Monday, December 29, 2008

A New (To Us) Car

Ok, before you get excited, I'll be straight with you - the new car is actually a downgrade.

If you've read this blog for awhile, you know that one of our 2008 financial goals was saving in our "New Car Fund". My husband and I have been discussing our car situation for quite awhile now, and here's what we've come up with.

My husband doesn't like driving my Mustang (I know, isn't he crazy?!?), but since he works so close to home, he ends up driving it a lot in the winter. Also, we won't know what kind of vehicle I will want to drive next until after we have kids (if we have kids). If/When the little one arrives, I'd like to try using a four-door car first and only buy a minivan/SUV if the car doesn't work well. But, I don't want to buy a newer four-door car only to sell it again a few months later.

The answer we came up with was to buy a cheap car to replace the Mustang. Then, once we know what we want to upgrade to, it will be pretty easy (and inexpensive) to sell the cheap car.

Our original thought was to sell the Mustang and buy the cheap car next summer/fall. My sister-in-law just had a baby, though, and bought an SUV to replace her 1998 Mazda Protege. She bought the Mazda new and has taken great care of it. We couldn't pass it up!

So, we are now the proud (sort of!) owners of a 1998 Mazda - paid cash, of course!

Since winter is not the prime time to sell a rear-wheel drive Mustang, we're going to park it out at my parents' house until spring (thanks, Dad and Mom!). We should get more for the Mustang than what we paid for the Mazda, so hopefully we'll be able to make a nice boost to our car fund at that time.

Below is a picture I found online of a similar-year Mazda Protege. This isn't the actual car, though our car is blue (darker than the one in the picture, though).

As you might guess, I am pretty sad at the thought of selling the Mustang. I've owned it for 9 years and loved every minute of it! I always knew, though, that someday I'd want to have kids and that the Mustang just wasn't going to fit in with that lifestyle. *sigh* I'm going to miss you, Eleanor!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The One Where a Bonus Saves the Day

In my last post, I mentioned that my husband and I were going to try to max out our Roth IRA's at $5,000 each by April 15th. Well, my husband received a nice bonus and we decided to put it all toward our Roths, so we will be maxed out by December 22nd! I'm really happy about that.

My plan is to take some time before the first of the year and discuss Financial Goals 2009 with my husband. I thought I'd be throwing any extra money for the first couple of months toward the Roths, but that's obviously changed :)

Some options will be: getting a jump start on 2009 Roth contributions, beefing up the emergency fund, putting extra money towards the mortgage, and/or working on the car fund. I'll let you know what we decide!