Can you practice Minimalism while still being a car owner and enthusiast? Of course.
Since we’re still a novelty to internet surfers, we’d like to reiterate our purpose. By definition, Saabros is a blog, but ignore the stigma surrounding that word, please. We want to be a source of information and inspiration for car enthusiasts of all magnitudes. So, whether you’re looking for a fierce, cone-slaying autocross competitor, or the best A-to-B car in your price range, we’d like to help you out.
A philosophy that we’ve adopted, and that we’ve found to be tremendously useful, is the concept of Minimalism, as defined by the Minimalists themselves, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.
To help those who are unfamiliar with the concept, we’ve shared an excerpt from Josh and Ryan’s truncated definition of what Minimalism is:
Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.
There are many flavors of minimalism: a 20-year-old single guy’s minimalist lifestyle looks different from a 45-year-old mother’s minimalist lifestyle. Even though everyone embraces minimalism differently, each path leads to the same place: a life with more time, more money, and more freedom to live a more meaningful life.
The fellas emphasize that they’re not fans of oversimplifying things, and that this is only a “tidy, little, easy-to-digest soundbite” of what Minimalism is all about. If you’d like to find out more, visit TheMinimalists.com (p.s. they also have a blog).
So, how exactly do we incorporate such a philosophy while diving head-first into consumerism and purchasing expensive parts and equipment that isn’t at all necessary for our everyday existence?
Remember that following the Minimalists’ philosophy doesn’t mean you have to sell every possession and live like a monk. No, the goal is to avoid excess. You might say, “well, Frankie and his partner, Kayla, have four vehicles, three of which are currently not running… how isn’t this excess?” Great question.
In the case of Frankie and Kayla, each vehicle has a specific purpose. There’s the daily driver, the road course racer, dirt track racer, and the parts car a.k.a. long-term project. Granted, being able to justify a purchase doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea.
A better way to think about it is by asking yourself, “is owning this vehicle going to make my life more meaningful, or just more difficult?” Of course, if it’s going to cripple you financially, then it’s most likely a terrible idea, as it will leave you feeling unsatisfied and full of remorse.
To put it more concretely: is forfeiting your freedom so that you can make a monthly payment for a car that’s quickly loosing its value actually worth the opportunity cost of experiences you’ll miss out on? That depends on a whole bunch of factors. One example, which we’ll talk about in greater detail in a future post, is how Kayla went from a 2015 Subaru STi to a 2005 Saab 9-2X Aero with a JDM STi drivetrain swap. She went to a car that’s a decade older and less capable but also much cheaper, and for Kayla it has been more satisfying to own. Of course, there’s a huge difference between purchasing a car outright and financing, and we’ll discuss this more in-depth in a future post.
A more prominent example we could bring up is Brian Scotto from the very entertaining Hoonigan squad. He and his wife own a total of eleven vehicles, one of which Brian owned for fourteen years. Interestingly he’s owned that car, an Audi QC, longer than he’s been with his wife. Here’s the thing, though: the QC doesn’t run and can be seen as an overpriced paperweight that Scotto has been dragging along with him for the past decade and a half, but he’s also gone on to become quite successful. Not to mention he also has a breath-takingly awesome Porsche 965 Turbo RWB, (click here to see the ‘build breakdown’ video of it). So, in Scotto’s case, owning the QC hasn’t prevented him from growing in his personal life or progressing his career.
In conclusion, we encourage you to resist impulse, and think critically about the purchases you make. As a colleague of mine once told me while I was in a fever over a brand new sports car I couldn’t really afford, “the cars of today aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.” It’s a sentiment expressed by many, but put into practice by few: wait and save, or be a slave.
We know we’ve just thrown a lot at you. It’s our understanding that most folks don’t have the time (and/or desire) to read a 800-word blog post, and we hope to start-up our podcast in the near future so that we can use the written content as more of a supplement. Until then, keep visiting this site to view our latest content.
And don’t worry, we’ll talk more about Frankie and Kayla’s “collection” in a future post as well.