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S t r e t c h i n g To Buy More Than One Can Afford

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
edited September 2011 in General
It's perfectly legal. Some would say that it's the American way. Who could dispute that living above or beyond one's means was a major factor in getting us into the financial mess we're in? Most of us know someone - a relative, a friend, a co-worker - who bought or leased more car than he/she could afford. Maybe they even had it repossessed. That's when your car owns you.

Do you have an example you'd care to share? Why did they do it, and how did it play out? Did they learn a lesson?


  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    There's this pretentious girl at my job whose 29 years-old, still lives with her parents, wears designer clothes, blingy jewelry, carries a Prada bag and drives a leased red 2010 Mercedes C300 with lease terms that cost more than the payments were on my Cadillac DTS Performance. Her mantra is, "Nothing but the best for me!" When I was her age, I was on my own for over 11 years, owned a house, and had a car that was paid for.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    "living above or beyond one's means was a major factor in getting us into the financial mess we're in!".

    Living above the ability to pay is not the American Way. The minor example is the leasing of "over the top" vehicles including pickups.

    The biggest example is the thousands of "wanna be's" who purchased real estate they couldn't afford, thus did not deserve, leading to massive Negatives in the housing section. And when they find themselves under water, they walk away from the mortage. The same agreement that they read, understood, & agreed to the terms, but now do not feel any remorse or guilt by walking away.

    Have these scoflaws learned a lesson? I doubt it. :mad:
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    There's this pretentious girl at my job whose 29 years-old, still lives with her parents, wears designer clothes, blingy jewelry, carries a Prada bag and drives a leased red 2010 Mercedes C300 with lease terms that cost more than the payments were on my Cadillac DTS Performance. Her mantra is, "Nothing but the best for me!"

    The classic $30,000 millionaire!!
  • fezofezo Manahawkin, NJPosts: 10,335

    lemko - in my book you are the one who really "nothing but the best for me" - you own those things you want. One day this girl is going to crash. You won't.

    Of course she could marry a neurosurgeon or something and wreck my whole theory....
    2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, 2010 Toyota Prius IV. 2007 Toyota Camry XLE, 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999 Mazda Miata
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,054
    "nothing but the best for me"

    This is kinda sad, but whenever I hear that phrase, I think of National Lampoon's Vacation.

    "REAL Tomato ketchup, Eddie?", Clark asks sarcastically at the cookout, when he sees the "ketchup" is nothing but squashed-up tomatoes.

    "Nothin but the best!" Eddie replies, with a proud yet clueless smile.

    And, I guess after leasing that Benz, buying the Prada handbag, maybe "real tomato ketchup" is all that chick can afford. Another word of advice to her... I don't know why they call it "Hamburger Helper when it does just fine by itself! I prefer it to Tuna Helper, myself!"
  • fintailfintail Posts: 43,342
    I thought that line was just Clark trying to make Eddie feel better because there was no meat in the burgers, just the Hamburger Helper :shades:

    I haven't know anyone who took on a vehicle that was too much for their income, but I have known of a few guys with menial jobs driving cars like new STis and EVOs etc...but lazy trust funders don't count, I think.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    edited September 2011
    We bought my wife's '07 Audi 18 months ago from someone who needed to downgrade because he'd lost his job. We paid the "private sale" market price for it, since it was exactly what she wanted, including the color, and we didn't want to take advantage of the seller's need to unload it. He replaced the A4 Quattro 2.0T with an '04 Civic.
  • berriberri Posts: 8,037
    When I was growing up we lived near a "new" rich suburb and an "old" rich suburb. The new rich all drove expensive vehicles, where many of the old rich had cars like Olds and Buick. Maybe the old rich learned about depreciation on a non-productive asset. Nothing wrong with driving something fancy if you like it, but it doesn't necessarily make people think more of you either (especially given they can be leased!).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Probably the only vehicles that influence peoples' opinions of you are the extremes. Think Rolls or Ferrari, or something at the other end of the spectrum.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    edited September 2011
    ...or very shallow people.

    These good-looking, well-dressed guys were at a club and met some very attractive girls. The girls asked what kind of cars these guys drove and they told the girls they took the bus. The girls immediately ditched the guys. The same girls later saw these same guys leave the club's parking lot, one in a Porsche 911 and the other in a Mercedes S63 AMG. Their jaws dropped. I guess these dudes wanted nothing to do with a bunch of materialistic gold diggers.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Those guys played that one right, assuming they didn't drive off alone.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,687
    A person commenting on an article stated that only posers trying to look rich drive 5-10 year old luxury makes. In my neighborhood, 95% of the time it means somebody bought a nice car brand new and they are determined to get as much value out of it as they can.

    I am so cheap that I bought my Lexus only after one of the doctors in the neighborhood drove it for 10 years. And I am not really expecting it to help my image one way or another.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 43,342
    I think a pristinely maintained old luxoboat is more impressive than a new one (which are often filthy and neglected themselves) - to keep an old one going and to show pride of ownership takes work and dedication, to simply buy one is easy. The neglected old cars show who has gotten in too deep.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    edited November 2011
    We have food stamps - why not "Car Stamps"?

    "About 1 in 4 needy U.S. families do not have a car, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation. That's a serious handicap for the millions of Americans who don't have access to robust mass transit.

    A nationwide survey of 353 people who bought cars with help from a nonprofit group called Ways to Work found that 72% reported an increase in income. Of those who were on public assistance when they acquired a car, 87% were no longer receiving it a few years later.

    It's just a no-brainer that low-income families need cars.

    If anything, the government has hindered the working poor's access to cars. The 2009 Cash-for-Clunkers program, for example, put 690,000 running vehicles in the junkyard, making the used cars that remained more expensive."

    A hard road for the poor in need of cars (LA Times)

    Give everyone a Tata and watch the unemployment rate drop (just think of all the new jobs that would be created for people fixing those rigs ;) ).

    The article seems to think that welfare lasts forever, but most people get cut off after four years since the reform legislation back in the late 90s.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 43,342
    Or make a cheapo disposable car in the US rather than patronizing one that aids the less than ethical and progressive Indian government...
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Great idea for converting welfare recipients into tax payers! By the way, I'll take two tatas.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I read all three parts of that series on BHPH lots - the article cited just looks at the issue from the car-needy point of view.

    The first two parts talked about the business side of the industry - the corporations (like JD Byrider) who have dozens or hundreds of lots across the country, and the financiers on Wall Street who look at the returns these companies are getting and encouraging them to expand even further.

    The one think I took from the articles is that there are quite a number of non-profit organizations whose goal it is to get folks into their own transportation at low or no cost. There was a lady down South who bought a car for $1 so she could get to school to support her two young kids. She is now finishing a Masters in Nursing, is happily married and owes pretty much everything she's obtained to the car she got.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Thinking about how the grocery stores and food industry embraced food stamps, I'd think the car dealers would be all over this. The mouse-houses that resell the same car 6 or 8 times, and charge 18+% interest, not so much.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 5,752
    "...according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation."

    It's probably my sick sense of humor, but every time I hear their sponsorship on NPR and the blurb about helping children, I think their name is the Casey Anthony Foundation.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    I had to go look that up. But that's okay, I don't know who Annie E. Casey is/was either.
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