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Single big purchase or multiple small?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
So I'm at the point in life where I have to contemplate for the first time what I want to waste my hard earned money on. I'm a small timer with an income around 65k EUR a year (goes up or down a bit, depending on success). I'm single steering into a relationship but we're not going to live with her for some years and therefore we're looking at only 1 income. I'm renting an apartment dirt cheap for 350 a month.

Now I'm a bit confused what to do. I have savings in the lower 5-digit range. I need a car to commute to work, shopping, etc. Right now I have a 8 year old Fiat Punto (the cheapest version with the 60 HP engine, only upgrades are additional airbags and aircondition) which gets the job done. I can borrow my parents E46 BMW 330 Convertible whenever I want. Anyway I'm really buzzed up on the idea of getting a new car, which would be a BMW Z4 Coupé (the 3.0Si, not the ///M) and come out at 20-25k EUR. I'd ride it for 5-10 years, depending on how long it keeps up but it's my dream car so I wouldn't replace it out of boredom.
The problem is that that would mean a serious decrease of money I can throw at every day life quality. Less clubbing, less hanging out at bars or dining out. Plus no shoes, clothes or crazy purchases that I was considering a bit (Full HD beamer, ...). The biggest pain point: only 0-1 vacation a year instead of 3.

Basically what I'm asking myself is: is it better to buy something big (that will depreciate like shit but is really awesome) or splurge the money on a bazillion small things and live a bit more luxurious?

Your opinion, gentlemen/alfafas/trolls?
post #2 of 26
Put a downpayment on a condo or buy a piece of land or buy stocks/mutual funds. The luxury days will come if your are savvy with your money.
post #3 of 26
If buying a car throws that big of a wrench into your daily quality of life I would steer clear of it for now, if I were in your shoes. Also, although I'm sure it varies widely from person to person, but personally I think no matter what car I get I will eventually get bored of it and have my eye on something else. I don't necessarily trade cars on a regular basis, but the initial 'joy' of having your dream car greatly diminishes after a bit. Kind of like a long term relationship edit: also, the Z4 would be highly impractical. Would you keep the punto and add the Z4, or replace the punto with the Z4?
post #4 of 26
For me, nothing beats a good vacation as an expenditure of resources. Lifetime of memories >>> nice shiny object. YMMV. Only consider the car if you really, really enjoy driving. As in take the car out every weekend to the track or for a long drive in the countryside.
post #5 of 26
Cars are awesome, but are a pointless money pit.

Whenever someone asks me what to do with a lump sum of money, the first thing I say is, "Don't buy a car." Usually because that's the first thing they're considering.

Going from 3 vacations down to 0-1 a year would be depressing. You'll hear from all your mates on holiday and then look in your driveway at you car . . . where are you driving to? Nowhere, but it sure is pretty!

But in the end, if it's really going to make you happy, go for it.
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by celery View Post
Cars are awesome, but are a pointless money pit.

Normally I would agree with you but the vehicle he is driving now is not acceptable. The man needs new wheels.
post #7 of 26
How is a Z4 only 25k euro? In America its at least 40k. And I dont think you should be spending 40k on a car when you only earn 70 or so a year.
post #8 of 26
Just find a nice used diesel Golf or some other small car you like in the 5-10k range. You'll have something a bit better and it wont break the bank. No use decreasing your quality of life because of a car. if your 65k pre-tax or take home?
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashaansafin View Post
How is a Z4 only 25k euro? In America its at least 40k. And I dont think you should be spending 40k on a car when you only earn 70 or so a year.
I'm talking of a used BMW Z4 3.0si Coupé (E86). 2006 model with appr. 50k KM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonick View Post
edit: also, the Z4 would be highly impractical. Would you keep the punto and add the Z4, or replace the punto with the Z4?
Would keep it, it's very cheap. Also for the really rough days in winter. Buying an Generation 4 Golf or something like that is not an option I'd consider as long as the Punto is driving in some form. I'm not spending money to go from a car that does but isn't nice to another car that does but isn't nice. Alternative is driving the Punto until it dies and then decide for a new car at that point (practical vs. fun/stylish vs. cheap).
post #10 of 26
Okay, another question then:

How often do you drive, and where to?
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by celery View Post
Okay, another question then: How often do you drive, and where to?
Daily to work: 30 minutes per way, Autobahn In the evenings ~ twice a week to go out: 15 minutes per way, city Partying every ~ 2nd weekend: 1h per way, Autobahn + city Once a year a small trip with 5-10 h per way. I never transport anything bigger than a crate of coke or similar. Can borrow a friends car incl. hanger.
post #12 of 26
Try an experiment. Work out your weekly/monthly budget as if you were paying for you car. If you can live hapily on the money for say ... two months, then you've already got your downpayment saved up. If you struggle to pretend, then doing it for real wont work at all!
post #13 of 26
Since you drive everyday and your car is old buy a cheaper one (say 10-15k euro). Maybe not your dream car but it won't put a damper on other aspects of your life. Buy the dream car later.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhood View Post
Try an experiment. Work out your weekly/monthly budget as if you were paying for you car. If you can live hapily on the money for say ... two months, then you've already got your downpayment saved up. If you struggle to pretend, then doing it for real wont work at all!
That was my plan. I guess the big question is car vs. vacation. I guess I've thrown appr. 10k EUR at vacation last year. So yeah, I'll see how much I can comfortably put aside every month. Interesting comments so far guys, thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5 View Post
Since you drive everyday and your car is old buy a cheaper one (say 10-15k euro). Maybe not your dream car but it won't put a damper on other aspects of your life. Buy the dream car later.
Was considering a E46 330 Coupé as a "cheaper, more flexible" car. Could be had for appr. 15k EUR with 50k KM.
post #15 of 26
If buying a car is digging that far into your budget you would be crazy to buy.

I have been living off about %20 of my take home pay the last 6 months. Really nice to never have to worry about money. Also if I want to treat myself to something nice it isn't the end of the world.

Also isn't 65k euros a pretty decent amount of money? Not a fortune but enough to live pretty comfortably.
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