Tuesday, September 25, 2012

We are looking for a new car

We have a 2004 Chevy Impala with about 122,000 miles on it. It is a good car and still runs well. This day in age cars usually last over 200,000 miles. So I had planned on keeping this car for a while yet. But I did realize both this car and our other vehicle (2001 Ford Ranger) are getting up there in age and I have already been saving up to replace them. I don't know the exact miles on the Ranger, but I'm guessing it is around 140,000. So I figured we would be replacing that one first. However while driving the Impala on the way to work one day last week I noticed the heat was no longer working on the driver's side. I don't think it would be a big deal to fix, but when I told my husband he said "well maybe it's time we get a new car". I was hoping to get a few more years out of the Impala, but I'm also anxious to get "buying a new car" checked off our financial to do list. Another advantage to replacing it now instead of a year from now is we only have enough money to buy a used vehicle. If we waited another year we'd probably have enough for a brand new vehicle and because the money is there, my husband would probably want to splurge is get a brand new one that would lose a lot of value in just a couple years. We almost went and bought a new car on Friday night but the dealership was closed. We were busy the rest of the weekend, so we never made it back there. I am guessing we might look again next weekend. I hope we can find a good deal and that we're making the right decision!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I received a $5,000 check yesterday!

Wow! It's not often you get a financial surprise that is good news! Usually to get a financial windfall you either have to win a lottery or someone has to die to leave money to you. Well imagine my surprise when I was handed a $5,000 check yesterday! My parents recently sold their house and they decided to give their kids some money! My parents don't usually do things like that, so I am beyond surprised but happy to get some extra money! They know our cars are getting old, so they even mentioned that we could put this money towards a new vehicle! So once I deposit this check I should have about $22,000 saved up! That would be enough to get a decent 2-year-old vehicle! There is really nothing wrong with our cars right now, so I might just hold on to this money and try to get another year or two out of our current vehicles. Sadly, my husband mentioned he wants to get a brand-new car instead of getting a used one because he said we was worried that he didn't know how the previous owner treated it. I would rather get a low mileage used car that is still in good condition to save on that depreciation cost. I guess we'll have to see what is out there and what the prices are. At this point I don't even know which of our two vehicles we would trade in first because they have roughly the same mileage. So right now, the plan is to still keep saving a much cash as I can.  Although, I am reconsidering adding to my IRA's now that I am ahead of schedule.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Extra Cash Challenge - August Report

Each month I make an update on how much money I have earned outside of my regular job.  Multiple streams of income are important and can help you create a better financial future.  Here are August's results:

Part time job: $0
Advertising: $111.86
Amazon: $4.14
Lending Club: $0.60
Savings accounts: $14.31

Total: $130.91

Difference from last month: -$37.87

I was hoping that Lending Club would have monthly reports, but it doesn't appear they do, so I'll just have to check it at the beginning of each month and subtract the previous month's accrued interest. I decided since I am counting the Lending Club money as part of the my extra cash challenge, I should also count my savings accounts as well. Last month I made $14.31 in interest which is more than I make in an hour at my job. Even though it's not an amazing amount of money, it's kind of nice to make some money without even doing much other than transferring the money into the account. However, I now have $21,519 in savings (including money set aside for expenses such as property taxes). So that $14.31 doesn't seem like it's as much now. But it's better than leaving it in our checking account where it earns 0% and it's more tempting to spend!

My part time job has really died down. I wonder if I should send them an email to let them know I'm still alive! The advertising money decreased again too. With about 4 days left in the month I was doubting it would even break the $100 threshold, but I had a late month rally that got it up to $111.86 for the month of August. Amazon didn't make a lot this month either, but I did get some pre-orders for a book that comes out in October, but since it didn't ship yet, it won't show up until October.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

How bees ate $266

A few weeks ago we started to notice that there were some bees buzzing around our front door.  We didn't think too much of it at first, but then we realized they were crawling into the siding of our house.  My husband tried to use some bee spray to get rid of them, but it wasn't working.  It actually seemed like there were more of them!  So on Friday he tried to spray them again and this time he must has pissed them off and they stung him.  So he had to call the Orkin man to get rid of them.  Sadly it wasn't cheap. Our bill was $266. I wish that seemed like a small amount of money to me, but in my world that is almost a week's worth of pay. I sure hope that whatever treatment they used did the trick because that's a lot of money to spend on unwelcome house guests!