This past weekend marked a few milestones; most importantly – my Parents celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary, also of high importance I celebrated my 5th year Anniversary working for my current employer – Association and Events Management. With all the comings and goings, the least important milestone passed was my first full year with my current car.
Last year when I leased my car – a Buick Encore – I honestly felt like it was a bit of a frivolous indulgence, so much so, that I felt compelled to say “its leased” repeatedly, as if it would be anyone’s place to judge my financial decisions, or my capacity to afford a vehicle that is quite a step up from my previous ride – a Chevy Cruze. A few weeks earlier, while on a test drive, my Father – AKA the cheapest man alive – had told me that for all the driving I do, I may as well spend a couple of extra bucks a day to be comfortable and to have access to a few advanced features – Hello Google (yes, that baby comes with Android Auto compatibility).
Its true, I have a brutal commute, just a bit over 60kms a day round-trip and often in excess of a hour each-way (thank you everyone who is on vacation and thus not on the GTA’s roads). In addition, to the leather seats, giant touch screen and Bose speakers; safety features such as a back-up camera, the ability to integrate my GPS to avoid traffic, and heated seats and steering wheel (because Canada) make the trip quite a bit more bearable.
This past winter, I also invested in another upgrade – Winter Tires – which take a bit of the worry and stress out of Winter Driving (I know I can stop, now I just have to worry about everyone else).
My car is just one of the examples of the ways I treat myself, to make my life a bit more luxurious, a bit less stressful, a bit more comfortable – although it is a bigger ticket item. As an aspiring Minimalist, I do understand why this must seem counter intuitive, but it is the other choices I make that balance it out – besides, I use my car almost every day, there isn’t a great alternative for me, and it is something that is by my calculations a net-benefit to my life.
If I had it to do over again today, I wouldn’t go down the road-less-expensive. There is a difference between indulging and over indulging yourself, and everyone must decide where the line is in their own lives.
Treat yourselves my friends, just not everyday, and to not every whim.