Skip your lattes or buy a Porsche? A better way to save money.
It is January which means the Internet is full of advice on how to save money. Saving more money and financial discipline are top five New Year’s resolutions. Yet most Americans have less than $6,000 in savings. And 92% of us won’t keep our resolutions this year. So obviously something is broken!
I’m tired of being told that the problem is all the lattes I buy! If shaming people about how many times they go to Starbucks per week was the path towards saving money then most of us would be rich right now. The reality is… skipping lattes to put money in the bank is BORING! So what should you do instead? Howabout you buy a Porsche.
That’s right. This year instead of focusing on all the boring ways I could save money I’m going to buy a Porsche. How does this make any sense? Well, lets look at some numbers.
First off, to be clear, I’m not talking about buying a brand new 918 Spyder (MSRP $845k). The goal is to jumpstart a savings plan that you can be excited enough to follow through with that has minimal downside risk. So that means you have to look at older cars that have depreciated to a low point but have not yet begun to appreciate in value. A 70s or 80s 911 for instance. You need to find a make, model, and year that you are not only excited to own, but is also stable in value with a chance to appreciate significantly if held for the longterm. Since this is a savings plan not an investment or speculative scheme the key is to go for stability without much downside even if it means limited upside potential.
For example, let’s say you can buy a driving condition classic that you’d be stoked to own for $17,000. Put some money down, and pick up a classic car loan for $15,000 for 60 months at a roughly 3% interest rate. That will allow you to “save” $266 a month which you are putting directly into owning the vehicle. With a bit of research and a bit of luck, when that classic is paid off it will at least be worth what you paid for it and likely have even risen in value. Boom. You just saved a bunch of money and had fun doing it.
There will be cost on insurance and maintenance. But if you factor this into your “savings” plan it is both predictable and not nearly as much as you would expect. Insurance in particular on an extra vehicle not used as the daily driver is quite reasonable.
Is this an optimum investment or savings strategy? Of course not! But remember — if we followed all the advice of financial gurus we’d be living in tents (that we paid for in cash of course!), eating oatmeal gruel, and riding bicycles. Sure we’d have awesome 401k balances, tons of savings, and compounding piles of money — but remember, almost no one follows through on those plans because it isn’t that fun.
The reality is that something is better than nothing. And we know that 92% of us simply won’t follow through on our resolution to be more financially disciplined. So give yourself an unfair advantage and be part of the 8% of winners this year — buy a Porsche and start “saving”.