|A simple example of why I will probably never again own a car.|
|Written by L. M. Lloyd|
|Tuesday, 30 June 2009 03:19|
Recently I saw a car drive by, and wondered what kind it was. Upon looking into it, I found it was a KIA Soul. Now, being a KIA, I assume it is a bottom of the barrel junk car, as most KIAs are. Here is what struck me though. This KIA is, as far as I can tell, about as cheap as a car gets these days at $13,000. Now I know that to all my friends with their $60,000+ leased cars, this seems like quite a cheap little ride. However, once you step outside of car culture, you see $13,000, and wonder what else you could do with that kind of money?
The first thing that came to mind was that I could buy any one of a number of 3D printers! Now, that might sound like an odd thing to want to most people, but to someone who spends as much time modeling 3D objects as I do, it is like buying a magic box of faeries who make things for you at your every whim. That is a lot cooler than a KIA Soul, and a lot more useful to boot.
Then I realized, I could probably get a pretty decent Red Scarlet camera for that price. That would be a pretty big deal for a camera geek like me too. I mean, a decent still camera, which could use any lens, and it is a pretty respectable digital cinema camera too. That goes beyond being a neat thing to have, and is practically a career all by itself!
Or, as boring as it is, I could just update all my software licenses for the year. That usually chews up about $13,000, and while not fun, is something I have to do whether I like it or not. Depending on the prices, I might even have enough left over to pick up a new package or something.
That $13,000 could also buy me a home in Detroit or better yet a foreclosed condo in Osaka. I don't really want to live in Detroit, and the place in Osaka is rundown and tiny, but hey, they both have to be a better investment than a KIA, right? What is the resale value of a KIA? I think they are probably worth about $6,000 the instant you drive them off the lot.
Of course that is all selfish. What could I do for both Malinda and me with that kind of money? Oh, that's right, $13,000 would more than pay for our upcoming two week vacation in Tokyo! But then it would also cover more than half a year of our rent, or feed us decently for about a year. Mind you, none of this is even counting the cost of operating that KIA, this is just the purchase price. Now imagine what this would look like if I picked an actually nice car like an Audi, which start another $10,000 north of the KIA!
I could keep going, but I think I've made the point pretty clear. Outside of the insane realm of automobiles, $13,000 can buy some pretty sweet stuff. It is actually a fair amount of money, which can make some life-changing purchases. And what do I give up for being able to afford one of these major expenditures? Why I lose the privilege of pulling up and impressing everyone with my awesome KIA Soul. It just doesn't make any sense. I give up $13,000, and in return I get a rolling money pit. Sure, I will give you it is an air conditioned rolling money pit (assuming KIAs come with AC), but the choice is pretty clear if you ask "would you rather ride a bike everywhere, and eat for a year, or own a car and go without food for a year?" Of course that is an extreme example because we all can probably afford both, but the point is still valid. I mean, how many of us are actually driving KIA Souls? How many years of food does your car represent? If you are like most of my friends, I could probably set up an entire indy film studio for the price of your car.
I get it, the car is part of the American Dreamâ„¢ and you can't live without itÂ®. But the next time you feel like asking if I am ever going to have enough money to get a car, just know, the answer will probably always be no, regardless of how much is in the bank account. I would much rather have the nice camera, magic faerie box, cool software, and plenty of money to live on, rather than the impressive car that costs as much as all those things combined. It is just a matter of different priorities. You are willing to forgo the cool toys, limit the vacations you are willing to take, and tighten the belt a little, all to afford the nice car, and not have to sweat on your way up to the store. I am willing to sweat on my way up to the store in return for being able to buy all the cool toys, and take a vacation whenever I want., and not really ever have to worry about money. Trust me, your decision looks just as strange to me, as my decision looks to you.That is just how it is when you approach a problem from radically different angles.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 June 2009 14:02 )|