Saturday, January 18, 2020

Car Shopping Adventures #2

I wanted to document my car shopping process.  By way of background, I have 13 year and 3 month old toyota 4runner.  To date I have a little over $22,000 saved for a down payment (this includes $5,000 from my EF). I have looked up the KBB and carfax trade in values for my car.  It is worth about $6,100.

I have done extensive research about multiple cars including, reliability ratings, complaints, repair costs, etc. 

Spoiler Alert: I have not yet purchased a car.

My car shopping adventures began on December 30, 2019. My first stop was the Acura Dealership.  The sales guy was super nice.  Nicest and the most well informed of all.  We test drove an Acura MDX.  It was a nice car.  I don't like the body style and the brakes were mushy.  However, Acura is the luxury version of Honda, so I thought it might be worth a shot. It was a nice car with lots of options and all the safety features. Lane departure assist, collision avoidance, adapative cruise control, etc . It also had the cool push button gear selector, a push button start, back up camera, infortainment screen, etc. I was not excited about the car.  Hondas have all of the same features for less money.  There was nothing about the car that made me feel that I should consider it over any non-luxury model. Maybe I don't understand luxury vehicles???

I really thought as a luxury vehicle it would have something that I could not get in just a regular car. Ultimately, I reasoned that I could get a Honda with a nice package and pay$10,000 to $15,000 less than what I would for an Acura.

P.S. I also hate that idle stop/start feature that they are putting on new cars. 

Acura has come off of the list. Next up: Honda.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

2020 goals

Here are my 2020 goals:

1. Blog more and more consistently. My goal is going to be 2 posts a month.  I'm not very interesting or exciting. I am also very cheap.  That means that I do not have a lot to write about for this mostly financial blog.  Unless you want to hear stories about my cats, sitting on the couch or long car rides.

2. Eat healthier.  I travel a good bit for work.  (I currently have $1,600 in outstanding travel reimbursements.) I tend to eat fast food on the road because it's fast.  I don't want to spend 40 minutes at a restaurant when I just want to get back home before 7:30p.m.  I tend to eat burgers and fries because I can't hold a fork and eat a salad when I drive. I need to spend more time taking care of myself.  Sometimes I will have to stop and eat a salad in a restaurant rather than race home. I hope this will lead to consistent weight loss.

3. Contribute a minimum of $11,000 to retirement with the goal of having $65,000 in retirement accounts by the end of the year. I only have $48,000 invested. This is a stretch and the market really needs to cooperate for me to make this goal.

4. Buy a new car.  I want to purchase a new car to replace my 13 going on 14 year old car. (It turned 13 in October of 2019.) I still have the original sale paperwork from when I purchased it. It's starting to show its age and because I do travel a bit I want to make sure I can get to my hearings, depositions and meetings without breaking down on the side of the road.

5. Less screen time. I want to spend less time on my phone.  Those dang screen time apps are quite a revelation!

6. Give a minimum of $500 to charity.  This is an increase of $100 from last year.  Slow, but steady increases.

7. Read 10 books.  I used to read voraciously as a a child and young adult.  Life is really getting into the way.

8. Increase Emergency Fund to $20,000. 

9. Exercise more and consistently.  I am wildly inconsistent with exercise.  I sometimes exercise everyday and then sometimes, not for weeks at a time. 

10. Continue building sinking funds for medical, pets, etc. I may add a Christmas fund to this list too.

What are your 2020 goals?  Is there anything you think I should add?