The Nerve of My Neighbor

lexi7July 1, 2008

My mouth is still hanging open at the nerve of my neighbor "Mrs. Bertha Better Than You". "Did you know you can lease a car for two years and drive a new car all the time?" she asked me a few months ago. We have a small pick-up and a small car both around ten years old. Her rental is a new SUV. I wanted to tell her that I have enough money in the bank to pay for two new cars if I want them, but that would have been stupid. (She might want to borrow it!) Haha. Anyway, I wonder what she thinks now that she has to buy all that gas and pay rent. My old economy vehicles get good gas mileage.

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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

I hear you Lexi. Sounds like she lacks tact.

"Did you know you can lease a car for two years and drive a new car all the time?"
I guess I would have probably replied with something like, "Yes, I knew that and think that is fine if one chooses to make a lease payment every month for the rest of their life. I just choose to not do so as I dislike monthy payments and would just buy it outright before I would pay for a vehicle every month."

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 5:02PM
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What is it Dave Ramsey (the get-out-of-debt guru) calls it - a car FLEECE. Only an idiot would gloat over all that wasted money on leased cars - pride goes before a fall....


    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:28PM
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but... it is their money to do with as they please!

And for some people, leases work just fine.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 8:56PM
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My two SILs drive me crazy like that. One leases a car for a year, turns it in after a year, gets another. The other brags about how her sister can "afford" a new car EVERY YEAR. Me, my cars are 18 and 10 years old, but I own both of them!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 9:26PM
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I always tell those people that I can put as many miles on my vehicle as I want!

My old partner's brother leased an SUV many years back. Got a "good deal" on a 3 year lease rather than 2. He drove it a lot and in less than a year had reached the maximum mileage allowed. So his "good deal" was put in the garage and not used for a year. Then he figured out he might as well buy out the lease and take the reaming and at least be able to use the vehicle.

People like that are stupid. It's sad indeed that stupidity isn't painful.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 4:25AM
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Here is another that has 2 old cars! Mine is a buick riviera that is 18 years old and hubby's is a century that is 10 yrs old. Both have about 90K on them and are still going strong. We never buy new, but a year old with few miles. Let someone else take that depreciation!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 10:41AM
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Count me in with Calirose. We drove our last vehicle l9 years and it was a great little car. It was not the fanciest car by any means and I was asked more than once by my sil's "How can you stand to drive that old thing???" For me as long as it was a sound car and the wheels kept turning, then it was fine for me. While they were making car payments to the bank, I was depositing some savings in my account. To each his own I guess.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 4:55PM
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I would retitle the post The Stupidity of My Neighbor. I am continually amazed at how people manage to keep themselves "car poor". A few years ago it was driving pickup trucks and SUVs for no good reason (do they ever tow or haul anything? no). I overhear our staff at work moaning about owning/operating/repairing their cars, and lately trying desperately to get out from underneath them. I have a 99 Camry which is probably the oldest car on the lot, and I earn a much greater professional salary than the staff. I wonder if they notice?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 10:38AM
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To each to his own.
My ex-BIL has wheeled and dealed (I don't mean anything illegal) his money and credit all his life. He's never let anyone down, gone through a foreclosure or anything like that. There was a little ugly patch with the IRS but that got straightened out eventually. He does worry more fiscally conservative people in his family who are more like those here. I tend to be more of a worrier too. BUT I haven't had nearly as much fun as him, no where near.
And I'm envious.
He's in his 60s now and doing ok, driving his leased HUMMER, partying on his sail boat, throwing poker parties, having not one but two cell phones because of all the friends (friends, not users) he has because he's always cheerful, friendly, generous. If we both dropped dead - I'd say he had the better life.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 4:37PM
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marys1000 - Are you kidding? It's very sad if your life has been so unhappy or shallow you ENVY your debt-up-to-his eyebrows ex-BIL because of his "toys" and excessive lifestyle. Where I come from, envy is still one of the 7 deadly sins.

There's nothing you described that would make me conclude this individual "had the better life". If you want "FUN" work, volunteer, or strive for something that helps develop some character qualities like:


You'll be a lot happier than wasting time envying your ex BIL his leased Hummer.


    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:11PM
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Marys... I think he's just got it figured out right - on the edge, maybe, but you can't take it with you, he obviously has found a way to make it all work, and he'll probably live to be 100. I have no patience with people who spend the whole lives scrimping and bean counting, saving for their 'old age', a time when many of us won't be around to enjoy it anyhow, or else won't be up to it physically, will be fighting their grandkids for every dime and not be able to ever say they had a good time. Of course you need to be careful, certainly do pay your taxes, don't go so far you end up in bankruptcy, and do help whoever you can if you care about them, but honestly, that list of 'qualities' above reads to me like something from a very old time bible lesson and is just not my thing.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 6:50PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I think you can lots of friends that you hang with along with a boat and a leased car and still have:

They are not mutually exclusive.
An excessive, hedonistic lifestyle is a different story.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 7:17PM
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It looks like my point was sort of missed in the mix. The first point was that my neighbor assumed we had no money since we drive old vehicles. She also thought she would tell me how to get a new car, so she didn't have to look at the old ones in our drive. We are happy people with good friends (the kind that would help us if we were in trouble.) My husband has been out of work for weeks, but we are not worried because we have enough saved to carry us to retirement. We take nice vacations and live well, but we do not waste money to try to keep up with the Jones. I know "happy" people who live in the fast lane too, but many of them stay awake at night wondering how they are going to pay their bills.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Hi Mary's 1,000,

Your ex-BIL, you say. Your sister knows him much better than you. I didn't hear any mention of her ideas or feelings ... or any quotes from her, regarding this situation.

This attractive, charming gentleman has an adequate retirement plan, I assume? Rather, more than adequate .. one that'll be capable of maintainng him in the lifestyle to which he has become accustomed?

Lacking such ...

... does he expect to leave this dimension of living within five years ... maybe a couple of years ... a year, even ...

... of the day that he retires?

With no uninsured medical issues along the way, we are to assume?

Otherwise ... the dollars that he allows to depart his situation now ...

... won't be around to help maintain him when he retires and must depend on pensions, investments, etc. to fund his ongoing activities.

Folks in our society are living longer than ever before.

And many want to retire early ... to enjoy life.

Livng on what?

Hope you don't run out of money before you run out of life.


    Bookmark   July 4, 2008 at 11:20PM
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"He's in his 60s now and doing ok, driving his leased HUMMER, partying on his sail boat, throwing poker parties, having not one but two cell phones because of all the friends (friends, not users) he has because he's always cheerful, friendly, generous."

Mary, has your 'generous' ex-BIL remarried?!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 4:02PM
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Yes he did, to a woman that ended up being um..... a bit of a mental case I suppose.
It is costing him a fortune to get out of that. Now he dates.
I'm not saying his lifestyle is right or wrong, just that as Lucy says, he seems to have found a balance that works for him, though it might scare others. He's really an extrovert. Also a farmer, no retirement plan that I know of anyway, other than perhaps to sell land which is what many farmers retirement plan consists of. He, and many farmers don't like debt, but its a fact of life. I don't think he wants to retire until he physically can't farm anymore, he loves it.

Lexi - your neighbor may not have any tact and certainly may be narrow minded about her material views, but could she have just been trying to help with information? I would have just smiled and told her how attached I was to my old friends.

grainlady - prune danish?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 6:06PM
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I have to brag a bit about how my husband found a great car for not much money - it is an Altima, which would cost about $21K with all the nice features it has- but he paid only $10K because it has a "salvage" title. It was stolen as a brand new car- the thieves ripped out the front seat, no other damage, the seat was replaced as good as new, the car had less than 300 miles on it. But because it was "salvage" no credit union or bank wanted to lend for it. BUT, my thrify husband had $10K in cash and we drove away with it. The salvage title would probaby be a problem if we wanted to resell it, but I usually keep my car as long as it runs at all, so we have had it about 5 years now and it's the best car we ever had, for the least money.

I don't understand why some people get their vehicles confused with their egos. As long as my car is safe and reliable and does not overly pollute, it's fine with me. I don't need a car to tell people who I am.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 11:13PM
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My DS and I had the lease vs. buy conversation the other day. She says, after leasing you just have to make sure to buy the vehicle. I said, have you ever done that? Well, no, not yet...

We leased a car a few years back for two years because we were undecided on what we wanted. What a waste of $7,000 cash.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:49AM
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We drive an old pick up truck and a motorcycle. Sold our car to our son and will never drive one again. I haul everything in that truck and I love it! I stop at the side of the road and toss things in the back. Yesterday I dug up a truck load of lilies at the side of the road and was gong to plant them today, but it's now raining. Do that with a car!

Unfortunately, some people derive their self worth from their material possessions, like car and house and how clean and new and expensive they are. I often wonder if those people are really happy with themselves - trying to keep up with society. One of my favourite sayins is: "Dull women have immaculate homes." and it's so true!

I'm way too busy living to worry about what material possession I own or what "society" may thing of us! Nor would I care if I did have the time! We both work full time outside the home, have a small farm (veggies and chickens & 2 dogs), I have an art business (painter), hubby has a computer programming business, I hope to add bees and koi or trout ponds next year and we spend all of our "spare" time going for trips through the country side on the motorcycle. That doesn't leave us any time to clean the house, keep the grass and weeds cut or worry about upgrading our material possessions. You can't take them with you, anyway, so who cares? Here's an example: I won't have carpet in the house because I wash my floors, maybe, twice a year and we wear our shoes in the house. Bathroom gets a cleaning once a week.

However, all that said, I no longer have small children in the house to worry about cleanliness. Just us three adults.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 10:22AM
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It's interesting how our needs and desires change as time passes. I bought a pickup long before it became fashionable to own one. 1975, bought a new Courier mini pickup and boy the criticism I endured. Curiously I got a lot of phone calls, hey, can you help us move? Can you haud this for us? Can we borrow your truck? But I liked it, used it for camping and it was great. People wake up in their tents after a rainstorm and I'd be high and dry (go ahead Joyful, say it!) in the back of the truck with the topper listening to the rain on the roof.

Well age and injuries happened. Then a deal came up on a mini van from a friend's estate. Now that is a great vehicle for me. I don't haul the stuff like I used to, but I still was able to haul a recliner in the van. It's so nice and easy to get in and out of. And I took it up north over the 4th and got 26.5 mpg. No complaints from me on that. I can't get in and out of a little peapicker like I used to be able to. I like something a little more comfortable and need something easy to enter/exit. I like having the power and I think I get reasonable economy. So for now, I'm a mini van man.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2008 at 8:22PM
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The best wisdom about leasing an auto came from a co-worker:

"Leasing is a way to get you into a car that you can't really afford."

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 8:02PM
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Well, I always thought that leasing was for suckers. Now I know it. I drive an 01 accord, and don't care one bit that there are a few dings here and there. It's paid for. yeah, baby.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 8:24AM
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Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

"Leasing is a way to get you into a car that you can't really afford."

That and a lot of the pay on the lot used car places, like J B Byrider. By the time it is paid off, the buyer has paid 2-3 times what they would have elsewhere...just the price one pays for something they can't afford and having bad credit or no credit history.


    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 3:49PM
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I like your posts; but this one strikes me as more than a little self-righteous & struck an accusatory tone, IMO...

"If you want "FUN" work, volunteer, or strive for something that helps develop some character qualities like:


I can't speak to the Hummer because we don't have a Hummer. But, I can speak to the boat that Mary mentions her ex-BIL enjoying as we have been boaters for many years.

Every single one of your "character qualities" are taught continuously at the helm.

From the moment you lose sight of land & all of the trappings that most people associate with "security" are gone..."faith" takes on a whole new meaning & importance.

Without a huge dose of "patience" the liklihood of safely returning to port diminishes rapidly.

Boats do NOT have brakes. As any mariner knows,

The Rules Of Boating

1) Leaving the dock is optional. Every return is mandatory.

2) Boating isn't dangerous. Sinking is what's dangerous.

3) It is always better to be on shore wishing you were out there than being out there and wishing you were on shore.

4) The ONLY time you have too much fuel is when the boat is on fire.

5) The sail is just a big awning used by sailors to keep the Captain cool. When it rips to shreds, you can actually see the Captain sweat.

6) When in doubt, stay out to sea. No one has ever gone aground on a wave.

7) A "good" return to your slip is one you can walk away from. A "great" return is one after which you can use the boat again.

8) Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all by yourself.

9) You know you have hit the dock too hard if it takes all of your bilge pumps running at full power for you to step on the dock.

10) The probability of a boat's survival during docking is inversely proportional to the speed of arrival. High speed arrivals, small probability of survival and vice versa.

11) Never let the boat take you somewhere your brain didn't get to five minutes earlier.

12) Stay away from clouds. The silver lining everyone talks about might be a hailstorm. Reliable sources also report that lightning has been known to hide out in clouds.

13) Always try to keep the number of departures you make from your slip equal to the number of returns you've made.

14) There are three simple rules for making a smooth return to your slip. Unfortunately no one knows what they are so BE CAREFUL.

15) If all you can see out of the cabin window is water that's going round and round, and all you can hear is commotion coming from the cockpit, things are not at all as they should be.

16) In the ongoing battle between objects made of fiberglass going tens of miles per hour and the shore going zero miles per hour, the shore has yet to lose.

17) Good judgment comes from experience. Unfortunately, the experience usually comes from bad judgment.

18) It is generally a good idea to keep the pointy end of the boat going forward as much as possible.

19) Keep looking around. There is always something you've missed.

20) Remember, buoyancy is not just a good idea, it's the law. And it's not subject to repeal.

As you can see by reading these "Mariner's Rules"...every single one of your "Character Qualities" is necessary for the survival of your passengers, your crew, your craft, & yourself. Under maritime law, as Captain of your vessel, the minute you cast off you become the Sheriff, the doctor, the judge & jury, & decision maker. It does NOT matter if you're at the helm of a 15' run-a-bout or the helm of a 65', 3-deck ARE the law when you leave port. That requires good character skills in spades.

I would suggest that all of this can be accomplished while having one heck of a great time!

Keeping the alcoholic beverages back at the dock & not in the galley frig goes a long ways towards a successful voyage. Besides, the 'boat drinks' are a great way to celebrate another docking that you've walked away from!

As mariners who've made many trips between the Bahamas & Canada I assure you people can learn to be responsible & frugal on a boat. And talk about FAITH! Just find yourself on a boat, sixty miles from shore in a thunderstorm...need I say more about faith?!

What about being frugal? Sure, it's fun to pull back on the throttle & watch the water fly from your wake. But, EVERY SINGLE MARINER knows the rules...1/3 of your fuel going out, 1/3 of your fuel returning to port, & 1/3 of your fuel in reserve for emergencies (that's the frugal part & boy is it important!). Being reckless just once can cost lives. Boaters are not only frugal...they are downright stingy with not only fuel but water, food, emergency equipment, & lots of other stuff.

It's not necessary to deprive oneself of fun recreational activities to develop good character skills, unless of course, your purpose is to critize & feel superior to those that make different choices.

I should also mention that it's quite possible to enjoy boating & still have sufficient funds available for a comfortable retirement, donate to charity, & all the other good stuff of responsible people.


    Bookmark   August 3, 2008 at 8:44AM
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