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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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Sleepydad March 29, 2012 at 2:44 am

That’s a great find! That thing is pretty cool! Wife McGee also sounds like my wife too – brings me back to reality!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Yep – we need a little reality check every once in a while, don’t we, haha!


Jana @ Daily Money Shot March 29, 2012 at 8:58 am

I’ve had similar conversations with my husband, though his big obnoxious toy is having a house with a backyard so big we can fit a 9 hole golf course on it (some days it goes up to 18). I’m pretty sure that when he hears about this, he’ll want it, too. Maybe we can buy it together and share it. Because really, it does sound kind of cool.

I don’t have a big obnoxious toy as motivation but I do have some pretty over the top goals that are only feasible when we’re spectacularly rich. I use that as motivation.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Wow! There’s no way I would want a golf course on my property (really only if I had to take care of it – if I had my “staff” doing all of the work and could just ride my personal killer whale submarine in the water hazzards maybe I’d change my mind…).

That works too – over the top is where all the cook kids aim! 🙂


Christopher @ This That and The MBA March 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

I have some over the top goals like massive house where I can hide and no one can find me. Shh dont tell my wife that is the reason though. I tend to have smaller obnoxious toys I want. Owning a house I have been big into buying tools, I hate having to borrow them from neighbors. So I have been finding stuff that is broke to run out and buy a new tool. My wife thinks I am a superhero for fixing everything.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Haha! I like it. Don’t worry your secret is safe with me (and the Internet…). I live in a 2bed apartment that I rent (we own rental properties that others manage, so tools aren’t that big of a thing for us right now). But there’s something about walking through a Home Depot tomake me think I need everything they sell with a plug…


Christopher @ This That and The MBA April 3, 2012 at 10:51 pm

Exactly, I have been working my way down the powertool section soon ill have it all. I just got an air nailer with my air compressor. I love it, I went around our new finished off porch installing molding. 20 minutes for that cool toy was well worth it.


Technical Analysis March 29, 2012 at 11:16 am

Saw one of these in action last summer in Malta! Looked so much fun but pitty about the diving depth! Funny article Nick keep up the good work.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm

No way! That’s awesome! Yeah, I wish they went down a bit more. Maybe by the time I can afford one they’ll be able to… And thanks! 🙂


Zack Jones March 29, 2012 at 12:38 pm

“What now?” If I had a dollar for everytime Mrs Jones said that I could probably buy one of those subs :). If I were going to blow $100,000 it would probably be for a really fancy car like a BMW M5 or Mercedes.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Wow – You know, you’re right, as cool as this is, something I could use every day would be a better splurge for sure. but I could definitely commute across the Hudson River… Yeah… I’ve heard “what now” quite a few times myself, haha!


CultOfMoney March 29, 2012 at 2:49 pm

It’s nice to have some motivation when you’re at work late. I think I’d need to win MegaMillions before I’d think about actually buying it, but yes, being able to do so is a great motivation!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm

I take it from your post today that you didn’t win the MegaMillions, huh? Oh well. I’m with you though on really having to be worth a TON of money before wasting so much on a toy like this.


Well Heeled Blog March 30, 2012 at 11:10 am

My fiance wants to have a house big enough to fit a pool table in it. And a nice pool table, of course. I’d probably want enough money to travel and eat where I want, whenever I want.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I like your goal more than your fiance’s for sure – way more over the top than just a pool table! Tell your fiance to dream bigger, haha! Or maybe you shouldn’t – there would be less money for travel 😉


Modest Money March 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Haha that killer whale sub is too cool. But yeah, it would sure make more sense to just rent it. It’s always fun to dream though. For me I’ve already wasted money on a wasteful toy. So I’m more motivated to get the worthwhile big purchases like my own house. Well first I’d be happy enough with my own apartment, but a big house someday is a nice goal to keep in the back of my mind.


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I hear ya Jeremy. Checking out the real estate section of the papers or spending a little (too much) time on Trulia is pretty fun motivation for me too.


Thad P @ March 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Step Away From the Killer Whale and no one will get hurt! Funny article!


Nick April 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Hahaha! You’re right. Can you believe the guy who doesn’t even want you to walk into a MALL will be dreaming of owning a personal killer whale submarine?!?! It’s just way too cool…


Frank April 18, 2012 at 1:26 am

I want a Ferrari, and by no means will it be a waste of money when I finally decide to buy it. #1 on my bucket list is to own a high end sports car.


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