Chromed: How to Look Cool and Waste Your Money
While driving down the road the other day, I saw a car that looked very similar to this one:
The first thought that came to my mind was why???? But then I realized I am probably just getting old. I’m quite sure my Dad asked me why many times when I was younger.
My next thought was, “You know, I’ll bet those rims cost more than the car”. Turns out I was right. A quick search on AutoTrader showed that a 1987 Chevy Caprice (the car in the picture above) can be purchased for about $2500, give or take. Doing a little internet investigation on the spinner rims (by the way the 26″ on the side of the car is the diameter of the rims) showed that 4 rims and new tires like the one’s in the picture run $8,339.00 (yes, $8,339). Wondering how in the world young kids afford these wheels, I then came across this article on renting wheels. Turns out renting is a very popular option for many young people.
The article states “The interest rates are so high that by the time you’re done paying for the product, you’ve paid two or three times for it.“ Let’s be conservative and use twice, that would make the $8,339.00 wheels end up costing $16,678. Now almost 7 times more than the car itself.
I’ll ask again, WHY??? The article quotes Rent-A-Wheel’s co-founder John Bowli, “For our customer base, their cars are their status symbol. That’s where they spend a lot of their disposable income.“. This is a pure example of financial stupidity. If people want huge chrome rims on their cars, I am fine with that, but folks pay cash.
Renting these wheels is typical of the “I want it now” mentality many Americans have today. Borrowing and credit is quickly becoming the norm and is the primary reason why the average American has more than $8,000 in credit card debt. It amazes me that people would rather spend 2-3 times the price of the wheels, or furniture, big screen TVs or whatever their “chrome” is to get it now rather than save the money and purchase it outright out later. Dave Ramsey calls this “Living in the land of stupid“.
This is also a text book example of exactly what to do if you don’t want to be wealthy. If the people buying these expensive rims would just save that money for a few years, they could buy a really nice new car.
I’ll end my rant, and will accept that the answer to my question of WHY will probably go unanswered, but I’ll leave you with one more quote from the article: Actor Ray Smith, 29, of Inglewood pays $60 a week for his rims, which will amount to more than $3,000 over a year for a set that could be bought for $1,560 cash. “It’s not that bad,” he says. “It’s affordable.”
Readers, am I missing something?? Any thoughts from you on WHY? What are we teaching (or not teaching) our kids that cause them to think this is ok?