May 31 2010

Possibly selling our car? Advice, please

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I’m going to need some advice with this one, so I hope you’ll comment.

If you’ll notice the progress bar in my sidebar, you’ll see that we’re setting aside money for a “second car fund.” The goal amount was $8,000 and we have about $4,300 of it so far.

We have a car that has about 34,500 miles and is a 2006 model. Based on Kelley Blue Book and the asking prices of similar cars on craiglist, I feel like listing it at $9,500 would be a fair price.

We can probably fit two car seats in the back, but it’s going to be a tight squeeze. Right now, Johnny’s car seat is in the middle and the front seats don’t have to be as far forward as it would if his seat was directly behind the driver’s. With two car seats, the front seats will need pushed up just a tad bit more. That’s not comfortable.

While we don’t necessarily need a different car in the near future, we’re playing with the idea.

Our car will continue to depreciate and in a year’s time it will be worth even less.

Shane takes public transportation to work and that will continue. We still want to be a one-car family.

So where does the “second car” come into place? Ahh. I haven’t told you about this yet.

So um, we’d like to move back to Indiana. Possibly spring or summer 2011, or maybe later if it takes Shane awhile to find a good job.

We’re going to focus on Indianapolis. The city does have a bus system but it doesn’t go to the suburbs and it doesn’t seem to be the greatest public transit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Indianapolis does seem to be a drive-to-commute city. We *might* be able to make it work as a one-car family if we live close enough to his job or we happen to live on a convenient bus route, but it may not work out that way.

So that is the reason we are saving for another vehicle.

We were originally going to use the $8,000 in savings or so and buy a minivan and have Shane drive our current car to work.

But that might be more expensive than it needs to be. Because again, I do think our car is worth around $9k or so. That’s a lot of money for a commuter car. We think we could find something reasonably reliable for $3-4k, if we need to buy a second vehicle at all. Yeah?

Selling our car and getting a van now, and then getting a second vehicle when and if we need one seems to make a little bit of sense. We could save a few thousand in doing so — a few thousand that would go toward buying a house.

If you were in our situation, how would you proceed?


May 28 2010

Telling people about your financial situation

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Mrs Micah recently had an interesting post called, “Should you let people know how well you’re doing financially?” I’ve needed to mull it over for a few days so I could sort out my thoughts.

If you’re broke and let people know it …

Then perhaps people will have lower expectations of you when it comes to spending money. Maybe they won’t suggest you all get together at an expensive restaurant (or even a restaurant at all! Have people over instead!).

Maybe when it comes to gifts, it’s more acceptable if you go the homemade or low-budget route.

Or maybe they’ll try to help you in your situation by offering financial advice (not always welcome or helpful), or giving/loaning you money.

If they’re a snobby sort, they may start to sever ties with you. Don’t worry if that happens — they aren’t really the kind of person that makes a good friend anyway.

If you’re financially ok, but act like you’re broke …

If all your friends are broke (or claim to be broke) but you’re not, you don’t want to seem like the odd guy out. No one likes a person who acts “I’m better than you” even if they’re not really trying to act that way.

Or possibly, this person would just be avoiding any sort of higher expectation that comes with someone who has a few dollars to rub together. I don’t know.

Just don’t be a cheapo about it and have others pay your way if you don’t need help.

If you’re financially well off and let people know it …

This is the trickiest one, I think. Again, people don’t like to feel inferior to someone else. They may not be happy for your success — it might just come across wrong.

OR you could inspire others to turn their situation around.

Example: The personal finance blog world. I’m constantly reading incredible financial stories, such as how MoneySavingMom saved 100% for a house, and I think — wow! Maybe I can kick my own savings up a notch. But I can see how her example could be interpreted as, “Easy for you, but not for my family.”

—–

Personally, I love hearing about people’s financial successes. I like to celebrate with them! When someone pays off a large debt, or all of their debts, or builds an emergency fund — that’s a big deal and I love it. Or when they’ve diligently saved and are buying a car with cash, or have a healthy down payment for a house. Go, friend, go!

But if someone is saying stuff like, “Oh, I can’t decide if I want to go with the BMW or the Mercedes…” or “My house is so big and fancy, sometimes there are months when I don’t even set foot into the parlor!” haha.

I don’t know anyone like that. But if I did, I’d be pretty annoyed at ’em.

So to sum up, I think it’s ok to talk about your financial successes, as long as you keep a humble attitude about it and are mindful of your audience. Someone who has been laid off for quite awhile might not really want to hear all the details, but hopefully they’ll still be happy for you.

What do you think?



Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (8), Vivienne (6) and Amelia (3) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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