Cash for Clunkers

May 13, 2010 by

My dad helping me fix the truck

I drive a 1991 Ford Ranger. Its awesome. It has nearly 500,000 miles on it and its still going strong (knock on wood).

I love this truck.

We almost traded it in when the cash for clunkers program was going on.  I’m glad we didn’t.

I like the idea of living car free like Tammy Strobel talks about over on her blog, Rowdy Kittens. She talks about and has a book on living car free.  I think that’s awesome, but I’m not there yet. Not right now.

Right now I’m happy with my 19 year old truck.

This post is about 2 things.  Money and happiness.

Lets start with Money.

Some say you can’t buy happiness.

Daniel Tosh  says “its hard to frown on a wave-runner

NEWSFLASH: New cars are expensive.   Even after the cash for clunkers rebate we would have gotten I would have been in debt another 16k and had a car payment for another 4 years.  Why?  I could certainly afford a new car.  But again…Why?  Why buy something you don’t need? Especially something so expensive!  There are plenty of ways you can save money with an older car.

My truck gets me from point A to point B just fine.  My dog likes to ride in the back of it when we take her places.  It just works.  I admit, its not the nicest of all cars, but it works and I like it.

Actually I love it.

And that leads us to the happiness part.

Another favorite quote of mine is ““It’s not having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got” — Sheryl Crow

The secret to this one is to make yourself consciously think about it.  Take a look around you right now and look at everything you have. Think about the access you have to way more than you could ever need.  Hold on to that feeling for a second.  Truly appreciate it for what it is.  Do this with specific things you own.   Next time you drive your car, take a moment to think about your car.  Is it getting you where you need to go?  Does it do it with relative comfort?  Does it have a decent radio?  Learn to appreciate those things.

Happiness is a decision.  Its a conscious attitude toward your life.   You can choose to think you will only be happy when you have purchased that new “thing”, or you can choose to be happy now.

Happiness and money are not related.   Too often we make that false connection.  I don’t know anyone in deep amounts of debt that is happy. Usually its the opposite.

Save your money.  Learn to want what you have.  Choose to be happy now.

Ben…

Not everyone agrees with me on this.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below and let me know what your take on this is.

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