I’ve mentioned before you should have an emergency fund – and I hit one of those snags that shows how important it is to have one. We have two cars (both Honda Civics) which both needed major repairs – timing belts, water pumps, and exhaust work. My car – the old beater – was less than $400 (which also goes to show – find a trustworthy mechanic! I was quoted $600 at the first place I went to!)
The nicer, newer car? Nearly $1000. Needs a new exhaust manifold. That, needless to say, was a shocker. With the new baby, I really hate having only one car available at a time, and “exhaust leaks in the front of the car” cause me some concern when I’ve got a growing boy in the back seat, so of course I had him fix it (and I use this mechanic repeatedly because he’s always straight, never lies, and has been a friend of my wife’s family for years).
Luckily, we’ve got nearly $5000 set aside for emergencies, so this will greatly offset any ding that it would’ve otherwise caused. See how important an emergency fund can be when you’re prepared? $1400 is more than my mortgage payment – which means if I wasn’t prepared, this would go onto a credit card, which I couldn’t pay off immediately, giving me interest charges for the next few months (more than likely!)
Because I was prepared – I can pay off these charges right away, without worry! No worrying about not meeting any bills, no worries about “how can I handle this” – a true moment of Financial Zen. My wife was taken back by my tone when I initially told her – and through no fault but my own she was concerned. We try and talk weekly about our finances, but with the baby being born it’s sidetracked us both – but because we are prepared, it’s a non-issue.
posted in auto, budget, emergency fund, financial planning, money management, zen |
Take a moment and read up about people like No Impact Man. Read about it – the 100 mile diet, not buying anything new (the compact) – living self-sufficiently, reducing our global foot print (which I wrote about before).
Basically, get rid of your car and start riding public transportation (or better yet, BIKE to work). Too far? Car pool. Eat local – don’t shell out for the goods that had to travel over a hundred miles in a refrigerated truck, buy from the local farmers market.
What lead to this? This article on MSN Money, about profiting off this fiasco. After all, why bother with fighting with it when you can make money off of it? Disgusting.
It’s a goal of mine to be able to get a hybrid (or live close enough to work to bike). I’m working on getting a budget setup to afford organic, local produce (including beef, pork and chicken, I’m sorry, but I’m an omnivore). It’s a long-term goal – with a baby on the way and a tolerant wife I can only do so much. :)
I’d love to go at this 100%, but as with many things in life, it’s one step at a time.
posted in auto, economics, frugality, no impact, stocks |
(Note: My Personal Finances is calculated using my salary – not my wife’s income, so we’ve got a good idea what will happen after the baby’s born)
Our personal finances for the month of April – we went over by $146.11! – mainly because of our inattentiveness to our fast food fix! I’ve noticed my weight slowly declining since we noticed the unhealthy fast food trend. Our goal for this month is to keep our dining out to <$40 (I promised The Wife Sonic if we can manage our budget this month). We had a slight increase in clothing expenses - namely a couple prego clothing items (we buy mainly used - but we found a couple cheap garments we'd prefer new). We also bought sunglasses! Stylish and $10 from a mall kiosk (I love to haggle). A large chunk was dedicated to paying off bills (and knocking out some student loan).
Also increased! Medical bills! Who knew kids were so expensive? He's note even born yet and The Baby Logan is looking at a $2500 bill (possibly less).
Our gas intake is under control some - we're averaging about a tank a week (it's a long drive to the office - thank God we car pool!) My car should be back from our Friend the Mechanic this week - for a lot less then my first estimate (it was between $800-$1100). Thank God for Mechanic friends.
I’m moving to a new office closer to our home, but that could change in the coming month (I’m weighing a few job options – one is a lot closer, the other is right next door to my current location). This should effectively increase my budget – it depends on the location and pay.
Lastly – I’ve got a chart with the No Credit Needed Network! I’m anxious to update my progress – all in good time, I suppose! I’ve got a lot going on (hence my less than stellar posting) but I will not neglect writing! I’ve got a stash on incomplete writings I’ll try to have ready (and relevant) so I can hopefully keep this up every morning.
posted in apartment, auto, budget, debt, employment, goal, save money, zen |
One thing I haven’t written about – our car situation.
Luckily, my wife and I own our cars – a 1996 Honda Civic and a 1997 Honda Civic.
Last month, we had that freak snow storm on a Saturday that generated black ice on my often-traveled road home from our friend’s apartment. Due to someone hitting that ice, they now blocked the road (instead of moving her car out of the way she was walking around it with her cell phone in her hands). I hit the same patch of ice and narrowly maneuvered my car to the right – sliding into a curb and scaring the crap out of my pregnant wife (the baby is fine). The girl didn’t come over – she stared, hopped into her car and did her best to get out of there.
I moved my car forward to get out of the line of traffic, called the police, and AAA – the police were “swamped” and despite me seeing two more wrecks behind me they said they wouldn’t do anything for that intersection.
I also found out my insurance agent had changed our policy and I hadn’t reviewed it – the car we were driving (96 Civic) has liability only coverage. No insurance help. Luckily, a friend-of-a-friend is a mechanic that just happened to have a ’96 Civic – he only wanted the engine. Two knew balance rims and tires later (and $80) I thought I was good – until I drove my car down the road.
LOUD HUM. Sounds like the tires rubbing – I figured an alignment would be needed. No biggie.
Needs new ball bearings on the front and back, and a bent control arm on the drivers side (and one more bent part which I can’t remember). Seriously?
Now they’re talking $1000 in repairs – luckily my wife and I have gotten used to one car living – we’re going to comparison shop the repairs and see if our mechanic friend can fix it (and more than likely, I’ll be going to him for it). I’ve ran the values on my car – and yes, getting it fixed is worth it – until next wreck, anyways.
Next on the Agenda – calling up our insurance agent and asking what’s the deal with our insurance.
Next post – how to get better rates on car insurance!
posted in auto |