Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This money-management thing is hard work!

I recently clicked on an RSS feed I hadn't read in a while. I was astounded at the amount of good articles there were. I picked up a few & posted them to my Shared Stuff page, but I wanted to mention a few here.

This time of year is always pretty tough for me. With the incessantly evil North American International Autoshow that arrives in a little while, I always get the "New Car Buying Urge." This is a result of a combination of things; the first of which is, it's in my blood.
My dad has been known for buying and selling cars like they're going out of style. He almost never is satisfied. But he uses action, where I just do a lot of complaining. He loves cars; as do I.
The weather. S.E. Michigan has the stupidest weather. It's only predictability is that it's going to change. I guess the other mainstay is that winter sucks. It's cold, and ugly with a slushy/mud mix on the ground. Oh, and don't forget the excessive use of salt that eats the cars & the roads alike. And remember, we all can't wait for the spring months when the road crews have to fill all the potholes caused by the salt & shitty weather of months prior.
My 9+ y.o. car. The last week in January marks the anniversary of the week with which I bought my car: a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am. It's a decent car, but is starting to fall apart; and it's getting worse. Here's a quick list:

  1. Breaks are having trouble stopping, I'm going to need new ones.
  2. Driver's door window mechanism is all screwed up. I'm not going to attempt to fix it. Window falls right down into the door.
  3. Power steering pump making a bunch of racket. Going to have to replace it; maybe this fall
  4. Have to replace the fuel filter. "every 30k miles." I'm at 82k... that's going to be a messy job.
  5. Transmission has trouble shifting on moderate-hard accelerations. It probably only needs a tune-up, but I still have to take the time to take it in to a trans shop. ugh.

And there's more, but I'm not going to list them...

My point? I found this article about "shaking the new car itch" It probably won't work on me once I get out of debt, but he makes some good points. I promised my wife that I wouldn't buy a car until he van was paid off in September. I intend to keep that promise. Plus, after some discussion (and some other articles) I am determined to kill off the 'ol credit card & start an emergency fund. That'll push off the new car until at least 2009. By then who knows, they might discontinue the model I want. 2009 is going to be a tough year for me, I can tell.

The first order of business though, is for me to start & keep a budget, get the car in working order, and pay off the f*cking credit card. I really have my work cut out for me. Oh, I forgot to mention: all the while keeping a happy household (wife and kids), staying true to God's plan for me (whatever that may be), teaching my children the values & eduction they need to be productive in society, keeping food on the table & gas in the tank; no pressure.


Loo said...

no. more. car. payments.

I love you.

Ashley said...

I just want you to know that i just had to buy new tires yesterday...the steel belt broke in one and my car was shaking....

M said...

Brother, I hear ya... I'm with you all the way.