I’ve been driving my wife’s car a lot lately. Her car is nice. It’s smooth, it’s got more room, and it has bells and whistles. It’s always had these things but I’d never noticed.
It’s refreshing to notice instances of relative rather than absolute value. Her car is nice relative to mine but not so nice relative to the newest thing for sale. After driving her car I kinda wanted a new car.
Like made up start ups, the advice to ‘always buy two new cars’ is half a joke. Much of the personal finance advice around here is to choose from pretty good options. Emergency funds should be generally right, both 15 and 30 year mortgages are good choices, and personal finance expertise is from experience not eduction.
To buy two new cars then means that the relative value of the next new car will be largely hidden from me. Sure there will be neighbors and Ubers and advertisements but I make – we make – easy decisions. If it’s not easy to compare then it’s a comparison that won’t occur.
Ironically I noticed this idea with iPhones a couple of years ago. It only mattered that the phone was newer, not that it was newest. All value is perceived value.