The Time I Almost Bought A Bentley: The Crazy Ways We Justify Our Spending

Range Rover Sport Supercharged 2017

I almost bought a Bentley Continental. Let me share how I almost wasted six figures on a car I didn't need.

After going down to City Hall to get my reconveyance letter (proof of ownership) for a property I paid off in 2015, I decided to pop into the Range Rover dealer several blocks away for fun.

The Range Rover Sport is currently #1 on my list of mid-life crisis cars to buy. It looks good. Performs well in the snow. Feels luxurious. Sits up high and is probably safer than my Honda Fit in an accident.

My only hesitation is that it costs about $95,000 out the door for a Supercharged version with 21″ rims like in the picture above. That's a crap load of money for a machine that takes you from point A to point B just as well as a $10,000 vehicle. So I kept looking to see if there were cheaper options. 

Hello Bentley Continental GT!

What I didn't realize was the Range Rover dealer was recently commandeered by the exotic car dealer next door. Tesla Motors bought the exotic car dealer space, and as a result, Range Rover and the exotic car dealership merged spaces.

My mouth started salivating as I looked at the various Lamborghini Huracans, Rolls Royces, and Bentley Continental GTs littered across the show room. Of course I hopped into one of the Huracans to see how it felt to sit behind a $250,000 automobile.

Lamborghini Huracan
Lamborghini Huracan for ~$250,000

Ouch, my knees and back! To my surprise, sitting in a Lambo felt like I was stuck in a coffin. The windshield was half the height of my Honda Fit, and I felt like the road would burn my ass sitting so low. Lambos look great, but I decided to pass. I don't like feeling claustrophobic.

Then I got into a beautiful 2016 Bentley Continental GT with only 1,100 miles. The car still smelled brand new. The seats were wide, with gorgeous diamond patterned leather. There was real mahogany wood all around the dashboard. I felt like I was sitting in a first class seat where I could drive for hours and not feel sore. I wanted it!

Bentley Continental GT 2016
A 2016 Bentley Continental GT in Extreme Silver

As fate would have it, the asking price of $179,900 was similar to the amount of principal I needed to pay down ($181,000) in order to qualify for my latest mortgage refinance. I immediately started thinking about not paying down my mortgage since I still have one year left of the fixed 2.625% rate on my 5 year ARM. Rationalization #1.

Then of course, I shared with you how I made a phone call to whip the SF property assessor's office in shape by having them record the correct square footage of my house. The recording is worth at least $160,000 in my mind, so why not have a little fun with the new wealth? Rationalization #2.

Cash flow isn't currently a problem either, so what's wrong with leasing this sweet automobile? I could drive around like a BOSS and big wig everybody who comes my way like that one woman who told me, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA! NONE!” Rationalization #3.

Then I started thinking how easy it would be to maintain the Bentley since it still had two years left on its three warranty as a 2016 that was put into service in July 2015. If the Bentley was off warranty, I could buy a one-year warranty for $4,200 according to the salesman. What a nice $8,400 savings by not having to buy a warranty for two years! Rationalization #4.

Then the salesman said I wouldn't have to put any money down if I wanted to lease the vehicle. He said they were running a special where I could lease the car for only $1,999 a month or thereabouts. Given the Bentley would obviously be an 80% business expense, that would mean after deductions, the actual cost would only be about $1,520 based on a 30% effective tax rate. What a bargain! Rationalization #5.

But what really got me excited was seeing the original price tag. The Bentley sold for $253,000 just the year prior. I was getting $70,000 off a car that only had 1,100 miles. What a steal at $179,000. It was almost like I was making money if I bought the car. Who doesn't love getting a great deal? Rationalization #6.

From $253,000 to $179,900 in just one year. What a steal!

Stepping Away From The Baby Sitter

Lyft creating a 150 person line on purpose only to reject people who waited for 30 minutes in the cold.
Lyft HQ created a 150 person line on purpose only to reject people who waited for 30 minutes in the cold.

Luckily, I had to go to a 6:30pm travel tech meetup at Lyft HQ in the Mission, which turned out to be a disaster because Lyft was arrogant enough to create an artificial line like an exclusive night club to get in.

After standing in line for 30 minutes in the cold, many people were turned away because they didn't get on a second confirmation e-mail list. No wonder techies get a bad wrap. Too much arrogance and homogeneity of people who don't seem to care about their local communities.

If I had stayed longer at the Bentley dealer, I just might have pulled the trigger. Thank goodness the salesman didn't say I could just charge the car with my credit card, otherwise, that would be rationalization #7!

I told the salesman to e-mail me the exact lease cost figures for the Bentley we discussed. But after he saw me drive away in a Honda Fit, I'm not so sure he'll follow through.

Oh SNAP! He did. For a 36 month term lease, it would only cost me only $3,488 drive off and $1,911/month + tax with a limit of 7,500 miles a year for a car that originally cost $253,000. All I have to do is sell 25 severance negotiation books a month and I can afford it! Rationalization #7.

When I got home and excitedly told my wife about my desire to buy a Bentley, she slapped me silly. “Uhh, that car is obnoxious and ridiculous. You don't want that do you?”

“Well, yes, I wouldn't mind rolling in one. The ladies would love me!” I jokingly said. “But yeah, the price is kinda crazy.” I thought for a moment and continued, “So how about the Range Rover Sport for $95,000 out the door? Doesn't that sound much better than $195,000 out the door?!”

“Actually, it does! Go with the Range Rover Sport,” she agreed. But then she said, “Wait a minute. Is this a trick? Was showing me pictures of the Bentley and telling me how much you wanted to get one your way of getting me to feel better about buying a Range Rover?!”

“No! But now that you put it this way… WOW! The Range Rover Sport doesn't seem expensive at all. We'd be saving $100,000! Sweet! I'm so looking forward to turning 40.”

Always remember to anchor high during a negotiation!

We Can Rationalize Any Purchase, Be Careful

I love cars. But perhaps more than anything, I love enjoying a car and NOT having to pay for one. I can easily spend an hour inhaling new car smell like a crack addict. My daydreaming skills are excellent. I don't mind talking to salespeople because they tell me stories about what type of people buy such and such car, how they buy it, and all sorts of interesting insights I can write about on Financial Samurai.

What I realized from my Bentley experience is that when I'm at a Bentley dealer, I want to buy a Bentley Continental GT. When I'm at a Honda dealer, I want to buy a Fit. When I'm at a fine watch shop, I want to buy a Patek Philippe. When I'm at an old coin collection shop, I want to buy some silver pieces from ancient Rome. And when I'm happily relaxing in my hot tub at home, I have NO DESIRE TO BUY ANYTHING! OK, maybe just an oversized floating rubber ducky.

If you don't want to spend money, don't put yourself in a position to spend money. Not spending money requires willpower because credit cards and the internet makes buying things easy. Click, click, clickety click baby!

The price of a car is one thing. Then there's maintenance, tickets, accidents, and auto insurance. I checked AllState online, and comprehensive auto insurance for a $180,000 vehicle is about $2,000 a year with my driving record. Not bad, since I'm paying about $800 a year for a $20,000 vehicle. Doh. I'm rationalizing again.

Perhaps the biggest realization from this post is that comparing yourself to others is the main reason why people spend way more than they should. I've now got a Porsche GT3, Nissan GT-R, Maserati GranTurismo, and Lamborghini Aventador rolling past my house every day due to the rich friends of a Chinese mega-millionaire who bought their 23 year old daughter a $2.25M house with cash.

I started thinking to myself, why shouldn't I also drive a nice car like them, especially since I earned it. Why should these spoiled art student kids who haven't contributed jack shit to society have all the fun? Due to comparing, my personal values went out of kilter.

I'm actually annoyed that so much obnoxious wealth is now in my face all the time. To help me deal with this annoyance, maybe I'll interview them for a new post on Financial Samurai and ask how they earned their money to make them face their ostentation.

Getting away from homogeneous rich people was one of the reasons I moved from an expensive neighborhood to my current neighborhood in 2014. Maybe I'll have to find another low key neighborhood to buy property once again.

And for those wondering what I plan to do with my savings now. The answer is obvious. I'm going to use the money to pay down a mortgage early like a responsible adult! A fancier car will have to wait because I already have one in Rhino.

Building wealth is all about living below your means. Financial freedom is worth it!

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83 thoughts on “The Time I Almost Bought A Bentley: The Crazy Ways We Justify Our Spending”

  1. I searched on Google ‘negotiating a new bentley’ and your blog Sam, ranked well so I laughingly read your article. It almost swayed me! But, I am serious about being stupid and selfish!

    I am actually going to figure out the best way to be stupid and selfish, take a professional approach if you will.

    The first thing to consider is how much free spending cash / wasted depreciation can I afford, after I take care of all the responsible / money making / saving crap in my life. In order to justify the tremendous depreciation of this fabulous car I figured I need to make a lot of money and time it perfectly with my priorities. I happen to make a lot of money and have for many years – luck I guess.

    I am 57 and have gladly done nothing but the right things in life, helped build companies, helped my family, employees, partners, people in need, etc. Now I feel glad to buy a new Bentley GTC for $302K loaded the way I like it. It’s stupid. It’s selfish. It’s the worst business decision I have ever made. I probably will be looked at by most like a pompous ass who inherited wealth.

    I’m still buying one because of all the good things that I know will be experienced during ownership. See I know how damn great I will feel driving this car and how much of my personal tastes were executed with this car. It truly represents my standard of doing everything I do in my life.
    I may inspire some people to achieve excellence in their own lives, that would be good. And good advice told to me is ‘don’t let your better judgement prevent fulfilling a crazy dream based on stupidity and selfishness for at least one time in your life!’

  2. great article. A car is an emotional thing. To me it does nothing. My net worth is north of 10M and I own 1 car, 10 years old, Audi A6 worth maybe 8-10k.
    A friend of mine just started an ortho fellowship, his net worth is ZERo. He just bought himself a brand new BMW 635i. More than 80k.
    Both situations are a bit nonsensical but reflective of priorities.

    1. This is an unfortunate but common practice I see in many doctors. We have negative net worth, but due to the demanding nature of even getting to become a doctor causes us to make poor financial decisions.

      Btw, are you the same age as your Ortho friend? How did you amass a 10M net worth?

  3. This is one of my favorite posts that I keep rereading. Like you, I love cars and frequently go to lux dealerships with a like-minded friend or two every now and then to scratch that car itch. I run through a myriad of rationalizations but then leave after a test drive and conversation with the salesman. They don’t try to sell me too hard considering I’m 25, but even when they do I get a perverse thrill from simply walking away.

    As you have said before, there is nothing better than that new car smell….especially if it is free!

  4. Hey Sam,

    First time commenter. I’ve been a reader for about 2 years now. More so this year than prior. But regardless, I’ve thought a little about the theme of some of your more poignant posts, this one included, and thought that you could do something a little more “quirky” with your money, but still buy the sports car you want.

    Donate it to your community anonymously. Sounds crazy/stupid, but it could work. You speak at length about stealth wealth and its value. So to avoid violating your own rule, buy the car, donate it, set up rules to take it out, and give the giddy folks in the neighborhood a chance to drive it (ideally few strings attached). You can sign yourself up and drive it when its your turn.

    Owning such a car outright would understandably ruin your values. But if you allow folks less privileged than yourself the opportunity to drive a car even you yourself desire immensely, then you obviate the need to feel ashamed or guilty. You’ll have made every little boys dream come true as well as your own. Give it some thought, I’ll leave you to figuring out the details.

    But I look forward to seeing the Facebook story.

    1. Sounds complicated! But thanks for the suggestion. I’m trying to simplify life actually and have been thinking of selling my condo recently. I also don’t plan to get a new car until my lease is over for my Honda Fit in Sept 2017. It’s the right thing to do…. keep things simple with one car. But we shall see!

      What’s your story? Sounds like you’ve got some good ideas.

    2. Who feels ashamed or guilty owning a nice car? A car out of the reach for many. Your post must be the most idiotic ever to grace web pages. My values are that others drive what they can afford and leave the best for the rest. And watch them pee their money away to validate themselves continuously through an organized religion or daily pour a liquid poison down their throats guaranteed to give them cancer and an early death. But not before saying “Hi” with high blood pressure and diabetes. And the stuff is highly addictive–when you start it’s got you. A better spend is a nice car, a really nice car, meant for those with discerning and exquisite tastes. A car that announces you have arrived. Cars that separate us from them.

  5. I definitely rationalize buying a 2006 lexus is or bmw 3-series because i am really into cars. But then again I’m only 19

  6. Great post, rationalizing is financially deadly and I needed this reminder!

    Just a point on the rich kids with cars. I’m a car enthusiast so meet many of these rich chinese kids in lamborghinis etc. Trust me when I say, they don’t care what you think. A lot of comments here make people sound really insecure which is a shame. I used to think like this also but getting to know them I realised the truth is far from what we think.

    Try to look at from their point of view. You see them and feel they are rubbing it in your face but honestly, they just enjoy buying nice things that they can afford. It’s the only way they have ever lived so it doesn’t even feel that special to them. It’s the same way ppl from 3rd world countries would look at you and I. We see a normal house, normal car, new clothes a phone and a laptop. It’s normal to us. To someone in a village they see a camera phone worth more than a years salary for them being waved about like its worthless. It’s all just perspective. We look obnoxiously rich to countries much poorer to us and chinese rich kids look obnoxiously rich to us.

    Ignoring whether they worked for it or not (they specialise in generational wealth which is a cultural thing worth understanding), we can’t honestly say we earned our great economic opportunities. The truth is we were lucky to be born in these countries more than anything. Just like chinese were lucky to be born during a time of great economic growth. Just like half of Africa was unlucky to be born into poverty.

    It’s all perspective so don’t be jealous or angry. We’re already really lucky!

    1. Good POV. If only they’d take off their modified after market exhaust pipes that wake up babies in the middle of the night because they don’t have to go to work the next day. Then all would be good!

  7. I don’t own a car, and thus my danger zone is shoes. A good, sturdy pair that a professional woman in a major city can walk in is hard to find and worth some expense. However, there’s a new woman at work with similar, but more expensive fashion tastes to me. I keep having to tell myself to not look up the Italian Leather Handmade shoes. Too much beauty.

  8. Just buy that RRS already. Once you are 70 year old I doubt you get the same enjoyment from driving something fun. Can’t spend your entire life piling money..

  9. I’ve got a thing for cars myself but only drive a Honda Accord I bought for $25k, but I do spoil my wife spending $75k on an SUV recently. Fortunately, I make a great living and roughly follow your 10% rule. I commute into NYC from NJ everyday and can’t justify buying more vehicle for myself considering I only drive one mile to and from the train station DURING during the week. On the weekend the family piles into my wife’s SUV.

    However, like you, I’ve been getting closer and closer to my breaking point! I can afford it, why the hell not?!

      1. Sam, in your experience do most of the homes in your area that have garages that are actually large enough to fit an SUV without having difficulty opening the vehicle’s doors and able to store a box or two? Seems like space is a commodity.

    1. NYC marketer

      Is it possible for you to walk/bike to the station? I also live in jersey commute to nyc everyday, but walk or bike to the station. I have a car, which only moves from one side of the street to the other. The only reason why we keep it is for emergencies.

  10. NYC marketer

    Sam, could you write an article about excessive (read expensive) engagement rings and weddings?

    I got my fiancée a modest ring but notice that there are lots of guys willing to go into huge debt for ring bling.

  11. Sam, I’ve said this before. If you want to buy cars and not get killed on depreciation (like that $70k the Bentley lost in ONE year, or what the RR Sport would lose if you bought it – check used prices, its hilarious), you’ve gotta buy used classics.

    Go for an old Porsche or Jag or Ferrari…you can drive in style, and none of that new money look at my GT-R style…real style! And you’ll be sitting on an appreciating asset. You don’t have to go THAT expensive or extreme, either. There are plenty of high end cars from the early 2000s that are still as luxurious and fast as ever that are at the bottom of their depreciation curves making it a great time to buy. E39 M5 (the last true M5 per most enthusiasts and starting to appreciate), E46 M3, 993 Porsches (missed the boat on that one – but there’s a bit of a Porsche bubble right now, so probably best to avoid for now), etc.

    Lots of amazing cars that ooze style but don’t shout out for attention either that you could make money on. Do some research, you’ll find something if you really are interested in something a bit more exciting than Rhino – and you wouldn’t have to put down much more money if you don’t want to (but remember, maintenance will still be expensive unless you do a lot of wrenching yourself).

  12. Dr.J @ MedSchool Financial

    There’s nothing like that new car smell, until you see the MSRP. I find that I rationalize certain expenditures under the guise of productivity. Its never anything big, but like buying a coffee for the sake of getting stuff done that day. However, this can still apply to a big purchase, like a super car or suv. For example, say someone ended up trading in for the range rover, rationalizing under the guise of productivity, it would go something along the lines of “well i’m investing for the good of the cause because now no matter where you are rain, snow, or just off road for some reason you have substantially decreased the chances of missing any important business meetings or flights”.

  13. Sam I think you should get a luxury car especially since it seems like you’re really into cars. I had a beat up hand me down toyota tercel when I got my license and drove it for many years. I cherished it kept it clean and neat and was happy at that time. Then I upgraded to a Honda Accord. Several years later I now have an Infiniti. The point is if you can afford it a car is not just going from point A to point B….you gotta go back to point A and you may have several other “points” to goto later. Why not spend your valuable time in a car made with quality materials, has a quality ride, that boosts you’re self worth and confidence and makes you feel like you’ve earned a tangible item.

    I know many may not agree but if you can safely afford it, DO IT!

  14. Are you able to lease the Bentley for only 6 months? Would be interesting splurge purchase, business expense (imagine using it to drive for Uber!), and something to write about. I agree that the best way to avoid spending is to keep yourself away from opportunities to buy. I see that Range Rover in your future! ;-)

    1. I’ve thought of that too. Maybe a two month lease – nice fancy sportscar – a couple of tickets then back to the functional low cost beast !

  15. Sam, can you write a post about how to save or make more money for folks with kids? Would love to learn more on that… :)

  16. Todd Guthrie

    Great story.
    I’ve always loved your articles about cars because they lay out so clearly just how ridiculous of an expense those things can be. Easily the unnecessary expense for the typical American family.
    A couple years ago my very first car (a ’99 Accord with about 200K miles) finally crapped out and needed a new one. I happened to have read about your 1/10th rule around that time, and it helped me to feel a lot better about buying another gently used, high-mileage car for my family (’07 Camry with 120K). Why do people spend so a large fraction of their income on what is essentially just an extension of and/or boost to their ego?
    Today, that Camry is still our ‘family car’, and I’m still thankful for the money I saved because I didn’t go for a new car, or a second car (living in San Francisco, it’s pretty easy to have only one car for the whole family), or something fancy and ostentatious.
    When there are so many problems in the world, why create more problems for yourself by buying more car than you’ll ever really need?

  17. I still think you deserve a car like that…! what a beauty!

    We had a car discussion with friends this eek. The conclusion was that as long as it brings you from A to B in a safe way, all is fine. The only exception e could think off would be a Tesla. They start to show up a lot now in Belgium.

    Congratz on the mortgage pay down decision.

  18. We all have our crux of luxury items to “waste” money on. My test is always “will I remember whatever I spent money on 20 years time”.

    My money waster is travel. Planning right now a 6 month trip at the end of the year, which will cost me about $100k – $150k in “lost earnings” I could have made if I worked that time. But it passes the “will I remember this in 20 years time” test, so it is worthwhile to me.

  19. Rationalization can be very dangerous indeed. There are a bunch of car dealerships in the area where I work so I decided to check some out during my break. I had absolutely NO intention of buying or leasing a car, and I’m perfectly happy with my $18,000 Corolla. I don’t like the idea of paying more than $20,000 for a car. But after going through those dealerships, I had myself believing I could get a Jeep Grand Cherokee that costs around $40,000! It would be good in the snow and we need a car with more room etc. Luckily that faded quickly.

    They’re playing with our emotions man.

  20. The struggle is always finding the right balance between saving and enjoying life. Between my husband’s income, my income, and income from our rental properties, we have an annual gross income of $500K. Our yearly expenses are about $160K, which includes private high school tuition for one of our kids. My husband has been wanting a Ferrari California for years. I tell him to go for it already. But, with college looming in just 3 more years for our older one, he’s just so hesitant to pull the trigger. But at the same time, I believe he just can’t wait forever to fulfill that dream (he’s currently 51 years old and I’m 46). What’s your suggestion for us? After taxes and 401K contribution, we have net savings of about $150K per year. We have $1.5M in our retirement accounts and a $2.2M equity in our 12 properties. We drive decent cars now (I have a Mercedes GL450 and he has a Mercedes E350). But, I feel that he does deserve to get that car of his dreams. Do you think I’m over-reaching or can we really afford to get this Ferrari?

    1. My suggestion is to SELL one of your cars, feel good about having less, and then you’ll feel better about buying the Ferrari. Excess inventory is what makes us feel bad and stupid about our purchases.

      1. I plan for my older son to get his Mercedes E350 as he will get his drivers license in about 6 months. So, no, we’re not going to be able to sell that car. I guess the real question is do you think it’s prudent to buy a $160K car with a net worth of about $4M?

        1. Before I answer another question, may I ask you why buy your older son (how old is he?) a Mercedes? What about a Honda Accord or something?

          Buying a teenager or adult child a luxury car as his first car might demotivate him from making his own money in the future. Did he read my post, How To Get Your Parents To Buy You Everything As An Adult or A Massive Generational Wealth Transfer Is Why Everything Will Be OK?

          Maybe he decided to go to a state school instead of a private college, or got big scholarships that is saving you money?

          If I was given a Mercedes as my first car instead of a beater Corolla hatchback that was almost 10 years old, I don’t think I would have bothered working so hard. Why bother when my parents are rich!

          1. Actually, I’m not buying him the Mercedes E350. He’s merely inheriting it from my husband. We’ve had the car for 5 years and we’re not really going to get much money for it if we trade it in. We bought it for $60K 5 years ago but we’ll be lucky to get $25K for it now as a trade-in. Since we know the history of the car, it’s much better just to hand him a car that we know the service history and is in excellent condition. I think that’s a much better value than getting him a used Toyota, which could still end up costing close to $15-$20K. Given the distance of our home to his school, it’s not wise to get him a beat-up car for $5K. I expect him to be on the road at least 2 hours a day between going to school and going to his hockey games.

            1. Nothing wrong with a $15k – $20k. Rhino was $19k pre tax and runs great.

              After the issue of safety, I say trade it in or sell private party. Every wealthy person I’ve spoken to who’ve had parents not give them a Mercedes were thankful! In fact, the more beater the car starting off, the more thankful because there’s so much more appreciation for everything.

              For a young male with no money, a car is a life changing moment. Use the car as a tether for making him do something that will benefit his life!

              For your Ferrari buying decision check out:

          2. That’s really good advice, there are probably a bunch of other reasons not to give your teenager a luxury car as their first car, it will shape how they are perceived by their peers and that has to have some impact on how they see themselves. I would also add to the general theme of this post and the comments above that studies have shown that people don’t really get as much happiness from conspicuous consumption as they might think, so a luxury car or watch or jewelry, in general, will bring you some degree of happiness when you make the purchase, but it drops off pretty quickly. This is obviously a generalization, but I think people overestimate how much happiness luxury goods actually brings you versus other things, like an interesting vacation or just spending time with loved ones or, it might sound crazy, but buying things for others. There is book called the Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt that is a really good read, he is a social psychologist that has written a lot of interesting books about these kinds of topics.

            1. The whole conversation was a very insightful read.

              I agree with you though. I actually felt bad about my parents buying me a $8k used car–even that felt spoiled! You never love car that is given to you as much as you love a car you buy. The first car I finally paid for was half the price and I loved it twice as much! Still driving it baby! It happened to be within Sam’s 10% rule for cars too :]

              I think I will a cheaper used car, lest they feel spoiled and will not love their car.

              Although I see the point Chi is trying to make about the reliability of inheriting cars as opposed to buying used ones. Something about know the entire car’s history is comforting…

        2. Wow. I’ve got a similar net worth and my 17 is about to get a 6 year old accord (and paying for 1/2).

          1. something seems very off buying a ferrari california and gifting a merc to a 16yr old all on a NW of just 4mil. i would probably go for a 90k porsche for the husband and a toyota for the kid

  21. I love going to the annual SF car show to see all the new models and tripped out cars, but I don’t have much of a desire to actually own one. Cost is the first deterrent and the second is the horrendous traffic and number of terrible drivers in the city here. Driving is unfortunately stressful and if I was driving an expensive car it would be even more stressful. Too many people are distracted when they’re driving or too aggressive that you really have to pay watch for them to avoid getting into an accident.

    Anyway, sounds like you had a lot of fun checking out the cars and talking things through. It must feel great to have avoided such a giant price tag. Nice job tackling your mortgage!

  22. Ha, ha, ha, thank you for making my breakfast so enjoyable!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yep, our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and at times we will have
    so many justifications pushing us to get that “thing”. We are human after all
    and must keep our guard up at all time :) It would be a hoot to hear what
    the rich kids have to say.

  23. BeSmartRich

    You are very right. We as a human being can really rationalize everything. That’s when discipline should come. Whenever I feel impulsive, I think of my wife then I stop rationalizing myself buying into something I don’t need but want.

    Thanks for the great read!


  24. “You don’t really want that do you?” is woman speak for “if you buy that car I will kill you in your sleep”.

  25. Oh man…I’ve been there.

    I had a month between jobs where I just had tons of time to think and daydream.

    I ended up getting obsessed with purses. I learned about all the different brands, the different styles. How much they cost. What a good deal looks like. Which celebrities carry which bags.

    In a lot of ways, I think that purses are for women like cars are for men: women use their purses to carry their lives around. They are a status symbol as much as they are a tool.

    By the end of that month, I had come so close to buying one of these purses so many times. I decided that on my next trip out of town, I would go to the store on Saturday and use my stipend to buy this purse that would change my life!

    Then, I started working again. I realized that this bag actually cost weeks of blood, sweat, and tears. Reality kicked in. I realized that I didn’t need it at all.

    But if you had seen how close I was to buying that damn bag…

  26. SavvyFinancialLatina

    It’s easier to justify spending with idle cash in the bank. Best to put your cash to good use like paying off your mortgage!
    I’ve been going to Home Goods (discount home decorator store) and buying stuff for our guest bedrooms. Granted the guest bedrooms look way better now since they are not bare.

  27. Oh, and what about the Range Rover Evoque? They look nice and could be had for around 50k I believe.

  28. I have myself pretty much under control, but I do see your point with not putting yourself in a tempting situation. I love nice guitars. Some are really beautiful with their transparent quilted maple tops in different colors with nice gold hardware. I havent gone out and spent big money on any but the temptation is there! Recently, a guitar mfg came out with their limited edition 40th anniversary series for $6999. Top of the line hand crafted. It looks great. I felt the wheels spinning thinking how I could get a discount and justify buying it. Its too much to spend but I do see how it can pull you in just like with you and nice cars.

  29. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    I don’t even own a car. When I do purchase a car, my main priority is that it is reliable. I don’t care too much about the frills.

  30. What’s the point in achieving goals if you can’t ever let loose at times?

    You hit your passive income target. You fulfilled your dream of starting a business. You own three properties in one of the most desirable places in the US. What are you saving so much for now? What’s the point in just letting money pile up and up if you’re not going to ever really use it? Maybe you’re planning for your kids to have a super-easy life?

    Yes, the Financial Samurai persona would never spend so much on such an irrational depreciating item – but you’ve almost outgrown your persona. To me it’s a bit discouraging to see someone accumulate so much but just hoard it all. At least spend it and give yourself a reason to work harder again!

    I know the feeling all to well though – it’s tough for a frugal-at-heart person to truly let loose. I think we worry that it is all just one slippery slope – and if we deviate from our standard practices than all hope is lost. It’s almost a personalty flaw to want to feel extremely financially secure to the point where it doesn’t even bring happiness past a certain point but we continue to do it.

    1. Have you not heard of The Financial Samurai Center For Youth Education that requires ongoing funding? How could you. I never talk about it. And it might have a different name!

      Until I pay off all my debt, I’ve always got a frugal decision to make.

  31. Stefan - The Millennial Budget

    Really enjoyed reading this post Sam!

    In society today we have so many temptations. Thanks to the wonderful internet we can go shopping at any minute and find all these great deals that tempt us into spending. But you really drove home an important point that I shared with my readers this month, “Comparing yourself to others is the main reason why people spend way more than they should.” We all want to have that post on Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat with us driving our newest car, in your case a Bentley, or having the latest technology. Pleasing others is an expensive habit that many of us cannot afford. Thanks for teaching this important lesson, hope you enjoy the weekend!

  32. Ten Bucks a Week

    These rationalizations remind me of the steps it takes to buy a Slurpee.
    Yes, please ask the rich kids how they earned their money, it may just help them consider it and I’d love to read about it.

  33. Stephanie S.

    I enjoyed reading this post Sam. I am a newer reader and find the posts helpful and yet sometimes the perspective seems beyond my current emotions to attain such behaviors. This post shows your humanity in a fun way and I relate to you. No, I have never gone to a Bentley show room but my desires have more to do with technology and furniture. I will be staring at a $20,000 couch (that I don’t need) and figuring out ways to move money around so I can have that $20,000 couch. The goal for my husband and I this year is to get rid of all short term debt as a way of celebrating our first year of marriage. Reading this post reminded me of the pit falls that can occur while on this path. Thank you for candidness.

    1. Dang, $20,000 couch?! I can’t relate! :)

      I actually need to replace by 10 year old couch that I night at Macy’s for $1,400. The bottom has fallen out.

      Not sure I can spend more than $3,000 on one though.

    2. Sounds like you two are going to be… COUCHED in debt for a while if you buy that $20k sofa! Ah ha ha ha I would PUNt on that pur-chaise. Overpriced furniture is an ottoman-tic no in my book! OH ho ho ho…I’ll show myself out.

  34. Such perfect timing Sam! Thank you for this post.

    I’ve been in turbulence all week to decide whether or not I should purchase that brand new Kawasaki motor sport since my close friend just bought one, and his taking me to the showroom didn’t help either. After this I think I have more courage to wait for it until the end of this year, but hey, where’s the fun in living a non-comparing life? At least I’m gonna get out there being competitive and making more money lol

  35. I have done this to myself too…Albeit on a smaller scale. I really wanted a new Tundra then I tried to rationalize a 1 year old Silverado because I could save money AND still get something I really wanted. Ultimately my desire for no car payment won out over my desire for a truck. What I did in the end was get a trailer hitch for my 2011 Odyssey and rent a uhaul trailer when I need to haul something, thus saving myself like $40K.

    I confess I still think about a nice 4 door truck though, but from a practical standpoint it’s an absolutely ridiculous purchase. Spending $40-$50K on something you primarily will run back and forth to the dump with just sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud.

  36. I love this – I’m exactly the same and currently putting off buying an Audi A5.

    The way I don’t have an A5 already is I like to use my ‘bike comparison tool’. I bike to work on busy roads and frequently beat the traffic sitting in a jam. So I look for the most expensive car, imagine pulling up beside it and asking them

    “Hey, how much did that car cost?”

    They’d say something like £30,000.

    And I’d say “Wow. My bike cost £400”. And then cycle off.

    Works every time. You paid HOW much for that car? And MY bike is BEATING it, and cost about 1%.

    Makes me sound like a douche, and it is a bit, but this is only make believe. But it makes my frugalness seem smart, and their car purchase seems dumb.

    1. Lol, that’d be a funny scenario. You might elicit road rage so watch out!

      Having a luxury car in the city is kinda dumb due to the traffic and high probability of it getting damaged. But it happens all the time anyway.

  37. Apathy Ends

    Comparing yourself to others must be deeply ingrained in the human brain – tied close to jealousy.

    It is pretty funny to watch it go down, 1 person in a group of friends buys a new truck and that starts a string of new vehicles rolling in over subsequent months (this is an observation of my softball team over last summer with a lot of people that can’t afford a truck).

    My wife is obsessed with those range rovers – that is dangerous

    1. FinanceSuperhero

      On the upside, at least your wife recognizes cars, Apathy Ends. My wife refers to cars solely by their color. I suppose that is good for my wallet, but the car guy inside of me cries a bit every time she points out a “cute red car.” :)

  38. Yup! I am trying to save up for a couple of larger ticket item services needed soon.

    Yesterday, I went to a small store to buy one item. I chose that store so I wouldn’t but anything extra. They didn’t have what I needed and suggested a store down the block.

    I went to said store. They didn’t have what I needed either, but they had a lot of what I wanted. I managed to pull myself out of the store before I bought too much. I do have buyers remorse. Everything is still in my truck, so I can take it back. I wish I had left after I didn’t find what I needed.

  39. Sam, ok ok….
    On your super rational thinking you forget one important thing.

    1 Life is damn SHORT.

    2 you can buy a used sport car and re sell it in 2 years losing only a small amount. You may lose only 20k in 2 years on a 80k car

    3 lease the range rover. Its probably 1000 a month.

    Personally i dont want to die poor rather than die rich.

    Its a matter of balance. And i save BIG trust me :)

    All the best to everyone

    1. “You may lose only 20k in 2 years on a 80k car”

      How would you feel about parking (lol puns) your money in an investment vehicle (LOOK OUT, HE’S KILLING THE PUN GAME!) that had a best case scenario of a -12.5% average annual return that offered the same utility as something else with much less downside over two years?

      Pretty foolish, right? And that’s just the value of the whip. Doesn’t account for added insurance and maintenance costs. What if the economy tanks again and used luxury cars become an irresponsible luxury for a greater % of the population? More $$$ down the drain!

      Life is short, but that doesn’t mean it has to be riddled with foolish decisions. Skip the extravagant purchases until they can’t hurt you. Live a simpler life. Need less, want less. Then have blow out after blow out once you’ve earned the lifestyle!

      1. Thankfully, even if i lose tomorrow morning 80k it does not make any difference to me.

  40. The Green Swan

    I’m shocked to hear you consider a Range Rover… weren’t you just recently telling us that in a city like SF you can hardly park a vehicle, let alone a SUV? Just giving you a hard time. Yes, we all have our weak moments, but I truly enjoyed all of your rationalizations.

  41. Financial Slacker

    If you are an alcoholic, stay out of bars. If you like to buy high end luxuries, stay away from high end shops.

    This is why Las Vegas works so well (for the casinos). They make it really easy to spend money.

    From my experience, high end spending is contagious. One luxury item leads to another. If you’re living in a neighborhood with expensive homes, the people living there will want to drive expensive cars. And when these people get together to socialize, they want to exchange stories about the $5000 per day rental house on the beach in Hawaii they just returned from. And then they will want to show off their $700,000 RV they bought to travel the country. (Btw, these are real life stories that just happened).

    It’s easy to spend money – and fun, at least in the short-term.

    But if you can stay away from the places that make it even easier to spend, you don’t need to completely rely on willpower.

    1. +1

      “Hi, my name’s Sam, and I’m a car addict.”

      I’m addicted to junk food. So I keep it out of the house. Out of sight, out of mind. And my heart, brain, and waistline thank me daily.

      Stay out of the car dealers, Sam! :-)

  42. Kevin @

    If for nothing else, you’ll appreciate not having to parrallel park that aircraft carrier;)

    I recently tried to convince myself that I needed a 1000+ dollar laptop. And for what, you ask? Well, browsing the web and checking email, of course! Cuz that requires 16GB of ram, everyone knows that.

    I settled on a refurbished $600 laptop that suits my needs much more appropriately, and plays soilitaire like a champ:)

    1. Man, $600 is a lot for a refurbished laptop–that thing must be rocking all kinds of crazy specs. I picked up a shiny, new Dell for $350. I like it better than my girlfriend’s crappy $900 ‘ultrabook’… The fan in the ultrabook sounds like a jet engine while simply browsing Financial Samurai.

    2. He he, I actually buy the 1000 bucks laptops because of my graphic/web design business. The good thing though is that I don’t buy a Mac, which would cost almost triple :D

      As for cars … ahem … car loan 8 years ago. I ‘had’ to have a new car. Rationalizations? Too many to mention, fortunately I paid of the debt

  43. Fortune Cookie Millennial

    Perfect timing! One of the YouTube fitness personalities is having a one day free-shipping (rationalization #1) for his apparels, and is giving out something free (rationalization #2) if the order is over $100. I almost pulled the trigger, even though they are just overpriced tees with cheap basic print jobs.

  44. Believe Fire

    Awesome job resisting temptation and sticking with Rhino. Like you said, not putting ourselves in the position to spend in the first place is the best thing we can do.

    We currently own 1 car between the two of us, a 2007 Corolla. We love our car! I used to have a nice company truck but turned that in when I left my job so we could test out early retirement by traveling the world.

    If you interview those spoiled art kids, we’d love to read about it. We’re curious to know if they plan to earn their own wealth or live off their parents’ wealth indefinitely.

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