life advice please...

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pardon me for posting such a lengthy and self-indulgent post, but this issue has been driving me crazy and i could use some advice.

the long and short of it is: i'm not sure if i can afford to hold onto my t-bird, but can i afford to let it go?

i'm going to reveal far too much information, but i'm a very open person, so here goes:

most of my car is financed in the form of a home equity loan at about 6% (minus the tax break that i get at the end of the year.) each month, i can choose to pay ONLY the interest if i want (which is about $240.)

i used to make really good money, but have moved to l.a. to continue my acting career - which makes VERY LITTLE, if any, money. i do have a night job which pays o.k.

i know that the smart financial decision is to sell the car (at this point, i'd probably just about break even.)

but the emotional side LOVES to drive this car. i feel like a million bucks. i LOVE the looks of the car, the sound, (most of) the way it drives, the acceleration, (i must admit the attention is fun, too). i've been in love with cars since before i could walk, so having such a nice car is truly a pleasure that i appreciate. i come from a very financially conservative family, and this car is indeed a luxury to me.

not to bring this old battle up again, but the fact that the car is a neiman marcus car and so early off the line makes it even a bit more special to me. i think, "sell the car, it's just a car. you can get another one some day when you're more financially stable." but then i think, "5 or 10 years from now, i may never be able to get another neiman car at a decent price" - then, i'll be another one who says, "man, what was i thinking? why did i get rid of that car?" i already say that about my '65 impala.

for now, i can afford the extra $240/month (barely) and the $115/month insurance (l.a. insurance is high.) but can i afford the regret of selling this car?

ultimately, only i can and will make this decision based on my own comfort levels. i'm just looking for some input.

maybe i should take-up a collection of $1.50 from each '02 tbird owner to help me out. just kidding.

for what it's worth, ('cause i think it adds relevance to the stage of life that i'm in) i'm single and 31 years old.

thanks in advance for your information.

so what do you think? KEEP IT or SELL IT?!?!?!


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"based on my own comfort levels", I think that says it all. I would keep the car until the comfort level past the threshold of pain. I love the car but I am not willing to live for it (not enough room to sleep in). Being single does make it easier though as you do not have a family depending on you to supply a roof and food. My opion.

Good luck in whatever direction you decide to go in, I am glad that I don't have to face that decision.
This is a hard one. I think if it was me in the same position as you I would try to keep the car. If it came between food and the car I guess the car would have to go. If you can live on a tight budget I would keep it.Like I said a hard one.

02 T-Bird
69 Vette
73 MGB
97 F-150 4x4
2-Seadoo Jet Skies
a dog a cat and a couple hundred fish in my pond

OK you asked so here I go with my 2 cents:

You are single with (relatively) little in the way of obligations. You have an asset which at the moment is very liquid, that is, you could probably sell it in a few days. Also it is not depreciating rapidly just yet.

So why not hold on it to for now? If it comes down to the car or eating, sell it. But if you sell it before that and then land a big job the next day you'll kick yourself.

This is one rare instance where time is on your side, play it for a while!

Good luck.

Tom M.
?? Family -- Sounds like you come from
a family that has made some wise financial
decisions. They probably know what you
have and its future potential.

Know many don't like the thought of asking
for a family loan but this could be seen
as more of a investment.

Not good on questions like this since hate
to put money in others pocket (interest).
Have paid cash for autos, till last year
and the 0%. It still bugs me not to have
a free and clear title.

Anyway would try to hold on to the car since
a NM. If was a regular model, would say
dump it.
To sell or not to sell?

I would suggest making a list- one side being all the reasons you want to keep the bird and the other reasons to sell the bird.

If the only reason for selling the bird is financial- take a look at your current spending habits and see if you can make any adjustments. I have found by not buying lunch at work can really add up over the course of a month. Little things like that can really add up and create extra money

Money can't buy you happiness and he with the most money in the bank doesn't win when he dies. I guess what I am trying to say is that we are only on this earth for a limited time. Have fun, don't worry and ENJOY LIFE.

This comes from a once single mom who wondered if she could afford to keep her house. When it came down to it- when there's a will there's a way
Small sacrifices we make today are well worth it in the long run.
My advice would be KEEP THE CAR! I am a 33 year old single mother. I thought long and hard before making the decision to purchase my was definitely more $$ than I ever would have wanted to spend on a car. But I fell in love with the car from the first time I saw it in a magazine ad. I HAD TO HAVE THAT CAR! So, I will make a few changes to my spending habits, quit buying lunch everyday like WixomPooh said, maybe buy just one pair of shoes a month instead of one a week, etc. Owning this gorgeous car is definitely worth making a few sacrifices. As long as you can pay for the house and groceries, hang on to your car...enjoy it! Owning that car is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don't give that up unless you absolutely have to!
You know, there are a hell of a lot of people in the world who die without ever having the things or doing the things they really want because having or doing would not be the wisest thing.

Live every day like its your last and when one of them is you'll die happy!

There are no little ones to put through college in your life yet, you obviously have an asset that you were able to get a home equity loan from, and if its like mine you can just pay the interest for 10 years. Your single and living in a city and in an industry where image is a big deal.

I have to agree with the post above about your comfort level. Enjoy the ride till that comfort level thing starts sticking in your throat.

Love does not always make sense...enjoy your T-bird love affair!
The T-Bird takes the concept of practicality to a whole new level. I'm with the rest of us googey-eyed fanatics on this issue. Life is short, financial set-backs are temporary, and yes, you'll kick yourself later if you sell it.

Do what you can to hang on to it. If you're like me, you're planning to keep the car until you both rot.

You have our unanimous moral support.
Speaking stickly from the heart, you have to keep the car. This truely is a once in a lifetime thing, so you might as well go for it. In the end this could be your "trump" card, this is only being built til 08'?. Play wisely, but at this point in your life, in this world, play with your heart. Also remember, in your field status is everything I would use it to your advantage.
Keeping the car might just get you noticed in LA and land you a good acting job. At the very least maybe you could negotiate a trade for a part in the lastest Tom Cruise movie.

The LA thing requires the Bird. No decision. Eat Oatmeal.
Seems unanimous so far. The car's value was at it's greatest one minute before you took delivery. That's history. While we can't walk a mile in your shoes, if you have enough cash to pay the mortgage and stay healthy, that's might well be the choice. Good luck.
Considering you are an actor and “ in the business” you might want to talk to your agent or some add agencies about using you car in future projects, the Tbird will be used in many print and tv commercials in the future. One or two commercial deals could pay a whole years worth of payments.

PS: I have already be asked if my care could be used in a real estate add.
My 2 cents. You have a home equity loan which means you have a home and obviously a home with enouth equity to spring for the NM car. Your equity loan is at 6% assuming your home loan is about 7%-7.5% and your about 5-10 years or so into it. Simply refinance your home and wrap your equity loan up in the deal, it may add a few year on your loan but "THE CAR IS YOURS BABY" no strings attached. You should also look into collector car insurance with Hagerty, it might restrict your miles per year but I think that is being done by yourself anyway. Some collector policies are very liberal, I don't have Hagerty for my cars but think they are more flexable than mine (K&K).
Man, you can't drive a Toyota for less per month ($355). Keep the car and get another job! Pay more when you can.


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I found myself in a similar situation a few years back. I had just bought a new SVO Mustang and was making what were relatively high payments at the time. Shortly thereafter, I lost my job and it was many years before was doing as well again. I struggled along and even paid off the loan 1 year early!

During a time in my life that was tough, I had a unique, reliable and fun car to drive to help me get through it all.
I still have that car today with 214,000+ miles and no regrets.
i am really enjoying the responses to this somewhat philosophical question. there are some nice thoughts and witty answers that are giving me some perspective.

one thing i worry about a little is, say i decide in 2 years that i can't make the payments anymore - how much will i lose? hopefully not too much since i'm sure that i'll have less than 10,000 miles in 2 years. but, i guess that's a risk i have to take.

i have done some research into using the car as a "picture car" - a car used in movies, commercials, calendars, etc. i did find one company where i registered the car for free. but i also learned that car companies have a department specifically designed to get product placement into the entertainment business. (i.e.-bmws and now aston martins in james bond movies.) car companies LOVE to have their cars featured in movies. (recently, toyota made a deal with universal-vivendi pictures, so expect a lot of toyotas in upcoming movies. why do you think it's called "the toyota matrix"?)

but i digress (surprise.)

i am definitely leaning VERY strongly towards keeping the car as long as i can, and driving it more freely (i've been so worried about putting on too many miles, thereby losing more money.)

i need to LIVE A LITTLE. if i'm not working the feb. 24th weekend, i KNOW that i'll have the time of my life going to santa barbara to meet with a bunch of you.

LIVE FOR THE MOMENT! i took a huge chance and at least a 50% paycut by moving out here to be an actor, so i need to have more faith.

(this is like therapy, but cheaper.)

thanks everyone for your input.

continued responses are still appreciated , though. it's an interesting conversation to me.

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