Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A debate... about purchases

Jeff and I do pretty good at maintaining a balance when it comes to purchasing big ticket items. With the execption of the business (where I have made some major decisions without bringing him in) we find that both of us talk through our purchases befoer we buy them. But even with the business my big upcoming trip to CHA for the Winter Show was still a joint decision.

So, the big thoughts are on a car. Jeff found a 1993 Volvo 940T station wagon on sale for a "low" price of only 17K. Yes, it is ridiculous that a used car still costs 17K (that is Sing dollars btw, so divide by 1.4 to see it in US Dollars). So, while it would be hard to find ANY car for less than that, we started to balance that want vs need impulse.

Why do we want a car? What purposes do we need a car? What things are we willing to forgo for a car? Our family wants to take our big "summer vacation" to Japan this year. Japan would be a great trip, but not cheap, even when doing budget travel. Do we balance 17K and the flexibility of being able to drive places vs. a trip to Japan?

So, where are we. I am primarily against it. I think we can continue to do without a car (and a Turbo Volvo just smells like a money pit to me). I would consider looking at buying a used scooter for getting around this part of town, but even that seems silly when you consider we can call a taxi or ride the mass transit system. I also just can't get behind buying a car for 17K and nowing that in 3 years we would have to renew the COE (Road Use Tax in Singapore) to the tune of another 20K or so. So for now, I think the want of a car has been pushed back (although trips to Malaysia would have been fun) and we go back to thinking about where and when to travel and investing our money in our retirement fund instead.

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