My good friend Smart Mouthed Broad started a weekly themed blog post. She was inspired by a spin topic from Sprite’s Keeper about being sensible with money during these economic times.
I appreciate Smart Mouth including me in her initial group of askees. But I have to admit, I feel a bit unworthy. I’ve never had a lot of money in the bank. My parents were both horrible with money and did not teach me a thing. Now THERE’S a post or two. On just how bad they were with money.
Learning how to manage money has been like a cultural anthropological experiment for me (kind of like raising kids). I knew what NOT to do, but I had to use my observation powers to figure out some things TO DO.
So here’s my tip for my first roll with this theme. It helps when one does not give a flying fuck what others think of the car one drives. This, I did not have to learn. I’ve always been this way, albeit, a lone freak during my early adult days.
I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. Land of image equals everything. If you live in Southern California, please do not get offended. But…true story. Just before I moved to Hawaii, I was hanging in a club one night, making time with a decent looking chap who was talking me up. Within three minutes he had worked into the conversation (without my asking) that he drove a Porsche and that a few nights before he had been at some famous actor’s house for a party (rubbing elbows with famous people is as important as one’s car, clothes, and accessories – I guess the celebrities fit into the necessary accessories category).
I was young and my 20 year old VW bug was alright by me. When I got to Hawaii, I soon sold my car for a moped. Paying my own way through college, I decided the insurance and what not unnecessary expenses. Besides, I could wake up at the very last minute and ride that moped right up to wherever my class was, a real perk when one is cocktailing one’s way through college.
After marriage, my husband rode my moped to work and I (who worked farther away) took his…guess what Mr. Right drove…you got it, a VW bug.
When we had daughter we needed a car with seat belts to strap in her car seat. Hubs’ grandma knew an old man at church who was selling his 15 year old Ford Fairmount with low mileage for $700 and we snapped it up. My friends made endless fun of this clunker car, but having no car payment enabled us to save up money for our down payment on a house. It is not easy buying a house over here, but we did. We’ve done nothing much else since, but we are homeowners.
I now own a hatchback hybrid – first car I ever bought brand new. I share it with my daughter, who drives it to UH everyday as this is cheaper than her dorming. I either catch rides from hubs or take the bus to work since I only live a few miles from the school where I teach.
So there it is. My advice for saving money is to drive a car one can afford and to not let a car be a money drain,nor an accesory, nor an extension of one's ego. Head on over to Words of Wisdom From a Smart Mouthed Broad to see what other money tips are circulating.