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[UPDATE - I am sorry to dissapoint everyone who may have read this post, but I actually ended up buying the car.  After a second look at all the variables, the opportunity to buy the Challenger was just too good to pass up.  I don't think I have to justify this to anyone really, but I thought it would be appropriate for me to update this post.]

Over the last few months I have been struggling with a decision.  Not a life or death decision, in fact a somewhat greedy decision.  I was trying to decide if I should buy a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T.  This not one of those simple, "just go buy it" choices, especially in these times.  I was researching, analyzing, justifying, and rationalizing this decision.  I got to a point where I had decided I am going to buy this car.  I don't care how much it costs.  I can afford the payment and I deserve it.  Good job to me.

 

Then I took a moment to show my wife on my little budget spreadsheet just how affordable this 32K purchase was.  "Look, we can afford the payment no problem."  Then I walked through the impact it had on our financial life for the next five years - not a pretty picture.  In fact, after verbalizing it to her it was clear that it is the wrong decision.  The wrong choice for my family.

 

Earlier that day I was working with my 3 1/2 year old son on how the choices he makes affect his life.  This is not a simple discussion.  Trying to get him to realize that screaming "I want it!  I want it!" is not going to end with him getting that cookie is a tough task.  He loves cookies.  But slowly he gets it.  It takes a couple of times of not getting the cookie for him to realize that if he behaves and makes good choices, he will in time get the treat. 

 

Good Choices
How can I explain to my son the value of making good choices when I was considering making a terrible choice simply because - I wanted one?  Do the right thing - That's ultimately the lesson everyone should follow.  It's so easy to get that instant gratification, whether it’s a cookie or a 30K muscle car.  The consequences of that choice can be hard to see, often a touch lesson to learn.  However, making a good choice - teaching a child, inspiring someone in a positive way all lead to those "Good Choice" moments.  Maybe they chose not to get into a car with someone who has been drinking.  Maybe they decide to spend one more hour reading instead of playing Wii.  Every choice has a consequence.

 

Be a Hero

 

Doing the right thing or making the "good choice" may not be what we want to do.  So inspired by things like "25 things" and other social networking polls, I would challenge you to do another.  Finish this statement:

 

"I am going to be a hero today by..."

 

In my case I may say "I am going to be a hero today by teaching my son about good choices".  Others may say "I am going to be a hero today by reading a book to my daughter".  You get the idea.  Be creative.  Do something that will teach and inspire...be a hero.
 
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2009 2:08 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Be a hero...

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Nice post!
Left by Paolo on Feb 12, 2009 4:47 PM

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Good on you, Scott.

That's a level of maturity that is sadly beyond most of us today. I'm getting there...instant gratification has put quite a hole in our family finances, but we're digging out now instead of digging deeper.

The siren song of stuff has a powerful allure. But it's not just the stuff that's the problem...it's the fact that we go into the decisions so mindlessly.

You brought your brain to the table, and you listened when it told you that following your desire was a bad idea with terrible consequences. That's awesome.
Left by G. Andrew Duthie on Feb 12, 2009 4:52 PM

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Great post, my only question is why was it so hard to talk yourself out of buy a Dodge? I mean seriously, a Dodge? Ha ha, just kidding. Excellent post that I think many people can take an important lesson from.
Left by Justin Etheredge on Feb 12, 2009 5:19 PM

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How could you resist this http://www.dodge.com/en/2009/charger/?bid=1871561&adid=207951074&pid=30100744&daafs=803&cscr=paidsearch&KWNM=2009%20charger&KWID=119710231&family=charger

There's a Limited Time Offer! Hurry!

Just kidding. Nice post. Good lesson to impart even to those who claim they are mature already.
Left by MarlonRibunal on Feb 12, 2009 5:28 PM

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A tough decision, but a good outcome.

Went through a similar process last year. The result was the purchase of a minivan and I got the hand-me-down vehicle. heh

But not a dodge, though, anything but a dodge. I mean, I want AC that will work :)

Pete
Left by Pete on Feb 12, 2009 7:46 PM

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Great Advice, Scott!!! Too bad you are not getting the Car.

Roberto.-
Left by Roberto Hernandez on Feb 13, 2009 2:56 PM

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Scott - I have 2 things to say.

a) Don't live in debt, a car is a car!
b) Money is important but, don't forget to live life.

Enjoy .. whichever way you decide.

S
Left by Sahil Malik on Feb 14, 2009 11:54 PM

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Dude, I just posted about the exact same dillema regarding my laptop. Check it out: http://www.jessefewell.com/?p=50
Left by Jesse Fewell on Feb 16, 2009 2:54 PM

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Damn dude. I think you should have bought the car! Think of all the people in detroit who are going to lose their jobs now because you selfishly decided to put your family's finances ahead of theirs. How are we ever going to get this economy back to boom time again if people refuse to spend recklessly?

Think about it; you could be saying to yourself "I am going to be a hero today by... buying American made muscle car, which will help keep the economy going, and keep our all important auto industry afloat!"

Anyway, if that still feels selfish, maybe you could consider buying the car for me or Ed instead. I'd like mine in black.
Left by Josh Blanchard on Feb 20, 2009 6:26 PM

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