Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cars Don't Define Our Social Status

In a post entitled, "Detaching from Material Possessions a Sign of Emotional and Financial Maturity," Frugal Dad says...
When I finished college I needed a new car, because after all, I was working and earning a salary and I “deserved” it. I leased an SUV, and several years later traded it in on a newer, used Chevy Silverado. Oh, how I loved that truck–sport trim package, V-8, ice-cold air, CD player, great sound system, etc, etc. It also came with a new monthly payment, and an increase to my insurance premium. For a few months I drove that truck and loved it. My grandfather had offered his old truck to drive, but I wanted a “cool truck.”

One day, after writing out the check for the monthly payment, and the increased monthly insurance premium, something hit me like a ton of bricks. I sat there watching my kids play in our backyard, and then looked over at that “new” truck. How much could their futures be improved by taking this $400 a month and applying it to our other debts, and then saving it for their future education? How could I be so selfish.

...I’ve adopted a utilitarian view on automobiles (and other things). They are literally hunks of metal pieced together, set on four tires, and sold to us for the purpose of transportation. Cars don’t define our social status, and are horrible indicators of wealth. Never again will I fall victim to worrying about what others think, or what marketers try to convince me to think.

Good stuff to remember on a number of different fronts...especially the line about cars not defining our social status. Very important as I'm looking to buy a used mini-van in about a month. Especially because what I really want is this.

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