Avoid Stuff-itis ==> Pursue Self-Control

Do you ever see something that created a “I really want that!!!” feeling inside? Maybe it was a jetski, or a new type of shoes, or a new car, or new furniture, or …

We all have! For me, one of those things was a brand new Honda Odyssey minivan. I remember it well. It was 2001, we had a one year old baby with plans for more, and this new minivan just captured me. You might be asking me, a minivan?!!? I know. I know. A minivan. I used to be cool. Anyway, I priced out this minivan. I really wanted this minivan. I wanted the one with the DVD player (not very common then), the 16″ aluminum allow wheels, the deep dark red metal-flecked paint, leather, and an awesome sound package. For only $30,000, I would be able to drive away in this new car.

Jenn is the saver. I am the spender.After many talks with Jenn, we decided not to buy it. This was before we really became serious about our finances, but even this seemed outrageous to her. I recently came across the annual budget that I had developed to try to convince her that we should purchase this new vehicle. The budget is $10,270 PER YEAR short!!!

Review of the budget is comical! In my attempts to make the budget balance, I had written in the costs that we could reduce. Let’s see, auto insurance (right, with a brand new $30K vehicle), cable TV (an annual savings of $600), internet (savings of $264), groceries (right … with a new baby), miscellaneous spending … It is really enlightening to look back and see how bad “stuff-itis” had captured me.

We did not purchase the Honda. A review of Kelley Blue Book’s estimated private party value for this vehicle in good condition shows $12,620. Additionally, if we would have followed the financing plan I had established, we would not yet be done making payments!!! WOW!!!

I am glad I had a great wife who forced me to pay attention to what this would do to our family’s finances. Instead of still being in debt, we have been debt-free (except for our house) since February 2004 (31 months!!!) and the house debt is being exterminated. I will take that trade any day of the week!!!

Avoid stuff-itis. Pursue self-control. You will win financially.

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