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How affordable is a good life

Following on from Daipacs thread about getting rid of the 172 for a 106GTI to assist with with having a good life without having to watch every penny, I think this is an admirable way to go.

I have had friends who want the biggest, best, must-have thing and have no money to show at the end of the day. It always seems to end in misery living on the limit, or like a lot, over the edge.

When you are in your early to mid twenties, you want a cool car you have aspired to have, you now have some cash, you earn a reasonable income and finance is cheap. You also want a fantastic social life which costs a lot and most people want to live on their own or with partners, either by renting or getting a mortgage.

So you do all the calcs on a piece of paper and it looks good, but in reality it never works out that way and we lead such fluid lives these days that new things always crop up which also cost. Also remember that mortgages are cheap, so people borrow the max possible but one day, maybe not in the next 6-9 months, interest rates will go up.

So who is lucky and does not pay for anything and who are the unlucky ones that have to pay for cars, mortgages and try to pay for a social life at the same time?

But,,,,,,,,,,, you only live once so do how do you balance everything??

Opinions please??


P.S, this is a Clio related thread as this affects most peoples choice in getting, keeping or dumping their Clios.
  Skoda Fabia vRS

i dont have a social life as such, i spend all my money on my car, much prefer it to goin out of a weekend, somethin ive never really been interested in

my social life consists of seein my mrs, work (i know !), and now the meets/events i organise

i dont have a social life...........i realy go out at all........

i spend every penny on my cars and dont regret a thing......its easy ebnough to keep friends and no go out.....that has made me a terrible lightweight drinker though!!

There are people in this world who will spend all they have (or dont have!)and not worry about what lies in the future, and there are those who save up in order so that they can have a better future.

Me? Im the spender. But, Im still fairly young and I think to myself - I cant be poor forever.....

ill be honest with you im out on the piss fairly regulary, and being still a student i dont mind being a bit skint cos i know when i finish i should be able to get a decent job and live a little better...........but my car still does get more than enough care and attention and thats why its in such good condition still.

Infact im off out tonight! lol

Ive been working for 3 years now, and have nowt but my overdraft left in my bank come end of the month.

I wanted a williams. - i got a williams

Want to buy mods for my car - will do when i get paid my next months salary.

Want to go out - i go out

Want to stay in - stay in LOL :D *doesnt cost nowt!*

If your like me, i think - Cant take your money with you when you die..

ok i know that i am only 21.. but to think.. by the time im 24/25 i will have my own descent fast sports car, id have modded it all i want, and ill still have enjoyed my early teens..... after that if i get a Girlfriend or anythin, then i might start saving, but while single, spend it while i got it!!!! :D
  Audi S3

i used to go out all the time get wasted! and feel like total crap in the morning in tipical student fashion!

now its like been there done that and im fed up with it, so now spend my time and money on my car or car related stuff and only very ocasionly go out!

  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

I too am selling my car because of 2 reasons.

1. I have now done the sports car bit and now need a more pratical car both the misses and I can drive and is economical and low on insurance.

2. I want to go back to my roots on a motorbike. I used to love sitting at 10*mph on the motorway and then nailing the throttle upto 15* + mph and watching everything turn into a spec in the distance and the freedom to beat traffic queues and the general buzz of riding a big bike.

I may eventually get another car like a scooby but at the moment I have been there and done that and now its time for me to move on and do other things I enjoy doing.

I am turning into my father ------ Help !

Seriously the buzz I get from a bike outways the buzz I will ever get from a car (But the Clio 172 came damn close). I have been riding for 22 years now (11 on the road) and there to me is nothing like blasting down the road on a bike, but most people will say death traps but you take the rough with the smooth on a bike as I well know...


I work at the Citizens Advice Bureau in Bristol and, in the main, its debt problems that we get the most of. Its ok while youre earning and interest rates are low, but when that changes...

So with that in mind, I live by the principle of buying only what I can afford. I really want a turbo conversion right now, but Im not prepared to go into the red for it. I think theres something to be said for saving - if you really want it then youll persevere.

Im out nearly every weekend on the pi$$ with mates. I live with my girlfriend (soon to be wife) and have a 2 & half year old daughter. I drive a twin turbo Supra, a R5 turbo Raider and the Mrs has a Citroen AX (think she drew the short straw).!

But what you have just said 172Cup, is spot on. Gone are the days of being able to save money, now, I can just about get through to the end of the month without blowing all our cash! So, the Raider is going and so is the Mrs (just kidding!!!).

But seriously, Im now in my late 20s and can now say Ive had the fast flashy cars and enjoyed myself to the max. As far as Im concearned it something you just have to do! Some people like to travel the world and others (like me) like to say I blew away a Porsche Turbo the other day, took it upto about 170. And what an adrenalin rush!

Time to calm down a little now I think!!! :)


Id love to go back to a bike too, but after 7 years riding I then sold my ZXR750 to get my first car, 4 years ago at 24 years old. I think back and count myself lucky Im here sometimes as some of the things I used to do on my bike were outragous!

I remember when riding in the wet Id deliberatly slide the back out coming out of a corner and then lock up and go into a corner sideways too! flick the clutch at over 100 just to spin the back wheel up!! Ive always quite fancied a 996 so might see if I can get one for a good deal over winter.
  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

Barry I used to ride a ZXR6R and after I sell the Clio I fancy the new ZXR 636R. I also would consider the GSXR750. I too was a little mad on the bike knee down, pegs down etc.

I have been in many close calls but it add to the buzz for me personally I am in a way an adrenalin junky. If I had to choose between a car and a bike the bike would win hands down.

And to the question "How affordable is a good life??" it is as affordable as you are living now, afterall if you didnt enjoy what you are doing now you wouldnt do it. !!!


ClioSport Club Member


There is a lot to be said about spending both recklessly and conservatively.

Im still a student doing a automotive phD, but thanks to a generous stipend from a company for me to do research for them I am hardly skint. I go out weekly, but still live at home. The choice was simple, keep my trusty 306 diesel and get a flat / house, or buy a new 172 and live at home for a few years. I chose the 172 and am happy enough.

Some of my friends are still living the student life, going out every night on the town. They probably have more fun in the nights but I have more fun getting to work the next day.

I think the older you get and NOT the more boring you get, you have to manage a fine line between spunking all your cash and putting a little away each month for a rainy day and not going overdrawn at the end of the month. The older you also get the more things you want and can touch. Then you think, oh ill save and once ive paid off the mortgage, ill be able to afford the things I want. But other things in life crop up in its course, expectedly and unexpectedly and then ive seen people going from being completely frivulous with their cash to not spending a penny.

You have to balance it out all the time and that is the most difficult thing. I pay £1,500 a month for our mortgage as I want the house I want so Im prepared to pay for it. Some days I say, what if I loose my job? How am I going to pay for it?? Then you say, am I really going to loose my job?? Should I even worry about it until that day comes if at all?? Sometimes I think perhaps I should not have the Elise, WRX and CUP, but then I think they make me happy and I only owe money on the CUP so what the heck.......!!

Oh the sh*te of growing up!!!!!!!!!!!!

And thats exactly how i plan on spending my life 172cup, like you.

Buying what i want, when i want, and worry about problems when they come round.
  BMW 320d Sport

Weird, I was just talking about this kind of thing to my wife the other day. I dont really have a lot of social life outside of seeing my Clio-driving chums, mainly because I havent got the money (all gone on loans, credit cards, bits and pieces for the car, running a household etc) and Im perfectly happy sitting at home with the wife and vice versa. Would have been a bit silly of us to get married otherwise wouldnt it? We did all the wild living when we were students, which I managed to stretch out for 5 years, and in fact it was probably only the first year when I really lived that getting pissed/going out clubbing/eating takeaways kind of student lifestyle. After one year I was in so much debt I had to take a year out to work and try and repay my overdraft. Then I went back to uni again.

So the upshot of this is that at the age of 29, I have a house, a wife, a car and a job, but also tens of thousands of pounds of personal debt (not including the mortgage!)

I say borrow it and spend it now while you can. What on earth are you gonna do with all that money you saved once youre 70? Youll be too old to be able to use it!

Well me, at a humble 21 has a mortage (past 18 months), a nice clio 16v and a job in formula 1, just...(arrows on the edge)

I compete in the british rally championship and am a rally instructor at a rally school not too far away. I am putting an mi16 onto a 205 as i speak (well not quite as i speak) and have time for bugger all else bar motorsport. its what i have grown up on, work in, spend all my spare time doing and love more than anything...(hope gf doesnt read this...!)

Still try to live the life of a student when im here and not at a circuit somewhere and life is cool. Doesnt stop me wanting a P1 but i know thats a few years away...

If youve got it, flaunt it. And if you havnt got it, do anything to get it.

Well Im 19, live at home, drive me valver.

With regards to going out on the pi$$ maybe once a month? dont seem to be able to afford it really plus most of my mates went away to uni.

My time is spent working (obv!) college 2 evenings a week, studying perhaps an extra night a week and the rest of my time devoted to the missus

petrol £200

car payment £100

Insurance £70

Keep (rents!!) £115 (i realise i get a good deal!)

In total i owe £2300 on my car

Taking into account lunch at work, misc costs and clothing myself I really find it hard to afford anything else really :-(

In terms of happiness, I live happily enough, but cant help but think that a few extra £££s certainly wouldnt make me any sadder!!

Very interesting thread this one ! All from me wanting to sell my car ! I gotta say that I absolutely love my car and it is going to be so hard to see it go so soon into owning it !

I am 23 and have been working since I was 18, I am now in a well paid job for my area, Swansea and I have my own house with my own mortgage where I live on my own which I love ! I am single with a good bunch of mates to go out with but that is the problem. Every weekend we go out but then I look at my bank balance and think to myself "OH sh*t !", then I end up struggling to keeping within my overdraft limit till I get paid again. I dont go out towards the end of the month which gets in the way of a good pastime, meeting the laydeez ! I got the normal credit card bills and stuff like that but I am sick of having to watch what I spend, there are things I want like holidays away and stuff like that which I cannot see myself having if I am paying out all this money each month. I have thought about taking in a lodger but then I like living on my own so this would make me unhappy I think as I am only doing it for the money, not because I actually want to live with someone !

I think the right mix is needed for me personally which I do NOT have at the moment. I love my cars and I have wanted a 172 for soooooo long but after such a short time I look at it and think it is the CAUSE of my problems as opposed to giving me the fun factor that I want and I dont know if it is worth what it costs each month to run and buy. Ah well, hopefully it will all work out and I will sell the car to someone who is going to look after it like I have done !

Money is not the most important thing but the things that you do with money can certainly make you happier. Going out with my mates when I want, buying clothes, buying DVDs, etc. and going on holidays is what I want but to also have a nice car in my driveway. For £5,000 I could get a nice 106 GTi which I would be very happy with and would save me a hell of a lot in bills each month from the 172 so this is the route I think I am going to go.

God, sorry if this has turned into a depressing thread but it is very interesting as to what people do with their money to make them happy. I am only 23 so I do have a lot of time to worry about this later but I also want to enjoy myself before I cant anymore. If I had a girlfriend, my god, I would be sooooooooo skint ! Partners are very expensive !

If you got to the end of this note, well done ! Sorry for the long haul !
  Scirocco GT TSi DSG

I have my own house in a nice area, a very intelligent girlfriend of many years who is at university and a good job though looking for a better one. I am still young and have enough money to go out every weekend with my girlfriend and university friends if I want. I do not drink (due to being allergic to alcohol) but am always the life of the party. I have a reasonable savings account and generally try and enjoy my life.

After leaving university I got a sh1t job went back and did a Masters degree, this meant I could get a good job more than doubling my previous wages.

I live my life as I want on my own terms, I do not worry about money as I am good with my finances, I do not want a family yet (neither does my girlfriend who has a long term plan for her own career).

Daipac - I admire the decision you have made, it takes a lot to be able to realise that what you want and what you can afford are often total different. Maybe in a few years you will be able to afford an even better car.

greeper, cheers mate, that is all I seem to be saying to you ! ha ha ! Appreciate that !

You sound like you have the perfect mix ! I wrote everything down on paper before I got the car but like someone else said in another thread, it never works out like it should ! I am sure that I will be happy with a Pug and hopefully I am still going to be around the meets and stuff like that. Will still be on these boards too as I have met some really great people on here. Could be a while before I sell the car but if my ex wants it then it could be very soon indeed !

I am not that bad with money when I have it, DDs can be a b*****d tho, money just comes out of your account all over the place !

I have been thinking about this lately as well. Ipay around the £360 a month mark, for my 172 to sit in its nice warm garage all week and then get ragged over the weekend. I am now wondering is it worth it? On one hand keep it deal with the costs and know I have a top notch fast and cool car, or sell it for something cheaper and not so tasty, but get more into the motorsport thing....still undecided, but I think I will do BOTH!!! Have to agree with some of the posts above, life is for living, enjoy it now, do what you wanna do if you can afford it, and if you cant, work bloody hard so you can...I work damn hard as no doubt all of us do, so why not enjoy your money and have a car you can be proud of...

Chavvy M8!!!

You get as MANY CHANCES as you really want.. I understand the need to move on as other things take precedence.. but I tell ya this.. you WILL come back to the dark side, but only after you review all the things that do, and have, made ya happy...

sometimes it is both LOGICAL and DESIRABLE to say.. "hang on dood !"... this really does pull my chain, the wifey bit is kewl et al, but not a replacement for the real thing....

and, they get headaches, and other aches, and moods, and whims, and delusions of adequacy even.. you are on a loser m8 !!!!!!!!!!!!!.. but.. I bin there, and wouldnt change things for the world lol !!


My "plan B", if anything goes wrong and I have to sell my 16v, is to get a GT Turbo as a replacement. Many good ones hover about the £2k mark.

Im 26 finished Uni (6 year Architecture degree) last May - came home got Engaged within 6 months to a Beautiful girl from St Helena (originally her parents) saving now for a House and a wedding etc , got my Cup 3 weeks ago and I have to say I never thought Id have a 172 Cup at this stage in my life especially when ur trying to save for the important things like ur future. Even luckier to keep my last V6 kitted 1600 16V for my fiancee - she looks tres cool driving it and gets mores looks in that than we do in the Cup (noonbe really looks at a car over here unless its been severely Maxed - lol) Anyway, its nice to have nice cars, nice houses, nice Wife, nice things and still be able to get out and aboput in the veniongs and weekends - noit necessarily in that order though!!!! ll

What a depressing thread. At the moment I just about manage to run my car and have a good life but Im not saving anything and Im living at home (Im 24!). In the new year Im looking to move buy a flat and am seriously thinking about selling my car to clear a few debts and use the rest as a deposit but then I think that this is the easy way out. Sensible people are always asking "Why have so much money tied up in a depreciating asset?" I struggle to find an answer sometimes.
  VW Potato

heres my boring top tip that will alleviate guilt about paying for a depreciating asset. If you can, early on in life, start the really boring stuff first. Thats the pension, and the saving plan for a mortgage deposit. Its achingly tedious to do this when youre 23 I know, but then, a few years later, as your salary goes up, youll know you have some savings behind you, a pension (currently worthless!) thats already started. Then, when you blow money on DVDs, lovely Clios etc, youll feel less guilty about wasting money because youre offsetting that guilt with all the good stuff youre doing. After all, theres no point having a nice car now and but no food to eat when youre 65! :)


I think a lot of this for me has come as ive hit & passed 30. You kinda take stock when you realise you are not in your 20s any more and you wonder whether you need to take stock and start making provisions for the future. I still think 40 is my Dads age and im nearer 40 than 20 now which I think I still am and still act as I did then. Should I be as frivolous as ive always been? Should I have 3 cars for no other reason that I "just" want them.

Money does not bring you happiness, it does not bring you health but it does bring you choice . But how long do you keep laying caution to the wind and not thinking about the future??

Sometimes I think S**t when I see £18,000- a year alone in just mortgage payments, but then I think,,, what the heck, I may not be here tomorrow so might as well enjoy it whilst I can.

Didnt think Cars could make you think so deep!!!
  Corsa 1.3 CDTI


I am going to disagree with you on that, I have said enjoy it while you can, at no point have I said only do it once. My main reason is I have done the fast car thing now and I enjoyed it but the buzz I get from a bike means the car was always going to be second best.

Also my wife will always come first and the decision was based on the fact I now need a 5 door car for obvious reasons and another cheaper toy.

"and, they get headaches, and other aches, and moods, and whims, and delusions of adequacy even.. you are on a loser m8 !!!!!!!!!!!!!.. " - You have to take the rough with the smooth and for ever downer in marrage there is 100 fold more fun times to be had, maybe I am one of the lucky ones eh !

"but not a replacement for the real thing...." - The real thing for me is blasting down an open country road grinding you knee sliders off. Each to their own ! I have been riding bikes since I was 7 now being 29 fun for me is on two wheels or one depending on the way you look at it.

I know realise the car was just another bi product of the yeraning for another Big bike. The reason I gave up my last big bike was I was using it maybe once a month so I though by buying a fast car I would be forced to drive it more often because I would drive it everyday, however this is not the case. I will buy another bike and enjoy every minute of it and I will not get rid of it this time as there is no car out there that I can afford that is as fun as a 125bhp 170mph+ 600cc bike.