Monday, November 26, 2012

Buy New Car or Keep Old Car?

I think I'm in the market for a new car. My current vehicle is a 2006 Acura TL with 90,000 miles. The new project requires me to drive close to 50 miles round trip so I think this may be the right time to down size the engine. The TL is a very nice car and has never had any issues but the engine has 270 horse power so it doesn't get good gas mileage:


I'm looking for something new with a 4 cylinder engine. We have the larger SUV so I really need something that can get good gas mileage and not be too expensive. I've looked at a lot of models, even hybrids and I think I have it narrowed down to a 2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited:


The TL is PAID OFF and I think I can get at least $10,000 for it. It has navigation which adds a little bit more to the value and it also has 10,000 miles left on a Acura Certified Warranty (covers everything). I could also sell it on my own and probably get a bit more but that's always more of a hassle. It's easier to just hand over the title to a company and get a check right away. 

The Hyundai would be brand new and I want to get it with navigation, proximity key entry and push button start. I think I can drive out somewhere around $23,000 with tax and title so I would be looking to finance $13,000. The goal would be to finance the full amount and then make the $10,000 payment to save on interest and to pay it down faster.

What do you think I should do? Keep the paid off car and avoid debt or finance a brand new car and save on gas?! The TL will eventually need some maintenance but could easily last up to 150,000 without major issues.

HS

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Mattress

Last weekend we went out and purchased a new mattress for our bedroom. Our previous mattress was well over 8 years old so we decided it was time for a new one. We hate foam mattresses since they get hot and they are hard to move around, I also don't believe in paying $5,000 for a mattress. We prefer the old pillow-top type of mattress. We shopped around quite a bit for this purchase and this time Macy's ended up getting our money.

We spent $1,374 including taxes, delivery and removal of old bedding. The sales person mentioned if we used our Macy's card we can get 12 months of financing at 0% interest with minimum payments. Since we do have a Macy's credit card with a limit of $1,500 I went ahead and charged it on there just because I can. I don't plan to keep this debt very long, it will be paid off before the year is over. We had no issues with the delivery. They called 30 minutes before arrival, when they arrived they removed old bed and installed new one in about 20 minutes.

Did you know that mattresses are always on sale? Below is the model that we got and I had been checking on this same model weekly at Macy's for over a month. One week it was 10% off, the next week was 15% and when we got our it was 'Lowest Price of the Season'. Funny thing is the price never changed, it was always $1,247.00 only the regular price would fluctuate:


This is what the mattress looks like:


No complains, the Macy's purchase was fast and delivery was on time. The mattress is very comfortable and we didn't spend a fortune. The same day we purchased the mattress I came home and I made a payment of $500 back to Macy's, hopefully I can pay this off next month and be done with it.

Does anyone else think mattresses are overpriced and over-hyped?!

HS

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 2012 Updates

Is it really November 2012 already? Thanksgiving is next week?? Not a whole lot going on in my life. Credit card debt still with me but sooner or later I will start to pay it down. Below are some life updates for now:

Job / Career: I'm still working in New York City but tomorrow is my last day here. My current assignment will end on Friday and I will not have any work for a couple of weeks. The project wanted to keep me here until June 2013 but I recommended to them to hire a local analyst to lower theirs costs. My hotel stays are close to $4,000 a month so it makes more sense to hire someone locally. I also offered to train them. The client, the people and the city have been great, I will miss my per diems and working from home every Friday but I'm ready for a new adventure. I will be home for a couple of weeks and will probably keep the baby. Four different clients in Houston want me to come work with them but a large chemical company has me locked for now so I can't look. I'm not looking forward to sitting in traffic everyday but I need to be home for the wife and baby.

Baby: She is wonderful, she's precious. She's sitting up now and eating all kinds of baby food. We finally got off the expensive formula at 6 months so now I can buy the bigger containers at Sam's for $30. Baby has everything she needs and daddy always makes sure to stock up on things like diapers and baby wipes. A very nice lady watches her during the day while we work and the cost is only $35 dollars per day. Everything has been very smooth with baby so I'm hoping nothing changes, I couldn't be happier.

iPhone 5: Finally found iPhone 5's at the Apple store at Grand Central station in New York. The only word I can use to describe it is amazing! It is so thin and fast, works like a charm, check it out:


I decided to post our old iPhone 4's on eBay instead of selling to a friend like I had planned. They have a few hours left and for some reason the white iPhone seems to be very popular, I will net well over $500 so I'm happy, we paid $199 for these new almost 2 years ago! That's the nice thing about Apple products, they hold their value. Here's how much they are going for right now:


That's right, $291 dollars for a used phone, can you believe that? the black one is not as popular but I think it will sell for a little bit more. All the money will go back to the credit card to cover the costs of the new iPhones.

Money: Money situation is good. I received a very nice bonus at work but the government decided to take almost $1,700 dollars in taxes! Yikes! I also won an award at work so now I have close to $1,400 in gift cards that I can redeem, not sure what to do with those but every time I redeem a gift card my paycheck gets taxes at 35% so for now I will let that money sit in there until next year. I also won an election bet with a friend for $1,000 dollars! Had Romney won the election it would have cost me $1,000. I knew I could win this bet the moment the GOP started arguing against birth control and abortion bs. This will totally be play money and will not go to debt or bills.

That's all the updates for now... stay tuned for another edition of crazy credit card spending, seems someone loves going to the bars a little too much in NYC!

HS

Friday, November 2, 2012

iPad mini

Confession: I went down to the Apple store at lunch today and really wanted to get the new iPad Mini but then reality set in and I remembered that I have close to $8,000 of credit card debt so I don't NEED this device, my current iPad 2 works just fine. Today I'm saying NO to iPad Mini.


Now, this new iPad would make a great holiday gift so I already emailed my mom hoping she gets me one. iPad is the most popular gadget in our family, everyone has one so. After a few minutes, I see a reply back from her iPad telling me NO, she said this year our little baby girl gets all the nice gifts... maybe the wife will buy me one?

HS

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy canceled my travel plans to New York on Monday and this morning I'm wondering if I should travel again next week. Watching the news, the city is a mess with no gas or transportation services. I'm hoping all goes back to normal by Monday since I have a lot of work to do up there.

To all those impacted, don't worry, things will go back to normal. I've witnessed a few hurricanes down here in Texas and in the end things always turn out for the better. If you recall a few years back I did a post on Hurricane Ike and in a way it really helped to cleaned out a lot of areas that were impacted. Even our own family property on the beach got new roofing, new appliances, and a new garage all thanks to the storm.

Check out just how bad the kitchen was when we first walked in:



This is how we found our storage room, all the walls were gone, that's the riding lawn mower upside down:


My beloved beer fridge was destroyed:


Today everything is brand new and nicer! The kitchen is pretty and I have a brand new beer fridge with ice maker, only a few feet away from our deck. We have a better lawn mower and a nicer storage area with a new garage. Had we not had such a bad hurricane, we would still have the old stuff and it would have taken years to replace.

So have faith and don't worry, things will get better!

HS