How I gave up my Tesla dream

How I gave up my Tesla dream

I have wanted a Tesla automobile since the roadster was announced in 2006. Beautiful cars and no oil products to run it. (The only thing I hate more than going to get my hair cut is getting my oil changed.)

When the pre-ordering for the Model 3 started I was nearly 6 months into the baby steps yet still had every intention of dropping $1000 to lock my place in line to get one.

Then I read Financial Samurai’s rule for car buying. That is when all that I had read and learned about personal finance slapped me across the face.


After 6 months of trying to dig ourselves out of debt and financial stupidity I was about to set my family back on the path to 35k of debt. *slaps face*

It was soooo painful to let that pre-order slip away. Honestly, like the pain I felt when I was dialing back my coffee intake. I was finally shedding my addiction to spending any money we didn’t have.

I told Ms. Blue Ribbon that a Tesla wasn’t worth financial stress and that we should look into getting a Nissan Leaf (I really really hate doing or going to get an oil change). We did need to replace my car. My car at the time wasn’t in the best of shape  and I didn’t enjoy climbing into the backseat of that two-door car every time I needed to buckle/unbuckle our son in his car-seat. Also, with a second kid on the way it would be cumbersome to put a second car-seat back there. I made some calls and got a hold of a family friend that could get me a used Leaf.

We went from a 35k+ NEW Tesla down to a 9k used Nissan Leaf. (Used leafs aren’t maintaining their values because dealers don’t know how to price them). It was a no-brainer to buy a car for a fraction of the price that met every criteria we needed in a car.

That was the real turning point of our journey. That was when I really got serious about spending. Now every time we have some big purchase we ask ourselves: Does this take us off our path to early retirement? Does this purchase give us something useful? Is it worth the amount or can we get it cheaper but still maintain the value and achieve its purpose?

Have you shed your addiction to spending? What was your moment? Let me know below.

12 thoughts on “How I gave up my Tesla dream

  1. Good decision. We have all been there. As you grow you can watch and wait for tax incentives for a Tesla. Who know what will be coming out over the next few years.

  2. I too really wanted to buy the Tesla 3 but I held off as well. As much as I’d love one it doesn’t make any sense to buy one. Plus hopefully in the future I can afford one without having to worry about the budget 🙂

  3. We used to have a bad car buying habit. Like clockwork, every two years we’d get another car, not always new, but usually financed. It was the possibility of FI that made us to decide to stop the cycle of debt. Now, when we look back on all the money we spent on cars, we cringe. The amount of money we spent would have compounded to take us years closer to FI.

    1. I used to think of cars as a prizes possession and i probably would have fallen into the car buying cycle except for one event. One winter my car slid at 5 mph into a mailbox leaving a heavy scrape.

      After getting a quote for $500 to fix a 4 inch long scrape my dad said, “well you have to decide if your car means that much to you or if it’s just to get from A to B. I’m guessing you are going to get it fixed…?”

      My mind was blown and i replied, “heck no it’s just a machine!”

  4. We’re not that into new cars. I have an 2001 Grand Prix and my boyfriend has a 2002 Mazda that we’re going to run into the ground before we spend money on different cars. But I totally get giving up something that you want for your financial future. For me, it was trips to the salon to get a haircut and to cover the grays. Not cheap! I’m only in my 30’s and I’m more gray than I would like! But I’ve decided I’d rather retire sooner than cover up the gray hair.

  5. Someone list on bullet for bullet what is so amazing about a Tesla? Is it fast? It’s a luxury thing? Hubby and I are not car people, we’re bad on the road…too unaggressive.

    I do want a driverless cars. I would definitely get one because it’s either that or a personal chauffer in a 10 year old Toyota ;p

    1. Oh I could go on and on about how awesome it is. Mainly they are superior quality and built electric from the ground up. Other car makers are just shoving an electric motor into a gas car and hoping it works well.

  6. So far I have only bought 1 used car, everything else was new. I firmly believe that If I buy a brand spankin’ new car and drive it into the ground over 10-15 years I am the same or better off than buying a few years used. The reason is the type of cars I buy (Toyotas/Hondas) hold their used value extremely well. So a few years old is not much off what I can buy new. When I buy new I don’t buy at sticker price, I do my homework and either start at invoice if the car is in demand or below if there is a nice supply. Since I don’t need a car it is easy to walk away and never fall in love with a car (its harder to walk away) and don’t go when you need a car (after an accident) then you are in control!!

  7. Probably a good call, though I feel you.

    I’m convincing myself we don’t the first-run of any model though, so the 2020 models will be even better.

    I plan on being $100k/month at that point, so I’ll jut pay cash 🙂

    What year was the leaf? 9k is nice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.