Saturday, August 20, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
So we pulled him from the parochial school and put him in the local public school. I am happy to say he is thriving. His grades are A's with the occasional B thrown in. He did get into an altercation on the playground about 2 weeks before Christmas (there is a pattern here) that was quickly resolved by the principal and the school counselor. He also was involved in an incident with a neighbor boy but thanks to a persistent Mom, It did come out that A's story was the accurate one.
But overall, A had a lot of friends. They do seem to shift. He'll play with one kid for a few weeks and then find another. But there are plenty in the neighborhood. He is learning to distance himself from the neighbor who seems to cause him a lot of problems.
I am very happy with my decision.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I own a 2002 Ford Escape and I have my book. When I took a new job in 2006 that has my driving 50 miles one way, I used data from the book to analyze if it would be worth my while to buy a different car 9I determined that a payoff would be 4 years, not worth it.) My husband was starting to complain that we seemed to be dumping a lot of money into my beloved SUV. I kept brushing it off, thinking that the repair were less than car payments on a new car.
Now it is 2011. My oldest son will be 16 in April and we are looking forward to him being able to get himself to school and home on his own. That means a car for a teenage boy. After contemplating different scenarios, I decided to purchase a 2010 Prius for me and hand the escape to the teen. But it has been in the shop 3 times in 2011, and it still is not running right. New problems keep cropping up. So we have the car at home and are ready to take it somewhere else to diagnose the current problem (the last shop wanted to just start replace the three catalytic converters).
But here’s the rub. Last weekend I sat down with my book and gathered all of the receipts I found in the glove compartment and my car file. The results were downright sobering. In 2008 we had transmission replaced for about $2200. In 2009 there were various and sundry issue – new spark plugs and coil, new shocks, tires to the tune of at least $2200. (I was missing a few receipts but my book told me what kind of service we had done.) In 2010 a new fuel pump and rack and pinion was $1400. And in less than 3 months in 2011, we have spent $1400. If I had included reviewing my book in my financial housekeeping, I would have known that my beloved Escape was becoming a money pit and I would have traded it in when I purchased my Prius. Now we need to figure out what to do with this barely-running vehicle.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Gas prices are rising fast with new unrest in the Mideast. Now “they” are saying gas prices as high as $5 a gallon by summer. I sit here and think “Woo-hoo, aren’t I lucky? I bought a hybrid just at the right time.”
But was it really luck? I have been fascinated by hybrids probably since I bought my last vehicle in 2001. The last couple of years, knowing that I would be due to replace my car in 2011 or 2012, I have been thinking/saying “I will see where the alternate fuel cars are when it comes time for my turn to buy a car.”
- On line searches for a car for the teen that met my criteria showed I could get an 8-10 year old car with 100,000 miles on it for the money I wanted to pay.
- Financing such a used car would be at 7.5%
Hum, maybe time to rethink that plan.
Then the end of the year car ads started coming. Last year’s model year Prius being sold for 0.9% financing. So I started researching hybrids. At the same time news reports were coming every day warning of rising gas prices this year. Further more, my research said that the Prius is rarely on sale, it usually sells at sticker plus a premium. These were selling at invoice + 3%.
It wasn’t luck. I had done my homework. I knew this was a bargain, a rare occurrence that I was in the position to take advantage of.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
I bought a Prius last week. I was not going to buy a new car right away. Hubby and I have successfully implemented a 5 year schedule of replace our oldest car. Hubby’s mini-van was purchased in Feb 2006. So I have one last payment to make on it. My small SUV was purchased Sept 2001. (2 weeks after 9-11). So I really have 8 month to go until it hits the 10 year mark. So why did I cave?
- I drive a lot. It’s 20 miles one way to work. In stop and go city traffic. On the interstate.
- DS15 will be DS16 in April. Hubby believed that DS should drive to 10 YO SUV and that I should get a new car. I still don’t like the idea of a teen boy and an SUV., so I resisted saying I’d drive the SUV for awhile and get DS15 a small, older stick shift to drive.
- I drive a lot. The boys always seem to be going to a practice, game, performance….
- I’ve been perusing online lists for used cars. I wanted to spend about $5000. For that money, the cars were all between 8 & 10 years old.
- I drive a lot. (80 miles yesterday to work, then running the boys around after work to the Dr, to practice and to the library.)
- The SUV get 17 miles per gallon on a good day.
- Toyota is running a great deal in December and January on a 2010 Prius.
- I drive a lot. My City’s bus system is rather limited and not flexible for me at this point in my life.
- Gas prices are going up.
- I remembered I drove a full-size van for the first year or so I had my license.
So our car payment went down almost $50 a month. However, we are now insuring 3 cars. I dropped collusion on the SUV and put on the new car and the insurance went up about $50 per month. (until the teen gets his license.)
My fears of feeling like I was sitting on the road after almost 10 years of SUV driving have not come true. It is comfortable enough, and handles well in the snow.
My ultra-conservative (Politically) husband wants to put Republican stickers all over the back on my car lest someone sees him driving it and concludes he’s the least but liberal. But that’s his problem.