There’s a few big ticket items most of us are going to drop heavy bank on in our
lifetimes, likely more than once, and while these can be rewarding, life-affirming
and ultimately smart purchases, it’s also an opportunity for the world to take you
to the cleaners. We’ve put together a list of the biggest expenditures you’re likely
to make, and our thoughts on how to make the most of them. Rush decisions can
be exhilarating, but it’s the well thought out ones that leave the best aftertaste.
Remember, there’s one born every minute, don’t ever let it be you.
More millionaires join the seven-digit club through savvy real estate moves than
all other means combined. It’s been that way for a long long time, but never more
so than during our lifetimes. For the better part of two decades the only thing you
had to worry about in terms of buying real estate was where to invest all the equity
you’d be gaining over the course of a few years. Unfortunately, it looks like the
recession has finally caught up with reality and there’s finally some hands in the
“lose” column. While it’s still possible to clean up in the real estate game, it’s a lot
trickier than it used to be and considering a condo/house/rental property probably
represents your biggest investment you’d do well to put in a whole lot of homework
before you take the plunge. There’s no silver bullet, but you have to pay attention to
the neighborhood. It’s a lot easier to refinish a basement than to get rid of crackhead
neighbors, and that’s why it’s never a bad idea to buy the worst house on a great
street. You can find the demographics and economic trends for every neighborhood
on the continent online, and if you find one on the upswing, there’s your sweet spot.
Beyond that, find a home inspector you trust implicitly and have him go hogwild
on any perspective place, then take him to dinner and get the straight goods, if he’s
good, you’ll never run into a moneypit you’re not prepared for.
Cars are money pits of the first order, so after you’ve locked down something that’ll
take you from A to B and not explode enroute, it breaks down to how cool of a toy
you want to buy. Dick length jokes aside, your car is a symbol of your status, of your
priorities, and your headspace, so you should spend a good deal of time thinking
about the image you’re going to be presenting the world, and if you’ve done that and
decided you still want the Camero… Go to it my man.
It’s the engagement ring paradox. You’re keen enough on a woman to want to spend
your life with her, and thusly you’re obliged to put yourself in two month’s worth
of debt to make it official. Those rules may be out the window in this century, but
take the word of a married guy, if you skimp out on the diamond, you’ll wear it your
entire marriage. Even though you want to avoid like the plague buying her anything
tacky, it still has to be as gorgeous and as flashy as you can possibly afford. If you’ve
bagged a good woman, she won’t care one way or the other, but the petty people
around her sure will, and if her ring is flashy, they all have to eat shit.
Is it a boat? A wine cellar? A Bengal tigers? Baseball cards? That’s up to you, but
there aren’t any hobbies out there you can’t bankrupt yourself pursuing, and when
you’ve got expendable income, this is where it’s going. Every man’s got one, and it’s
a part of what makes you “you”, and we all get a little like ten year olds when we’re
in the zone. But when you’re spending, it’s important that the guy selling can’t see
the stars in your eyes. Whatever you’re pursuing, patience is your best friend in the
entire world, and for god’s sake look online for a price check before you shell out
for anything at all. Remember that hobbies and outside interests are essential for a
well-rounded man of Swagger, but obsessions never are.
One of the greatest shortcuts to having a well-rounded perspective on life is to
travel, and travel often. The price of jet fuel isn’t going down anytime soon, and
getting out there in the wide-open air represents an investment in yourself, so make
sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
Written by Jeremy P Beal