Since I was forced to sell my motorcycles in order to pay for college, I was eager to buy them back after I graduated. I knew that I would not be able to buy the original bikes back, since I had no way of tracking their owners and locations. In 2017, I had saved quite a bit of money in my employer sponsored 401K – I didn’t know about IRAs yet – and decided that it was okay for me to spend some cash on a racing shifter-kart. I wanted something fairly new, because I wanted to race it at Fontana Speedway in a beginner class.
I began to look on Craigslist, and after a week or so, I found a nice Tony Kart with Honda CR 125CC engine. The seller wanted $3,500 cash – no trades. It was worth it, the seller also had about $1,500 worth of parts to go with the kart – included in the $3,500 firm price. At the time, I had a Subaru WRX and was not able to put the kart in the trunk. After meeting the seller at his home, and test-driving the kart, I went to the bank to grab the cash and stopped by U-Haul to pick up a truck.
Once I had the truck and the cash, I went back to the seller’s house and picked up the kart and spare parts. My fiancée and I then drove the kart out to Fontana. My plan was to store the kart at a mini-storage near the track so that I could easily rent a U-Haul truck and pick the kart up every time that I wanted to drive. The U-Haul truck rental that day was about $150 bucks. I didn’t request enough hours and ended up getting hit with a bunch of fees. Lesson one: when it comes to U-Haul, take the time that you think you need and then double it. It doesn’t cost more to request more hours; I believe that this is true for one-day rentals only.
So, I got hit with the kart price ($3,500), the U-Haul bill ($150), and the mini-storage fee ($40 per month). Then, I had to buy all the gear – another $1,200. Within 6 months, I had spent over $5,000 on my new hobby. I don’t regret this decision, because when I drive or look at my kart in the garage, I remember the times when I would go to the races with my father. It’s been about 2.5 years since I purchased the kart, and I don’t plan on letting it go. This is an emotional choice – not a financial one. My goal for the future is to keep the emotional purchases as low as possible and to really evaluate if they are worth the price. For me, a $5,000 item that triggers priceless childhood memories of me and my dad is worth every penny.