“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rodgers
One late night downtown Boise I was rounding up inebriated friends outside the Grove Hotel. Now if you’ve had the pleasure of being a designated driver you know that this process at the end of the night is the equivalent to hearding cats…loud cats…that can’t walk straight…wondering where one of their shoes went.
It was one of those kind of nights and as I pulled up in my beat up 92′ Volkswagen Jetta and hollered to my buddies to get in. One of the partygoers frustrated with my attempt to break up what I’m sure was a very enlightening conversation hollered back at me
“Why didn’t you save twenty grand on your tits and buy a new car?!”
Say whaaa?? Annnddd it hit me – this guys alchol lubricated tongue had said outloud what I’m sure many others have thought for years. I’ve been driving p.o.s. cars since I got my license, in fact I have a philosophy on cars; I won’t spend over $500 on a vehicle then I proceed to run it into the ground, zero maintenance required. I don’t worry about potholes or loose gravel and when it dies I recycle it at the scrap yard often making back the initial investment. Some only last 8 months others have lasted years. The Jetta lasted three years and had it’s fair share of memory making quirks, like every time it rained the battery would die restarting my clock constantly which is how it got its nickname, or the front bumper that would sometimes fall off, or the missing passenger door panel.
While my peers are spending there Saturdays washing and vacuuming their vehicles, cursing every inevitable ding and chip and working their 9-5 jobs to pay for the pleasure, I am able to use that would be monthly car payment on something I enjoy doing.
There are many studies on happiness that prove experiences make you happier than material possessions. The research shows that when you make a big purchase, say a new TV you get a rush of dopamine and you think “we’re going to enjoy this for years,” then next month a bigger, higher resolution TV is released and yours is outdated (Waa Waa Waaa). Let’s say you spent that same money on a 4 day vacation you get the same rush of dopamine planning it but here’s the kicker for the rest of your life when you so much as reminisce on the memory’s created on that vacation you get that dopamine release again! Indefinitely!
That’s the moral of this little blog post my friends, when you have the choice choose the experience over the possession. As for my response to the drunkard on the street, I snapped “They’re REAL and it’s a Time Machine A**HOLE!!!”