Ok, I admit it. I have a serious addiction. Two of them in fact. Everyday, I allow myself one soda and a pack of cigarettes. On Saturday, I have two sodas. My elixir of choice is Diet Mountain Dew. I’ve been downing them daily for over 20 years.
My other addiction, smoking, I know I shouldn’t, but knowing and quitting is two different things. Anyway, the purpose of this article isn’t to debate whether I should or should not smoke.
I’ve driven second hand vehicles all my life and that’s a long 47 years. At the beginning of this year, I started wanting a brand new truck. Not just wanting it, I was aching for one. Not just any new truck either. I wanted a classic made new. I wanted a shiny new 2008 Ford F150 with a 4.6 liter V-8 and 4 doors. I wanted all the whistles, beeps, bells and geegaws. And it had to be Pearly White.
We’ve all been there at one time or another. Sometimes a love affair with a vehicle is so strong that you just gotta go out and buy it. You want it so bad that you would do just about anything to park it in your driveway. Well, I’m ashamed to say, I would have sold my Granny and her ancient arrowhead collection for a shiny, new 2008 Ford F150 in Pearly White. But Granny wouldn’t go for it and I had to find another way to finance my dream.
At this point I should probably tell you that I don’t believe in financing things (but I used to). I like to pay cash for all of my purchases. Yes, even the big ones like fancy new trucks. That said, I should have started saving a few years back for my new truck, but then again, I didn’t know I would want one so bad.
So I sat down and started figuring out how to save enough money to buy my dream truck. I have all ready cut back on all my expenses. I’m in the process of paying off all of my debts and still have $13,000 to go. (that’s why I don’t want to finance anything else)
I’ve budgeted everything to the last penny. I eat macaroni and beans for supper and generic cheerios for breakfast. Where can I find a few extra bucks to set aside? Then it hit me. The only indulgences I have are my pack of smokes and my good old diet Dew.
A 20 ounce Diet Mountain Dew costs $1.50. A pack of smokes cost roughly $3.50, even if you buy them by the carton. That’s $5.00 a day. Let’s see, 5 x 7 days is $35. 35 x 4 weeks is $140. 140 x 12 months is $1680. Wow. What a chunk of change.
A new Ford F150 costs around $20,000. So if I quit smoking and drinking soda, in 12 years I can save up enough to buy one. Right? Right.
While I was doing all this figuring and all this thinking, I decided to test drive a pretty new truck. Oh, I really loved it. I loved how it drove and how I felt driving it. But mostly, I loved how it smelled and how it looked. Remember, I have never had a brand new car before. I decided that if I got a brand new truck, I couldn’t smoke in it. That would ruin the wonderful new car smell. And I certainly couldn’t drink or eat in it. I might spill something on the gorgeous new upholstery.
Well, if I couldn’t smoke or drink in my new truck, did I still want one? Was I willing to make a lifestyle change? The answer is no. I reluctantly decided to forgo the Pearly White wonder and stick with my good old 1984, tomato soup red, Chevy Ram. It’s paid for and I’m comfortable in it.
But I learned something. I never realized the monetary cost of my addictions. Now I’m wondering what that $1680 could do in a high yield money market account if I put it in for 12 years?
Image courtesy of fling93