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Thread: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

  1. #1
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    Default Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    Originally wrote this a LONG time ago for AZSC, figured I'd post up on here too.

    http://forums.azsupracentral.com/top...__1#entry19003

    I think it's time we all share advice and our collective experiences with Supras. Considering how many of us have been around the scene for so long, I think it would have been nice to have the knowledge I have now back when I first got into cars. So, without further waiting, my own example. Hopefully someone can benefit from the info!

    Supras cost a lot of money. Ask anyone who's had a few over the years. Most of us don't really make a LOT of money, but we get by. That may be good and well and all, but how do you maximize your money and still live a balanced lifestyle? I'm kinda just winging this, so bear with me...

    Table of contents (for this post anyway, didn't realize it would end up a novel haha)
    -Number ONE: Daily Driver
    -Number TWO: Diet
    -Number THREE: Budget
    -Number FOUR: Save Money
    -Number FIVE: Set Allowance


    ***Number ONE: Get a daily driver. Do the smart thing, and buy yourself a reliable car, truck, or whatever, that can get you by in day to day life. While driving a Supra every day is fun, it is NOT an ideal situation to be in when you MUST rely on it for your daily needs. On that note, get something simple. The more simple, the more reliable, in most cases. It doesn't matter if it's slow, good looking, or even all that nice. Just so long as it's reliable. Best example I can honestly come up with is my 79 Celica. Slow, boring, some would even go so far as to say it's a 'granny-car'. Really, it is. I named it Ojii-san (grandpa, in Japanese) because it suited it. Gets decent enough mileage, and starts no matter WHAT the weather is like. Cost me all of $400, and costs about $100 or less per YEAR to insure. Basically, you want a proven vehicle for this task, as it is your NUMBER ONE priority.
    Key points: RELIABLE, SIMPLE, CHEAP.

    Meet those three requirements, and you have yourself the most solid foundation to Supra ownership there is.


    ***Number TWO: Diet. It's the little expenses that add up the most. Do you smoke? Try to quit. Do you eat out a lot? Try to pack lunches, cook at home more. Take a look at EVERY expense in your life, and try to keep track of just WHERE your money goes every month. A good way to do this is to keep your receipts from every time you spend money anywhere. For example, for you smokers, a pack per day costs you... what? I don't smoke, so I don't know, but I imagine it's not cheap. You could be spending $100, $200, possibly even more, depending on your habit/addiction. Eating out? That's about $5 a pop, unless you're eating off the dollar menu at Taco Bell... My brother is a good example of that one. He probably spends $100 a WEEK on just snacks and things at the convenience stores, even MORE if you count him eating lunch and dinner out on many days. A co-worker of mine is another good example. He LOVES his Monster energy drinks. Not for the caffeine, but for the taste, he says. Brings in a 16oz, and a 32oz (the BFC, for you Monster drinkers out there). Spends about $6-7 PER DAY on these things. Figure, even if he only drinks them at work, that's still 20 days in your average month. 20x6 = $180. I mean, it's cheaper than cocaine, but still...

    So, learn to diet. Myself, I drink water. Tap water, at least up here in Wyoming, is great. Not only does it quench your thirst, but it's also good for you, and FREE. Drink all ya want big spender haha... As for eating, I pretty much eat whatever happens to be leftovers. When I was living on my own, I would eat mostly cereal, ramen, mac n cheese, pizza rolls, Little Caesers, etc... Not exactly a HEALTHY diet, but it was cheap.


    ***Number THREE: Learn to set a budget for yourself, and stick to it. I can't stress the importance of this one enough. Some of the most sound advice I've ever heard was from Andrew, about 4 or 5 years ago:

    "Ten dollars an hour can be stretched to the moon and back, IF you know how to spend it."

    How do you afford a Supra on that kind of money? It's really not that hard, if you're willing to cut back in other areas of your life. For example, learn how to save money in little ways.

    Entertainment is a really good example. I could go on forever on how to save money by cutting out all but the necessities. Ask your grandparents sometime perhaps... Particularly if they lived through the 20s or 30s. How do you keep yourself entertained on a budget? The internet. Not is it only great (for porn! Haha, it's a joke, if you don't get it, look up 'the internet is for porn' on youtube..), but it's also cheap. Online gaming is a good way to pass the time until the next paycheck. Call of Duty on Xbox Live or Playstation Network is a GREAT way to kill time, if you're a fan of shooters. Not sure how much a copy costs these days, but you could literally play it for months, ask Clint. As much as I despise MMO's, World of Warcraft is another decent budget minded game to keep you occupied. Tired of paying for a cable bill? Try hulu.com. Watch all the tv you can for FREE. It's legal too! Music lover like I am? Try internet radio, such as pandora.com. There are always other methods of using the internet for entertainment, but I'll leave that for you to figure out.

    So, $40 internet per month gets you just HOW much entertainment? Really, as much as your connection can bring into your house. Best investment/bill ever, in my opinion.

    I guess a lot of you are probably more sociable than I am, but I live in Wyoming, where there really isn't much to do at all, so the lack of interesting ways to SPEND money actually benefits me. That, and being a geek with a collection of games and anime that I haven't gotten around to yet really helps. A bit of an idea of how to set a budget is a big help too. For example, this is how I did it:

    -Total income = $xx/hour X 32 hours/week (for full time, figuring in an 8 hour allowance for unexpected expenses or sick days, etc)
    -Total bills = $xxx. For me, that number is around $500-600/month, including phone, car payment, insurance, gas, food, rent, etc...
    -Allowance = $xxx. Whatever you set aside for personal enjoyment. Remember, this is almost ALWAYS an unnecessary expense, but it makes life more enjoyable, so decide how much you can spare, because the rest goes to your Supra budget.
    -Supra budget = Whatever is left afterward.

    Take your Total income, subtract your total bills, and your allowance, and whatever you have left, goes to your Supra. smile.gif


    ***Number FOUR: Save up your leftover money. I know it's easy to blow it when you have money "burning a hole in your pocket", but there are always ways to get around that. Part of that goes back to DISCIPLINE. It's time to stop being a little kid and buying every little thing that catches your eye. I mean, that's all fine and well enough, but if you really want to build a Supra of your own, it's gonna take a bit of patience and discipline. How long it takes you is up to you.

    For example, I just bought my 1jz setup. After shipping, it cost me about $2200. Took me about 6 weeks to save up that money. Where did my money go in those 6 weeks? In this order:
    -Bills. Gotta take care of your responsibilities first.
    -Daily driver costs. Gas, oil, etc. Gotta make sure that daily is kept up.
    -1jz fund. ALL leftover money went into this part. It added up, and pretty quickly, too!

    I would challenge ANY of you to save up ALL your money in that manner, for a 6 week period. Pay your bills first, make sure you can get to work (the DD expenses part) second, and your Supra (or any project car, really) third. 6 weeks really isn't that long, and I think any of you are capable of doing it. Depending on your level of patience, or goals, you might be able to (or might HAVE to) go for longer periods of time to get what you want from your project.

    I mean, Number FOUR here applies to anything in life really. Buying a new car, buying a house, etc... Any major expense in life can be acquired if you can be self-disciplined. Think about it. Even at minimum wage, assuming you're working 40 hours a week, you're still pulling in a sizable amount. Might not seem like much, but assuming minimum wage is $7/hour, at 40 hours per week, 51 weeks a year (figure a week off for vacation or whatever), you're pulling in over $14k. Get a decent job, and you'll likely double that, or more!


    ***Number FIVE: Set an allowance for yourself. Seriously, life gets REALLY boring if you stay at home or work ALL the time, trust me. So, after you've figured out your budget, figure out a reasonable figure to allow yourself for spending. Remember again though, that the more allowance you give yourself, the less money goes to the Supra (see Number THREE above). The more you spend, the longer it's gonna take to get your Supra to where you want it to be.

    Remember, you can build a Supra ANY way you want. However, they ALL require three things:

    -Time
    -Money
    -Patience


    I realize that this might be harder for some of you than others, but it's worked for me so far, and I really hope the advice can help some of you too, whether you've been in the game a long time running, or if you're completely new to the wonderful world of Supra ownership. Feel free to add anything that's helped you in your adventures with your Supras.
    Last edited by te72; February 11th, 2011 at 12:47 PM.
    -Brad
    1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster, 1987 Supra Hardtop, 1989 Supra Targa, 1993 LS400, 1999 Miata
    Fast cars, loud guitars, a lot of hard work, patience, and crazy ideas. Yup, that about sums up my life.

    How to live with a Supra

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    You've inspired me (that and looking at the $5.71 in my bank account) to finally set a budget. At least the $6 bucks is black this time.

    Good right up.

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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    I highly recommend a copy of Quicken.

    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, The Law

    DreamerTheresa.com - Art 'n' Things

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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    5 stars for you sir. I'm not living in the midwest, but central PA is pretty lackluster as far as amenities go. Its definitely easy to let your paychecks go to waste, saving and budgeting are key skills for sure.

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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    Don't forget to always budget for a minimum of 20% in extra unexpected things like a crank pulley separating into 2 pieces while tuning on the dyno (costing an extra $400 when the budget was for only $1100). Shit breaks and you find things wrong while working on other projects.

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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    Yeah, I'm seriously doing something similar at the moment. Mostly living off turkey wheat sandwiches and water, while playing video games to keep me entertained in my free time. Even selling my DD supra for a Geo Metro.
    1987 Toyota Supra Turbo 5 Speed Targa
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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    Quote Originally Posted by honestabe View Post
    Don't forget to always budget for a minimum of 20% in extra unexpected things like a crank pulley separating into 2 pieces while tuning on the dyno (costing an extra $400 when the budget was for only $1100). Shit breaks and you find things wrong while working on other projects.
    This is true, I figure I'm about 5-6k away from all I want to do with this Supra, but I'm guessing I'll end up spending closer to 7-8k before it's all said and done...

    Quote Originally Posted by SupraOfDoom View Post
    Yeah, I'm seriously doing something similar at the moment. Mostly living off turkey wheat sandwiches and water, while playing video games to keep me entertained in my free time. Even selling my DD supra for a Geo Metro.
    Working a LOT also helps keep you occupied, as is my case. Between work and sleep, I have about 20 hours a week that I have to myself. Much of that time is spent here on SM.
    -Brad
    1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster, 1987 Supra Hardtop, 1989 Supra Targa, 1993 LS400, 1999 Miata
    Fast cars, loud guitars, a lot of hard work, patience, and crazy ideas. Yup, that about sums up my life.

    How to live with a Supra

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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    Figure it's a good time to bump this thread, I see a lot of new threads on here lately with some seriously disastrous direction in people's thinking concerning their Supras...

    Anybody have anything good to add to this, feel free to do so!
    -Brad
    1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster, 1987 Supra Hardtop, 1989 Supra Targa, 1993 LS400, 1999 Miata
    Fast cars, loud guitars, a lot of hard work, patience, and crazy ideas. Yup, that about sums up my life.

    How to live with a Supra

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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    There's a lot of ways to save money. For me it was putting things into perspective. Use a website like mint.com. I realized I had spent $55 one month buying Dr. Pepper and gummi frogs at cumberland farms. I thought wow I pay that much for internet and its way way better value for what im getting. Sometimes you just need a little persuasion.

    Set targets for yourself. Create a budget. See how much you can save every week. After that set a goal and stick to it. Set it realistically. If you can save 20k a year by only paying your bills, well guess what after a month you are going to see how hard it is. Cut back and be more conservative with your goal and you will be amazed at what you can do

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Spartan living, or, "How to budget for a Supra project"

    Well said. I'm currently working towards getting a house. At the amount I should be pre-approved for, it should leave me with about $700 free money a month. Most of that money goes toward the car these days, but with a house on the table, who knows. After my personal loan is taken care of (about 2 more years I figure), I'll end up with an extra $500 on top of that to add on the pile. But who knows what direction life takes ya sometimes, just gotta get into a good habit of managing your money if you ever want to finish your car.
    -Brad
    1948 Chevrolet Fleetmaster, 1987 Supra Hardtop, 1989 Supra Targa, 1993 LS400, 1999 Miata
    Fast cars, loud guitars, a lot of hard work, patience, and crazy ideas. Yup, that about sums up my life.

    How to live with a Supra

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