I Have Lost My Damn Mind

On April 1st I tweeted that I had lost my damn mind. No it was not an April Fool’s joke. And no I don’t think I’ve actually lost my mind. I did turn 28 years old last month, so maybe my age has something to do with it. I haven’t owned a car for over two years now, but for whatever reason I put a deposit down on a new Tesla Model 3 expected to enter production in late 2017.

Tesla was founded by Elon Musk who also is a founder of PayPal and SpaceX. I’ve always been intrigued by Mr. Musk and a couple of months ago I read his biography written by Ashlee Vance. I’ve been hooked on Mr. Musk and his companies ever since. Mr. Vance paints an intriguing picture of Mr. Musk and his abilities to do great things. Who couldn’t like a guy whose passions include green energy and colonizing Mars?

Here is a little snapshot of what sold me on putting a deposit down on the Model 3, besides the fact that it was created by Tesla and Mr. Musk:

  1. 215 mile range on a full charge
  2. Fits 5 adults comfortably
  3. $27,500 net price tag ($35,000 minus federal tax credit of $7,500)
  4. Supercharging capable (80% charge in 30 minutes at Supercharger location – and some are even powered by solar!)

Production isn’t set to begin until late 2017. I made my reservation about eight hours after the deposit window opened, so there is a good chance I wouldn’t receive mine until 2018, which is two years away. This gives me a LONG time to decide if I want to ask Elon for my money back (my $1,000 dollar deposit is fully refundable anytime before I sign a purchase agreement). In all honesty I’ll probably let him hold onto it for a while, and then by the end of 2017, I will either ask for it back or actually go through with it (only if for some reason my net worth is WAY past my goals).

I think its fun to dream. Who didn’t want to be an astronaut when they were a kid? It’s great to see people like Elon Musk still living out those dreams well into their 40’s (and probably for the rest of his life since i don’t see him stopping anytime soon. I believe Elon Musk (along with others like Amazon found Jeff Bezos) are exactly the type of entrepreneurs we love in America. Always pushing the envelope and trying to make the world better places. Hopefully I’ll be able to help in someway, even if it is by just buying a car.

Did you hand Elon $1,000 for a deposit on a Model 3? Have I gone bat shit crazy for even considering a $35,000 car?

Photo cred

40 thoughts on “I Have Lost My Damn Mind

  1. mattattack08

    You make a good point about them being entrepreneurs. It seems like a lot of 1%ers just want to hold on to their wealth. But guys like Musk, Gates, etc wanna do something with their wealth. Like you said, make the world a better place. Really cool. I myself did not put a deposit on the Tesla. But now that you got me thinking about it…

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Elon has put his entire fortune at risk multiple times to ensure these endeavors are successful. Very inspiring for sure.

      Reply
  2. Mr. SSC

    First, I don’t think you’ve lost your mind, and second, Congrats! Although, it is a bit premature since as you pointed out, it probably won’t be delivered until 2018. 🙂 Nope, I didn’t put a deposit down on one, but reading news articles it sounds like a LOT of people did. I didn’t realize that $1k is all it took as a deposit.

    Sure you can get a car for less than $35k, but I’ve been car shopping a lot over the last 5 years, and you’d be surprised how little that gets you with a new car. A lot of cars end up right at that range if you want any options beyond a “basic” package, so why not go with Tesla? 🙂 That $7500 credit makes it even more attractive.
    Mr. SSC recently posted…March 2016: Our money went where?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks Mr. SSC! I hope the credit is still around when it’s my turn. I also have faith that Elon will figure out a way to get it extended, so we’ll see.

      Reply
  3. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

    I love guys like Elon Musk and their innovations. He is so forward thinking with solar power, high speed trains, etc. The $1000 is refundable and maybe in 2 years you’ll be financially free anddecide to buy the Tesla to take on a cross country trip!

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      That would be awesome to drive it across the country! Great idea! Fuel costs of zero for that trip.

      Reply
  4. Brian @ debt discipline

    I don’t think you’ve gone crazy for wanted to own a $35K car I’m sure these cars keep there resale value, but maybe a little crazy for wanting to own a car while living in NYC. What’s the plan for parking or driving it? I know you talked about maybe moving out of NYC. Happy Birthday BTW!
    Brian @ debt discipline recently posted…Net Worth Update: March 2016My Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I won’t be in NYC at that point 🙂 Cars in NYC are a no-go for sure. Thanks Brian!

      Reply
  5. Norm

    Nope. The non-existent car is very attractive. In the best case scenario, it turns out to be a great car that costs hardly anything to run. $27,500 is a lot for a car, but when you consider how much you’d save in gas and upkeep, it could be extremely affordable. If that’s the case, you have the opportunity to buy it. In the worst case scenario, the car stinks, you ask for your deposit back and lose out on two years’ worth of gains on the $1,000. Not bad.
    Norm recently posted…Quarterly Expenses and Goal Progress: Q1 2016My Profile

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  6. Stockbeard

    I read Musk’s biography too and just love the person’s aura. It feels like he’s straight out from a sci-fi novel, and there’s probably a good reason he was used as inspiration for the character of Iron Man in the movies 🙂

    It’s actually the first time in my life that one of my “heroes” is a real person. An entrepreneur nonetheless, what’s up with me? Now I think I get what some people felt about Steve Jobs. Except to me the goals of Elon Musk are way more aligned with my own hopes for technical progress.

    So no, I don’t think you’re crazy for lending him money or kickstarting the next round of Tesla cars 🙂
    Stockbeard recently posted…My FI target keeps evading meMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I also read how Robert Downey Jr. spent time with him before one of the Iron Man movies – nuts! I agree how Elon’s goals are much more aligned with things I can stand behind and support.

      Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Hi Dan23. I am aware of the credit and Elon has mentioned they will curb production so that they reach 200k at the VERY beginning of a quarter to ensure that more people get the credit. Since he’s a great deal-maker as well, I wouldn’t be surprised if he somehow got it extended as well.

      Reply
  7. amber tree

    Nothing crazy with wanting it! I want one as well…! An affordably electrical super car…!
    I do not want to trash the party, do you really need it. Did you miss owning a car the last few years?

    I like the sense of realism that you add lateron: You can indeed always ask for a refund… You know have the option to buy the car, you are on the waiting list! (Unlike me: if I ever want one, I will have to be very patient)

    Taking that into account, no, you are not crazy!
    amber tree recently posted…How travels impacts our net worthMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Thanks amber tree. I have two years to make up my mind, and my financial life could be a lot different by that time 🙂

      Reply
  8. Kyle

    I turned 29 last month and I went on an hour long argument with my friend yesterday about the Model 3 which I like too. He says it’s not practical and I argued “if working great for me 99% of the time isn’t practical… then… I just don’t drive enough to justify any new car, if i drove more I’d probably get it.

    I’ve also been a Green efficiency nut for many years, I love Amory Lovins’ work at Rocky Mountain Institute. I found it interesting that Elon Musk years ago thought about using capacitors before they eventually went with batteries because I’ve had the same idea and still think super capacitors are the future of of cars. They’ll be cheaper to make than batteries eventually, charge as quick as you can pump gas and should last the life of the car. If you look at all the industries Musk has massively changed, it’s a pretty insane long list. He’s one inspirational dude to me. Back when some of his companies were on the verge of going under, I wanted to move and volunteer my time with my physics degree/engineering background to help. Those are the types of things I will do when I become financially independent, Help really cool projects for free.
    Kyle recently posted…Deep in Thought: How We Relate to PeopleMy Profile

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    1. Kyle

      I just thought about something, could you imagine if Musk was president. He’d have to be the most intelligent president we’ve ever had by a wide margin. And we’ve seen what he can do in a short time. Deep thinking Engineers don’t usually care for politics though.
      Kyle recently posted…Deep in Thought: How We Relate to PeopleMy Profile

      Reply
    2. Fervent Finance Post author

      Hi Kyle. Wasn’t Elon into that idea about super capacitors as well? Maybe some day it’ll happen! I think that’s a great idea for a life after FI! Helping others while entertaining your mind.

      Reply
  9. Kyle

    Yeah, I’ve had that idea since college, Graphene is the future. I saw a documentary on Elon Musk recently where they said capacitors was Musk’s first thought when it came to powering the Tesla Roadster but they quickly decided that wouldn’t work because of capacitor technology wasn’t far enough along at the time. I just looked into it again just now and some are saying we should start seeing capacitor powered cell phones in the next couple years, I’m sure Tesla will power their vehicles with capacitors in the somewhat near future. I know there’s been a company that makes capacitor powered systems for television cameras. Tech is out there, they’re just getting the manufacturing part worked out now.

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Superfan makes me sound like a supernerd. How about “supporter of green energy and cool cars”?

      Reply
  10. Matt @ The Resume Gap

    I’m surprised with how supportive the comments are about buying a $35k sports sedan! I think the Model 3 is flippin’ awesome, don’t get me wrong, but c’mon, dude! You’re living successfully without a car at all, and now you’re going to burn a year’s worth of living expenses (or $1.4k per year of lifetime spending power at 4% WR) on a luxury item that also comes with big expenses for insurance, license/registration, parking (are you staying in NYC?), and maintenance? I’m sensing some lifestyle inflation creeping in. Resist!

    That’s my impassioned plea against buying. That said, FIRE is all about prioritizing what matters to you most … so if this is really it, then go for it. 🙂
    Matt @ The Resume Gap recently posted…Glimpses of Extreme WealthMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      Matt you raise some points 🙂 I don’t plan on being in NYC in two years, and if I was I definitely wouldn’t get a car. Say I pay $30k for the car (including credits) instead of buying a $10k used Camry or something, it would be a lot more expensive. But once you figure in much lower maintenance and fuel costs, I think the spread thins. Definitely would still be a frivolous purchase, but that’s why I have almost two years to actually make up my mind.

      Reply
  11. Investment Hunting

    Yes, you’ve lost your mind. Not by depositing $1,000 dollars, but by believing the car will be priced at $35k. Sure there will be a horribly stripped down model priced there, but hopefully its not so bad that nobody wants that model.

    The Model S starts at $76,000, yet the average sales price is probably over $100k. I have several friends who have paid more than $120,000 for an S.
    Investment Hunting recently posted…Stock Buy – Wells Fargo BankMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      The car will be priced at $35k… but I agree it could be a pretty bare bones model. Only time will tell. Auto-pilot would be nice to have, but I know that will be extra. I don’t think Elon would let us down too much. But my deposit is fully refundable, so I’ll wait and see.

      Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I recommend you read Musk’s biography that just came out in the past year. You’ll understand what the hype is all about. He’s pushing the envelope on technology faster than others, which in turn is forcing them to think fast and on their feet and not be slow at evolving like your current auto makers or space companies.

      Reply
  12. Team CF

    Congrats! You have more guts then we do 😉
    Despite all its incentives, it is still a lot cheaper to get around on a bicycle or by public transport for us here in the Netherlands. And considering we already have a car (for now), replacing it with a new one does not really seems to make financial sense.

    We saw a documentary on Musk, and he definitely is a special character with a vision. There are few people out there with so much drive, intelligence and persistence. Hope that he succeeds.

    Do share when you get it (albeit being a long time from today)!
    Team CF recently posted…Mr CF, Are You Mad?My Profile

    Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the future! Thanks for stopping by TCF.

      Reply
    1. Fervent Finance Post author

      I will avoid owning a car at all costs, but it never hurts to dream of owning a Tesla!

      Reply

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