December 03, 2008
Buying a Boat - A Smart Investment
As consumers, the economic down turn we've been hearing so much about in the media and experiencing first hand, makes us take pause, question our financial choices, and re-evaluate spending habits. At the same time it helps puts things into perspective and remember what's truly important, our families, friends and personal relationships.
The current economic conditions have people nervous and that fear is reflected in lower sales on high priced items such as electronics, cars, and even boats. The recent stock market losses and news that we're officially in a recession have made people extremely frugal, but it's easy to forget a couple important things as Ron Lieber wrote in a recent article in the New York Times. He said that the vast majority of Americans aren't going to lose their jobs and that most of us work not simply for subsistence but so that we can spend money on things and experiences that bring us some form of contentment.
Like Lieber, I'm not suggesting that this is a reason to go and spend your money freely, but if you're feeling guilty about spending money because of the state of the economy you should give yourself a break.
In his article Lieber wrote of a couple who had splurged on a 38' sailboat and raised the question of whether or not it was wise to spend the money on a boat when they didn't have trust funds for their children or large sums of discretionary income. Lieber argued that like most large discretionary purchases trying to do the math out on owning a boat never quite works - it's an intangible. You have to look at a boat as an investment in something much more valuable than money; it's an investment in relationships. Owning a boat, he argued provides an opportunity to connect with and spend time with family and friends.
Sure, investment accounts are lower than they were and the fear of a long recession could be a reality, but the couple that Lieber wrote about buying the 39' boat has no regrets about owning one even though they share many of the same fears. They wrote, "Your job as a parent, friend, or partner is to create memories with each other. That's what we're here for. And I think in that respect, the decision to purchase the boat was a good decision".
Obviously, not everyone has an extra $50,000 to spend on a boat, nor am I suggesting that you should run out and buy a boat today (though I wouldn't complain) or that every investment needs to have a bunch of zeroes in it to be considered worthwhile. But, maybe, as Lieber wrote, it's about buying a better bicycle to go on longer rides with friends or even buying some kitchen gadget that keeps you out of expensive restaurants and at home with friends and family. It's about investing our money tactically in our relationships with one another, how you do that depends on your personal situation, but for some going boating may be just what the doctor and financial advisor ordered.
Posted by ribcraftusa at December 3, 2008 05:37 PMBack To Index