When not to be frugal

This is the type of post you write and you feel a tad hypocritical about sharing, but I am an open book in many instances especially when it comes to my finances. I look at this way, while there are some who would never share as much as I do about my financial life, I hope that by sharing maybe someone will learn something and not make the crazy mistakes I have made in the past.

I realize that for some of my readers much of what I write and share may seem like common sense but let me tell you there a whole lot of folks who when it comes to their finances are fucking clueless. I know, I used to be one of those people. How else can you explain folks in the past few years who made maybe 50-60G’s tops and bought half a million dollar homes? They believed those folks offering the mortgages and never did any research, once upon a time you had to be credit worthy to buy a house so even though folks knew they weren’t when those folks said they were, they bought it. Now many of those folks are losing their homes. Truth is I would have been one of them had it not been for some serious blessings that rained down upon us.

But I am not talking houses, I am talking about my car situation. Yesterday, the Spousal Unit and I bit the bullet and got financing and bought a late-model SUV…people who know me personally know this is a huge deal for us. First off, for years I have referred to SUV’s as FUV’s…fuck you vehicles. Reason being, a large portion of folks I have observed driving them drive like assholes. I know not nice but oh well. In some way I just had a mental block against them.

So how did a person who goes from striving to live cheaply decide to buy a car that is a lot more money and most certainly not as light on gas as our previous car? Well, we had discussed the fact that if our options for a car came down to financing one that we needed to get something that truly met our needs. It was one thing to pay cash for a clunker and live with the fact that it wasn’t quite what we needed, it was another thing to commit to payments and still have a car that required us to rent trucks and vans from time to time.

See, my son elder boy is 6’3 and in our past 2 cars he has been very uncomfortable, with the addition of girl child it’s been even tighter than before. It also does not help that periodically I shop for my job and end up in a pinch scraping rides because our car was too small. Then there is the fact that the Spousal Unit observed that with my car phobia I am much more relaxed in large cars. I hate being enclosed and anytime I am in a larger car, its much nicer so the Man has been hoping this means I will think about driving more and making him drive less. Of course there is the matter that I have no idea how to park my land yacht but I will figure it out.

Point of this is, we decided that while being frugal was important it was also important to look at the whole picture and the whole picture means a car that truly fits our needs. While older paid for cars are great, it also helps if the owner is someone who knows how to work on them…sadly neither I nor the man have that skill. So we went for the car that will fit our needs and while gas consumption is a concern we are fortunate that our day to day lives don’t require a great deal of driving. After all, my job is a mile away from the house and the Spousal Unit’s office is in our house and we are still a one car family.

Sometimes cheapest does not always equal best and as I strive to live within my means, I am learning it’s still a work in progress. There are times when the cheapest option is not the best and the most frugal option may require spending a tad more cash…sort of like shoes. I find that when I buy a good quality pair of shoes, say a pair of Dansko’s the initial outlay of cash hurts but $100-130 on a pair of shoes that can last at least 6-7 years turns out to be a good deal.