What do you lack in life?
I read a motto or a saying the other day that really resonated with me —
If you are lacking just a little, endure.. If you are lacking a lot, find a way to fix it.
It made me realize that we have unconsciously been living like that for a little while.
When we lack just a little — we endure it and stick it out because it isn’t a big deal and not something that really affects your life.
For instance, I had my beater cars for many years (past 10 actually) since I started working. In one of my latest cars, I was unable to lock the doors. Not such a big deal for me because I have nothing to steal — do they want to take spare shopping bags and maybe some dirty toys meant for the park for Little Bun?
Didn’t think so.
So my car locked intermittently.
*shrug*… I endured because it wasn’t a big deal.
I only cared about the safety of myself and my son when we were in the car, and I never, EVER left him in the car alone. EVER. I always brought him out with me even when I had to quickly run inside to pay for gas or I would just pay for it with a card at a pump and risk having my identity stolen.
However when my car HEAT started going as in not working in sub-zero weather — we are talking -40 Fahrenheit / Celsius!!, I started getting worried.
What if we were stuck in traffic?
On the highway?
Stranded like those poor folks during snowstorms for over a day and a half WITHOUT HEAT?
I started packing winter clothes and spare blankets, and making sure that Little Bun wore his full snow gear while in the car (which he squirmed in and hated), and I wore my full jacket plus thick fleece shearling gloves to drive.
I sometimes lost my grip on the wheel and it would slip out of my hands, and I couldn’t really feel the wheel because my gloves were so thick. I had no choice though, the wheel was steel underneath and bloody freezing cold to hold during winter and to drive without frozen fingers.
I started thinking about getting another car.
But a secondhand one I felt from my experience, would just give me more trouble later.
It’s one thing if it is only $2000 each time I buy a secondhand car, but my last one cost me $10,000!!!
I mean, spending that kind of money, every 3 years let’s say, is ridiculous.
In 10 years I would be looking at $30,000 – $40,000 if my luck with secondhand cars continued.
I thought about a new car, maybe something in a reliable mainstream brand that I could drive, and that’s how I came onto my solution of buying a new car, although I ended up buying a 6-figure car in the end which was a little extreme because I just got sick of it all and wanted a luxury vehicle.
Basically, the motto has 3 major points in it for me that I have taken to heart:
1. Think about the frequency
If you use the item a lot, and it is a big part of your life, then you have to find ways to fix the issue – real or perceived to make your life comfortable.
If I barely drove — maybe used the car once a month, I wouldn’t have bothered getting a new car.
I would have rented one as required or just did without it, as I had for many years before I even got my license as a full grown adult (in my mid-20s..). I used public transportation and it wasn’t until I had a child that I realized how handy a car is to get them places without being frustrated, late and angry.
Frequency matters because if it is a recurring problem that makes you angry then find a solution.
2. You can live and appreciate a little discomfort
I had headphones that were wired for a long time.
No wireless stuff for me.
I just wore the wires, got tangled up in them, got annoyed when they got twisted… and dealt with it. It wasn’t a big deal. It was just a minor discomfort and I spent my days dealing with it.
I did eventually buy wireless headphones, but I spent years without them. I didn’t really find them to be all that terrible for what they provided and I endured the slight discomfort and annoyance of it wrapping around my hair and neck.
It wasn’t until I started actually dropping my iPod and things (fearing a cracked screen!), I decided I needed to look into wireless items which is when I bought my Bose QuietComfort35s and my wireless AirPods.
When I finally did get my wireless headphones in, I realized just how much it ended up changing my life and I was so incredibly appreciative with my new wireless headphones for it being super easy and great to use, that I have never taken them for granted for a single day.
I LOVE not having wires tangled around my neck.
A little discomfort is all right.
It makes you appreciate the reward even more afterwards.
3. Don’t be a martyr
I honestly think that buying a cheap used car was perfect for that time in my life when I was unable to justify having a nicer car (cost of it, the fact that it was so much cheaper to buy secondhand, the whole rationale of how a brand new car driven off the lot loses half of its value INSTANTLY..
The money geek in me cried in pain just hearing that.
Can you imagine paying $50,000 and then having it be worth $25,000 literally the day you drive it off the lot!?
I sucked it up, wore a winter coat, etc… but then I realized that I didn’t need to be a martyr.
I had the money, I had the means, and I was suffering for no good reason.
I didn’t need to suffer and yet I was doing it to “save money”, but to be depressed and not that happy getting into a car I just saw as a tool to get from Point Y to Z on a daily basis.
I did not enjoy driving this car, I hated that I had no music, it was loud and clunky, and it didn’t feel comfortable to sit in.
It wasn’t until I finally got a new car, a luxury one at that, that I realized that I enjoyed driving.
I found PLEASURE in being in my car, I wasn’t as stressed stuck in traffic, I wasn’t upset, I took my time, I drove slower, I was less frustrated.. and content to be in a nice, cocooned, car. It is now pretty much my second (mobile) home.
(I seriously plan on buying a plant to brighten it up. LOL…)
I love that my car that I thought was something to just use to go from one place to another, ended up being something that brings actual daily pleasure into my commute and life.
I also love that my partner loves the car as well.
He drives it any chance he gets to do errands (mostly for the family, not personally), when I am not using it, and I am happy at how happy he is to drive the car. It is a nice pleasure that I am happy to share with him because I’m generous and I love him.
So, don’t be a martyr.
Don’t suck it up and endure, and not wear that nice coat, or use up those fancy super expensive bath oils because you don’t think you deserve it and you should just suck it up because it costs money.
What is cheap for you, is not cheap for someone else.
What is expensive for you is not expensive for someone else.
Everything is relative to your situation.
You cannot compare yourself to what people say online or out of fear of being shamed or made to feel bad for LIKING and WANTING and OWNING nice stuff.
I for instance, don’t care much about furniture, so I don’t really have any aside from functional, simple pieces.
I do care, for style however, and my closet is full of gorgeous pieces. *shrug*
You may find it frivolous and prefer a huge lounge-y reading chair, but I would rather have my clothes than that chair (at least for now, who knows if my tastes will change as I age!)
It’s your money, at the end of the day. You spend it the way you see fit.
Yeah we’ve had a lot of bad luck with secondhand cars (in the $5k and below mark) religiously following the ‘buy in cash’ rule. I think at that price point the $1k per year of life guideline was true for us (eg a $2k car lasted 2 years before dying or becoming uneconomical to repair).