Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Car Payments

My personal finance philosophy is that if you are over 30 years old, you should not buy a car and finance it --- if you can’t afford to pay cash, the car is too expensive for you. (This is my general rule, and I do think there are a few exceptions.) There are financial gurus out there who will tell you similar rules. Dave Ramsey says no car payment ever, whereas I believe in your 20s the payments can help you with credit ratings.

Anyway, Chris’s 1990 Honda Accord was having some ball bearing issues and with his back problems, he could not fix easily, so we decided to sell and upgrade. We spent the last month or so going over options. With the purchase of a snowmobile last winter and a new time-trial bike for Chris, cash for a new Honda was no longer possible. We pondered whether it was it time for an exception to the rule as the financing was so low it was almost like paying cash. We looked at cheap cars that Chris could do work on and we would pass to Kristina soon and continue saving for new car next year, medium-priced cars that we would deplete our car fund, etc..

Yesterday, we paid cash for a 2000 Acura. It was the best deal that we found for cash price that we wanted to pay this year. And once I saw the heated seats and felt the warmth, all other choices for cash went out the window. Oh, how I love those heated seats! :)

Then just a few minutes ago, I saw where GM is now going to offer to make car payments for anyone who is laid off. GM will pay payment up to $500 for nine months. I was very irate. GM is virtually bankrupt, and the taxpayers will be paying these payments. Though my heart goes out for anyone who loses their job, everyone should be prepared for losing their jobs. Every financial adviser out there should tell you to have 3 - 6 months of expenses set aside, etc..

Living above one’s means is what got the US in this financial mess. I am now more convinced that if you can’t pay cash for the car, it is too expensive for you!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Lander, Wyoming Again! And Chris Accident, Again!

Last weekend, I made another trek to Lander, Wyoming to spend a week with my mother. She is doing well living at home, but I felt that she needed someone living staying with her for another week. She is slowly recovering some strength in her leg and will be able to live alone (with some assistance) fine. My sister did a great job the week that she was here helping Mom get adjusted to living with a disability. My brother Terry did work on her house for handicap, and my sister-in-law Judith cooked food for Mom several times a week.

My sister jinxed me on trip though. I had told her that I had set my cruise control at 81 for last trip during SD and WY, and about two hours before I got to Mom's, my sister called me and told me that when she was here the previous week, she got a ticket by listening to my advice as she was going 80. Thankfully, I put my speed down to 75 then as I was on state highway, and 15 minutes later I got pulled over. UGH! Thankfully, I got a warning.

Also, I was 1/2 way through SD, when I called Chris's cell. He sounded awful. I remarked about how bad he sounded, and he said that he wasn't feeling the greatest, and he would call me later. Three hours later Kristina called me but I really couldn't understand what she was saying. She kept saying he was all right now. Come to find out when I had called him before, he was in emergency room, and he knew that I would have turned around and went home so he didn't tell me and told Kristina not to tell me until I got to Mom's house. He had hit his head outside a bike shop (I'm becoming convinced that cycling is not good for my hubby!!) and was bleeding and hurt seriously enough that EMTs were called. He was taken to ER, where he got stitches across his forehead. The doctors are not sure how badly scarred he will be. I am just glad that he is OK now.

So, though part of me wants to pray for boredom, but God has been dealing with me about being content with life that I have been given. So, life and its drama continues.