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Driving a paid for car!

December 13th, 2018 at 09:01 am

I mailed a check for $18,091.98 off today. Does it drive better? I think a paid for car does! Gotta say I love it. Funny how our "newer" 2016 Legacy drives better than our 2015 Sienna being paid off. Anyway what a nice feeling to be out of a car loan. It's been awhile since that happened and honestly I've been annoyed this past year having two car payments.

I like having a paid for car. I like the feel. I had a 98 corolla that was paid for in 2001. DH had a 2000 Ford focus paid for in 2003 and we didn't have a car payment until 2010 when we bought a new subaru outback with a 5 year loan and took 5 years to pay it off 0.9% interest. Then in 2012 we bought a used 2006 hyundai sonata with a 5 year loan but also paid that off in 3 years. So we didn't have another car loan from 2015-2017 end.

Now it's 12/2018 and it's nice to have a paid for on the books car. The plan? I don't know at this point other than we have 3 more years to pay on the 2.24% loan for the sienna. We may decide to just pay it off if I can convince DH soon.

But right now the plan is drive my minivan another 6 years to 10 years and reevaluate. For our 2016 Legacy? I think we seriously have to take it year by and year and need by need. If DH can drive at all then maybe a second car. If not then I guess I'll keep it and never trade it in. When the self-driving car comes out that is really good comes out (not tesla) we will heavily consider it.

But boy it is nice having a paid for car again. I itch for driving a paid for minivan. How long do you keep your cars? Do you always just pay cash?

buying out our car lease

December 3rd, 2018 at 09:57 pm

Time flies. It's been 3 years already and it's time to buy out our car lease. It's been hard convincing DH but he's finally willing to compromise and has agreed to buying the car. I wanted to buy it 3 years ago but he refused. One of those moments where you just have to compromise.

I always think of imasaver who financed corvettes so they wouldn't buy them so quickly. I feel like the same thing. I leased a car to make DH feel better and pointed out there hasn't been enough improvement yet in cars to make it worth getting a newer model. Honestly by the time there is rapid improvement whose to say he even should be driving?

I realize that having a car is a control issue. And psychologically sometimes you gotta let things slide that are not the most financially fit decisions. If DH stops driving then it's likely we'll be a 1 car family. But until then I guess we just make the best of it.

But woah car loans are high now. We were offered 5% by chase to finance our car. So instead we plan on buying it cash this month.

Have you calculated your commute?

May 8th, 2018 at 10:33 am

Have you ever calculated the cost of commuting? I say that because now we have a direct cost. My DH commutes on average 30 minutes one way instead of 1 hour plus. And an hour is generous because usually coming home before it was 75-90 minutes. But assuming he saves now 1 hour an day total in commute he's saving 5* 48 weeks = 240 hours a year. What is an hour worth?

That's the question. If it's worth $25/hr then it's $6000/year of $500/month he's saving. So we could "shave" off $500/month on our mortgage payment moving closer. If we calculated the hour is worth $50/hr then it's $12,000/year and $1k/month. That makes moving closer a lot more beneficial.

Personally I think moving closer worth $50/hour. Assume we go out to eat more, pay more in gas, pay more in child care, etc I think we can easily save $12k/year moving closer. But some people live next door to their parents so they commute far. If i had that sort of deal I'd do it too.

Have you ever calculated what your commute cost you? Was it worth it to move farther? Why?

$350 car accessory -snowflake

January 3rd, 2018 at 08:39 pm

So I want weathertech floor mats for my new minivan. Very extravagent. They already put it in the trunk. But I want the rest The question is how do I buy it? Yes I can afford to buy it. But I want to not just pay for it.

I'm thinking I might try to make it a challenge and see how I can snowflake my way to it. Maybe coupon clipping? Maybe ebates? Pinecone surveys? What else could I do?

I don't want to use my paycheck. Or maybe giving myself the cost of a meal out if we skip eating out? I'm actually trying to not eat out because I want to lose weight.

Do I count borrowing books from the library? Or anything free I can snag? Or selling stuff at the consignment? What can I do to make this happen? Skipping a starbucks?

What do you consider snowflakes? My ticket savings to hawaii? Or our trip at the end of the month?

cars got me thinking

January 3rd, 2018 at 11:47 am

After we bought the cars I got to thinking about how I've changed my mindset about cars quite a bit. I have always been a buy new and keep car till it dies sort of person. But recently I've started to change. I'm wondering if it's okay to not keep a car until it dies. I am starting to think that it's worth being okay buying a car that you can afford at that moment in time for a purpose. And when that purpose is done it's okay to sell the car?

Cars are depreciating assets. So in the ideal world people would only buy used cars and keep them till they die. But that still raises the question, how used a car do you need to buy to be uber frugal? To maximize the frugality of cars, which are SUPER expensive does it have to be 10 years old and you drive it for 3-5 more years? What if it's only 1 year old and you drive it 10 mores years? Why couldn't you keep it longer?

I guess it's a sliding scale. Right? That to each person the valuation of car is what they put on it. Some would argue any used car is a deal. While myself included might argue perhaps it's gotta be at least 5-6 year old to be worth? But I did save a bit buying a 2-3 year old used car.

Reflecting back on our cars we've now had I've come to the realization that we can just make the best choice at the time we make the decicion.

My first car was a 99 toyota corolla bought for $11k including taxes/fees we sold in 2012 because my DH really wanted a car with latch and airbags. It had 150k miles and still running super strong and if my DH didn't want newer safety features I'm sure it'd still be running! We sold it for $3500. We bought a 2006 Hyundai Sonata in 2012 for $11000 taxes and fees.

He had 2000 ford focus bought new for $13k including taxes and fees we sold in 2010 because it broke down. We sold it for $2500. We bought a new subaru outback base model for $23000 including all taxes and fees.

In 2015 we sold the Hyundai Sonata for $6500 and leased a 2015 Subaru Legacy for $28k. DH wanted the car so we did it. What will happen I'm unsure.

Now in 2017 we ended it buy buying a used 2015 Sienna Minivan for $31k. We aren't selling the Subaru Outback 2010 instead we're giving it to my mom and i'll call it $7k value.

Looking back the best value of depreciation was the new Toyota Corolla for $576/year. Then the Ford Focus $1050/year deprecation, then the Sonata $1500/year. I'm not sure what our current 2 cars will end up but I've decided that you can't always make the best decision with cars.

You have to make the best decision with the information at hand. That means what sort of car do you need or want? Can you afford it? Do you think i'll serve it's purpose?

Have you reflected on all the cars you've owned? How would you judge your purchases? Wise? Unwise? Okay? Did it make you happy and serve a purpose?

whew - not at fault

December 20th, 2017 at 10:47 pm

Recall the accident last month? I know I wasn't at fault but it really stressed me out a lot. I guess because we had used our insurance and paid for the deductible $500 and the overage on the rental car $250. It wasn't the money but the worry that I'd have another black mark on my record. I mean 2 years ago in January 2016 I had a car accident my fault. And DH is finally getting his record of accidents clean so we might have a reasonable car insurance.

We paid $897 for 2 drivers, 2 cars for 6 months. So we're at $1800/year for 2 30-something year old drivers. We're paying like we're teenagers. In March 2017 we were priced at $2100/year. Recall the debacle of getting kicked off Ameriprise Costco for non-payment because we didn't get our mail?

Well looking back we were at $1275 for 6 months in 8/2016 or $2550/year. You can see why I was stressing out about liability and if I had made a good decision going through insurance. Before the accident we were looking at $774 for 6 months in 2/2016.

So now I'm a little more relaxed. However I will say that Commerce insurance, the company I have through AAA is terrible and useless. It took me hours of prodding them and calling Nationawide directly to determine liability (they were the other person's insurance). Also Commerce didn't respond back to the repair shop, and they didn't fax over authorization for 3 days claiming it was due to the appraisor. Turns out because it was an authorized shop I didn't need an appraisor. Ugh.

Anyway come March 2018 I plan on shopping around not just for cost but because I don't find Commerce/AAA very helpful. My AAA insurance agent never returns my calls.

AAA started a home owners insurance in June, but didn't cancel my renters insurance and kept charging me until I argued with them in September. I was then worried they hadn't started a home owners insurance. In Spetember 2017 because they didn't cancel my renters insurance they mailed my auto insurance renewal to my old address!!!!! Only because I called to inquire did they realize their mistake and did I renew my auto policy.

I guess you can say I'm done with them. But for now I'll just wait. At least I have insurance.

minivan test run

November 8th, 2017 at 11:11 am

So I'm renting a minivan for a week. Not because I want to but on Friday I was in a fender bender with a high school senior in a parking lot. I swerved to avoid him from running his stop sign and making a left turn. Fortunately it wasn't too much damage. However I did force him to stop and call his mom. He was about to drive away. Sigh, if you have teenagers tell them that the number one thing is to call you. Don't cry and say my parents will kill me. Yes they'll be upset but I think they'd be more upset if you just drove off and didn't call them.

Luckily it wasn't too much damage. My car will be ready by Monday after a week in the shop. So I am filing through my insurance who will go after his insurance. He offered me $3000 or more to pay for all the damage off the books of insurance. I said no.

My friend later told me it was wise since he was a minor and underage not to accept going through cash.

That being said I don't like my insurance company commerce west through AAA at all. They are incompetent and slow. I didn't get the emails until Tuesday when I called for the 3rd day in a row looking for my forms and I had to email the claims worker because they couldn't get my email right. I further had called and reported everything Friday right after and they still couldn't get the paperwork in order to the shop and rental car company. I had to call and write down the claim number which was wrong by the way. Ridiculous.

This is the same company that didn't cancel my renter's insurance when we bought a house. Then didn't update my address or mail me a renewal for auto insurance because they sent it to our rental. Which boggles the mind since I prepaid to our mortgage company a year of home insurance and it would stand that cancelling our rental policy would go hand in hand? At least that's what I was told. Then updating the address I also assume was common sense wasn't. They fixed it eventually.

This is totally my fault for getting kicked off of Ameriprise for non-payment because we were traveling and I didn't get the mail until too late. However as of March 10th we are going back to Ameriprise because they are competent when handling claims.

Anyway though since we have rental car coverage I got a minivan to test run what it would be like. I have to admit I love the convenience. I won't buy a dodge caravan it's terribly uncomfortable driving. But wow it's super useful with carpooling and just picking up kids. I am definitely on board with buying one.

The only hesitation I had was waiting until next year the 2019 Subaru Ascent. But I think I want a minivan with the larger trunk. Of course I have to really consider the options.

looking at cars

October 9th, 2017 at 03:02 pm

So I don't need a new car. But I want one. But more likely this will just be an exercise in thinking. Researching and contemplating new versus used and type. I'm not sure if I'm a minivan person or a big suv. I want something with 3 rows and carries more than 5 people.

Let me have it. Tell me all the pros and cons of each. What am I looking at? All minivans. I'm not sure if I should do used or new. It'll be a car we keep a long time. I haven't kept my car as long as I should. I already feel guilty contemplating getting rid of a 7 year old car. It's barely broken in.

I'm also thinking any SUV with three rows and the ones that come to mind are highlander, acura mdx, honda pilot and not sure whatever else.

This is not a new fetish but it is finally getting more serious contemplation.Tell me what you think and why certain suv or minivans are better than others. Did anything weigh into your decision? If you went used did you get a certain brand or model or just used suv or used minivan?

I should probably put this on the site.

90k service and then some

November 14th, 2016 at 08:45 am

So my 2010 Subaru Outback has just about 90k miles on it. Wow that went fast. Anyway it cost me $524 for the service and fixing a headlight. Yes my DH could do it but it takes a lot of time to replace the headlight while being really careful with the plastic shield so for $30 he said have them do it. Actually the part was $25 and that's what they charged me free labor.

But they told me the serpentine belt needed to be redone for $115 and front brakes $350. I need to call other dealerships and see if any are having a deal and coupon in the area. Also on the radar is the timing belt to be done at 105k miles which is around $700. Ugh.

But at least by maintaining the car I'll get a lot more years of use out of it. We did buy it new and except for all this routine maintenance the serpentine belt being the only thing that hasn't been "routine", this car has been incredibly reliable and great. I had a corolla for 14 years preivously also bought new and my DH forced me to sell it when we had kiddo #2. Lack of Latch, airbags, ABS made him uncomfortable with me driving it anymore. He'd have gotten rid of it in 2010 but we couldn't afford it.

Recently we got to talking about our plans to keep this car. I laughed and said until DK#1 is driving so 16 years. He said no way. We'll wait newer safety features. I will admit the rear camera and sensors I drove in the rental for the day is nice. I'd also like a 3rd row option. But those are wants and not needs.

How long do you keep your cars? Do you keep them till they break or do you trade them in if your needs change? Do you only buy used and then exchange them when you feel like it?

The good, the bad, the ugly

July 15th, 2016 at 11:44 am

Lots of news of all sorts. Good news is I saved another $20 on our trip to hawaii by checking prices. The one way ticket dropped to $199 and I called the airlines and got $20 on each of 3 tickets credited back to me. Sometimes it pays to price check.

Second I took my car in for a an oil change and found that I might need new calipers $900 repair. However I took it to the dealership instead for a free 40 point check and they recommended instead just replacing the rotors for $370. They also said they would price match any other deal ad and would replace for just the cost of parts the burnt out lightbulbs. I found a local dealer with a deal for brakes for $199 so I'll get the work done potentially for $250 instead of $900.

The bad news? Well my auto insurance went up to $1400 for 6 months for 2 cars and 2 drivers. I was paying $700 so the price doubled. We are bad drivers. DH has two accidents and I had my first ever accident in January. As you know he's had many accidents, but until I had one we were forgiven for 1 of his accidents. Ugh, now I may shop around for better deals. I might also raise the deductible from $500 to $1000. Of course they said one of his accidents comes off in Janaury so we'd be back to $700 for 6 months. Yes sometimes I think about my DH not driving but he won't give it up. And I realize me typing that as the most recent person to have an accident is ironic. But right now we have to many other things to deal like starting a new job and figuring out a commute, where to live, and budget/taxes to resolve the issue.

The ugly? Well we were supposed to see a friend who was visiting her family nearby and meet her new baby and other kids. But her dad unexpectedly passed away a few days before she flew in. It was awful since he lived alone and she hadn't heard from him so her aunt called and said she hadn't heard from him in a week so they drove out and found him passed away. It was awful because she supposed to have come around the holidays but she didn't because her job asked her to come back early from maternity leave and she felt obligated to do so. Her dad hadn't had the chance to meet her 3rd child yet. We connected over the phone and she expressed regret over not just coming and screwing the job. Ugh.

Sometimes it's so hard to know the right decision. And it's worse yet to know that money drives most of our decisions but how can we know if it's the right decision? I guess this is why we work and save. So we can make the best decision we feel without the pressure of finances. I just am going to promise myself we are going to try to become Financially independent as soon as possible.

Car Update

January 27th, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Yes they are fixing the car, not sure when it will be done, but it will be done. Of course it's not cheap and I am betting when they open the car up it might be more than $8k estimated repairs. But it does make my life and decision making easier right now. Right now we also have to replace both carseats. I'm really glad I don't have to worry about a new car for a bit.

Another thing is that we are still torn what do about the tuition. My DH leans to paying cash and using our home equity instead of a credit card. Well actually just spending down our cash cushion and tapping our home equity cash sitting in our checking account online if needed. It's earning 0.9%.

Decisions, decision.

cars my kryptonite

January 20th, 2016 at 01:06 pm

I hate cars. I think cars are my krptonite. Got rear ended yesterday and thankfully I am fine, no one got hurt, but now my car is in the shop. Not only rear ended but rear ended into someone else. So I should say that I have damage on both ends.

The problem? Well yes insurance will cover. I may still have to pay my $500 deductible because I did damage the car ahead of me potentially. I also was hit by someone new to the country who was renting a car and no they don't have insurance. They had something called self-insurance form. So I'm crossing my fingers that the woman bought insurance from Avis. Otherwise who knows? My agent told me that they will collect for me being rear ended but I still hit the person in front whom I braked and had a handspan between our cars, hence why I went right into their trailer hitch!!!

Of course it's being called potential total. ie the value of the car will be worth less than the repairs. I hate that idea. I mean yes the car is worth probably $10-11k. But it's great and no way can I find another subaru outback with 72k miles in that condition. I am so pissed over the situation.

I know we were thinking in another year we'd get a different car potentially. But that was after we figured out more things about our lives. Third kid? Where we'd live, etc. We'd know if we wanted a minivan or a SUV with third row. If we didn't mind staying with same size. And no way can we buy the same car with same mileage and condition. UGGGH.

Who knows how this will unfold. Or how long it will take to resolve.

car scenario and happy holidays

December 21st, 2015 at 08:25 am

Okay instead of leasing a car what about buying a new car every 4 years, but keeping it 8 years? Would that make more financial sense? DH gets a new car every 4 years and I keep it another 4 years till he buys another car and hands me down the old car? We could both have subaru outbacks and we'll just be cycling through them every 4-8 years? Would that make financial sense? Yes a constant car payment but only for 1 car and it wouldn't I think break the budget. We will just be driving the same car. And if the technology hasn't improve in 4 years we hang on another year?

I was super excited after thanksgiving and then exhausted from making around 20 dozen cookies. Now that it's done I'm excited again for the holidays! I don't like the business of it but I love the season. I love the lights, the music, the joy and the feeling that another year is winding down. I know others hate getting older but I feel it's another year, another success. I'm older, alive, and have a wonderful life. I love getting older mentally (not physically). After seeing so many friends lose their parents and some friends getting ill I really do appreciate my health and family's health and well being and another year together.

My wish for 2016 is that it's as exciting and happy as 2015. I know for a fact if you had asked me in 2014 Christmas I would have said I was excited because I thought I would be moving in 2016. Now it's turned out we moved in 2015 and who knew life would be so good.

Buying Cheap stuff and car repairs

December 9th, 2015 at 09:04 am

I forgot to mention I bought the cookie scoop from Amazon and loved/hated it. I loved the size and ease but it broke on the first batch. So I called and returned it. I explained that I had thought it would be more durable and the reviews were 4 stars. I bought the 3 pack cookie scoop for $14 I think. After returning it I bought the 1 oxo cookie scoop for $12.95 instead (small) and love it. It worked fantastically. I usually look for deals and I usually honestly don't buy the most expensive thing. But I did have the large oxo cookie scoop and my DH said why did you buy cheap? Buy something that will last and you won't curse at. Sigh. I learned my lesson well. For the most part I will admit our cookware and utensil I tend to wait and hem and haw about spending it but love, love, love and use, use, use our stuff. I love my calphalon pots and pans and roasting dishes. I bought pyrex and corningware and use it all the time. I use my kitchenaid mixer quite a bit as well. And the Le Crueset dutch oven I wonder why I didn't buy it sooner. Most of my cookware is now over 10 years old and still is in great shape. I tell anyone getting married buy the good stuff it seriously lasts and you use it everyday or more than once a day.

Of course I have a lot of stuff I would love to replace like a small crockpot that I use A LOT. But 15 years in except for size it works like a champ. I have a 5 qt and would like a 7 or 8 qt. I make soups, curries, chicken, pork, tomato sauce, apple sauce, etc in it all the time. Of course my coffee pot which DH is still mulling over.

Plus we got another opinion on the car and the repairs were still $1800. Along with the suggestion that the alternator looks older and might go within 6 months. Ugh. We're still deciding what to do. Thoughts?

update the car and coffeemaker

December 8th, 2015 at 11:40 am

So the problem isn't with the struts with the car it's with the joints attaching to the car. Also the mechanic suggested that alternator will be going soon. The current estimate for the work without the alternator is $2000. Not sure what the alternator will cost in the future. The car is worth between $5000-$5500 if we do private party sale versus trade in. Trade in value is approximately $4800. We are taking it to another mechanic for a second estimate tomorrow. We aren't sure what to do about the car. Sink money in? The mechanic hedged to use about fixing it, I think because he suggested the alternator would be going within 6 months he predicted and I am assuming that he doesn't think doing the repairs then that repair in 6 months worth it. I guess that's very honest since we'd be using him to do both repairs. He didn't say so but I wonder if he's also thinking that we may have more repairs crop up?

What are our options? Buy a beater? Buy another used car? Try to make do with one? Buy/lease a new car. My DH isn't keen on being a one car family. I don't know what the best choice is. Sink in $2k and potentially I know more I'm going to guess $500 in 6 months or more? Should we? Only to dump it in 6-12 months? I hate cars. I wish life were simple and we could snap our fingers and the perfect car for the perfect price would appear.

For sake of comparison the car DH needs the subaru legacy with eyesight. Only available on the premium or limited models. It appears to be around $250/month leased with $2k down. This will probably be our perpetual car until he chooses to no longer drive. Unless someone else comes out with better technology. It has driver assisted driving, rear sensors, automatic steering, etc. My BIL bought the same car and loves it. He too is leasing for the same reason. Uggh.

I still haven't used or returned the coffeemaker. Partly because I can't decide and partly because I haven't had time to do the return with other things.