I have an example of a dumb decision/life lesson learned. It wasn’t a problem, or cause any negative effects on our lives, but it was there was a loss.
This is a lesson to enjoy life.
My wife at one time had an old car that worked fine. It was a pleasure car, a “classic.” It was a special save-up-extra-money-for-a-long-time-and-buy that classic car. It was a 69 Mach 1 Mustang. It had a V8 with headers that shook the house when it was started in the garage.
She drove it fully accepting its imperfections, kinks, and slight hassles—after all, it was almost 50 years old. The issues included, but were not limited to, carburetor strangeness, speedometer that jumped up and down 10-15mph at random, wiggly steering wheel, etc, etc. The issues were nothing that caused safety concerns, but were inconveniences when operating this motor vehicle.
So, when we were preparing to sell the car, we had $600 of work completed to help the sale. We wanted the car to start and idle great, display the speed smoothly, and basically, feel solid.
Turns out this repair work made the car drive so much better. So much so that the car sold to the first couple that came to look at it.
After selling the mustang it became obvious that we should have performed the work at the beginning of our ownership cycle so that we could have enjoyed the car much more through the years. It’s even possible that if the car ran so well all along, we may not have even sold it.
I now think about what actions I can take in my life now in order to optimize/maximize our enjoyment.
Are there things (yes “things or experiences”) that can make life better, more enjoyable? Are the associated costs worthwhile?
During covid quarantine, we found we were outside our home a lot more. We decided to put a second gate in our block wall. This thought never occurred in the past 10 years when it may have been applicable. This was a great $1000 spend. We now use the gate multiple times per day, every day.
We purchased some new umbrellas and stands for our yard. A few hundred dollars made the AZ yard move enjoyable when the sun started over-pumping heat. $200
We added LED string lighting across our yard. It gives us a party feel, much like a cruise ship Lido deck every night. $145
We upgraded a spare spinning bike that was used once in a while pre-covid to a nicer model since the spinning studios are closed, and some sadly went out of business.
We needed to replace our 15-year-old SUV. Yes, we could have repaired some things but after being stranded in the middle of the AZ desert (luckily, with 1 bar of cell service), I just didn’t trust it. For the first time ever, I didn’t buy used (buy 3 years old, keep 10 years) because I felt the safety features on new Toyotas were so significant that I wanted pedestrian/bike recognition, cross-traffic alerts/stopping, front stopping, lane keep/tracing, cameras, etc. etc. It made sense to spend the extra on safety features we will use every single time we drive the vehicle. In the past 3 months, I can say those features are wonderful.
We even plan to fly Premium Economy (or maybe business class) on our overseas trips to make check-in, airport security, boarding, and onboard comfort better on our travels. It seems (as of right now) that we probably don’t need to crunch in the back of the plane. This is a hard one for me to implement, but I’m going to try. ……GLOBAL ENTRY as well…
Our Plan for the Future:
I’ve written about our Mojo decade and that too ties into this spend-it-when-we-can-enjoy-it mentality. I am going to be very careful making sure we still track to our/a plan. Alas, if I only knew when our “end of plan was” it would be easy.
I’m using some of our decades of “deferred spending” now when we can enjoy it. Why use that money later, at the end of our time when it’s not enjoyed over our time.
Do you have any of those “I wish I would have spent on ABC earlier” thoughts in your life?
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.