After all, money is for spending

Auto, Personal finance

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Get Rich Slowly (a lovely blog) has written about a woman who’s deciding between buying a luxury German car and a reliable Japanese standby. I was in this situation not too long ago, and I agree with the response that Get Rich Slowly has quoted as the best answer:

If you can really afford it — you’re paying cash, you’re already putting enough money into your 401-k to get the full employer match, you’re putting extra money into an IRA, you’ve got three (or six) months extra cash saved up, you don’t have any looming debt — then I think you should go for it. That’s what money’s for: buying things.

We recently bought a brand new 2006 325i and have not looked back. (And here again, I have to recommend to buy whatever car you’re thinking of next.) Our other car is a 15-year-old Honda Accord, still going strong. We love both cars for different reasons, and I definitely had worries about buying German after a Honda. I know the BMW won’t be as reliable, but you can’t have it all, and the more I drive it, the more I love it.

I realize few people would consider a new BMW a frugal purchase, but our financial situation is probably not like most people’s. We’re fortunate enough to fit the profile listed above, with room to spare. Nonetheless, we bought a base model 325i for many reasons, including the hope that less features now also means less complications later.

I grew up in a home that emphasized saving and investing money before anything else. My parents were generous with charities as well, but focus was still placed on savings first. So much so, that at times, I have problems enjoying spending (and hence the reason I think a is a good way to teach children a balanced view about money).

There are probably very few readers who need reminding of this, but for those like me who do, it’s important to remember that once sufficient funds and fiscal goals have been met, money itself is not the point but merely the means by which to gain some time and freedom.


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5 Feedbacks on "After all, money is for spending"

Empty Spaces

what about buying japanese luxury vehicles like lexus, acura or infinity? you get the same japanese reliability and a premium product.

i don’t own either japanese luxury or any other luxury cars, but i’m curious what other people think


I think Japanese luxury cars are well worth considering, and we certainly looked at Acura and Lexus when we were shopping earlier this year. But I found that although reliable, these cars didn’t perform up to par with the BMW, and I was personally looking for something that would be different from my Honda. It’s just a matter of taste. Certainly a BMW 3-series isn’t for everyone, and no one can find fault in wanting to purchase a Japanese luxury car, which should provide a good compromise between reliability and performance. Since we still have our 15-yo Honda, I decided to go with the BMW. When the Honda goes and we need to buy a new car, we will probably buy Japanese again!

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