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Technology is Stealing Your Money

20141214 - high tech costsThank goodness we live in a world of technology, right? Mmm, I don’t know about that. Sure, there are handy gadgets that I like to use once in a while – like GPS, Pandora, and the Nike Running app – but most of the time technology just rips me off and costs me more than I care to know about!

Let’s Talk About Those New Cars

All the new cars today are filled with gadgets. What used to be manual crank windows, manual locks, and manual sliding seats is now power windows, power locks, and power heated seats….oh, and cup warmers, automatic dimming rear view mirrors, front bumper sensors, rear cameras, dual power moon roofs, automatic starters, and the list could go on and on. Cars are overloaded with gadgets today! At first glance it seems awesome because each one of these magnificent options are fun to use and make our lives easier. However, what are we actually paying for all of these gadgets?

The Initial Cost of Technology

When a new car is advertised on TV, they quote you the price of the base model – which nobody wants of course. Each upgraded option is another couple hundred bucks here and a couple thousand there. Do you really want that auto-dimming mirror? It’ll cost you an extra $320. Do you think you need a power lift gate? That’ll be $1,420. Maybe you really want that power moon roof. For an additional $1,320, it’s yours. These options might seem fairly simple, but they are a highly noticeable extra expense for your vehicle.

If you want loads of technology in your car, it is going to cost you up front. Now, what if those high tech options break? That’s going to cost you too!

The Maintenance of Technology

New vehicles really seem cool at first, but for me they are actually a major annoyance. After about six months of owning a new car the dash lights start to come on. Oh, your tire pressure is low. Wait, no the bearing is worn out. Oh, actually the sensor is broken. It seems like every couple of months a new light comes on and you have to take it into the shop to get it fixed. You could try to save money and fix your car yourself, but they are getting so high tech that without the right tools you simply don’t have a chance.

So how much are some of these costs? What if you smashed the front end of your Mercedes and needed to fix the front bumper (equipped with sensors of course)? Ready? Over $3,300. And what if somebody smashed in the back of your car and destroyed your back-up camera? Oh, that’s just a mere $4,300. Yikes! Sure, insurance will cover some of this, but with expenses like these your premiums will be increased in no time!

Should We Avoid Technology?

When it comes to using Smart Phones and tablets, I think that technology can be a very useful tool, but on automobiles they are actually starting to get a little ridiculous. If I smashed my front bumper and needed a new one (on my 2001 Honda Civic), I could buy one from eBay for about $200. If I demolished the rear bumper, that would cost me another $250. With these cheap costs I could replace them myself without even reaching my deductible!

For me, buying a car that is 10 years old (or older) has tremendous advantages. The initial cost is cheap, the maintenance costs are cheap, and I don’t have to worry about all of the high-tech gadgets breaking down and lighting up my dashboard like a Christmas tree!

What is your opinion on the high-tech gadgets? Would you rather have them or just do without?

Money

AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

4 Comments

  1. I completely agree! My friends think I’m a total miser, but I drive a 13 year old Nissan that causes me far less hassle than their new cars when something breaks (and that rarely happens). With an old car too, I have a chance do being able to fix any problem that arises because it has an old-style engine that I understand, not a computer!

    • Yup! My friend has a fairly new Audi. Not only does it need constant repair, but each visit to the shop is costing him $500+! My car has had a total expense of about $400 since I bought it over 2 years ago! 🙂

  2. I drive a 2000 Peugeot 106 which I’ve heard some interesting remarks about, ranging from how I should stop driving something that looks like my first car (it is actually, I’ve only driven company cars and co-owned cars before) to how I should get with the times and stop being so cheap already.

    Heck no I say. I love my little car, it may not be so luxurious but it does what is needed. I go to a garage who has a large stock of second hand Peugeot parts who manage to keep my ride going with replacements as needed. Why buy brand new tired when you can get some that came of a car who’s had them just a month? Likewise, my car surely won’t last forever, so I can grab a cheap part that is expected to last some years. Plus, thanks to someone backing up into the side of my car, I’ve two ‘new’ doors and a free check-up to see if there was no more damage elsewhere due to the impact.

    There are certain gadgets I’d want though, like parking assistance. I live in a city and it would be helpful to squeeze into small spots here. But I’m fine with having to roll down my window myself, or move my own seat. Seat warmers are like total decadence to me. I’ve family who has it in theirs and it just feels really weird to me! Imagine we start to use heated seats in our house next. Or is that a thing already and I’m being all old fashioned with a blanket for comfort?

    I’m just going to see how much longer I can keep my car. I’ve been told a new battery would be in order due to age, and new tires due to wear, but beyond that there are no major concerns with it. Meanwhile as you new cars and their fancy tech which seems to break left and right go in for prices that make you topple over. No wonder some people think they cannot have a car and cars are super expensive. I realize I got quite lucky with mine, it was a government company car which hardly saw use and was sold to a second hand dealer when they shedded old assets. Still, when one takes the time to learn or asks someone with knowledge to go with them when looking at second hand cars, you can score some nice deals. And if you must have ‘new’, then dealers who specialize in new second hand cars can be well worth it.

    • I keep thinking about maybe getting something else – I mean, my car has 215,000 miles on it, but it has always been amazingly reliable and cheap on gas! I certainly wouldn’t buy a brand new car, but maybe something with a little fewer miles. After saying this, I’ll probably end up keeping my car for another couple of years. 😉


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