Sunday, June 24, 2012

Nellie Mae

Legend has it Warren Buffet (every Anna Nicole Smith dream guy) still has his original truck.  Granted he has replaced the engine in it at least once and probably had the entire thing rebuilt since he bought it in 1779 (date not confirmed).  What I am trying to say is this, "If you want to be filthy rich ... don't buy vehicles".

I'm sure Warren did some other stuff too in order to amass his wealth but I'm focusing on the vehicle part.  And I'm quite certain he owns a fleet of cars now but he started off just owning one; the infamous truck.

Since I want to be independently wealthy some day (like Warren) I am having a hard time justifying a new (used) vehicle purchase.  Currently, I'm not in the market to buy but I am in the market to look around, get an idea of how much vehicles cost these days, and start saving up.

The problem is ... Nellie Mae.  She's a sweet ol' girl and has treated me well.  I love her to pieces.  Granted, her multi-CD changer doesn't work any more, she doesn't have bluetooth because it wasn't invented when she was created, and she has no idea what an iPod is (or an iPhone for that matter).  Nellie Mae is my 12 year old Nissan Xterra.
Not Nellie Mae but close resemblance.
When I say she's been around the block a few times I really mean like 180,000 miles of block.  She still has a lot of get up and go left in her.  Her miles per gallon rate is horrendous, but during my research for newer vehicles her's is still on par with today's SUVs and it is still the same rate she got back 2001.  I have had her engine rebuilt once and, currently, she doesn't have any mechanical problems.  She gets me from point A to point B safely and in air conditioning.  She's an ol' grey mare but she's still what she used to be.

As I'm doing research on newer vehicles and trying to find one to fit my needs I'm realizing I compare newer model vehicles to Nellie Mae.  Verdict: most of them come up short.  She's narrow enough to drive in the city, lots of cargo room to haul house project material, and clean enough to park in my company garage.  She's also old enough to park in the train station lot since I commute to work most days.

Nellie Mae has become my "Warren Buffet truck".  She saves me money (I haven't had a car payment in 5 years), she treats me well (AC always kicks to cold), and requires little attention (routine maintenance).  Even when the time comes to purchase another vehicle I think I'll be most happy with Nellie Mae staying in the garage and only being a vehicle to run errands in on the weekend. 

Don't get me wrong ... independently wealthy doesn't mean I won't settle for marrying rich and buying a Bugatti.
Don't mind if I do.

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