Would you prefer 1 year off work, or a car? Practicing conscious spending


I realise the answer to this question could be different depending on whether you are a car person or not. In case you didn’t know, I am not a car person. I like cars, especially new ones. They don’t break down, they have aircon, and they get me from A to B. That is as far as it goes for me.

I am an advocate for buying new cars, and I think I always will going forward as I have had such a positive experience when I bought my first new car, but I don’t need the best of the best.

The way I see it, the difference between my new Toyota Corolla and a new Audi, is a year’s worth of holiday (or retirement). You can get a new Corolla for around $25,000. You can get a new Audi for about $80,000.
The difference is $55,000. Coincidently the estimated amount you require in retirement for a comfortable lifestyle is circa $55,000.
Say you buy 4 new Audi’s in your lifetime and I buy 4 new corollas. On the above theory I could retire at age 60 and you could retire at age 64, and I am not even taking into account the accumulated interest that you may be paying on the loan or any other expenses that come with the car.
Alternatively every 10 years I could just take a year off work. A whole year off work! So, when I put it like that, does it change the value of a flashy car? My guess is no for about 98.4% of you (technical figures there).

I guess my general point is that these choices that we make throughout our lives, have an impact on how and when we retire. I think enjoying your life is important, but is a brand new car worth a year’s worth of holiday to you?
If you consider what else you can do with the money, it might help to put large and important purchases into perspective. Next time you are about to buy something you positively ‘need’, consider what else it could buy you or what other freedoms it could afford you.

If you practice conscious spending, it is likely that you will get so much more joy out of what you do spend your money on, as you truly understand the value of what you have bought.

– This post is from our resident senior financial planner, Cara Brett. Check out her details in our about us page.

Posted in: Financial Planning and Cara Brett

About the author: Cara Brett

Cara Brett proudly heads up Bounce Financial - founded in 2014 after a successful, decade-long career in the financial services industry. Cara’s experience encompasses both the financial product and financial advice sides. This gives her a comprehensive and holistic knowledge of all facets of financial planning.