As is often the case, my view is different. I have parked in McAllen a 2002 Sienna with 220,000 miles on it. I would not hesitate in the summer to drive it to the Arctic ocean. Only known problems are a bad right side mirror and a broken door handle on the right passenger door. Motor and tranny run like new. It would be in front of my house here in the mountains of Mexico, but Mexico decided to violate their NAFTA agreements on importing used cars.
Either of those cars with proper maintenance should run to 200,000 miles or more. Some folks here get well over 300,000 miles on a car without a high failure rate or expensive repairs. At 20,000 miles a year that is a very long time.
But, there is another viewpoint, too. In the 70’s, I decided to try to get the CPA certificate, which I eventually did. Part of my studies included an Investment Analysis course, taught by a young, brilliant professor.
He hammered on the need to consider emotions when making financial decisions. He said there are people who really should bury their money in the basement, because even with their money in the bank, they lie awake at night, worrying about the bank going broke.
And, he said there are people who really should get a mortgage on their house and put every cent on a wild cat oil well. Or, the rest of their lives they will be kicking themselves for not going for broke and taking the big shot at a fortune.
He said one should know oneself, and invest accordingly. However, there is strong peer pressure from those with minimal knowledge of human nature, who try to analyze everything down to the last cent, no matter what it does to a person’s sleep patterns.
Though this as an Investment Analysis course, I think one should apply the same attitude to all your important decisions. If you buy a car, based only on a calculator, your life is going to be missing something. I am not saying mortgage your house for a Ferrari. Nor an old NSX like my son-in-law did last year. (No, I don’t think he mortgaged his house.) Logically, that $40,000 car made not much sense. But, when there is a car show, there he is having a great time, and sometimes his son goes with him. He has been in harness his whole life, first caring for his mother after his father died applying toxic chemicals on a federal installation without protective gear. Then, helping raise a small son.
He has deserved that personal treat, and my daughter is glad he can make it all work for him without financial risk to the family.
I am not sure all of you will understand this. Money isn’t everything.
I remember once some years ago I was on a Yahoo forum for the company we retired from. And, I referred to accountants as bean counters. A low level accountant was offended and said he was offended by such an insult, that he was proud of being an account. I told him I am a CPA, and yet in my observation, most accountants are truly no more than bean counters, concerned only with cents and dollars, and miss a lot of important stuff.