Is a big, wasteful, obnoxious “toy” part of your motivation?

by Nick on March 29, 2012

Earlier this week, I wrote a bit about why I’m so obsessed with piling up a bunch of cash (still looking for donations I can match, by the way, so check out the post and make me put my money where my mouth is!).  Most of my reasons are to care for my family and help others.  But I’m no saint for sure.  I also want to enjoy my life and buy a few toys for myself without worrying about whether I’m jeopardizing my family’s long-term financials.

Coincidentally, later that day a coworker sent me a link to possibly the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time – a Killer Whale Personal Submarine!  You read that right.  A freakin’ personal submarine that looks like a killer whale!  There’s part of a video of the submarine on the Hammacher site and the full video is linked above (assuming I linked it right…).  You can ride it above or below the water and it even jumps up to 16 feet in the air!  Wow!

You should probably watch the video now before you read the rest of this post or you just won’t be able to feel how cool this thing actually is… Go ahead.  I’ll still be here.

Great.  How awesome is that?!?!  Imagine how much fun it would be to commute to work on a killer whale submarine?  Aside from being met by cops on both sides of the Hudson River for the first 30 days until people realize it’s a freakin boat, let me tell you it would be pretty cool.  It would definitely be a fun way to end a 12-hour workday…

Next thought in my head:  Do I mention this thing to my wife after she spent 2 hours clipping coupons and matching circular sales to save $97 on groceries the night before?  Of course I do…

I definitely thought she would find this pretty cool, but would probably think I finally cracked….

(In case you’re wondering, if you have a spouse who is not as extreme as you are when it comes to saving, spending or being just plain cheap, coming home with “check out what we could do or buy when we’re rich” is a great way to help motivate everyone to see the “why.”  I did the same thing with Pennies from Heaven.  Seeing how many great things we’ll be able to do for others and fun things we can do for ourselves are great reminders that we’re on the right track.)

Within 30 seconds of me getting home, this is how the conversation went:

Me: Hey, I found the coolest thing in the world today.  You have to see this.  I guarantee you’ll love it.  Let’s buy it the second we can waste $100,000 to reward ourselves for being so cheap.

Wifey McGee: What now (of course, with an “oh, God, how am I going to get the next 3 minutes of my life back once he wastes them” enthusiasm…).

Me: (playing video)  Just watch this video.

Wifey McGee: Wow, that’s actually very cool.

Me: I know!  How cool would it be to commute to work on that thing?

Wifey McGee: Actually pretty cool.

Me: So you don’t care if I get it when we’re super rich and can waste $100,000?

Wifey McGee: Can we go to Fiji and Bora Bora for two weeks before?

Me: (thinking, “seriously… I would have agreed to two months” (don’t tell her…)) Sure.

Wifey McGee: Fine.

Wahoo!!!  She also thought it would be pretty cool to pull up to a waterfront restaurant on a Killer Whale Submarine….haha.  That’s Wifey McGee for you.  I’m thinking about going to work.  She’s thinking about going out on the town, haha.

Reality Check

This thing costs $100,000.  It is a Killer Whale Submarine.  It is, by definition, a waste of money.

So I really don’t think I could actually buy it, even if I were worth $5 million or more.  Maybe if I were worth tens of millions and gave away millions, I could say “just waste a few bucks on your self, jerk” and pull the trigger, but I don’t know.

There are way too many good things I could do with the money that I just don’t think I could pull the trigger.  You know how many people Pennies from Heaven could help with that money?  Or how many books it could buy?   Plus, I assume I could also rent one of these for a joy ride every once in a while… or take a few test drives… although I really like the idea of commuting on one of these… can’t get it out of my head, haha!

By the way, there’s a lot written about renting toys instead of buying them.  I’ve been thinking about that for a while… maybe I’ll expand on it in another post… what do you think about that?  Pretty good idea for things you don’t use often I think.

Bottom Line

Thinking about things like this – wasteful, obnoxious (but freakin’ cool) things – is definitely part of my motivation.

Even though I’m pretty darn sure I could never waste money on one of these, I love having things like this bookmarked for when I’m stuck at work at 11 p.m. finishing up (or not even finishing up) a project for a little motivation.  Things I could buy even if I wouldn’t.

In fact, right now on my desk you’ll see pictures of my family and post-it notes that say “vacation home” and “pennies from heaven” to remind me why I’m working as hard and long as I do.  (Also probably wouldn’t buy a vacation home that is not close driving distance… same “rent toys” theory for things that I wouldn’t use often.)

How about you?  Anyone in the market for a killer whale submarine?  How much money would you have to have before you buy a $100,000 toy? 

Do you have  your big, wasteful, obnoxious toy that motivates you?  If so, what is it and why is it so cool?

Until next time, put your credit card down and slowly step away from the mall!

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