Earlier this year I was talking about selling my 4WD and getting a secondhand 2003 BMW 540i for myself as a daily driver (Discovering the frugal way). It’s been on my mind quite a lot since then (the ‘law of attraction’ in progress). However, I’ve been thinking recently that I value having bluetooth functionality for integrated music and hands-free phone calls, and bluetooth doesn’t exist on the 2003 model. And then there’s also the fact that the 540i is 12 years old, and in terms of practicality, it’s much better to get the most recent model you can afford (or the budget you set for it) because there’s less that is likely to go wrong with it.
As you can see, I’ve had a lot on my mind in relation to this. The ‘frugal way’ I was talking about back in March? Well, that’s pretty much gone out of the window. I want something better than a 12 year old car… Where the 2003 model was about AU$12,000 the 2008 model is about AU$35,000. Quite a difference. But most of that will come from the sale of the 4WD…
I’ve spent some considerable time doing research in one form or another, and I’ve worked out that the best value BMW I can get that has all the features I might want, as well as being a high-performance car, is the 2008 E92 335i. It’s a twin turbo on a 6-cylinder engine that does 0-100 in about 5.5 seconds. It’s faster than my old 2007 XR6 Turbo which did it in about 6.3 seconds.
Here’s a short video of the 2008 BMW 335i for your viewing pleasure. Isn’t it amazing what $35k can buy you when you look at secondhand luxury cars instead of brand new pieces of shit for the same price….
Is it pretentious to own a BMW?
I was talking with my ol’ mate Cranky Jim tonight, and I had this conversation:
“I’ve been asking myself lately, ‘why a BMW?’ It’s pretentious.'”
He laughed at me. “Lol yes”
But I already know the answer to that. I went on to explain it to him and he agreed.
I grew up in a poor family. We were so poor I had to use salt when brushing my teeth because soap was only used sparingly for bathing. And speaking of bathing, we would have a bath every night but the bath water had to be shared by the 2 parents and us 3 kids. We were poor. My parents used to buy clothes from St Vincents. It was shit. And when I left high school I spent 15 years on unemployment benefits. I was long term unemployed for 15 years.
So now I like nice cars because I’m in a position in my life where it’s simply about ‘because I can’. What I’m doing now is giving myself gifts, rewards, for all the years that I was never able to do what I can do now.
But don’t worry. I’m aware of good financial management. I have obligations and responsibilities I need to also consider as I head into my future. Whatever I do has to fit within the paramaters of ensuring I have significantly more money coming in than what’s going out, and that I have a plan in place to ensure my future is comfortable.
Having enjoyable cars in my life is something I need and want to enjoy right now, while I can. And so if it means driving a BMW makes me a pretentious twat, then so be it. I’ll be enjoying the experiences of my life ‘because I can’.
Money can’t buy us happiness, but it can buy us experiences that make us happy. Money makes life easier and more comfortable. I love it.
Note: I don’t really think I’ll be pretentious for having a BMW. You’re only pretentious if you think that having something makes you better than others, and that certainly won’t be me.
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