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.
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:
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.
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.
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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