Monthly Archives: January 2007

I’m Thinking About Buying An Automobile

Edit October 2007 – Well, I thought about it for a long time, and I finally did it.  Click here to read how I paid cash for our new-to-us minivan.

I own 3 automobiles: a 2001 Honda Accord, a 2000 Chrysler Town and Country, and a 1994 Ford Truck. The Honda and the Chrysler are both in pretty decent shape, but they both have over 120,000 miles. My truck is just an old beater that I use for taking off the trash and hauling stuff. I’m thinking about selling the Accord and the Ford, and buying a nicer truck. My wife drives the Chrysler, and she really likes it, but I know she’ll want something newer in a few years. I’ve just purchased new tires for the Chrysler and the Honda.

According to Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds, if I were to sell my automobiles, I could get the following amounts for my automobiles.

Chrysler: $4000 – $6000

Honda: $6000 – $8000

Ford: $1000 – $2000

These are very rough estimates. I’ll keep you updated if I decide to do something. Right now, I’m enjoying the fact that I can just bank my monthly “payments”. Whenever I get ready to purchase, I’ll be able to sell one or more of the older automobiles, combine that amount with the money I’ve saved, and pay cash for my newer automobile.

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My So-Called Personal Finance Life…

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Now that I’ve got my personal finance house “in order”, I really don’t think about money all that much. My finances pretty much take care of themselves, and I only spend a few minutes a week “managing” my money. In fact, I can give you a complete rundown of what it takes to manage my finances. I’ll use February as an example.

January 31st: Deposit Wife’s Paycheck
February 1st: Pay electric, phone, cell phone, satellite, and insurance bills, using online bill pay. File bills.

February 12th: Deposit My Paycheck

February 13th: Pay gymnastics fees (for daughter), pay daycare bill (for son), write tithe check.

February 27th: Transfer any excess money to ING Direct. (Transfer money from ING Direct to ESA for my children.)

February 28th: Deposit My Wife’s Paycheck. (Deposit any ad revenue checks from websites.)

That’s it. That’s all I have to do. Managing my finances (at this point) has become very simple. In fact, I could eliminate several of the above steps, and do everything on the 15th of each month. I used to worry about having enough money at the end of the month, enough money to pay my bills, and enough money to pay my credit card payments. Now, I can relax, pay my bills, and watch my savings grow.

If you’d like a “boring” life like mine, may I suggest the following?

Create a budget.

Get out of debt.

Save up some cash money.

Increase your retirement savings.

Think about college funding.

Take some time to educate yourself about money and investing.

Be good to yourself and the people around you. Life is way to short to spend all of you time thinking about (worrying about) money all of the time.

Stop buying stuff you don’t need.

Get rid of stuff you don’t need.

Listen to the advice of others, but only take the advice that you can fully and completely understand!

Realize that your family and friends are far more valuable than your bank account.

Find someone who is less fortunate than you are and do something nice for them.

Find someone who is much more fortunate than you are and do something nice for them.

Stop eating out so much.

Listen when people are talking to you, especially older people. Not everything that is great happened six minutes ago.

Buy quality.

If you have kids, be kind to them and teach them about money.

Take responsibility for your financial future.

Be patient. Be aggressive. Be wise. Be proud. Be humble.

Stop existing and BE!!!

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Wachovia $50 Bonus For Opening Free Checking

If you are looking for free checking account, may I suggest using Wachovia.  I have a free checking account with them, and I like their service.  Right now, they are offering a $50 sign-up bonus when you open a free checking account.  Here are the details, ripped from their online site:

To qualify for the $50 bonus offer, you must open a Wachovia Free Checking account by clicking on the “Apply Now” button, visit a participating Wachovia Financial Center, or contact Wachovia at (800) 987-2945. When opening the account at a Wachovia Financial Center, you must bring in a copy of this page.  When opening the account via telephone, you must provide the following special code:  FRNA

Account must be opened in good faith and remain in good standing through 04/30/2007 in order to be eligible for the offer.  Account must be funded with a minimum opening deposit of $100. Offer expires on 04/01/2007. Limit one bonus offer per household. Not valid with any other promotion or offer. Accounts subject to approval. Other fees may apply. The $50 bonus will appear in the form of a credit to the account within 60 days of the offer expiration date.  The value of this bonus may be reported to the IRS and the recipient is responsible for any related federal, state, or local taxes.

For all of the information about the account and the $50 bonus, click this link.

What I like about Wachovia’s free checking:  No minimum balance requirement, no monthly service charge, free online banking, free debit card, and NO direct deposit requirement.  If you want to write checks on this account, you will need to purchase checks.  (You can buy checks from Wachovia, or shop around and buy the types of checks that you like.  Many people buy their checks from a place like Sam’s Club.)

I am not affiliated with Wachovia, and the above is NOT an affiliate link.  I just dig their customer service.  They’ve always been nice to me.

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