comparison is Human Nature, To Resist or Give in?My Profile

  6. In my younger days, such purchases used to be prefaced by “you only live once”. Luckily, I didn’t fall for too many of them. In your case though, the spirit is willing but importantly, it hardly makes a ‘dent’ (pun intended😊) on your financial condition. So, go for it!
    Ten Factorial Rocks recently posted…Ever Have a Shrinking Feeling?My Profile

  7. Beth says:

    I don’t think you need anyone’s approval, period.

    I’m curious why you’re asking your readers. I doubt you’re humbragging or boasting. Do you feel the need for approval or validation? Are you concerned about your credibility? Are you concerned about the example you’re setting for your daughters? I’m not trying to be critical, don’t get me wrong, I’m just curious what’s really at the heart of this post.

    I think we all feel a need to justify purchases to ourselves and others, especially if its something we deem a big ticket item or luxury. Sometimes we have to let go of the judgment – whether it’s negative or positive. Make this decision without caring what anyone else thinks.

    • Mrs. 1500 says:

      You’re right, not humbragging or boasting.

      First thing Mr. 1500 did this morning when he woke up was check the comments on this post. We have both wanted this car since it first came out – but we were both in high school and I think the original sticker was $60k which was a LOT of money.

      I think Mr. 1500 feels guilty about spending money on silly things. He also feels guilty when he is doing something that is not pushing the cause forward, like playing a Nintendo game instead of reading a book, writing a post, or working out. I’m working on him – trying to get him to enjoy life a bit more. Sigh.

      • Yep, I’ve lived a frugal life. Besides a fancy beer now and then, it’s been full-throttle frugality. Our house was cheap; we haven’t had a car payment in years. We eat at home.

        So, I feel a little silly for considering this. I wanted to hear if any readers brought any other viewpoints to the table that I hadn’t considered.

        • Beth says:

          Okay, here’s a viewpoint for you: YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND 😉

          For several years, I debated buying a guitar. I’ve always wanted to learn. A friend of mine told me to look for a good used one – if I change my mind, I can sell it and recoup my costs. No big deal.

          Now, if I spent a lot of money on a new guitar that was immediately going to lose value (extra demerit points for financing it), then I’d need a smack upside the head.

          Maybe I could have invested the money instead, but I’m glad I bought the guitar – and I’m taking lessons. I decided I’m allowed room in my budget for things that enrich my life. If the car brings value to your life and you can easily afford it, then why not?

          Just my two cents.

      • Beth says:

        Hmmm. He does realize that “guilty pleasure” doesn’t actually mean you have to have all the guilt, right? 😉

        I get it though. It’s hard to train your frugal brain to accept something counter to what you’ve trained it to do. But that’s part of the fun. Happiness often defies math.

  8. Tom says:

    I actually totally get why you’re asking your readers. The FI universe is built on some basic tenets, and one of them is that cars are transportation. Definitely bought used, preferably a hatchback.

    But I also think an important part of the FI universe is making mindful purchase decisions. This is about as mindful as it gets. You know what you’re giving up to buy the car (really, not that much.) It won’t drop in value. It doesn’t cost much to keep (if you don’t put a ton of miles on it.)

    I don’t know if this will help you feel any better, but the first thing I will do after quitting work is to buy a new (or CPO luxury) car (with cash), despite the fact that FI tenets are partially allowing me to quit my 9-5 job. We want a car that we will enjoy for 10 years, and we want all of the modern safety gear. Given my background, those are vital to us.

    It’s all about spending mindfully. (And I’m jealous as hell. My Airstream = your NSX, I guess…)

    • Mindfulness, yes. I’ve been thinking about this for year. If we pull the trigger, it will only be after spending loads of hours chewing on the decision.

      Thanks for sharing your story too.

      No need to be jealous as this just gives you another reason to visit Colorado!

  9. If there was one sports car I’d like to have for a few months that would be the car! Sounds like they aren’t getting any cheaper, I remember when you could pick one up for less than 30k..

    I got most of my new car angst out when I got an RSX Type-S out of school. Not quite an NSX but I got an idea of how the new car high normalizes pretty fast. Even after that, we were looking hard at a few Honda s2000s when the market dropped out – they were selling for only 10k. Somehow I got over getting a convertible after just a test drive. I think these days I just prefer not having to take care of something expensive.

    If you did get it and change your mind at least its a car that will hold its value if not appreciate 🙂

    • Yeah, sub 30K days are over unless you’re OK with 280,000 miles or a bad title.

      RSX Type-S are fun machines. I drove one once and you can get arrested quickly in something like that!

  10. FI by 55 says:

    That’s the great thing about being frugal for as long as you have… you now have the money to make a purchase like this regardless of whether it meets the frugality test. You also mentioned that this car is still appreciating in value. That’s a bonus. There are many “frugal” folks out there who save for “retirement” and then spend large sums of money taking trips. There is nothing wrong with that, however, your purchase will remain with you and give you much happiness well beyond a two week trip. Worse case, you get your enjoyment out of it and then sell it.

    • Thanks FI by 55! I’m not counting on the appreciation, but I doubt that I would lose much money on it either.

      I really am curious to see if I get sick of it and how quickly it happens…

  11. Brian says:

    You don’t need us to justify this purchase.

    The call it PERSONAL finance for a reason. It’s clearly a want, and you have the money to do it. Get her done.
    Brian recently posted…Financial Literacy Interview: The Money WizardMy Profile

  12. I agree with the comments here. It’s y’all’s money, after all. You’ve reached FIRE and you can cover the expense, so if it’s that important to you, then do what you need to do.

    But yeah, from an outside perspective, it’s not necessary whatsoever. 😉 I don’t think you’re hypocrites though. The “don’t buy a fancy car” advice is mainly for people (like me) trying to reach FIRE in the first place. The rules completely flip once you’ve achieved FIRE and have f-you money.

    Is it a great financial decision? Eh, probably not. But if it doesn’t harm your retirement plans and you’d pee yourself with joy looking at this thing every morning, you do you. 🙂

  13. You’ve been very frugal for practically your whole life. You’ve achieved your goal of FI through frugality, saving, and investing. Why not treat yourself to something you really want? Is it frivolous? Sure. But it’ll be fun too!
    Freedom 40 Plan recently posted…How to Invest Post Tax Money in Your 401kMy Profile

  14. Brandon says:

    FI isn’t about money and has never been about money. It’s about understanding yourself well enough to know what makes you happier. Most people think that buying stuff makes them happy so they continue to buy more and better stuff. If buying a $10 million house, $100,000 car, and eating $100 dinners every night truly adds to ones happiness then those purchases are totally worth it. However, in almost all cases those purchases don’t add to their happiness at all.

    If you understand yourself well enough to know that a car adds to your happiness then the money is well spent.

    Just like Tal Ben-Shahar says “Happiness is the ultimate currency.”

    • Yep, happiness is my only goal. I’m skeptical that something like a car will provide it, at least on the surface. Perhaps working on the car and meeting others in the NSX community (I was at an NSX Carbeque just last weekend) will provide happiness though?

    • wendy says:

      Agreed – it’s not about the money. If it was just money, you’d be in a very small sparsely furnished home (if at all), eating the most basic foods for survival, without any of the cars, no vacations, etc etc etc manically laughing over your hoard of cash.
      It’s all a matter of degree. We all want to thrive, not just survive.
      If you know yourself well enough to have made it to FI and still be a happy family, you can thrash this out and decide if it’s really truly helping you be happy and thrive. Especially since it doesn’t particularly affect your FI, it doesn’t matter what any of us think, it’s what you think and are comfortable with.

  15. Sounds like you guys are at a point where you can “let your hair hand down a little bit.” I say go for it and ENJOY!

  16. Kathy says:

    With your finances in order and an investment portfolio like you have, there is no reason not to purchase a vehicle of your choosing. Personal finance is just that….personal. And if you continue accumulating wealth with no plan to use any of it, what is the purpose? Personally I’m lusting over a Mercedes 550SL which is so impractical because they’d probably need a crane to lift me out of it. If your purchases doesn’t impact retirement savings, college savings for children (if you have them) paying off the house etc. there is no reason you shouldn’t buy something you’ll enjoy.

  17. Mr. SSC says:

    I say go for it. I loved driving my Camaro back in the day. It wasn’t frugal, but it wasn’t expensive – insurance was cheaper than my Ford explorer it replaced (how messed up is that), I loved driving it. Just roaming the roads of LA with the sunroof open and some Dead playing was awesome! It even fit a kayak on top quite nicely. 🙂 Yep, I was that guy!

    You’ve posted about this before, clearly you want it, so get it. what’s the worst that happens, you lose some subscribers that think you’ve “sold out”? I mean I’ve read J$ mention more than a few times that he lost the most subscribers in one day when he posted about buying his Lexus, lol. It’s life, things change.

    Even MMM went and not only bought a new car, but also got a car loan – imagine the horror of the frugality police with that decision… Things change, and perspectives change.

    It’s your life, live it how you want, and if having the NSX is your dream and you can do it, then I say do it.
    Mr. SSC recently posted…An SSC Interview: A FIRE side chat with The Green SwanMy Profile

  18. Danny says:

    Absolutely you both should do it! Recently I was thinking about making a ridiculous purchase myself, and I’m not even close to FI. Personally I decided against it, and decided to go in a bit of a different direction. In any case, this is what you’ve both worked so hard to achieve…to have the choice to make purchases like this one should you both choose, without anyone’s approval. If it means anything, I don’t think any less of the 1500’s 🙂

  19. Buy the car! You guys have reached Financial Freedom and buying this car won’t harm your finances in the slightest. And, like you said, if you end up regretting it(which you won’t!) you can always sell it.

  20. Mr. Tako says:

    Gosh, got some money burning a hole in your pocket? You really think you have “sports car” money?

    Older collectible sports cars are kinda like having a baby. They’re cute to look at, but kindof a pain in the ass to keep around.

    First off, where would you store said car when you’re not driving it? A car like this can’t be parked on the side of the street…it has to have a stall in your garage.

    Next, keeping collectible cars actually *running* can be a ton of work. Are you ready and able to spend 3-4x normal price for parts? You can’t just have any mechanic mess with your baby either — special mechanic means either DIY or a *special* price.

    You won’t actually be driving it all that much either — if you want the car to maintain its value, you have to keep the miles low. Maybe only a few times a year will you get to drive it (assuming you can keep it running). Calculate your cost per “ride” and tell me if that brings a smile to your face.

    I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and say “do it”. I’ve had relatives that spent fortunes on these so called collectible cars. It’s a very expensive hobby.

    That said, Mrs. 1500 provided the best single reason why you should buy it — Happy wife, happy life. If it’s true she’d be happy, then it might be worth it. But be sure she’s ready to wash it, change the diapers….errr oil, and take care of this baby until college.

    Oh shit…I just wrote a giant wall of text in the comment.
    Mr. Tako recently posted…Essential Skills For Early Retirement: Be A DIY InvestorMy Profile

    • I like the counterpoint! This is the ONLY fancy sports car I’d ever consider because cost of ownership is low. It’s a Honda, so there are people with 300,000 miles on these things.

      Cost per ride may not be so much. Besides its reliability, I’d work on it myself. Insurance would be the primary cost and that’s not expensive.

      Still, I get it all. One of my core goals is simplicity and adding something like this to my life certainly doesn’t move me in that direction.

    • Dude has a net worth of 1.7 Million.

      Yes, he has sports car money.
      Mr PoP @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted…Buying a Classic Supercar-The Emotional PartsMy Profile

  21. Kyle says:

    You put in the savings, you’re retiring early, and this really is still frugal for you at the level of savings and investments your at. You know full well you could get a Ferrari, an Audi R8, or a Nissan GTR brand new. But I know you’ve scaled this back to probably other cars you would love to own too. You can do this while still very much financially secure, why not. I was actually looking at sports cars last night. Used Porsche 911’s, Corvettes, and mustangs that are more around my $15000 area. I could pay cash, but I know I can’t think about that stuff for now while I’m still growing my investments. But someday, you better bet I’m going to have a fun car. Let’s call it a reward for all our frugal savings over the years. Not something I’ll do until I pass that 4% rule, and I’ll make sure the purchase doesn’t put me back below the rule.

    • “Not something I’ll do until I pass that 4% rule, and I’ll make sure the purchase doesn’t put me back below the rule.”

      Yep, this was key for me too. No way I’m going back to work for a car. That would be terrible!

  22. grbkeb says:

    Ok, first off let me start by saying this “YES all of us FIRE type people are hypocrites!” Here is my little dream a little dream thought: every time you see somebody drive by in an awesome car, instead of instantly thinking what a waste of money…they are obviously in debt up to their eyeballs! Stop yourself and say, damn, good for them, they’ve achieved FI and now are free to spend a little money on some fun stuff in life that brings them happiness. I swear this is one of the things that drives me crazy in the FI community is judging how irresponsible other people are with their money because maybe they have a boat or a nice car, or heaven forbid both! Maybe….just maybe that boat and the nice car represent less of a % of their net worth than your 2006 Chrysler Town and Country minivan does to yours, so be happy for them because they are where you are aspiring to be which is FI.

    Ok, with that rant over, speaking as a car enthusiast from Detroit, absolutely do it! I have a few cars, boats, various toys that add up to roughly the same % of net worth this car would be for you. My rule of thumb is never have depreciating assets be more than 5% of your net worth. I think the NSX will not be a burden, think of it as a place to park $40k that won’t make or lose money, but will bring you joy, sort of like a piece of art. One of my cars is a top flight judged 1967 Corvette convertible that I purchased 7 years ago during the last economic downturn. I don’t consider it an investment, but its value has increased aver 40%, not as much as the S&P500 during that timeframe, but I don’t care its fun and drop dead gorgeous! Who cares what other people think…I’m sure I get judged, but they have no clue about my financial situation.

    Please post pics once it is in the driveway!

    • Ha ha, nice rant! The more I live, the more I feel it’s silly to be judge. Even if someone is living a crazy consumer life, judging them or calling them out doesn’t help anyone. It’s always better to lead by positive example.

      And maybe I’ll pick up a second NSX when the next downturn happens! 🙂

  23. As the finance patriot, I am completely into freedom. As a PF blogger, I have no reservations. I do have a question though, your net worth listed in this article is 1.4M vs. 1.7M on the Rockstar Finance directory. Why the discrepancy? Is it home equity?

    I think, given your large stash, I am perfectly comfortable with a frivilous purchase of this sort. Personally, cars don’t excite me, but our second car happens to be a 2001 Acura CL 2 door Coupe. This car is totally impractical for a family of four, but I sometimes put my kids in the back, anyway 🙂

    Please keep in mind this is completely the OPPOSITE advice I would give you if you weren’t FI. If you were striving to exit corporate America, I would be hounding you not to buy this used car. It’s totally unnecessary. I’d have to say though, I’d rather take a lavish trip instead of buying this car. Have you considered that instead? Cars fade but trip memories last forever.

    Also, 0% isn’t necessary to finance the car. With historical stock returns of about 9.7%, I think any interest rate offered under 4.5% is a good finance decision. What rate are you being offered? You could also finance it via a HELOC and the interest would also be tax deductible, bringing your net finance cost even lower.

    • Hey FP-

      Yeah, my investment portfolio and cash is $1,400,000. The other $300,000 is mostly home equity with some dinosaurs thrown in.

      Travel! Hell yeah, we’re taking lavish trips this summer, 5 weeks of them. We travel hacked the flights and are staying mostly with friends, so they’re cheap.

      I do have a HELOC, but the standard deduction works out better for us these days because our primary mortgage is so low.

  24. Joe says:

    Don’t do it. Sports car cost a lot to maintain. I love the Acura NSX, but I bet it cost a bundle to fix whenever something goes wrong (inevitably.) If you can DIY everything, then maybe. I haven’t research this specific model so I’m not sure, but it must be expensive to repair.
    Do you have to sell some investments to buy this car? I know a lot of people who regret selling stocks to buy a car.
    Joe recently posted…How We’re Generating Passive Income in 2017My Profile

  25. Brian says:

    Get it. Those are amazing cars. You’ve lived like no one else, now drive like no one else.

  26. MrWoW says:

    Do it!!!! A couple years back we decided to go to the Superbowl. It was expensive as hell and worth every penny. You gotta do it and at least give it a shot.

    You’ve worked hard and its time for a bit of fun.

  27. Tara says:

    If you can buy this car and not succumb down a slippery slope of buying, then go for it, especially if this is something that you can afford to buy and have been wanting for ages. I know another blogger, Planting our Pennies, bought this same car at a same high price, so it seems to be a dream car for FI individuals! I would argue that buying this car, vs. buying other more expensive retirement toys is a better route.

    Best of luck on whatever you choose.

  28. Wade says:

    I’ll fall to the side of “almost buy it”.

    It won’t live up to your expectations. It will fill up your garage or cause another car to sit outside. Insurance, registration, gas, another oil change, car washes.

    I love cars, but they always fail to meet expectations.

    You have “almost” bought the NSX again. Keep letting it dangle out there in front of you….

  29. Mrs.Wow says:

    No judgement from Team Waffles! We bought a new (used) car in October. Did we need it? Not really, but we could argue either way. Was it more money than we should have spent? Yes. Was it worth it? Completely! You said it yourself, worst case scenario is you can sell it. You know what to do.
    Mrs.Wow recently posted…Going For Bike Ride – Part 2My Profile

  30. Guilherme Carvalho says:

    Hi, Mrs and Mr 1500,
    I’m from Brazil and the only reason to buy this car is “Aryton Senna, the legendary F1 driver helped tune it”.
    And I think that this purchase will be important to avaliate your progress in Friday Gratitude, because we tend to compensate a big purchase with more frugality or blame ourselves, so it will be important to stay the same frugality, no more, no less.

    P.S. Sorry for english

  31. Danny says:

    Would you get the car if price were removed from the equation? Some of these rationalizations like hopefully being able to sell for a profit later could cloud the very reason you want the car: for happiness. Don’t turn it into a business transaction or a money making proposition, because that is what it will end up becoming if you do.

    • Good way to think about it. And yeah, I probably would get it because money is removed from the equation. At this point, it won’t make much of a difference in our finances.

  32. Mrs. BITA says:

    Cars do absolutely nothing for me, so I can’t claim to understand even a little bit what you feel about this machine. I do, however, understand the feeling of wanting something. Wanting, not needing. Wanting that is born of the urge to own something just because it is beautiful and perfect and makes some inner part of your soul sing.

    The whole point of all the saving is to afford the things we want and the lives we want. One could argue that it would be a tad hypocritical not to get the car. Saving for the sake of saving is not what FIRE is all about.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Siddhartha on How To Achieve Financial IndependenceMy Profile

  33. AndrewENZ says:

    Go for it. I did this a year ago and still have no regrets. Every time I sit in my car I get a warm glow of joy.

  34. Jacq says:

    It’s something you both want, and you have enough money for it.
    I bought a brand new car (before I started reading the PF blogs), because having used ones falling apart was not making me happy. I take good car of my vehicles and make them last a long time, for me that was worth it. I put a lot down & paid it off early. There was a contest to win a new car, so I filled out the info & the dealership contacted me, and I said, no I’m not actually looking I still enjoy my car a lot! (I always seem to have a friend or two who could use a new car, I figured if I won one, then I’d decide, new or keep mine and offer the other to one of my friends.)
    Go for it!

  35. Torch Red says:

    I have a similar story. I purchased a low-mileage ’97 Corvette in 2013. That year was the first year of the C5 generation and it was my dream car in high school. It will never appreciate in value, but the cost at 16 years old was so reasonable, it doesn’t matter. Owning my Corvette has become a lifestyle… detailing it, driving it, going to car shows or auto events, doing an annual track day, etc. I have also used it as a way to learn more about cars… learned how to change my own brakes, rotors, fluids, seat covers, etc. The time I spend with the car is therapeutic. And when anyone mentions it, I could talk for hours about what I have done or learned from time with that car. Ownership has really been more of an experience than simply the ownership of a possession.

    • Wow Torch Red, great point! Some people buy farms just to work the land. I suppose this is the same mental therapy, just in a slightly different form.

  36. To hell with the internet retirement police. You and only you decide what FIRE means to you.

  37. Amber tree says:

    At first, I would say: are you crazy? do not do it! what is next? a Harley, a first class trip to Europe?

    Then you have been thinking about it so long, the numbers add up and life is for living. I agree with Velociraptor: you decide on what FIRE means to you!

    I suppose it can always be sold for a similar amount. And maybe you can get rid of one of the other cars?

  38. Sean Murray says:

    Beautiful Car! I own a 19994 NA Miata that I really don’t need. I love it though and it is well worth the cost to me in experiences and vehicle maintenance knowledge.
    I think this is a perfect example of a time when unneeded expenses are fully acceptable. You’re already past your FI number! No reason to pass on something you’ve considered so heavily.
    Go For It!

  39. Van says:

    As a car enthusiast, and fellow FIer, these types of decisions have been a complete struggle for me especially since both hobbies compete for the same resources. Like many have stated, I also support your purchase for this beloved car. However, before taking the plunge, Just go test drive one if there are any in your area. There could be some deal breaker that you won’t see until you drive it regardless of how many reviews you’ve read. They always say to never meet your heroes, but in your case, I’m hoping that the NSX will still be your hero after you drive one in person.

  40. I also love machines… I’ve owned airplanes, motorcycles and lower end sports cars. If you have the means, and it makes you happy, go for it. My purchases were somewhat impulses and way before FI, so it set me back, but you guys are ahead, so if it provides you happiness, then great! Also, as you said, this is not just a spontaneous purchase that you will regret. You are doing your homework on the maintenance costs and resale value. If you lose a little money from it, it is no different than taking a vacation…. i.e. paying for the experience. We all gotta live. You can’t take your money with you. Money is named currency for a reason… it is supposed to be fluid and flow… i.e. spent…. just not recklessly. 🙂
    Primal Prosperity recently posted…Why You Need a Balance Sheet for Your SoulMy Profile

  41. Steve D Poling says:

    I think you’d be hypocrites if you had a thing about insane clown car habits and wore a mustache. This is indeed a luxury/nonessential. If your tagline was “debt is dumb, cash is king, and the paid off home mortgage is the status symbol of choice,” AND you borrowed even at 0% interest, you’d be hypocrites, too. (I think both of the guys I’m alluding to would disapprove of your purchase for different reasons.)

    I’m assuming you can pay cash for this ride. And I’m assuming its price is a reasonable fraction of your net worth. (i.e. happy meal price / average person’s net worth). If memory serves, you are maintaining a mortgage (of which I disapprove, but so what my approval means nothing), and I’d pay that off first.

    Nevertheless, none of these considerations make you a hypocrite.

  42. Greg says:

    Cars like this don’t cost much to own. You’re simply reallocating part of your portfolio into this asset. If you need the money you can sell this nearly as easy as a stock. Much easier than real estate.

    Buy it and care for it and reevaluate in a year.

  43. Mrs. Groovy says:

    Yes! Go for it! You’ve been wanting it for a long time. You recognize it’s a want but you have the money. We convince ourselves most of the time that “things” don’t make us happy. Well, sometimes they do.
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Is Your Life A Slave to Freedom By Choice?My Profile

  44. Randy says:

    If it will truly make you happy and not be detrimental to your financial plans, GO FOR IT!! You’ve wanted the thing for years, it’s about time you did it.

    When my oldest turned 18 she wanted a tattoo. I told her if she could decide on a design and still want it after six months, I would be fine with it (Like I really had a say in it, she’s 18). She’s now 26 and still no tattoo. You have obviously wanted this car for a while. It’s not a fly by the seat decision.

    When you’re old and unable to drive anymore, what’s going to matter more to you? That 40k or that you were able to drive your dream car for all those years?

    Why ask? It’s your life. The FI community constantly slams Starbucks and their expensive coffee. For the last 10 plus years I have met my parents there every Sunday morning. To me it’s more about the family time than the coffee. I don’t regret one minute or dollar spent there.

    Bottom line is: Spend your money on the things that bring joy to your life.

    • Thanks Randy! And that tattoo story is a good one!

      And yeah, Starbucks. You’re not buying coffee, you’re spending time with family which is priceless. If Starbucks is what facilitates family time, it’s the best place on earth.

  45. Jason says:

    Personally, I would want a BMW Z-3, but I figure you have worked hard there is nothing wrong with rewarding yourself. You guys have the money. Your net worth will mostly increase. This is less than 2% of your net worth. You will make that back in two days on the stock market.

  46. Does it make sense? Well no, you even say that in your con list.

    It’s a WANT and while it’s not necessary, you can absolutely afford it without any consequences. Then go for it.

    I definitely relate to your statement, now that you can afford it, you don’t want it as much anymore. I do that all the time!!!
    Wallet Squirrel recently posted…A UserTesting Review By a Frustrated ApplicantMy Profile

  47. Dave says:

    I was in a similar situation. I had reached FI but lusted for the E90 M3 with the glorious 414hp v8 descended from their Formula 1 program. So I purchased a used one and drove it for a year… It turned out that I got more pleasure wanting it then owning it as the happiness per dollar ratio was not very high. At least with the NSX you should be able to recoup most of your costs if you feel the same. I got another opportunity to test this out recently when I drove my brother’s C7 Corvette and thought “this is cool but not $50k cool”. I could take 5-10 epic international trips for that much money and get far more reward.

    • “It turned out that I got more pleasure wanting it then owning it as the happiness per dollar ratio was not very high.”

      I could very well turn out the same. In any case, it will be a fun experiment if I buy it, but not a costly one.

      • Dave says:

        Definitely fun. You can take some inspiration from Mark at down the road from you with his Diablo and Esprit.

  48. So, I didn’t read all the comments, but…
    If you really want THIS car, and you already have two cars, why don’t you sell one of the car and buy THE car?
    Two completely different people are fighting right now. One is saying, “Man, it’s $40K, can you imagine if you invest this money for, let’s say 10 years” and other’s saying “Do it, that’s exactly why you’ve worked so hard; to be able to it”
    So, it’s your call Mr and Mrs 1500
    Another point, it’s less than 4% of your net worth, most of the people have 30-40% of their net worth in cars that going down in value

  49. Please buy this car for the sake of everyone’s sanity 🙂

    Yes it is frivolous and unnecessary on practical terms but it will surely bring you all much joy and won’t make a dent in your finances!

    If/when I reach millionaire status I’m pretty sure I’ll treat myself to a Tesla. Maybe even before that if the model 3 comes out and is a fairly reasonable price!

    • Yeah, Teslas are great cars. I took a P85D out a couple years ago and it blew me away. Amazing.

      If I needed a practical car, I’d definitely go electric.

  50. Just in case, I triple checked the date to make sure this wasn’t an April Fool’s post. 🙂

    I’m super duper not a car person. My instructions to PiC to buy me a car when I was on a very tight deadline and needed him to do it in my behalf was: under $5000, nothing nice because I refuse to worry about dents.
    My appreciation of cars tends to be purely pragmatic.

    That said: you have the money. Y’all have HAD the desire for a long time. You will enjoy the heck out of that beauty. Unless your financial or health circumstances seriously change, I don’t see how you wouldn’t feel the glow from owning and driving that sleekness that you’ve wanted so long. And I’ve learned that some cars seriously hold their value, and this is one of them. Get it, insure it, loooooove it.

  51. Adam says:

    This is a bit different from J Money buying a lexus. He’s not FI yet, so i’m not surprised he lost a bunch of subscribers when he bought it. I was pretty amazed myself reading his excuses/reasons.

    But with 1.7 million in the kitty, it’s a bit different! I sold my dream car (98WRX that i spent a ton on) because i want FI more. If I had your stash, i’d go buy it back tomorrow.

    So i have to agree with the majority, you’ve reached FI, now live the life you want.

  52. mr awesome says:

    THAT price for a mid-mounted, rear-wheel drive supercar…need i say more?

    • Yeah, my one other flirtation with mid-engines was an MR2 I bought at a garage sale for $1600. It was fun and reliable. Best part was I sold it for over $3000 a couple years later.

      In any case, the engine is best in the middle driving the rear wheels.

      • mr awesome says:

        nice! mr2’s are great mid-mounts with the same power to weight ratio as a 300zx so good value for performance. even better, you sold at a profit!!

        i can’t believe cars over there are THAT cheap. i could never find a mr2 or nsx for that price in the country i used to live. currently, in the country where i live a suzuki swift costs 60k.

        what’s your address? i’m on the next flight hahaha.

  53. SpacemanFry says:

    I’m somewhat conflicted about this. On one hand I completely understand that desire for the long sought after “prize” from our youths and you certainly will be fine financially if you get it. So why not satisfy that itch.

    On the other hand I’ve learned too many times over the years that the actual thing is nowhere near as satisfying as we imagine it most often leading to disappointment. Then again I guess if it’s eating at you, you won’t know if it measures up until you do it.

  54. Totally go for it, you have incoming funds so it’s not like you can’t replace the chunk of change you spend on it. It’s easier to save more when you already have saved so you will replaced those funds quickly.

  55. karen says:

    Go for it! I love my 2005 MB SL500 with 50,000 miles on it. Paid cash and love it on sunny days! 🙂

  56. Judy, snowbird in your country. says:

    Hi Mr. 1500. As this is your
    week to finally leave your office, I say give yourself a present, that you’ve lusted after. You deserve it!
    I will date myself, but I drove a second hand Toyota Celica Supra, back in the ’80s. I had it painted a gorgeous navy blue with a silver bottom. Loved that car like one of my children. – 4 of them could not fit in, but they were in school while I tooled around loving the feel, the looks, and the fun of driving something that felt so good. It resold at a nice price, but I so did not want to part with it. Love those pop up lights too – super sexy!!

  57. Peter says:

    I would say, if it is in your budget that you have planned, go for it.
    Sorry for the boring post.

  58. I would say: go for it. Personally, I wouldn’t let a car get in the way of financial freedom, but since you’re already financially free and you also still have an income, it won’t. And when it comes to being frugal: isn’t the whole point of being frugal spending less or no money on things you don’t want, so you can use your money for things (which do not necessarily have to be actual ‘things’, but can also be experiences) you want?

    If you’re still in doubt, you could also consider renting one for a while, maybe with a purchase option? Because even though I feel strongly about what I said before, the old Dutch saying about that owning stuff sometimes takes the fun out of things is also very true. This way, you can decide if that would apply in this case.

  59. Jerrold Gordon says:

    I say go for it..Since you asked about being a hypocrite, here is where I have a problem w/ many FI bloggers. When creating a budget, many FI folks do not consider the cost of repairs or budget for the NEXT car…in other words, if you were frugal, spent $5000 on a car and supposedly kept it for 10 years that is still $500/ year and I am guessing that upkeep would be about about at least another $500/ year. To carry that vehicle expense of $1000/year you would need $25,000 in savings (4%) just to maintain your ability to keep a car…ps..I also never see the same calculations for maintaining your paid for home

    • Interesting way to look at it, but I’d bet that many bloggers do their own maintenance on their home and car. I wouldn’t say over 50%, but I’d guess it’s greater than the general population. Many of us are engineers and enjoy working on our own stuff. I know that I certainly do.

      I’d also guess that more people in the FI community rent over owning and also drive less miles than average.

  60. nadir says:

    Your issue is that you’re trying to justify this financially as a car purchase. If you enjoy driving it, but MORE importantly enjoy the maintenance (mechanical and cosmetic), and occasional repair – then it becomes a hobby. Some hobbies are more expensive than others. But like any hobby, it’s up to you how much you’re comfortable spending. Weekly autocross track days might set you back. Owning it to drive around town on nice days – not so much.
    I own a ’72 Olds 442 (been in the family for a long time) and a used ’07 XR650L. So yes, I’m biased. I don’t just enjoy driving them, I enjoy working on them. I understand the financial implications of both and fully accept it.

    One last point – I guarantee as your girls get older they will enjoy going for a ride with you or the Mrs. in the driver seat. It will create experiences and memories for the entire family. I’d rather own something that continuously creates memories then a one time trip somewhere. But I understand that’s purely personal choice.

    Good luck either way, but I’m hoping to see some pictures soon! Maybe a cheap/used bike down the road too. And congrats on your last day of formal work!

  61. Danielle C says:

    We had three cars for two drivers recently and it was a pain.

    Something was always out of gas/needed tires/due for oil change, we were always in the wrong vehicle for what we needed to do. My sun glasses were never in the right car. The extra car of the moment was always parked in the way, and wasn’t clean when we needed it.

    All those things surprised us and we will happily not go back to three cars until we have a third driver to manage it, regardless of the beauty of that third vehicle

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