Boys Toys

Living on a budget dose not mean you still can’t have fun 🙂

The Cars

I have had a few cars come and go during my FIRE journey… we all have fond memories of our own personal car journey’s so I thought I would start at the beginning of mine.

The ever reliable Toyota Camry – My first car at 17, was a hand me down from my mum a classic manual Toyota Camry sedan. I put my own personal touches in it with an upgraded stereo system and even tinted all the windows. Had a fair few trips down south with it and was very reliable, never broke down on me once. Shes probably in car heaven scrap yard by now.

The economical car: Car number 2 is the Toyota Echo, used to basically travel to university and anywhere else as efficiently as possible. Not the greatest magnet for ladies but as long as you had a running car… you were in the running. Also the chances of getting any sort of speeding fine was reduced significantly, saving lots of dollars in fines and fuel.

The fist sports car: The Nissan 350Z was my first car I bought on my own with very little influence from nagging mum or anyone else. You could say it was a bit of a step up from the Echo, in terms of class and speed. I saved some money buying second hand, it had only done 23,000km in its life as well and was in near perfect condition. Hot tip I would always buy second hand cars from them on, as soon as you drive a new car out of the dealership you would lose $5000 to $10,000 instantly.

The luxury sedan: The Mercedes Benz C200. This was a hard sell lads, as I had to get the missus on board for this one. I was eyeing of a BMW but I knew the mama panda might not go for it. So after a few negotiations and test drives we finally settled on the Mercedes. Again this was another second hand deal and when it started showing some significant wear n tear and mechanical issues we traded it in. Annual service was hitting over $1000 easily.

The current love: The Jaguar was selected as it had a lower on going maintenance and running costs than the Mercedes. Plus I had never driven or owned a jaguar before. Again another second hand selection with low kms on the clock (26,000 km) sealed the deal. Also the trading costs of the Mercedes to the Jag also helped with costs.

The Future? – I will probably need to sell and downsize the Jag… back to something similar to a Toyota echo? But more green… probably a small electric car when the price becomes more reasonable and there are more charging stations available.

Hyundai – Ioniq Plugin Hybrid

The Entertainment Unit

So currently we have a Samsung 70 inch TV. It was a very good deal at the time 4 years ago at roughly $2200 during the Christmas sales. Although my brother has now just bought a 75 inch for $1400. It’s amazing how cheap big screen TVs are now these days that can give you a gold class experience in your very own living room, without having to pay crazy candy bar prices. That’s a very good investment on avoiding the cinema charges for a night out at the movies with the family which can cost up to $100.

The Gaming Rig

I don’t know about you but I like playing games and escaping to alternate worlds and realities if only for an hour or so. The rig of choice for me is my PC, its getting a bit old now (5 yrs old) but it still does the job on many of the latest PC games available. Currently playing Jedi – Fallen Order and PC has no problems with it. The other platform we have is a PS3, I don’t play with it as much but little panda might be interested in it in a few years. There are a few areas on the net where you can get games for free or the steam sales are also good if you don’t mind waiting for them to pop up.


Free sports you can play with friends include basketball, football, soccer, cricket, tennis and rugby. Just take a pick of your favorite ball sport and get a few mates together for some physical fun.

Lads Retreat

Poker nights are a fairly cheap way of playing with a lot of fake cash and potentially winning a big pot of it with low investment. A $20 buy in with 5 friends takes the pot to $100. Not bad for a few hours of fun drinking and eating chips!

Road trip anyone? Also one of the favorite things to do on my list is long weekend road trips away with some mates. The cost of travel is low and if you share accommodation or just pitch a tent, this type of getaway is affordable for anyone.

  • About Us

    November 12, 2019 by

    This is the first post on the FIRE panda family blog. I thought this would be a good way to introduce the family and provide an overview of the site. We are an average family working in IT that started thinking about FIRE when we realized that we were a lot closer to retiring than… Read more

  • Welcome to the future 2020 – FIRE Panda Family Update

    January 13, 2020 by

    Happy new year everyone and I hope the coming financial years will be good ones to you and your family. New years always make me excited and energized on how I can set new goals and add momentum on financial independence and retiring early. I know that every year that goes by that’s just one… Read more

  • Where to for the housing market?

    December 10, 2019 by

    The Australian national housing market is bouncing back from a period of negative growth, due to lower interest rates and relaxation of lending criteria. Let’s take a look at the main capital city housing markets and provide our view of where they are headed in the next 12 months. With population growth remaining solid, macro-economic… Read more

View all posts

Follow My Blog

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.

%d bloggers like this: