Hello everyone. It’s been slow lately on my end, and in my many daily ventures of reading other blogs and newspapers, I thought about bigger purchases we make in life. So, I wanted to share with you my first big purchase was, and at the same time find out about yours was as well. Call me Mr. Curious, but curiosity is getting the better of me these days. Yet, before I started writing this post, I searched Google on what people bought as their first big purchase. I came across a lot of lame answers such as concert tickets, memorabilia, and other lame answers.
So I thought I’d share some of my more exciting first purchases and at the same time find out about yours.
First Bigger Purchase
I landed my first job at a very tender age of 14 flipping burgers at McDonald’s. It was a fun job, and had the time of my life flipping burgers, and eating free fast food. The job lasted till I turned sixteen, at which time I quit the fast food business to become a glorified grocery clerk at the local grocery store. Working nearly two years at McDonald’s gave me enough time to save a few bucks, mostly due to the help of my mother. Somehow every paycheck I’d blow on new jeans, CDs, taking girls out and a lot of other stupid miscellaneous things. Thanks in large part to her, I manged to scrounge up nearly $2,000, which came in good use because on my sixteenth birthday I got my drivers license. I was young and wanted to become even more cool, so what better way to become instantly cool during your teen years than get your first car?
So, I pushed my parents to help me buy my first car on the condition that I’d split the insurance bill with them if for adding me as the secondary driver to the household insurance policy.
A few months later, and just months before my seventeenth birthday I purchased my first car. A 1993 Mazda 323 hatchback for a whopping $2,700. It was a big deal then, and it took me nearly three years to scrounge up nearly $3k from my part-time ventures. I was proud of my first big purchase, and was even more fortunate to be one of the first people within my circle of friends to own a car.
Other Bigger Purchases
Since my first car, I managed to buy three other vehicles over the next ten years. Each car was used, and never cost more than $6,000. I mad it through college with no car debt, and by the time I graduated I had already changed three cars and was onto my third. I stuck with my 2000 Saab 93 and 2004 Oldsmobile Alero in the early parts of my career, yet I’ve been very fortunate to never had to finance any vehicle I bought. That changed this year, and for the first time I financed a new-used vehicle.
I’ll be honest (as always) with you and go out on a limb and say that I got a little cocky….maybe confident…possible greedy, but I wanted to treat my self. Technically there was nothing wrong with my 2004 Oldsmobile, except that it was getting up there in mileage, but running fairly well. Knowing that I wanted something better, more luxurious, fancier and newer. So, I purchased a used BMW for just under $20k financed over 4 years. It’s been almost six months since I drove the car home and I haven’t looked back since. I sometimes think about it and wonder if I really needed to go buy another car, then again I’m in a great place with my career, still young and wanted something to enjoy. I suppose that’s the best rationale I could come up with for buying my current car.
Despite financing my first car in my late twenties, that wasn’t my first biggest purchase. I actually my biggest purchase to date when I was 25 by buying a two-bedroom condo, which also happens to be the same home I’m living today. The whole home purchasing was sort of a fluke process for me. I wasn’t a good saver leading up to the purchase, and only managed to save $5k a year before by taking out a RRSP loan through a friend who worked in the financial industry. Then the market crash of 2008 came around, and the Canadian government introduced the Home Buyers Plan, where I can take a portion (in my case all) of my RRSP savings, and use it as a down-payment towards a home purchase. This was one of the things done to stimulate the economy.
So, I took advantage to the HBP, found a Realtor, started looking around and within two weeks found my first condo in an average neighborhood that I grew up in. I settled on a two-bedroom, one bathroom condo that was in dire need of upgrades and some major renovations. I envisioned the final look, and the price of $125k was inviting as well, because it was selling well below what other condos in the building were going for.
It’s been four years since my biggest purchase, and I’m proud to say that it’s been the best decision I ever made. Home ownership has been everything I envisioned, and has been a solid learning curve that I’ve enjoyed along the way.
Now that you’ve learned something about me and my biggest purchases, I’d love to hear now about yours. So, what’s been your FIRST bigger purchase? How old were you?