I dropped off my car today to get detailed for the very first time ever. (I have owned the car since 2004). I am most excited about this and have been looking forward to it for months. In fact I’ve been wanting to do it for quite a while but always felt it was too expense, so in November I decided what the heck its worth it because in a way its also a form of car maintenance and started saving for it. Since then I’ve saved more than enough to have my car detailed.
When my car was picked up at the jobsite today to get detailed one of the guys I work with made the joked that apparently I’m getting paid too much to be able to afford these luxuries. He went on and on about how broke he is and how much he would like to be able to afford the same luxuries.
So this guy, we’ll call “Big Spender”, continues to rant on and on about how its not fair that I can get my car detailed. Well I know “Big Spender” makes more money than I do because I do the GC’s and cost analysis every month so I know roughly what his costs ( salary and benefits) to the project are per month. But despite making what in my opinion is a pretty nice salary, he always talks about how broken and in debt he is. And I can’t help but feel sorry for him, especially when he talks about how he “can’t” save for retirement because his bills are so high and that retirement is a luxury for people with money. I don’t feel sorry for him that he “can’t” save, what I feel sorry about is that he doesn’t get it, he refuses to change his spending habits. And in my humble opinion retirement isn’t a luxury for people with money, it’s a comfort for people who allocate their resources effectively and prioritize their future over their present over-spending. And while “Big Spender” doesn’t spring for “luxuries” like getting his car detailed once in 4 years and savings for retirement like I do, he does blow money like crazy on random knick-knacks, high dollar electronics, DVD’s, and credit card interest. For super bowl weekend he sprung for a brand new High-Def LDC TV, and I know that bad boy had to have been at least 40, that’s right four-zero, times more expensive than detailing a car. If you ask me he’s making a choice and that choice is that he doesn’t value the same “luxuries” that I do.
Choices --- that’s what life and personal finance come down --- priorities and choosing what’s important to you.
Well I’m off to enjoy my newly cleaned car.