Where’s Your Ferrari?

A great reminder to start the year off right ;) Courtesy of The Motley Fool:

There’s an old story about a guy taking a smoke break with his non-smoking colleague.

“How long have you been smoking for?” the colleague asks.

“Thirty years,” says the smoker.

“Thirty years!” marvels the co-worker. “That costs so much money. At a pack a day, you’re spending $1,900 a year. Had you instead invested that money at an 8% return for the last 30 years, you’d have $250,000 in the bank today. That’s enough to buy a Ferrari.”

The smoker looked puzzled.

“Do you smoke?” he asked his co-worker.


“So where is your Ferrari?”

There’s a couple of takeaways here, but the one I want you to take away today is that YOU HAVE TO STASH YOUR MONEY SOMEWHERE for it to count in the end! Whether you’re saving from quitting smoking, drinking, nixing cable, getting roommates, packing your own lunch, getting rid of Starbucks runs (*gasp*), going down to one car, selling all your beanie babies, whatever.

Cutting costs is good, but if it goes right back out the window it kinda defeats the purpose.
(Not unlike eating a bag of marshmallows after a salad)

So as you’re putting together your new resolutions for the year, don’t forget to follow through and make your hustling ways count :) As my friend Derek Olsen likes to say, the only way how to save money is to get rid of the “how to!”

how to save money funny

PS: A small part of me hopes they cut off the last line from that joke and it actually ended with “…It’s in the bank – BAM!” ;)

[Ferrari shot by sterrones]

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  1. Kristi @ Femme Frugality January 1, 2016 at 8:41 AM

    Man, I wish selling beanie babies was still profitable…I’d have a small fortune from my stashed childhood toys. I love that joke though. It’s so true. What’s the point in cutting out whatever if you just turn around and spend your money on something just as frivolous?

    Happy New Year, J!

    1. J. Money January 1, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      Happy new year Kristi :) I’ll hope for a beenie baby turnaround for you!

      1. Dividend Growth Investor January 1, 2016 at 4:56 PM


        In my case, I have never smoked. I also invest in tobacco companies that pay generous and regularly rising dividends. So I view this as a win-win-win. I don’t need Ferrari, I am fine driving a 15 year car to the ground.

        Fun historical fact: According to Jeremy Siegel, tobacco company Altria Group ( the old Phillip Morris) has been the best performing stock on the S&P 500 between 1957 and 2003.

        Happy New Year!

        Dividend Growth Investor

        1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:06 PM

          That doesn’t surprise me one bit :)

        2. Stockbeard January 5, 2016 at 2:55 PM

          Don’t you feel bad though that you are funding a company that technically kills people? I’m all for abusing other humans’ sins, but still…

          1. Kathy January 14, 2016 at 9:18 AM

            No one is forcing them to purchase the product. Free will and all that. So no, I don’t feel guilty.

            1. J. Money February 4, 2016 at 7:51 AM

              totally cool, thx for dropping it! it’s all good stuff to consider when formulating your investing plan!

    2. Darrell February 3, 2016 at 7:33 PM

      Jim Gaffigan has a bit where he says that “everyone has their McDonalds.” You might not smoke, but maybe you buy drip coffee, maybe you buy tacos, maybe you get magazines, maybe you go to strip clubs. Everyone has their “smoking.”

  2. Frugal 2 Freedom January 1, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Happy New Year, Great points. The how to has stopped many of my plans. I wish I had started saving in the military.

    I spent money like I was on a hiatus from life. I forgot anything else mattered.

    I had fun though.:)

    Take care.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:08 PM

      Sounds like you spent money on the right things back then :)

  3. Brian @DebtDiscipline January 1, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Happy New year J$! Great day to reflect on 2015 and look ahead.

  4. Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 1, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    That smoker has a great point, especially because the non-smoker will need the money for retirement because they will probably outlive the smoker. :) I’m guilty of occasionally talking the talk but not walking the walk. Good reminder!

  5. Tonya January 1, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    Hi! I’m a new reader; just found your blog yesterday as I was thinking about financial goals for 2016. This is the year my husband and I will buy a condo in Chicago. That’s expensive and scary! We had finally started saving in 2015 without having to sacrifice a lot. This year will be about scaling back a little bit in a lot of areas to save big. With a 2 1/2 year-old, we spent our New Year’s Eve at home talking/planning budget for the year and playing backgammon (living the dream). Looking forward to a prosperous new year with lots of new adventures (with some guidance from your blog). Happy New Year!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:10 PM

      Hah! Sounds like the perfect way to spend an evening to me :)

  6. Thias @It Pays Dividends January 1, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    I love this. One of my big things is that to actually save money, you need to save the money. If you save money by not spending it on something or by using deals to get something for cheap, if you don’t actually put the money aside, you never actually saved anything. That story is a great way to illustrate just that.

  7. Lindsay VanSomeren January 1, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    I totally read the Starbucks runs part wrong at first…lol! Great reminder though, thanks!

  8. Eric January 1, 2016 at 1:41 PM

    Completely agree! For the money to be saved, it cant be spent! I always find it helpful to keep a written log of saved money; it stops me from spending it because I am able to see its value grow as I continue to save!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:11 PM

      That’s a good idea! Makes you appreciate it a helluva a lot more I’m sure.

  9. Justin @ Root of Good January 1, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    My ferrari IS in the bank. :) With average long term growth of my portfolio, I could almost buy a new ferrari every year.

    I’d do it except my 15 year old Honda Civic is so totally sweet I can’t part with it. And I don’t have to worry about fighting all the ladies off me since the Civic keeps me under their radar. Excellent car to maintain the marital harmony.

    Happy New Year, J$!

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:12 PM

      Haha, indeed good sir, indeed.

  10. Sarah Noelle @ The Yachtless January 1, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    Haha, I like this story a lot. Or how about, “I bought a bunch of houses with it during the recession and I’m now making bank from all my renters, BAM!”

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      That would be nice :)

  11. Hannah January 1, 2016 at 4:33 PM

    Perhaps the answer is at my fully paid for beach house… I just really like Excel spreadsheets which is why I still come to work :)

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      Haha…. #NerdAlert

  12. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank January 1, 2016 at 7:34 PM

    That’s a good story, J Money! I don’t smoke as well because I know the money can be something greater at the end of the year. And, I think we just have to keep on saving and investing.

  13. Sandy January 1, 2016 at 8:39 PM

    I sold my TV a while back at a friend’s yard sale (yes, I have no TV in my house) and turned around and invested what I got for it in Lending Club. A few friends were at that multi family yard sale that day. Right around noon they ordered pizza to be delivered to the house while they sold their stuff for a dollar or two all day. I know where my money is from the TV sale, I receive the 16% interest monthly from Lending Club. Their hand tossed pizza is long gone with zero interest.

    1. J. Money January 2, 2016 at 12:16 PM


  14. Adam @ AdamChudy.com January 1, 2016 at 10:59 PM

    That’s a great joke. As usual some of your short and sweet stuff is the best.

  15. Laura Beth January 2, 2016 at 11:56 AM

    Thanks for making the point, and a good one indeed. You have to stash your money somewhere for it to count in the end. We tend to focus so much of our energies on earning money we often forget about saving it and investing it properly. I know I’m guilty of just that, and have been over the years.

    Something to think about as the new year unfolds.

    Happy new year to you and your family!

  16. Revanche January 2, 2016 at 1:58 PM

    “Not only do I have a few Ferraris in the bank, I won’t be needing medical treatment for the long term effects of smoking so BAM in your face sir. Except from secondhand smoke and what the hell am I doing standing here talking to someone who’s blowing smoke in my face?”

    I’m strangely good at having imaginary conversations with imaginary people. Mark of a good blogger?

    Happy New Year :)

    1. J. Money January 4, 2016 at 11:11 AM

      Hahaha…. Love it.

  17. Steve Miller January 2, 2016 at 3:01 PM

    The Ferrari sounds good in theory but not only is it expensive, upkeep is crazy. $1000 oil changes, $2000 tires, etc. I owned a BMW 7 series back when I was paying my stupid tax and it cost a fortune to maintain. Now I’m happy with my 2010 Jeep Wrangler. In 5 years, the only maintenance I’ve had is one set of tires and a battery.

    1. Mak January 3, 2016 at 9:23 AM

      And with cars like that, you don’t usually take them to the chain shops for oil changes or repairs. You’d have to take them to the dealer which is usually very expensive.

      1. J. Money January 4, 2016 at 11:11 AM

        Well you guys aren’t no fun ;)

  18. Fervent Finance January 3, 2016 at 12:58 PM

    If you don’t have a plan for your money – it gets spent on something else and goes bye bye! Always have a place to put it where you can’t touch :)

  19. LIsa O January 3, 2016 at 7:18 PM

    Happy New Year ~ Love the thought “How To” crossed out and just Save Money left. I might try that this year…..stick to the savings budgets no matter what and if a surprise comes find the money somewhere else but not in the savings zone!

    1. J. Money January 4, 2016 at 11:13 AM

      Do it!

      DO IT!

      (DO IT!)

  20. Ramona @ Personal Finance Today January 4, 2016 at 6:03 AM

    Well, I might not have a Ferrari (not that I care for it anyway), but, not smoking ever clearly saved me a lot of money. Let’s say I’m getting close to 40 years, so there’s at least 20 years other smoked and I didn’t

    Instead of spending money on this useless and unhealthy habit, I could start a business, get a car (even afford a pretty steep loan back then), travel, buy stuff etc.

    1. J. Money January 4, 2016 at 11:15 AM

      I’m damn glad I never tried one when I was younger. The only things I tried I really REALLY liked (alcohol and cigars), so I’m pretty sure cigs would have gone right on that list too. Though I am jealous of smokers who always get smoke breaks when non-smokers don’t :(

  21. Free to Pursue January 4, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Ha! Savers aren’t showy are they? I’d never blow a quarter million on a depreciating asset *snicker*.

    I’m quite happy to use the analogy of saving equals a “free car” within a couple of years as opposed to lifelong smoking having cost someone the ultimate material luxury. Can’t do anything about the past but you sure can influence your life starting…wait for it…NOW!

    Happy 2016!

  22. Kevander Holyfield January 4, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    This is an important story, and raises real questions about the morality of investing in companies that produce addictive, deadly, and profitable products.

    When I hear about hearty profits from tobacco stocks, I wish I could share a picture of my lifelong-smoker father in the hospital after having half a lung removed. Or the time after that, when he had to be put into a medically induced coma to fight off a bout of pneumonia (and didn’t come out of it for a week after the doctors tried to wake him up). Or the time after that, when he needed a medivac flight for a pacemaker implant because his heart rate was down to 27 BPM, primarily due to smoking-related heart damage.

    He is addicted and still smoking, of course, even though he needs oxygen 24 hours a day and can’t walk across the room in one go. I made sure to spend the holidays with him this year because I truly can’t count on another chance next winter. We are planning a summer trip to his favorite camp, knowing full well he can’t fish, hike, or paddle a canoe anymore. The value of the plan is not in the trip itself, but in the idea of making it until summer. It keeps his spirits high in those moments when he can’t breathe or a medical bill arrives that he can’t afford.

    I understand it’s a free market and it’s foolish, financially, to chase anything but the highest-performing stocks. But seeing and learning firsthand how tobacco stock performance means immense suffering for customers and unbelievable burdens for those footing the medical bills, there’s not a dividend in the world that would make any of this worthwhile.

    1. J. Money January 6, 2016 at 7:20 AM

      Oh man, I’m so SO sorry to hear. That is horrible :( I’m really glad you took the time to share it here though – esp on this post w/ the mention of investing in stocks of this nature in the comments – as it’s something to definitely consider for sure. I don’t actively go out of my way personally to invest in such companies one way or the other, but I also don’t think I’d ever single them out to make bank either. There’s plenty of other great and solid companies to make money with.

      Thanks again for sharing your/his story with us. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get it out of my mind now whenever the topic arises :( And I hope you still have some good years to go!!

  23. James January 5, 2016 at 12:45 AM

    Or you could have the Ferrari, dirty lungs, AND money in the bank. Lolz. JK. Not the dirty lungs.

  24. Shoo who January 6, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    That hit to close to home.

    This year I start my first IRA.

    Better late than never?

    1. J. Money January 9, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      Hell yeah it is! Congrats! Your future sell will LOVE you for it :)

  25. Michael @ NTPNW January 14, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    My dad smoked for 45 years or longer and at the age of 61 he quit because it became to expensive. He is now 84 and has not picked up a smoke since. We all were shocked at the reason for quitting. I mean we knew he was a strong saver but never thought this would be his reason for quitting. He has been saving that cost ever since allowing him to grow his wealth and has improved his health. The choice to save is like the choice to quit tobacco we have to make it. My parents have their Ferrari – a good comfortable life.

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:08 PM

      Wow – yeah you often don’t hear it’s because of the money! At least that actually GETS them to quit! Whatever it takes, eh?

  26. ElephantEater January 14, 2016 at 11:05 AM

    Amazing how simple this stuff is when you stop to look at it a little differently.

    Great post!

  27. Kurt January 14, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Yep, so easy to see how the other guy is wasting money. Meanwhile, our own bank account is not exactly overflowing.

    The lesson I get from your parable is ‘don’t critique others’ habits unless you want to invite critique of your own!’ :)

    1. J. Money January 18, 2016 at 4:08 PM

      haha…. well, you can still be right even if you don’t follow your own advice :) Do you know how many overweight doctors there are out there!

  28. Mortimer January 18, 2016 at 12:37 AM

    Love it! Such great advice. There’s so much embedded in this joke. What do we enjoy doing? What do we sacrifice? How much do we try to tell other people they are making mistakes, without being aware of our own, nearly identical ones? This deceptively simple joke gives one a lot to think about.

  29. Aparna @ Elementum Money November 30, 2017 at 3:30 AM

    Jokes with a pinch of education are always cool. In this regard your spaver account experiment should really show us whether there is any point to stashing away the pennies and hoping they end up into a Ferrari some day.

  30. John September 13, 2018 at 7:03 PM

    I know this is an old article, but if you don’t smoke, and don’t drink, you SHOULD ABSOLUTELY buy that Ferrari with the money you save.
    And I mean it.
    Just a few years ago, Ferrari 308 / 328 models we’re going in the low 30K’s.. They are now going for well over 100k.
    Ferrari F355 models were going in the mid 40’s, and are now closing in on 100K. Even the bastard child of the Ferrari models, the 348, were available in the high 20’s to low 40’s, in perfect condition with low miles. The same exact cars are selling in the high 70’s to high 80’s now.
    The Ferrari 360s have hit the bottom of their depreciation curve at around 70’s for coupes, and 80’s for spiders, and are creeping back up.
    Screw 8%. Buy that Ferrari. Enjoy it, keep the miles low, take care of it, and the car will pay for itself, and may even put money in YOUR pocket.
    I plan on buying one as soon as I’m able. I only regret not jumping on one of those 308s when prices were low. I missed my chance.

    1. J. Money September 14, 2018 at 6:00 AM


      I want a pic the day you pick it up, please! :)