Real Life. Real People.
Values, Priorities And ... Racing Ferraris

What I Learned About Life When My Husband Got Fired!
From Chapter 18: Whine Or Lemonade? Your Choice.

Over the course of only a few months, Red learned many basic life lessons – not only about financial issues, but also about values and priorities. And now, given her new-found knowledge and confidence, she turns the table and questions her sister, Black, about her spending habits. Obviously, Black spends a lot of money since she races Ferraris, but as she explained to Red when they were talking about children and allowances – it is always interesting to see what people find important enough to buy for themselves.

What are you doing online?
Checking e-mails before dinner. And you?
Same same.
Can I ask you a question?
You just did.
Cute. You said you paid for half your engine yourself instead of having Larry pay for all of it. I'm sure an engine is incredibly expensive, so that seems like an awful lot of money to spend if you didn't have to.
Trying to find out how much a Ferrari engine costs? Trust me; you do not want to know.
No, I'm trying to figure out why you spent your own money. Or at least why you didn't tell Larry you were paying for half of it yourself.
Many reasons, but it all boils down to the fact that Larry and I never really talk about money. (Snide comments do not count!) In fact, when I decided to buy the vintage Porsche race car, I told him about it once it was on the trailer heading to Texas. But I quickly added that I had bought it with my own money.
You did? Why? It must have been expensive.
It was something I needed and wanted. Before you ask – the Porsche 356 is twitchy so it teaches you car control. Plus the car is significantly less expensive to run than the Ferrari, so "seat time" is much more cost effective. Anyway, I knew Larry would pay for it if I said it would make me happy, but I felt guilty having him buy me another race car.
So did the car make you happy?
Trying to trick me and get me to admit money can buy happiness? Money alone will not make you happy, but it can allow you to do things which bring you pleasure. And satisfaction. And fulfillment.
Is that how you rationalize your spending? And your racing?
Interesting questions.
You're avoiding the questions.
No, I'm avoiding the answers.
Fine. So much for your "my life is an open book" attitude.
No. Yes.
I answered your questions. No – my overall spending is related to boredom. The money is filling a void … not making me happy. Yes – racing makes me happy. For many reasons. I have thought about it a lot in the last few weeks. The key is knowing why you are spending money and what you are getting in return.
And what have you figured out?
That racing is an analogy to life.
I can't wait to hear this! Please go on.
When you race, you have to keep your eyes up and look down the track. You look way ahead in order to be prepared. There is not much you can do about the next corner because it is coming too quickly. It is a commitment you have already made. You see it in your peripheral vision, but you are focused on the things you can change. On the next lap, you focus on improving what you did last time. For example, if you screwed up a corner, you do something differently. You learn from your mistakes.
And when do you stop and smell the roses? And enjoy what you have?
Every time I climb in the race car. Every time I hit a perfect apex. Every time I improve my lap times. Every time I think about how fortunate I am to be able to race.
Pretty expensive roses!
Agree. But we can afford it, so it is not wasted money … unless of course I do something stupid and wreck the car. Which may explain why I am not faster. I never really put the car at risk. I guess I am trying to race cost-effectively.
Sorry, but there's no way you're going to get me to believe there's a cost-effective way to race a Ferrari! So don't even try. Go to dinner.