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Dead Money

I’ve been looking into doing some modifications and upgrades to my car, and in the process of talking about it with various people, some of them have responded with, “Why would you want to spend money on your CAR?  It’s DEAD MONEY.  It’s going nowhere!”

It’s interesting how many people buy cars and just drive them around until they die, or until they trade them in on another car.  Or some people don’t buy cars at all, either considering it a waste of money, or can’t afford it, or it doesn’t fit into their belief systems.  And then there are those who spend money on their cars, doing them up, improving their performance or appearance.

But is it really ‘dead money’?

What do you do on the weekends?  Do you go shopping?  Do you buy things that don’t make you money?  Do you go out drinking with friends, partying or nightclubbing?  Do you have hobbies that require you to spend money on them, in order to gain enjoyment from them?

One of those who told me spending money on my car was ‘dead money’ ended up telling me that he spends over $3,000 a year to play golf.  That’s not including buying, maintaining or upgrading his golfing equipment and supplies.  That’s getting close to $10 a day that they spend on their golfing hobby.

Do you go out nightclubbing?  Would you spend $100 a weekend or a week on nightclubbing, partying, or entertainment?  More?  That’s over $5,000 a year spent on something you don’t keep, but on something you enjoy doing.

What kind of hobbies do you have that cost you money to further them, but provide you with no future value other than your personal enjoyment as you do it?  There are thousands, if not millions of personal hobbies that invariably cost money, and give you no benefit other than the enjoyment you get from it.

So my answer to these people that think spending money on a car is ‘dead money’ is to look at what they’re spending their own money on, and start judging themselves before they judge others.

Everyone has a hobby (usually), and most hobbies cost money.  At least with a car, whatever money you spend on it to improve it in some way will add to the value of it (even if minutely) when you go to sell it or trade it in on another.  What’s important is, like with any hobby, how much enjoyment you get from it while you’re doing it.  It’s an investment in your own happiness, and that is always of value.

So anyway, some of the things I intend doing to the car over the next few years include:

Aesthetic improvements: lower the suspension slightly, replace the bonnet with a V8 bonnet because the bulge looks cool, clean up the engine and engine bay and paint it so it ‘matches’ the exterior of the car.

Performance improvements: get wider tyres (better handling in all weather), replace the exhaust system, get better sports brakes, get a larger intake for the turbo and a larger intercooler (making the turbo perform better), and add a custom tune hardware which allows you to monitor and adjust the performance capabilities of the engine.

Why?  Because I can, and because I want to.  And because I want to enter the car into car shows, just for the fun of it.  Not to win, but just to participate, and enjoy how other people come along to these shows to enjoy seeing what I’ve done to it.

It’s going to be my hobby, and I don’t intend doing this all at once.  I’ll probably budget for it at about $1,200 a year ($25 a week).

What’s your hobby?  How much do you spend on it?  I’d be interested in knowing what you do for fun, and how much it costs you, so please don’t be shy and add your comment.

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