A man is trying to conquer his status anxiety by means of car finance. 36 year-old Paul Denton is worried that he is falling behind his peers, and he hopes that a show of conspicuous purchasing power might save him. As a result, he has entered into a 5-year hire purchase agreement to acquire a £40,000 Porsche 718 Boxster.
“My wife keeps banging on about how a 2-seater convertible is impractical for a family with 2 children. It has electronic suspension management and a dynamic throttle-blip function for fuck sake! I keep trying to explain that it’s an investment in her future and my dignity. Cars are like wine and they retain their value, long after you’ve sped away from the showroom. And I’m not going to be seen driving around in a poor man's second-hand Kia. This is precisely why our son Gary cannot go on this extravagant school ski trip. As a family we need to balance the books, and the exorbitant car finance repayments are a priority.”
Work colleagues and neighbours continue to rankle Paul by arguing that he doesn’t actually own the vehicle, until a final balloon payment of £13,000 is met. This would come after 60 crippling monthly payments, which are similar in amount to his burdensome mortgage. It’s the consistent use of the word ‘lease’ that taunts Paul and raises his status anxiety to an unprecedented level. As a reactionary measure, he has erected a large sign on his driveway stating ‘Please leave space for brand new Porsche. To be clear, Paul OWNS this car.’
A few days later Paul was considering the sale of his son's ‘excessive’ drum kit and his daughter's 'profligate' iPad Air. He finally resolved to release significant equity from the family home in order to lease a Rolex.