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Passports, Crazy Spending, $6,800 Car

January 11th, 2015 at 06:51 am

Passport fees have gone up a wee bit the last several years. Yeesh!

Anyway, all our passports (kids and I) are current so I didn't think much about it. Dh thankfully realized that we've never really traveled abroad together and were probably on different schedules. His passport expired 5 years ago! He should have enough time to renew before his big trip.

He last renewed his passport in 2000 because he worked abroad at that time. He has been to Asia several times (family and work), but he has never been to Japan. He figured he couldn't pass up this opportunity.

As to the passport fees, just taking it out of the vacation fund for now.

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There is a lab in our city that teaches technology classes to kids and so on. There is a class this weekend on making games for PC or mobile. The software is free to use. So BM is going to that. He can teach LM and dh from there. (LM would probably be more into that but would probably rather just learn from his brother).

They wanted cash and I am pleased I have $20 cash for that. My mom gave me $40 for Thanksgiving groceries? For whatever reason I just put it with our cash on hand for "in lieu of ATM". If we go to the ATM once or twice a year then maybe this would make it zero times per year.

{I usually put any and all change and cash straight into the bank, but I thought it might be more useful to keep a little extra cash on hand this time}.

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I've said it before and I will keep saying it I guess... It is so odd that one of the biggest benefits of our low-cost move is not having any grandiose illusions of income. As we approach 40 it just seems to get more and more ridiculous.

I wouldn't even know where to begin. Seven figure mediocre homes and $33,000 private schools, etc.

I was thinking about it more locally actually because co-worker brought a brand new SUV. He is older and higher up and makes more money. BUT... His car was broken some time last year and he groused that he was carless (for like a whole week?) because he could not afford to fix it. I personally had absolutely no frame of reference for that. When I was a completely broke and almost penniless college student I could afford to fix my car. I thought, "Is he so tapped out he can't even throw it on a credit card??" I don't get it. I really don't. I understand living far beyond one's means but I don't understand having no means to secure a loan.

So anyway, to be fair, he is the only one in my office who has not replaced HIS car during the entire past 13 years that I have been there. & as much as I feel on a different planet as my co-workers, they are certainly more frugal than average and it's common for us to all keep our cars for 15+ years.

So I believe he has always had this car since I have been there and he is probably due an upgrade. But, he did just also buy a new car for his wife. & there was this whole thing with this ridiculously expensive truck he bought his daughter than just sat in his driveway. (He complained it was too gas guzzling to drive and use; daughter went off to college on the other side of the country).

All that, and he could buy nothing less than a brand new SUV for himself. Of course!

All of the above makes me feel grateful that I am under absolutely no illusion that I can afford any of the above. A $30,000+ vehicle, a seven figure home, or a private school education (or two or three) in the most expensive city in the U.S. Nope, nope and nope.

OF course, my gross pay may be a lot lower than everyone above but I don't know that our means are particularly lower. We don't pay much in income taxes. So I have just been pondering a lot how bigger salaries motivate people to spend more. Even when they really don't have any more at the end of the day.

As to our relatives back home, I really hope they have stock options or something lucrative on their side. It seems less likely the more they grouse about how broke they are. I am extra fascinated by this when it comes to our relatives because I'd say they more started out like us. Very frugal and financially sensible out the gate. But the insane high cost of living has eroded their common sense, for sure. (Except for the one who moved to our city and then spent lavishly beyond his means with his home equity windfall. He's chronically unemployed and $300k-ish upside down on his house. So - I don't know WHAT it is! Any illusion of wealth of any kind makes us really stupid??)

A lot of it also seems to be who you marry. Dh and I are the only ones who married another saver. Watching our relatives makes me extra appreciative about this point. It's not anything I ever thought about consciously when I picked a mate - I met my spouse when I Was only 18 - but I don't remember ever seriously dating any spenders. Would be like oil and water.

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How about that Elio??

[url]http://jalopnik.com/elio-releases-definitive-2016-model...

"Elio has released their "definitive" 2016 model at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, even though the electric-looking three-wheeler is gasoline powered."

"...standing firm at 84MPG and the $6800 price tag"

Who knows if they will be able to pull this off but I just LOVE that they are trying and that so many consumers are excited about this.

This could easily be our next car. (Or a third car to limp our sedan along until the kids have their own cars).

I mean, this is like my husband's dream car. There have been a lot of small cars that are ridiculously expensive (and thus impractical). But YES - this is what we need - small cars that are low gas mileage AND inexpensive. YES YES YES!!!

We have a 2001 Ford that we paid under $8,000 for, barely used. (We bought it in 2002). It gets 40mpg on the freeway. Of course, it cost so little because we bought it at the height of SUV crazy and in the midst of the massive debt bubble. No one wanted a practical and small and inexpensive car. Wink

But anyway, I have just been so disillusioned watching cars get more expensive and less practical. & bigger. Like there was a time I had no idea what we would do if anything happened to our cars. Particularly as the debt bubble peaked.

The timing of this is interesting because dh and I have discussed that if we saw a deal like when we bought his last car I'd be ready to pull the trigger on replacing his car. Figure it likely will not happen, but we agreed to keep our eye open for maybe something in the $10k range. Otherwise plan is probably to spend more like $15k-ish in another few years.

Of course, I completely ruled out buying a one-year-old low mileage car for under $8,000 again. But hey, what do I know? This gives me hope! & maybe also gives us some extra motivation to wait a few more years.

5 Responses to “Passports, Crazy Spending, $6,800 Car”

  1. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    I have wondered the same thing about why people with more money feel the need to spend all of it (or beyond it!) when there is absolutely no reason to. I can understand adding a luxury or two, but those don't have to be things that break the bank.

    Its also hilarious how people jump in to help you spend your money if you're not doing it fast enough as well. I've been in my new job (with a much larger salary) for almost 3 months and people are already asking if I'm going to buy a house or a new car or travel. When I mention I'm focusing on saving and paying off debt they almost look disappointed and act as if I don't know how to enjoy myself. Good grief!

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    Well, sometimes people who need cars and really shouldn't buy new end up buying new because they can finance through the dealership for 0 percent or some obscenely low interest rate. If they bought used, they'd either have to pay cash or finance it at a much much higher rate. In that situation, you can see how people can rationalize their decisions.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    So, what's the rationale for a SUV for an empty nester with a big commute??? We don't even have SNOW here so it's not that!

  4. rob62521 Says:

    We try to keep some cash on hand in case we need it. Not a lot, but some. There's a locally owned hole in the wall Chinese restaurant we go to every so often and they only accept cash or it's nice to have it if we need it.

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    NE also is fascinated by the Elio car. It does sound like a very interesting car, although it definitely doesn't have much room for passengers or storage - so wouldn't make for a good family car.

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