Car is not for minimalist?

No matter our financial objectives, guilt for spending is something that is likely not to bring us joy. At some point, when we have some amount of money available, spending on the things we enjoy is ok and should not trigger guilt. There again, guilt is a feeling coming out of a moral framework.

I don’t think I have areas in my life where I spend consistently more than the average swiss person. I do have areas where I sporadically spend a lot more than some would because I assess it will have a correspondingly big effect on my life (currently, that would be restaurants since I haven’t cooked for some months). I believe in not being afraid to spend on the things that will make a difference, and not spending at all, or not more than strictly necessary, on the things that don’t have a significant impact.

For example: I don’t fret going to therapy/counselling whenever I think that will get me more grounded and help make sense of my situation. I’ll live a more meaningful life (and preserve my ability to make money better) by spending to give me a proper framework to address the problem early than by not doing it.

Another example: I’m planning a construction project. I think spending without guilt on an architect/general contractor early, even though I could do those early parts myself, will help to make the project match what I actually want more accurately and for a better price.

I’ve also just bought 3 expensive merino wool T-shirts to go invisibly under my shirts and catch any perspiration and smell I may emit, without blinking an eye. That is an expense I know I will enjoy and should last me quite some time.

That has to be balanced, of course, and not everything can be an expensive expense, else it also takes out the fulfilling effect of aquiring what I really need when I do. This is part of why I like counselling/therapy, that’s the kind of topics I can talk about and find where my balance is.

1 Like

Sure, my present car, nice, but it costed half of the price range I mentioned.

This is the main point on spending money on something (expensive).
As example I have colleagues who have the license to pilot small airplanes…it’s like the cost of a car, but I guess they didn’t do it because they didn’t know where to spend money.

I think you understood the layers underneath the surface. It’s not related just to the car.
And thanks to give me your personal examples.

Ah so in that case I predict that like in my experience, initially you will enjoy having a “nicer” car and after a year you couldn’t care less.

What are the kind of cars we are comparing (if you want to share)? :blush:

Most probably yes :confused:

I want to share this one with you guys:

Here’s a great little anecdote Kurt Vonnegut relayed at Joe Heller’s funeral:

Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer now dead, and I were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island.

I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel to know that our host only yesterday may have made more money than your novel ‘Catch-22’ has earned in its entire history?”

And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”

And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”

And Joe said, “… Enough.”


I have never had a new car and I have never spent more then 6K when buying a 2nd hand car. As I drive arround 8’000 km a year its not worth buying a new one. I drive currently a Renault Megane Cabrio which i both in March 2017 for Fr. 3500 with 145’000 km. Till today I havent spend new oil nor a regular service maintance - and what should I say - the less my car see a garage the better he is.
When buying another car I try to get one from privat owner and before buying making a car intensive test bei TCS for Fr. 180.

Yeah don’t do that. Six years is way too long to not check important safety features like brakes or brake fluid.

You mean the oil in your engine is the same as in 2017 ?

Sometimes I do 600km in a weekend. I prefer to have regular inspections.

In my opinion, the value of a purchase is in the value you get out of it, i.e. a 2000-franc car you hardly use is much more “expensive” than 60,000-franc car that you get 80,000 francs of value out of. In your case it makes more sense just to get the car you want and work it into your budget.

I think the only “mustachian” advice here would be to obtain the car you want at the lowest possible cost. Apart from comparing prices at different dealers (if there is competition in the market), paying in cash instead of using a loan or lease is an obvious saver. Getting the car slightly used (1 or 2 years) can knock a lot off the price.

1 Like

Numbers help focus the decision

If I would have bought a 60k CHF car 20 years ago and kept it up to date by changing every 3 years (like a lot of people used to) instead of running good quality and reliable 2nd hand Japanese cars for 10 years; then I would be 0.5 Million CHF worse off today.

Over a 40 year working life the impact is over 2M CHF

Assumptions: new car depreciates by 50% in 3 years, 7% stock market return


Numbers are quite crazy.
I know people they do in that way :smiley:
That’s like move money into the dumpster.

It’s not my case, 2 cars in 20 years (both Japanese and not expensive :slight_smile: )
Maybe it’s just a phase and I’m not going to do it.
More or less similar watching on YT Lamborghini/McLaren 0-100 km/h comparison. Just dream about it.

1 Like

In my opinion, an “across the board” minimalist lifestyle or approach to life doesn’t accommodate for a 50-60k car. The idea in being minimalistic is going simple and useful, good value for money etc. There are, very general speaking, plenty of options on the market for a dependable, even good quality car (whatever that might mean to you, German made premium or otherwise) that’s not too old but still in very good condition at much lower prices.

So I wonder what you mean by :

Why the 50-60k range exactly? And where are the reasons behind splurging this kind of cash from someone who cuts their own hair?

If you’re a petrolhead that would make sense, to prioritise that over everything else, and still be a minimalist or frugal person otherwise.

But in this case maybe it’s not the 50k that should be the base for the discussion but what sort of car you’re after? If it’s a specific kind of make or engine for example, maybe look for something older with low mileage that gives you the same joys of driving it - a 5 year old car should have lost half or even two thirds of its value already.

If I need a car that costs me 8’000 CHF per year to save 8000 CHF on groceries, I’ll gladly get rid of the car and save my time.
Also, stuff can be delivered home. Or one can use a taxi. Or a bike with a trailer. Or use gomore, Mobility, Ubeeqo,

Having read a bit further, I get the impression your main issue might be loneliness - correct me if I’m wrong. If my impression is correct: How about using that car to meeting up with some people? Meet with old friends?

1 Like

So where does that 50-60k price range come from? :smiley:

For sure.

I don’t want to look for a new car in a few days or weeks, if my car is going to have suddenly issues.

Specific (used) car

This is precisely the reason. Saving in every small and big thing, after many years, I asked myself why not make an exception. Since we don’t live for a thousand years…

Quality of food included in the savings

Not completely wrong. Hard topic to discuss in front of a keyboard

Specific (sort of) dream car

1 Like

You imply that your want may be a reaction to living frugally… If so, maybe look a bit further: is that/a car really what you desire? What are your motives: Is it more wanting that car for you (why?), to show off (why), other reason?

In a more practical way: you could always sell the car if after a year or so you realize that you don’t care any more.

Interesting questions.
Show off is at the really bottom. (Unfortunately) I’m not 20 anymore :slight_smile:

Sell the car (even after 1-2 years) is an option. I don’t think is going to destroy my FI ratio.
In addition I started to think, why not get at least half of the money with something similar as a second job?

Obviously buying your dream car is something personal and emotional, not related to your frugal lifestyle, and maybe you should go for it if you really want it, or even wanted it for a long time. Why do you need our opinion on this?

1 Like

to find additional reasons to stick to the rules :slight_smile:

Buy the car, you only live once. You doing a very good job in saving on all various factors (e.g. rent, health insurance, interenet, groceries, meal prepping, etc. etc.), so why not get some freedom?

A car will save you time and give you more flexibility. Obviously, you can get a 2nd hand car. But I can tell you: getting a brand new car, presented in the car dealership with a glass of champagner, 0.4 km on the engine and a nice, individual presentation is a pretty nice experience.

50k is not that much, tbh. Get it.
Do you mind, sharing the brand an model? PM possible as well :slight_smile:

Yes, it is not cheap but it brings joy - children are also not cheap but are also giving joy and happiness :slight_smile: