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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:42 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5398
kombat wrote:
fiddlefaddle wrote:
The car is almost 9 years old and every repair gets more expensive. How do I know when to replace it before I end up with a repair that's nearly as much as the car's worth? Any advice?


You answered your own question, in my opinion. I use the benchmark that when the repair costs more than the car is worth, it's time to replace the car. If the repair is less than the car's value, then I make the repair.

This gets complicated when repeated repairs start piling up in rapid succession, but in general, that's the rule I use.


The big problem is that when the car needs repair it is worth much less. The trick, in my opinion, is to replace the car BEFORE it needs an expensive repair.

That's one of the reasons I've convinced myself that somewhere around 6 years is a good time to think about selling and replacing.


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:47 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
My car repair seemed great for a few days, but is now back to the same problem again. The dealership doesn't care. I may be car shopping soon, which would definitely change my goals for a while.

Progress:
Goal 1: Pay off my credit card: $1310/$1310 --- DONE
Goal 2: Pay off DH credit card: $4235/$4235 --- DONE
Goal 3: Save $1300 for spring tuition: $260/$1300 --- 20% - (decided to do this sinking fund style)
Goal 4: Get E-fund to $5k: $418/$3100 --- 13%

Total Progress: 63%

Trying to be upbeat about how much we've accomplished in the past few months, but the car thing really has me stressed right now. I guess it took years of ignoring our finances to get here, so I can't expect things to be great after just a few months of paying attention.


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:03 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:13 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Try a non dealer repair place? I always get better service and honesty at mechanics than I do at dealerships.

If that's not an option, time to think about offloading the lemon and getting another car.

BTW, congrats on having paid of both CC's.


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:33 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
Geoff, good suggestion. Only one place in town will work on it besides the dealer and we haven't heard good things about him. Downside of buying an Audi...live and learn, I guess.

My dad drove the car last week and said sell soon unless I wanted to spend a fortune on a new engine. So...I'm back with more debt. DH wanted to buy a new car and I wanted a clunker so we compromised and got a one year old Accord. It should last me a decade.

My loan amount is $11,950. The first payment will be due on Nov. 25. DH wants to get the e-fund to $5k before paying down the car loan. I could do that by January, assuming nothing major comes up. I see his point, but can't wait to attack the loan. I'll have $3k in it by early November, so I'll decide if I want to save $2,000 more or start throwing everything extra at the loan starting with the first payment.

I'm sad about a new debt, but really relieved to have a reliable car.


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 Post subject: Payday!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:47 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
Not much progress this pay period...sister's wedding came with lots of expenses, but it was nothing unexpected.

Progress:
Goal 1: Pay off my credit card: $1310/$1310 --- DONE
Goal 2: Pay off DH credit card: $4235/$4235 --- DONE
Goal 3: Save $1300 for spring tuition: $520/$1300 --- 40%
Goal 4: Get E-fund to $5k: $794/$3100 --- 26%

Total Progress: 69%

With the holidays approaching, I have to be realistic about what I can accomplish the rest of this year. First car payment is due in 4 weeks, so here are my somewhat ambitious goals for November:

--Save another $520 for next semester's tuition
--Add $306 to e-fund to get it to $3k
--Make a double payment on the car

When January arrives, watch out car loan! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:38 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
Another payday...nothing amazing happening this month because of Christmas shopping, but looks like I'm on track to meet my November goals.

November goals:
--Save $520 for spring tuition: $260/$520 --- 50%
--Add $306 to E-Fund: $0/$306 --- 0%
--Make double car payment: $440/$440 --- 100%

I'm hoping to finish up shopping around Thanksgiving and have enough left from my next paycheck to top off the e-fund and finish the tuition.


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 Post subject: November almost over
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:49 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
Met my November goals:
--Save $520 for spring tuition: $520/$520 --- 100%
--Add $306 to E-Fund: $306/$306 --- 100%
--Make double car payment: $440/$440 --- 100%

I thought that surely our financial mishaps for 2011 were over, but this may be the biggest one yet...DD hurt her eye on Wednesday. :( So far we've had an ER visit and a couple of prescriptions, but we're likely looking at a minor surgery in the next few weeks, and then a number of follow-up visits to an eye specialist. Her vision seems unaffected by the accident, so I'm just grateful for that and will figure out the money part as we go. My max out-of-pocket for the year is $5500. If this stretches into 2012, I guess I could end up being responsible for $11,000, worst case scenario. Every extra penny will go to the emergency fund until this is all over.

So instead of a giant December car payment, revised goals for December are:
--Add $260 to finish spring tuition fund
--Make regular car payment - $220
--Add $800 to e-fund to stockpile for medical bills


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:13 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Hope DD gets through this OK, and in the scheme of things, money spent on health, and especially eye sight, is well worth it in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:59 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
It's been a crazy couple of weeks. DD had surgery and had her last follow-up appointment, so unless something goes wrong, the eye injury is behind us. Except for the bills, of course...not sure how much those will end up being. I'm just relieved that her vision is fine - a couple centimeters to the right would have been a much worse outcome.

This still has me disheartened from a financial perspective. I've been playing the "if only" game a lot - if only I hadn't bought the car, if only I'd started cutting the budget a year ago, etc.

December goals:
--Finish spring tuition fund: DONE
--Make regular car payment: $0/$220
--Add $800 to e-fund: $372/$800 --- 47%

I feel like a Debbie Downer in my journal...I'm not at all in real life. So here are some positive things from the past couple of weeks:

--Switched cell phone contract and should save ~$50 per month! My new phone is cutting edge...for 2003. :lol:
--Got a really good performance review at work. Raises are tiny this year, but I should get at least 1% in February.
--Did well in both grad school classes. One professor said my paper was the best ever submitted for the class and would like to present it at a conference together next year. Not exactly finance related, but great for professional development, which is finance related, hopefully.
--Made $125 in November by doing surveys, selling articles I wrote, and selling some old clothes on Craigslist
--Put $250 in a mini-sinking fund for winter break babysitting for DD. Before budgeting, I would have let this expense sneak up on me....not anymore!


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:33 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:13 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Glad to here DD is doing well.

I just did the mobile phone thing to, changed from $85 a month to $50 a month, and got better coverage.


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 Post subject: Last payday of 2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:43 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
December goals:
--Finish spring tuition fund: DONE
--Make regular car payment: $225/$220 - DONE
--Add $800 to e-fund: $1082/$800 - DONE and surpassed goal by almost $300, bringing the total to $4082.

Still waiting on medical bills. The two hospitals have submitted their claims to insurance, but the surgeon and anesthesiologist haven't. I'm thinking our portion will end up being around $3k, so I need to keep furiously padding the e-fund.

It's so tempting to set some overall goals for 2012, but every time I do that, something else comes up to get me off track. I'm going to resist the temptation and just stick to monthly goals.

January goals:
--Make regular car payment: $220
--Add to e-fund: $1400


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 Post subject: End of 2011 Numbers
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:34 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
Just wanted to take a "snapshot" of where I am as 2011 ends. Hopefully, I can look back in a year and see significant progress!

Assets:
E-Fund: $4,082
Retirement funds: $34,000
College savings: $11,200

Liabilities:
Car loan: $11,368
Mortgage: $307,600

Misc:
Medical bills cash flowed so far: $45


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:16 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:47 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Ontario, Canada
I can see you are discouraged by the car and medical bills at the end of the year when you were really making progress. But even with that you've accomplished a lot. It is so awesome that you have the money to pay these medical bills as they come in. That's what the emergency fund is all about. Yes, it's a step back, but how many more steps back would it have been if you hadn't already established the emergency fund?

I think you should be proud of what you've accomplished and don't beat yourself up for the things you can't control.

_________________
Kate


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:38 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
Thanks Kate! You're right - we're in much better shape than we would have been had I not had my financial epiphany last summer. 2011 was a pretty awful year financially, but I'm sort of thankful for it because it woke me up before things got any worse. I'm looking forward to making major progress in 2012!


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 Post subject: Re: Holding Fiddlefaddle Accountable!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:06 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 200
2012 is starting out very well. Over the past few months, I've been trying to figure out how to get DH more on board with finances and realized that maybe part of the problem is that he never had any good examples of fiscal responsibility. His parents think nothing of going out to dinner and buying a new luxury car on the way home. His whole family is made up of huge spenders and people who live far beyond their means.

So...I convinced him to try the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class with me, thinking it might fill in some gaps for him. We got the DVD version to do at home on sale for $150 and I should be able to ebay it for over $100 when we finish. I was a little nervous about it, because I don't really know much about Dave Ramsey and was worried that it would be overly religious. So far, so good, though.

DH was VERY reluctant at first, but is enjoying it and the concept of saving vs. spending seems to be slowly sinking in. He even agreed to put together a budget for January and is using cash for some areas that he tends to overspend in. He originally suggested that we attempt to save $100 each month. I pointed out that I saved nearly $1100 in December by myself and he was shocked. :lol:

Also, DH got a promotion with a $15k salary increase. :clap: This combined with helping him develop some new money habits could make 2012 an excellent year.

January Goals -
Regular Car Payment: 0/$225
Add $1400 to e-fund: $892/$1400

I've also set up my sinking funds for the year. It's frustrating to take money away from debt repayment, but it was so nice to have my tuition money sitting there in December when I needed it. Well worth it.


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