Over the last year, I’ve sold two paintings and a piece of jewelry. My family had owned these items for a long time and they have given us a lot of pleasure. However, each September, an insurance bill arrived and gave me a fair amount of pain.
So now the items are gone and last week my insurance bill arrived. I noticed that my insurance savings are enough to take my wife to visit any museum in the world, annually, forever.
By getting through the pain of change (the sale)… I created a situation where we could share experiences together (future trips).
The cost of the status quo is often hidden.
I’ve been thinking about buying a boat, a sprinter van and/or a truck.
Despite evidence to the contrary, at some level, I think these assets will make it easier to spend time with my kids.
These assets are expensive to own, depreciate and require time to maintain.
How to counter the urge to purchase?
Assume depreciable assets are free to own, lease, keep receipts and track total time/spending in a year.
- As a teenager, I spent many summers working on the water. In those years, what was the total number of days that I would spend on the water? My peak days were 60 per annum. This year was closer to 25 days.
- Based on my rental history for the last two years, what’s the average cost per day of renting, rather than owning? Let’s assume it is $1,000 per day.
Based on actual days on the water, how many years expenditure would I capitalize with a purchase? In my case, it is 10-25 years of expenditure based on how you slice the numbers and the size of vessel. Also, worth noting that I was on seven different vessels in 2015.
The above analysis is essential before you buy a vacation home, consider becoming a ski-family or purchase a large depreciable asset.
Think back one decade, or two… have your preferences changed? Mine have changed tremendously and I have discovered that I am a lousy judge of what I’ll want in ten years’ time!
How might a large capital purchase impact the freedom you have to allocate your time?
By staying variable in the family budget, I can:
- free significant time in my daily schedule
- finance childcare
- budget for shared experiences
- immediately ratchet down spending, when required
Notice the changes (if any) with your inner experience.
My benchmark is the way I feeling during a walk in the forest that’s ten minutes away from my desk.
Live where you don’t need to leave.