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 Post subject: financial jumble
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:51 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:32 am
Posts: 2
hello!

I am looking for guidance as it seems a confluence of financial events has occurred in my life. I tend to be verbose, so I'll try to list the facts.

I have a 1999 SUV with 96,000 miles that NEEDS $1,500 worth of work.

I have $4,000 credit card debt at 9.9% interest rate.

I have been pre-approved for a $11,000 car-loan at 3.75% from my credit union.

I am single with no kids.

I have a few hundred dollar "emergency fund".

I make about $30,000 a year and am contributing to a 401K.

I just received a $10,000 Christmas check from a wealthy relative.

How do I best use this gift to meet current needs but also build foundations for the future? I would like to see it grow via savings accounts and investments, but I also need to fix my car or start looking at another one. What sort of questions should I be asking to help untie this knot I feel I'm in?

Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: financial jumble
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:18 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:06 am
Posts: 100
Get your car fixed, and ask your mechanic (who is hopefully honest) to fix anything that might break or need replacement in the next 50K. A car kept in good shape with regular basic maintenance will easily last to 200K even with the occasional 4-figure repair. You will always be better off financially running a depreciating asset into the ground.

Your "new" car will be worth 30% less the moment you drive it off the lot. Your financial hit will be a lot more substantial than just the monthly payment.

You have zip emergency funds. Take $500 for a fun splurge and put the rest in a CD. Not for the interest payment, which is negligible. You need to lock it up so that you don't spend it easily.

Sometimes we have to learn to trick ourselves into putting money aside, because we don't have that 'saving money is important' gene. My spouse and I struggled with this for many years, and can assure you that once you are 50, you will be kicking yourself that you didn't save more money than you are doing now.

We did some things right and have a very comfortable retirement. But I look back and know darned well we could have saved twice the amount we did without much struggle. And since I tripled our overall contributions over our working careers through semi-smart investing, I could have turned that money into a very useful amount! But we didn't....so don't be like us, and learn to be frugal now. You'll be happy that you learned the most important lesson early on.

Remember it isn't "things" that make people happy. It's pleasurable experiences, best shared with people you enjoy. THAT'S what you'll remember twenty years from now. You'll get more happiness from a $5 beer and $10 burger with friends, than you will from what is nothing more than a tool to get you from Point A to Point B.

Unless, of course, you are trying to buy something new and flashy to impress other people (which never really works anyway). But I don't think you're that shallow, or you wouldn't be here asking for advice.

Best of luck to you in 2013.


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 Post subject: Re: financial jumble
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:41 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1214
senor_sol wrote:
hello!

I am looking for guidance as it seems a confluence of financial events has occurred in my life. I tend to be verbose, so I'll try to list the facts.

I have a 1999 SUV with 96,000 miles that NEEDS $1,500 worth of work.

I have $4,000 credit card debt at 9.9% interest rate.

I have been pre-approved for a $11,000 car-loan at 3.75% from my credit union.

I am single with no kids.

I have a few hundred dollar "emergency fund".

I make about $30,000 a year and am contributing to a 401K.

I just received a $10,000 Christmas check from a wealthy relative.

How do I best use this gift to meet current needs but also build foundations for the future? I would like to see it grow via savings accounts and investments, but I also need to fix my car or start looking at another one. What sort of questions should I be asking to help untie this knot I feel I'm in?

Thanks in advance!

1. Fix your car.
2. Pay off the credit card & pay the bill in full each month if you plan to still use it.
3. Stash the rest in your emergency fund.
4. Forget the new car


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 Post subject: Re: financial jumble
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:48 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 2
Pay off the credit card. And don't use it again.

Fix your car.

Put the remainder in the bank for emergencies.


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 Post subject: Re: financial jumble
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:54 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:48 am
Posts: 526
Location: Arkansas
jaiko wrote:
A car kept in good shape with regular basic maintenance will easily last to 200K even with the occasional 4-figure repair. You will always be better off financially running a depreciating asset into the ground.


I have a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with 200K on it and only replaced hvac flapper selector thingie, and my drivers window motor. Both purchases were in the 2 figure range. I'm hoping to get another 200k out of it before I scrap her.

_________________
I can not dwell over that to which I have no control...


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 Post subject: Re: financial jumble
PostPosted: Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:37 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:32 am
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the great, and consistent, advice! I'll keep y'all up to date.


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