How do you afford guitars from custom shops and high end instruments?

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by evade, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    9,328
    Likes Received:
    6,616
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I hit a lot of the points that people have already brought up:

    - Good software job (and it's in video games, which means stability during 'rona, which I'm thankful for)
    - No kids
    - Single
    - Frugal (or cheap, if you'd rather)
    - Buying a lot of things used
    - I got lucky that my rent is stupidly cheap (because I haven't moved in almost 10 years, but now I can't move or it'll likely double on me)
    - I have a car, but it's cheap, paid off, and I don't use it much (so not much gas expense)
    - Rarely spend on eating out, etc. Treats are treats, not every day.
    - Avoid debt as if it will literally kill you
    - Don't spend money unless you actually have it (credit is not free money - use it for points, for online, etc, but don't spend it if you don't have it)
    - Savings and other financial goals are an important part of the budget that come before things like music purchases
    - You should be making a budget. If you aren't making a budget, get off the internet and go make a budget right now.

    I'm in the middle ground where people will say they "don't feel rich", but I still make very good money compared to a lot of the people around me - and I live in the same circumstances I was in when I made half of this amount of money, which means I'm very well within my means. Living in your means allows you to save - for retirement, for gear, for emergencies, etc. To me, "living within your means" includes having budgeted for savings, budgeted for "I know I'm going to want to buy things that are just to make me happy", etc.

    If you're not hitting that benchmark, then in my eyes, you are exceeding your means - at which point, as people have already said, it comes down to priorities. There have been points in my life where things could have gone very different ways - I could have had kids, I could move into a much nicer apartment, I could drive a fancy car, etc - but everything is a trade-off. I'm well off enough to be able to make those kinds of choices, but not rich enough for those choices to not matter in the long run.
     
    Kyle Jordan and Xaeldaren like this.
  2. mastapimp

    mastapimp SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    872
    Likes Received:
    1,285
    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2011
    Location:
    FL
    Forgot to mention that it also helps residing in a medium-sized city in Florida where the cost of living is relatively cheap compared to some other places. Several of my friends that went out to the west coast and work in LA or for Apple make bank but will never be able to afford a home. A coworker of mine was explaining when he was living in Boston that his standards for what was considered a dump went way down based on the expensive housing markets in the area. One of my former interns took a job in San Fran about 3 years ago and his single parking space for his apartment (shared with 3 other guys) was over $1000/month.
     
  3. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,347
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Yes, don't spend it if you don't have it, but a distinction to make for 0% financing is it is "free money" in the sense that it doesn't cost anything to borrow it. Free to borrow.
     
  4. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    9,328
    Likes Received:
    6,616
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I can appreciate the free to borrow thing - but the flip side is that borrowing in itself I see as something to be avoided. It's like a free punch to face. It cost me nothing, but I still don't want it.

    The principle remains that you shouldn't spend money that you can't cover. And by cover, I mean pay off immediately. Credit isn't money in the bank. Overdraft is not money in the bank. There are valid uses for all of this stuff, but they're tools, not free money.
     
    odibrom likes this.
  5. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,347
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Sometimes it just makes more sense to borrow period. My CPA has literally told me on numerous occasions it is better to borrow than spend my cash (especially sub 5%), and to actually hold on to as much cash as possible, floating "healthy debt". Another banker guy of mine made a good point too: There are no bad bank products, just misplaced products. A 3/1 or 5/1 ARM may make sense for a professional, say, an orthopedic surgeon that may only be on a two- or three-year rotation in a city, that doesn't care about the equity in the home or keeping it long-term. It would be a bad idea for a starter couple that plans to stay there for 15-plus years.

    To be completely debt averse will only provide you with a lower glass ceiling.

    Here's one more example: I know a guy who had about 3 million in principle in the bank. He bought a home for around 500K. He took a no term loan at let's say 3.5%, leaving the 3 million to continue earning 10%. So instead of reducing his principal 500k, he's still earning 10% on 2.5 million and 6.5% on 500k. He could have easily just paid cash for the house.
     
    wannabguitarist likes this.
  6. ElysianGuitars

    ElysianGuitars SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,328
    Likes Received:
    777
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I became the custom shop :sharpie:
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    9,328
    Likes Received:
    6,616
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    I think you missed my point. If you have 3 million in the bank, you can cover your credit, and probably don't need financial advice from someone like me. If you have $0 in the bank, don't use credit if you can avoid it. Simple as that.

    I use credit - I certainly borrow money, technically - but I'm not borrowing anything that I don't have the money for. Obviously, there are exceptions - like a mortgage or car loan or something, but even then, the faster something like a car is paid off, the better. The point isn't to say "credit cards are evil", the point is to say "don't spend $2000 on a guitar on a credit card when you have < $2000 in your bank account". Edit: or have absolute confidence you will have it shortly, but that's a stretch IMO.

    Visa is not Yolo money when you're broke. It sounds obvious, but to some people it's not.
     
    Jonathan20022 likes this.
  8. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,347
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    I definitely missed your new point, because your old point was:

     
  9. AltecGreen

    AltecGreen SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    389
    Likes Received:
    732
    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm a physicist too.
     
    mlp187 and bostjan like this.
  10. jephjacques

    jephjacques BUTTS LOL

    Messages:
    3,559
    Likes Received:
    4,300
    Joined:
    May 29, 2012
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    Good job, no kids, all I spend money on is guitars.
     
    mlp187, mastapimp and ElysianGuitars like this.
  11. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    31,065
    Likes Received:
    7,457
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    I make pretty good money as a fixed income analyst for an investment firm, and I'm old enough that while I have a pretty solid collection, it's one I've built up over more than 20 years.

    The downside of course is I work a lot, was practicing in 15-minute study breaks serven or eight years back while studying for the CFA, and had a LOT more time to practice back in college when I owned a USA Strat I saved up forever to afford and then a 7620 I got on closeout from money I saved working over the summer. Back then I could play all day if I wanted to. Now, I may play a Suhr into a Mark-V half stack, but it's rare I get in more than an hour a day, and even that's hardly a guarantee.

    I'd happily go back to playing my Strat through a small Mesa combo all day if I could. :lol:
     
  12. jjcor

    jjcor SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    687
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2010
    Location:
    Lubbock,TX
    Married, both with good paying jobs. I also invested in real estate on the side which helped.
     
    dmlinger likes this.
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

    Messages:
    9,328
    Likes Received:
    6,616
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Gatineau, Quebec
    It's a pedantic difference. I don't think of "borrowing money for convenience or for some financial benefit when you have the funds to cover it" as being in debt. You are not, in that situation, overall, in debt. You're still in the positive. Avoid being in the negative. Owing more money than you have is, generally speaking, bad. Avoiding debt is good advice for someone who struggles to save for the things they want like guitars, and doesn't apply to people with $3mill in the bank. I'm officially done with arguing this one just for arguments sake, the back and forth adds nothing.
     
    profwoot, Jonathan20022 and CanserDYI like this.
  14. Darkscience

    Darkscience SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    245
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Location:
    Shreveport, LA
    It is a bit of a silly question to be honest. I do not wonder how my neighbor came up with the money to buy his project car, or wonder how my friend paid for his new tricked out AR-15 or whatever. Do not wonder how the people on the lake paid for their boats. Its just a matter of saving for a while and not buying other things like boats. You could work Wal-Mart and afford a custom guitar if that was your goal. It is all about planning. Your situation for example, you bought a 1k guitar, well if you bought a $300 guitar then in 2 years maybe you can spend 2k, or wait 3 years and spend 3k. Etc.
     
    Kyle Jordan and SnowfaLL like this.
  15. CanserDYI

    CanserDYI Beauty can't be seen through the eyes

    Messages:
    1,375
    Likes Received:
    1,438
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2020
    Location:
    419
    What i think OP is forgetting is the amount of people who keep buying guitars and flipping them, posting NGD's all the time, making it look like they have all this gear, but in reality the one they posted a few weeks ago is gone, and has funded said new gear.
     
    Millul, laxu, Demiurge and 1 other person like this.
  16. vejichan

    vejichan SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,304
    Likes Received:
    266
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Location:
    New york
    one realization for me after I received my 1st custom guitar that I worked my ass off and sacrificed so much for is that.. sure it looked and played better but in terms of tone, was about the same.. I still sounded like crap but a side positive effect to all this was that during the waiting/saving time.
    -I stayed focused and worked hard and saved money
    -Helped me in dealing with life stress and worries, because it gave me something to look forward to.
    -Made me wake up and go home to my family with a huge smile on my face

    So you could say the excitement and enjoyment from the time you order the custom guitar to when you receive it is was more satisfying to me than when I actual receive it? Thats why i tell the builder and dealer to take their time building my guitar. I am in no rush. The longer the better.
    Kinda crazy but once you receive it and get over the honeymoon stage of how magnificent it looks, that's about it. Conclusion: I still sounds like shit because I suck at guitar and no custom guitar will magically make me sound better. So if you are getting a custom guitar because you want a good looking/playing guitar or like me to be happy, go for it!... if you want to sound or play better, you should save your money and just practice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
  17. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,347
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Who's arguing? You're the one accusing me of missing your point. I'm just letting those following along at home know that they don't have to wait until they have 200k, 300k, or 800k saved up before they get a mortgage, 50k saved up before they get a car loan, or 2 million saved up before they get a business loan so that they're, as you say, still in the positive.

    We get it, you'd rather have no debt and be cash poor, but there are some nuances that you're missing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
    mlp187 and Jeffrey Bain like this.
  18. Jeffrey Bain

    Jeffrey Bain SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    205
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2018
    I get what you're saying. For instance I don't pay off my car loan which is 2.69% APR because I can beat that on the open market, frees up my cash for investing where as long as I beat that 2.69%, it makes sense for me to let my car loan ride.
     
  19. michael_bolton

    michael_bolton SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    111
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2021
    in the grand schema of things guitars are not that expensive of a hobby. not dirt cheap ofc, but I know ppl who (while not loaded) have spent thousands on espresso machines, guns, ice fishing cameras etc etc.

    then there are ppl who are into harleys lol - which I know a few - mostly blue collar type gents with decent but not insanely well paid jobs - like electricians, super intendants at large apartment complexes, skilled construction dudes etc.

    one of them harleys, entry level and used costs more than all of my guitar equipment put together.
     
    Kyle Jordan likes this.
  20. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    3,347
    Likes Received:
    3,006
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Pretty much. It's not your debt per se, but the spread of the earning rate of capital vs the payed rate of the debt. So that's right, if your cash is earning more than 2.69%, keep the loan and don't throw good money at bad money. There's also the present value vs future value, but we won't get into that right now or @TedEH head will explode.
     
    Jeffrey Bain likes this.

Share This Page