Category Archives: Auto

Auto, Truck, Van, Vehicle, Transportation, Gas, Expenses, Repairs, Depreciate, Depreciation, Loan, Expensive

I’ll Blow the Budget Tomorrow

English: A set of EBC performance disk brake pads

English: A set of EBC performance disk brake pads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d talk about procrastination today, but I decided to wait until my next article . . . not! Instead of procrastinating, let’s talk this very minute about how procrastination can blow your budget.

Let’s consider your car as an example. A few weeks ago, it started making that strange noise. You know the one I’m talking about. Something is clearly wrong, but you just haven’t had the time to take it into the repair shop. The noise got louder and more obnoxious. You finally took it in. The mechanic informs you that your original problem was that your break pads needed replaced. That would have cost you $200. Because you waited, however, the problem grew worse. Now you’re looking at an $800 bill to replace the brake pads AND the rotors.

Here’s another common example. You don’t plan for a meal until 7:30pm. Looking in to the refrigerator, you discover it’s empty. You’re hungry, so instead of cooking a meal for your family at home for $5-$10, you spend $40 eating out.

It’s easy to blow a budget through procrastination. Fortunately, it’s a simple fix. Plan ahead and save big!

Not only do these items need to be high priorities on your to-do list, but you need to actually schedule time on your calendar for them. Be sure to reasonably estimate how much time each task will require, and add a little extra time to that amount. Don’t allow procrastination to blow your budget. Instead, focus on procrastination and prioritization management.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan D. Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
2280 W William St., Suite A
Delaware, OH 43015
 
http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net
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Filed under Auto, Budget, Family, Finance, Food, household budget, Personal Finance, Priorities, Procrastination, Relationships & Money

How Is Your Spare Tire?

A flat tire on a Mercury Villager van.

A flat tire on a Mercury Villager van. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we carry around a spare tire in the back of the car, we’re covered in case of a flat, right? Not always.

A few years back, I had the privilege of experiencing a flat tire at midnight on a dark, muddy country road. I thought, “No problem, I’ll just pull out the spare.” It was also flat. The spare tire was placed in that vehicle when it was new and had never been used. The assumption was that it would do the job when needed. But what changed? Time.

As time went by, the spare had slowly lost its air. What “spares” do you currently have that are no longer doing the job? Spares don’t last forever. They need to be maintained. Below are a few things I suggest you look at this week:

  1. Life Insurance: Does it still match your needs? Have you added a mortgage or had children since you first obtained that plan? Are the correct beneficiaries listed?
  2. Homeowner Insurance: Do you have the proper coverage?
  3. Your Will: Again, is it up to date? If something happens to you, what will happen to your kids?
  4. Emergency Fund: Do you have one? If you don’t, will you pull out the credit card and incur additional debt if something happens? Are you prepared for an emergency?

I recommend that you do one more thing- go out to your car and check your spare tire to make sure you are prepared should you have a flat. Don’t procrastinate!!

You never know when you might end up with a flat tire at midnight on a dark, muddy country road.

Until next time . . .

Bryan Cooper
My Financial Life Coach LLC
Financial Life Coach
“Helping You Get Your Financial House In Order”
Delaware, OH 43015

Visit us at http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

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Filed under Auto, Emergency Fund, Family, Insurance, Life, Money, Personal Finance, Uncategorized

Friday Rewind

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

So Guys, How is Your Spare Tire?

No, I’m not talking about the one you start seeing as you approach your mid-thirties; I’m talking about the one in your car. I know this is a money blog, but allow me to explain.

I had the privilege of experiencing a flat tire at midnight on a dark, muddy country road, only to learn my spare tire was flat. The spare tire was placed in that vehicle when it was new and had never been used. The assumption was that it would do the job when needed. But what changed? Time.

Time went by and the spare slowly lost its air. What “spares” do you currently have that are no longer doing the job? Below are a few things I suggest you look at this week:

  1. Is your life insurance still adequate? Life brings changes, we add mortgages, we have children, etc…

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Filed under Auto, Change, Economy, Events, Stress

Save for Large Expenses

I started working with people and their finances twenty years ago, and I’m still amazed by how many people use their credit cards to buy things like tires and furniture.

I want you to catch this: They tell me they don’t have enough money each month to save up for these items, though they do have enough money to pay the credit card company back for these same items but with interest.

The key is to start using the sinking fund approach. The sinking fund is a fund where you prepay for anticipated expenses. Here is an example where someone needed $400 worth of tires:

 Car tires – $400 – Divide by how many months until you need them.

6 months:            $67 per month – prepay

12 months:         $37 per month – prepay

24 months:         $17 per month – prepay

If you charge them on a credit card for 2 years at 24.9%, you will pay $ ___111.18____ in interest.

With just a little bit of preplanning, $111.18 of interest could have been saved. This same concept can be used for larger purchases too, such as large home repairs like roofs, furnaces, and even your vehicle replacement. Planning ahead by saving money in a sinking fund can save you thousands of dollars.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach

Dave Ramsey Certified

Delaware, OH 43015

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

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Filed under Auto, Budget, Dave Ramsey, Finance, Personal Finance, Saving Money

The $93,000 Astro Van

In America we love our cars

We buy them, we customize them, and we turn them into music halls. If you read yesterday’s article you will recall I gave an example where someone would work 77 weeks just so they could buy their vehicle.

Yesterday’s vehicle example was $46,000.

Today’s vehicle example is a $93,000 van that was driven by my frugal wife. How can a frugal person have a $93,000 minivan? Well actually, the van did not cost $93,000; it SAVED us $93,000.

Normal in America is to finance a vehicle for five or six years.  Typical payments are in the $4-500 dollar range. When it is paid for the owner typically makes a trip to the dealer to start the process all over again. The result is a $400 or higher payment for most of their driving years. (Note: Edmunds.com “suggests” using up to 20% of net income for car payments. Edmonds is normally a good source of information but this recommendation is just really bad advice).

Back to our story

We bought the van when it was two years old. The original owner lost 40% in depreciation in two years or an average of 20% per year. We lost the remaining depreciation (60%) in 15 years or about 4% a year.  So we paid less (used) and we didn’t have a van payment for 15 years. It gets better.

Let’s use $400 as the “monthly amount” for this discussion. If you make a $400 payment for 15 years – you will pay $72,000. Remember the $1000 couch discussion? The factor we used for that discussion was 1.53 for non-tithing and 1.7 for tithing. So you multiply $72,000 by the appropriate factor.  In our situation it came to $122,400. We would have had to earn $122,400, before paying taxes, to bring home $72,000 so we could make van payments at $400 a month for 15 years.

How much DID the van really cost us?

Purchase price minus what we sold it for = $12,900. Repairs = 4,100.

$12,900 + 4,100 = $17,000, x 1.70 factor = $28,900. This is the real cost of the van.

$122,400 – What we would have needed to earn to maintain payments for 15 years.

(- 28,900)  -Subtract what we did earn to pay for the van and its repairs

=$93,500 – True savings of what we did not have to earn during this 15 year time period.

No payment for 15 years

In our situation, we saved around $93,500 by not having a van payment over that 15 year period. Let me clarify. By driving and repairing this vehicle for 15 years instead of buying new cars and having continuous payments, I did not have to go out and earn $93,500 (gross) to be able to make those car payments. By the way, this van did break down twice, needed some repairs, and it began to fade.  You can pay me $93,500 anytime for putting up with fading paint, a couple of breakdowns, and some repairs. We actually sold it to a friend who got another 7-9 months of use out of it.

In a future article I will go through the steps of how to get the most value out of your vehicle.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

My Financial Life Coach, LLC

Delaware, OH 43015

Visit us at:

www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

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Filed under Auto, Change, Debt Elimination, Money, Personal Finance, Taxes

Car Repairs – Sometimes You Just Need to Try Again

This is going to be a different kind of blog for me. Normally, I don’t talk about specific products or brands but with the experience I had this weekend, I’m going to talk about a product that not only worked, but it saved me over two-hundred dollars.

I’m sure many of you have seen cars with a headlight lens or two that are yellowing or foggy. My Buick LeSabre is one of those vehicles and both headlamps were to the point that the visibility was hampered. Eight months ago I bought a name brand ($15.00) “repair kit” in which I cleaned and polished the headlamps. The improvement was minimal with only a slight improvement in night vision. I took the next step and replaced the bulbs ($16.00) with brighter bulbs, again, only a slight improvement.

As I investigated replacing the headlamp assemblies, I thought I’d take one more look at the repair kits at my local Meijer’s. On the shelf they had a Turtle Wax product called Headlight Lens Restorer so I bought it. I was willing to spend $10 or so in an attempt to save $200.

I was amazed with the amount of product that came in the kit. There were enough materials to easily do 3-4 cars. If you do repair more than one car, you will need to purchase additional protective coating.

The product was easy to use and both headlamps turned out great. I’m sure glad I decided to try it one more time.

Restored Buick LeSabre headlamp

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Filed under Auto, Budget, Miscellaneous, Money, Personal Finance, Saving Money

Procrastinating “Blows the Budget” with Car Repairs

I had planned to talk about procrastination today, but I’ll wait until next week . . . not! No procrastinating! We’ll talk about it right now.  Procrastination costs you money. For example, your car was making that noise, but you didn’t take it to the repair shop. The noise grew significantly worse. Guess what? Now, instead of paying $200 to replace the brake pads, you need $800 to replace the brake pads and the rotors. You don’t have $800, so you pulled out your credit card again. What about when you procrastinate on meal planning and spend $40 eating out instead of eating at home for $10? Both of these are typical examples of how a budget can be blown by procrastination.

Not only do these items need to be high priorities on your to-do list, but you need to actually schedule time on your calendar for them. Be sure to reasonably estimate how much time each task will require, and add a little extra time to that amount. Don’t allow procrastination to blow your budget. Instead, focus on procrastination and prioritization management.

You have a choice, and the choice is yours.

Bryan Cooper

Financial Life Coach

Visit us at http://www.MyFinancialLifeCoach.net

Keywords: Auto, Budget, Debt, Economics, Economy, Emergency Fund, Finances, Financial, Life, Money, Miscellaneous, Priorities, Procrastination, Saving, Stress, Thoughts, Time, Time Management, Uncategorized

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Filed under Auto, Budget, Debt Elimination, Economy, Emergency Fund, Finance, Financial, Life Balance, Money, Procrastination, Saving Money, Stress, Thoughts, Time, Time Management, Uncategorized