Holy Crap, I Suck… Or Not

Infiniti QX56

I like to write about money, finance, my life, and typical suburban living. I don’t pretend to be a finance expert. Hell, I am not even close. I don’t pass judgement on someone based on a single decision they have made in their lives. It would be ridiculous to do something like that without knowing all of the facts yet people pass these kind of judgement everyday.  I bring it up because of a comment I got on my Friday Finance Followers post last week.

Generally speaking I am pretty debt averse. I don’t like having it hanging over me but I am not a hardcore Ramseyite either. I believe in the responsible use of money to better your life NOW as well as in the future. In that vein there are several things about me that are somewhat anti-frugal/not hardcore PF. Of course these are things not so surprising to most people but the hardcore crowd would scoff at my choices. Lets look at the two biggies:

1.) I just bought my wife a car, and took out a loan… GASP, SHOCK, *faints*. Wait, but not only did I buy my wife a car I bought her an Infiniti QX56. Oh Snap, its a luxury car too I must have gone off my rocker B. It is funny because people already start to comment about this car. The fact is it is an expensive car but not ridiculous, our payments are less than payments on our previous car and all told, interest included, we will not be paying more than the blue book value of the car when we bought it. I know it will depreciate yadda, yadda. The kicker on that is that we aren’t changing our saving habits (they will actually be increasing), just our spending habits (decreasing baby). You see not having any debt has actually been kind of bad for us. When you know there is nothing coming out your spending starts to creep up. In my opinion that is actually worse than having a loan. We will be getting our spending back in check to help pay for the car and bring reality back into focus. Our mission is to eliminate the car loan in 2 years or less, look for a goal meter to be popping up next month.

2.) I own a boat. Yupper baby, my own floating money pit sitting right in my garage. In comparison to my wife’s new ride our boat is more like like a Chevy or a Ford, it runs great but isn’t that flashy. I am not ashamed to say that I will probably have a boat in my garage for a very long time. Not necessarily that boat but A boat. I have very few true obsessions in my life. Just my wife, kids, computers, and being on the water. It brings me great joy to hit the water and relax. That joy is worth the pain of owning a so called “money pit.” If I spend all of my time stashing away EVERY penny I am going to lose out on a lot of things I can do now but may not be able to do later. I am probably not going to be wake boarding at 50 but in my late 20′s it is fair game.  I would like to enjoy life a little now, and a little bit later (within reason).

The key with personal finance, as with the rest of your life, is to be responsible. Be responsible with how you spend, save, and interact with money and you will be better off. I know from looking at my cash flow right now that this is not in any way irresponsible of me. The loan I took out was minimal and well within the responsible range. I have not in any way over extended myself or put my family in a position where we would have to decide between food or transportation. Having debt is not irresponsible, having so much debt you can no longer control the spiral is.

That is my two cents, what do you think? Should I give up blogging about finance because I took out a loan?

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ryan May 11, 2010 at 8:16 am

That’s a nice looking car and all, but I’m going to have to unfollow you from Twitter now. ;)

Joking of course. I don’t like having debt either, but there are times when it is necessary, and other times when it isn’t necessary, but also isn’t very harmful. You know your financial situation better than anyone else, and in the end, that’s what matters.

Nice vehicle. :)
.-= Ryan´s last blog ..7 Tips to Help You Make a Major Financial Decision =-.

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2 Kyle May 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Thanks, that is the point I am trying to make.. you can’t judge someone without knowing the whole picture.

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3 Daniel May 11, 2010 at 8:41 am

Absolutely not! I firmly believe that it’s about what you save, not what you earn. You’re allowed to do whatever you want with your money if you’re reaching your savings goals.

People choose to spend their money in a variety of ways. You’re obviously doing something right. Don’t let people judge you based on what you spend your hard earned money on.

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4 Money Smarts May 11, 2010 at 10:39 am

I’m not totally averse to debt either, it just comes down to knowing your situation, knowing whether you can afford something, and being aware of the risks of having debt.

My wife has been talking about getting a SUV as well. *sigh. I may be going down this road sooner than I’d like as well.
.-= Money Smarts´s last blog ..Home Improvement Tax Credits For Energy Efficient Products: Insulation, Windows, Heaters And More =-.

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5 Kyle May 11, 2010 at 4:08 pm

If you are going to be getting rid of your old car make sure you try to sell in yourself first. That was one of the best things I did when revving up to get this new ride. Selling the old car myself brought in $2k more than if I had traded it in.

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6 Evan May 11, 2010 at 11:43 am

Don’t stop blogging. It is refreshing to read a non-extreme blogger. We lease my Wife’s 2010 Altima, I want a boat (and will have one when I don’t live in a Condo).

I think PF Blogging, as well as just being responsible, is understanding your choices, regardless of whether others agree.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..What are Annuities? An Introduction to Immediate Annuities =-.

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7 Kyle May 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I have an Altima… 2004 though. I love that car. I wouldn’t actually quit just because of one random comment. It isn’t the first time someone called me an idiot, and I am sure it won’t be the last.

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8 Aaron @ Clarifinancial May 11, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Didn’t you know that if you write about personal finance, there’s a list of rules you have to agree upon? Different perspectives ruin the world by causing confusion. You need to get back on message.

All kidding aside, from my perspective, you did a good job of finding a vehicle that fit your needs and depreciates quickly, making it an undervalued buy. If you buy a vehicle that holds its value, it is less valuable over the long-term as a used vehicle because it still has so much value left to loose. Buy overvalued vehicles new; undervalued vehicles used.

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9 Kyle May 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Ha, I wish someone would have given me that list of rules. It would have been a lot easier to make EVERYONE happy. Oh wait, that is impossible isn’t it. I am sure there are other finance bloggers out there with car loans, in fact I know there are because I see the loans in their Net Worth updates. Oh well to each his own I guess.

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10 Gina May 11, 2010 at 6:47 pm

I’m laughing because I did the same thing last fall (no luxury car, tho, just a mom minivan) and have yet to confess my sin to my readers. But when you scrimp and save and plan ahead, you CAN buy a car, boat, whatever at full price (I’m sure you did your research) and financed responsibly. I will have the loan paid off 12 mos from financing, so I’m okay with it. One year of car payments in past 10 is fine by me.

Beautiful car, and lucky wife!

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11 Single Guy Money May 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm

That’s a sweet ride Kyle! I don’t blame you for buying the car. Not everyone is as extreme when it comes to personal finance. You researched the purchase and you know you aren’t going to be paying more than you should have.
You are still saving money and your expenses are decreasing. Way to go and enjoy that new ride.
.-= Single Guy Money´s last blog ..Are Your Friends Enabling Poor Spending Habits? =-.

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12 Revanche May 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I’m 100% debt averse and yet I’ve spent 7 years paying off debt and the SO is talking about the sport SUV/luxury car he wants. Just because we “know better” doesn’t mean we don’t live in the world with other people, f’r heaven’s sake.

I know, you didn’t need more validation. But here ’tis anyway. :)

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13 Lakita | Personal Finance Journey May 16, 2010 at 10:59 am

I find that being a PF blogger helps me to be more accountable, but at the end of the day you have to do what’s best for you. See my latest post on purchasing a used car….I’ll be financing too….GASP! But my monthly cash flow will INCREASE because my new loan will be significantly smaller than my current loan that my insurance just paid off.

Keep blogging buddy! I don’t want to read from a bunch of fanatics that I can’t relate to!
.-= Lakita | Personal Finance Journey´s last blog ..My Conversation with a Car Salesman =-.

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14 Financial Samurai May 16, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Sweet car! Was it for your wife or really for you? :). I’ve bought gifts for the lady before (PS2 yrs ago) which was really for me! Lol

How much did it cost? Guess you don’t believe in my 1/10th rule for car buying. I just get bored of cars after the 2nd year, but the payments stay the same.

To each their own.

Cheers,

Sam

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15 Connie Solidad November 29, 2012 at 11:32 am

Toys are fun and all and having them is even better, but the faster you can pay them off, or even pay with cash, the better. Few people can do this, but living carelessly can cause a lot of financial problems in the future. Just be careful.

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