Finances

Why I bought a bike (and not a lexus)

Those of you have been reading the blog the past 10 months know that I REALLY want a Lexus. It’s my dream car. So how did I end up with a motorcycle instead?

First you need a little history. When I was really young, my dad had a motorcycle that he would take me for rides on. When I was older, we had a three wheeler and that was the first thing I ever drove. When I was 14, my dad upgraded us to a 4 wheeler. He still has that 4 wheeler now, although apparently the brakes don’t work anymore. I used to do jumps in the front yard with that thing. A few years later, I got my first car. I loved that car. It was a red, 5 speed manual transmission, 6 cylinder mitsubishi eclipse. I thought I was the biggest hot rod driving it. There was nothing better than downshifting into 4th going down the highway to pass somebody.

Now I drive my Ford. My ford is an automatic, 4 cylinder car. The best thing about my car is that it is paid off. It drives fine now that the power steering recall has been fixed but I dont really have a lot of nice things to say about it otherwise. It is a boring little car that gets me front point a to point b. My little car has no get up and go. I missed my Mitsubishi. I missed shifting.

Cue in the motorcycle. Most people don’t know that I have wanted a motorcycle before. I looked into it when I was a sophomore in college. But (legally) driving a motorcycle takes time and money. To take the class required in Texas to get a motorcycle license is $200. It’s also a two day course, 8-5. At the time I looked, I had the money, but I didn’t have the time. I was a full time student and I worked a lot of hours. If I wasn’t at school, I was at work. So I put it off and told myself I would do it later when I had both the time and the money.

After graduating, I took the job that I have now. I have two coworkers who ride and I remember them telling me I should get a bike. But things had changed. I had the time, but I didn’t have the money. I was a recent grad who was trying to pay off student loans and it wasn’t much later that I got a second job to pay them off. So here we are. My big debts are paid off (except the house). I recently got a promotion. I now had the killer combination of both free time and money. I looked at a couple bikes online and in person but with never having ridden, I had no idea what I wanted. So I decided to enroll in the two day class… and I LOVED it. It was so much fun and it was a great class that teaches you a ton of stuff that can also be applied to your every day car driving.

Several people expected me to buy my Lexus after getting my promotion and were surprised that I ended up with a bike instead. A new Lexus costs $40,000. That makes a $800 payment per month over 5 years. Used Lexus retain their value pretty well. A 2017 Lexus goes anywhere from $28,000 to $32,000. That makes a $500 payment over 5 years. A $500 payment is the equivalent of my entire raise for something I don’t NEED. I could’ve bought my Lexus. But I started feeling panicked. How was I ever going to get ahead if I spent my entire raise on a car that is, at the end of the day, a depreciating asset? I still REALLY want a Lexus but I deeply want to retire early more. However, I also didn’t think I could spend the next few years being happy with my ho hum car to get places. So instead, I bought a bike. My bike is only $6,000 and I am hoping to have it paid off early, although I financed it over 5 years, in full disclosure. I love my bike. It gives me that little bit of need for speed that I have underneath my banking career exterior and I get to shift again. It’s a lot of fun and it gives me the occasional butterflies. I will probably still eventually buy my Lexus. But for right now, I am enjoying the bike and I am enjoying saving most of my raise.

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