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1 4460

Car LeaseIn the past I’ve gone on and on about how leasing a car is a terrible idea from a financial point of view.

I made the mistake, once, almost 20 years ago now.

I went so far over the mileage limit (auto leases usually put a limitation on the number of miles you can put on the vehicle each year), I had no choice but to purchase the car as the lease was expiring.

In the end, it worked out for me as I probably should have bought the car right from the get-go but didn’t have the funds for that to happen (or the credit history — requiring my dad to co-sign)…which is why I went with the lease option.

Fast forward to today and, well, things have drastically changed.

I have the funds available to purchase pretty much any vehicle I’d like — all the way up to an entry level Lamborghini.

So here I am, in the final days (yes, days), of my most recent auto loan — and I’m looking at my currently daily driver (a 2005 Scion xA) and thinking, hmmmmm, will I get through another winter with this thing?

I’m not certain.

While it hasn’t let me know…yet…it also fails to give me that “reliable transportation” feeling lately. I’m often quite prepared for it to just, you know, die at the next stop light.

Another shortcoming, and really the biggest of them all, is that in 2005 I was a single guy. Now I have a family of five…and a car that can only seat four comfortably.

With that forcing my hand, I need a bigger and more reliable ride…sooner rather than later.

And that brings my back to my finances…

With it still fresh in my mind (from the loan I’m eliminating now) that a roughly $25k loan equates to a $450 payment and my complete disdain to, you know, continue making $450 payments (weekly, no less) seemingly indefinitely AND the fact that, deep in my heart, I know this next vehicle will simply be a stop-gap until I can get the car I’d really like, well, the lease offers out there are really, really, enticing.

New car with a smaller payment than what I’m paying now and…no huge new debt taken on.

Financially, today, for me, that sounds pretty great.

Hang with me here, I’m trying to convince myself that it’s okay to lease…

Now, about those mileage limitations…well, I don’t foresee those being an issue.

See, when I was in my early 20’s, it wasn’t out of the ordinary to, you know, drive to Ohio for lunch or whatever.

In the last decade, I haven’t driven 500 miles for lunch…yet.

Further, I now live less than 2 miles from the places I visit most often (work, elementary school, and daycare) so clocking under the mileage limit shouldn’t be an issue. And…I have two other vehicles that I OWN should I start getting close to making it cost prohibitive.

So, here’s what I’m thinking off of the top of my head right now.

The “new” car has to be reliable. Duh.

It has to fit my entire family and an assortment of hockey equipment comfortably.

And it has to cost me less than the Swagger Wagon has been costing me.

Notice that I did not say it had to look cool. Or fit in the new garage I’ll be having built. Or last a long time.

Stop-gap, remember? Once this thing is gone and my kids are out of their enormous car seats, I can go back and get another Land Rover like I really want.

For now, though, I’m leaning towards the Ford Transit.

A what?

Sure, you’ve never heard of it but, trust me, you’ve seen them. They look like delivery trucks. Plumbers and electricians use them. Florists. Kind of like the modern day version of a panel cargo van — somewhere between a regular old school van and a full blown box truck.

But here’s the thing — you can also get them with windows and seats in the back making them look more like handicapped vans or shuttle buses.

Ford Transit Titanium

Hardly cool — for real, it’s another Swagger Wagon — but way, way, practical.

And amazingly affordable too…

Hmmmmm….

0 6039
Ludwig Sticks

Tre CoolI remember once watching Green Day perform at some festival on television, probably around 1995, and my dad remarked, “That guy is terrible” in reference to Tre Cool, the drummer in the band.

I mean, I could tell that Billie Joe Armstrong was terrible at his instrument but didn’t notice how “off” Tre Cool was — and still is in every single performance I’ve ever seen since by Green Day.

My dad was spot-on. The guy can’t play.

Fast forward a few years, and it’s the same type of deal where Blink 182 (essentially a Green Day ripoff) is playing live at some awards show or something on television and my dad utters, “Hmm, maybe he’s not so bad…” assuming it’s the same guy.

Travis Barker

Through all of the noise, all my dad would listen for is the snare — and apparently Travis Barker had “it”.

I’m not totally certain what ‘it’ was — my guess is that his rudiments are spot on unlike Tre Cool who, while fast, is actually about as (un) talented as Animal is playing with Electric Mayhem.

Either way, it was quite a sight to see a guy in his late fifties drumming away on the steering wheel to a Blink-182’s “Rock Show“.

Dennis & Randy

My dad played snare for Preston Scout House and later the Flying Dutchman, following his older brothers’ footsteps, in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s.

It was kind of a big deal… and not, like, just locally. It was renowned. World famous, even…which back then simply meant “famous in North America.”

Still, keep in mind that this was way before marching bands, aside from DCI, turned into what they are now — social outcasts that often turn out to be the folks that own cats by the dozen later in life. These kids were cool.

From what I can gather, he was pretty good at it too as I’ve been told by a number of people who wouldn’t just say it cause I was his son or because he’d died — I’m pretty certain he *was* really good at it.

When it came time for me to play an instrument, my dad laid down a few rules.

Absolutely no reed instruments – clarinet, oboe, or that god awful instrument called a saxophone.

No flute.

And never, ever, drums.

Didn’t leave me with a lot to choose from — and I think that was his plan all along…

I ended up on a trumpet in third grade, getting a jump on most of my classmates who took up instruments in 5th grade and beyond.

I believe my dad steered me away from drums mostly because he knew that, even if I’d managed to get really, really, really good at it, for the most part, the “talent” would always go completely unrecognized.

To be just awesome at something but have most people see it as, eh, yeah, that’s pretty good.

“Have you heard the new Beatles’ song? That Ringo is to die for…”

AnimalTalk about unfulfilling.

And now, when listening to live music, I totally get it.

Most of these guys are hacks just smashing away behind a wall of drums semi-randomly most of the time — and most people think they’re gifted musicians.

They’re not.

Kind of explains why nearly every song you hear on the radio was actually performed by studio musicians and not the “talent” on the cover of the CD or in the music video.

Anyway, while I was the best trumpet player in our school through 7th grade, it was never really my passion…and other kids were quickly catching up.

tubaI soon switched over to tuba. Yeah, the tuba.

No joke, our band teacher had a poster in his office of all of the brass instruments. I went in for my trumpet lesson one day and said, “I want to play that one” while pointing to the tuba.

I’d picked it cause it was the biggest and once the school system actually secured one for me to play it was so big, in fact, that I had to sit on a couple telephone books to reach the mouthpiece.

Played tuba through high school — getting a trip to Germany in the process — and then left it in my past the day I graduated.

While I was never very good, no one ever forgets the tuba player.

That is pretty fulfilling.

– – – – – – – –

PIAC Addendum

Total lie up above.

I actually was pretty good at the tuba.

I mean, I didn’t have a lot of competition as there were never more than two tuba players in our band at any given time so it wasn’t much of a challenge to be the best or anything, but, yeah, I was a pretty good tuba player.


– – – – – – – –

Tangent from the Deep End

Glory DaysFurther, I sometimes think about how people “peak” at a certain point in their lives before starting a steady decline.

For me, I’m not certain if my own peak came in high school (like it does for so many people) at the height of my track accomplishments or if it was in my 20’s when it almost seemed there was nothing that I couldn’t accomplish on the computer and money, honestly, came easily and from so many sources. (I bought a freakin’ plane?!)

Perhaps I haven’t peaked yet?

Who knows…

Anyway, I’m pretty sure my dad peaked while he was still marching and playing snare and it was a pretty important time for him.

It’s the only reason I can think of that he had about a dozen pairs of drum sticks from the 1950’s always somewhat accessible (though almost never used) in our basement for all those years — the ONLY thing I can think of in our house from his youth.

Kinda like my track trophy that I received when I ran a 4:18 mile in 1993 — it’s not on display at my house or anything but I know EXACTLY where it is and don’t plan on ever misplacing it.

The sticks were his trophy.

After he died, I remember seeing a pair of them in the garage of my parents’ new gated community “retirement” house.

I left them there.

I’m not certain why. Maybe cause it was in the garage, literally feet away from where my dad had died just hours earlier.

But after the surreal funeral, just as I was getting ready to go to the airport to head back home, my dad’s older brother came over with a pair of fat Ludwig sticks in his hand to take home.

I’m not sure if they were the same pair that I’d seen in the garage a few days earlier, I assume they were.

He didn’t say much of anything — he didn’t have to.

Anyway, I tucked them into my backpack and hoped like crazy the overly aggressive TSA agents at the airport wouldn’t confiscate them as weapons of mass destruction or something.

For real, I’d have started walking the 1200 miles home if that had happened.

So, sitting right here in front of my keyboard are a couple of 60 year old Ludwig drum sticks.

Ludwig Sticks

They’re not on display or anything — actually mostly buried below mail and empty Capri Sun pouches most of the time — but I know exactly where they are.

Probably always will too.

0 5043
Blueprints

ConstructionSo it’s been quite a while since I last mentioned that 3-car garage we were planning on having built.

During my nearly two year long hiatus from the site, we took out another mortgage (you may have noticed on the net worth reports) to get the finances in place, worked with a local architect, and had a survey done of our property to ensure we wouldn’t run into any building permit issues.

That was 2013.

We’re midway through 2015 now and we still haven’t broken ground.

What’s up with that?

For real, with the money to fund such a project readily available (currently sitting in a savings account), you’d think that we could have our old garage torn down and the new one up in it’s place in a matter of months.

And, for the most part, you’d be right.

I could totally make a phone call tomorrow to get one of those Amish barn-raising groups out here prepping the site and have a full blown garage up sometime next week. [or maybe not]

But that’s the thing — I don’t really want a pre-fab (Amish guys in hats with mallets in hand or not, they’re still pre-fabricated) garage.

Especially when we’re talking six figures…

I want something that, well, that I didn’t pick off a sales sheet that only offered three or four options to begin with from a pushy salesman at a big box store.

So we decided to contact an architect and, let me tell you, while there are a lot of residential architects out there, most of them only work on $1M+ projects or entire new construction sub-divisions.

No joke — if you’re not asking them to design a palace made entirely of marble or an entire neighborhood, they’re not interested.

And that’s the pickle we find ourselves in…

Sure, we could go out and hire a general contractor like we did for our interior renovation and get this done but… well, while our contractor did exactly what we asked him to do on that project, in hindsight, I wish we would have hired someone that would have done what we’d asked but ALSO advised us on what we should do too.

The goal isn’t to find someone to build it for us — that’s easy.

The goal is to find someone that’ll guide us towards a building that we want but will also stop us and say, “Actually, it’d be a better idea to put that here so that the this doesn’t get in the way of that.”

You know, things we never even thought of cause, well, we’re not architects. Where does the plumbing fit in? Should there be an outlet there?

Often times, when you work directly with a general contractor, you’re playing the role of architect. I’m a pretty smart dude but I’m certainly not an experienced architect.

If we’re spending this much money on a freakin’ garage, I want it done right…and that’s why it’s taking so long.

The good news is that the old garage hasn’t tipped over yet and, somehow, I’ve managed to keep from spending all of that “garage” money sitting in my savings account.

The downside is that our current architect doesn’t foresee the project happening until 2016.

Hey, maybe I’ll be able to save a little more by then!

0 2701
Horse Logos

Nissan/Datsun PulsarIn 1983, my family joined the ranks of a the two-car household. I was 7 years old.

Weird, thinking back, as we’d always had a house with a two car garage but never had two cars.

In fact, 90% of our neighbors only had one car. Strange to think houses were “ahead” of the times back then.

Anyway, the “new” car was a Nissan Pulsar hatchback that peculiarly still had Datsun branding here and there.

It was, ahem, brown.

Not the branding…the car was brown. The whole car. Inside and out.

Not tan. Not gold. Not even copper.

Brown.

Now, a brown car may have been a status symbol of sorts in the funky 1970’s but by the 1980’s, well, let’s just say I was never keen on being seen in this car.

Brown?

Really, Dad?

I remember pleading with him to get a blue one instead to no avail.

Hilariously, in 1988, I made all of the same arguments when my dad purchased a Ford Bronco. Also, you guessed it, brown. Ugh…

He even tried to talk the salesman into replacing the Bronco tire covers (which were traditionally black and white) with a brown Eddie Bauer edition one. You know, to complete the brown-ness or something.

Horrifically, the upholstery inside the Bronco which was, obviously, also brown was accented with orange stripes. OMG!

1988 Ford Bronco II

Yeah, just what a 12 year old in the 80’s wants to be seen in… two brown cars.

We’re talking sparkly brown, too. It was traumatic.

So, I was in high school when I first heard the term “POS” and it was used by some of the older kids in reference to my dad’s car coming around the bend to pick me up after track practice.

It took me a bit to figure out was a P.O.S. was. Okay, no it didn’t. Even 20 years before things like BFF, LOL, and WTF became trendy and common, POS set the “lets over abbreviate everything” craze off.

The very not cool Pulsar was on it’s last legs by then but even the day it rolled off the lot, though I hadn’t used the term that far back, it *was* a POS, through-and-through.

The equally uncool Bronco “could” have been cool if it’d been blue or something.

Or white — OJ Simpson was still a pretty cool cat back then!

So from 1983 through 1990, I was shuttled around in brown cars and, clearly, it scarred me for life.

To this day, I have never owned a brown car and can pretty safely say that I will never purchase a brown car. Ever.

Can’t do that to my kids — even if some of those brown Kia’s do look pretty sharp.

And speaking of my kids, perhaps it’s because they’re still a little too young to care (or notice) or maybe it’s just that I’ve always driven AWESOME cars (in my opinion) since they’ve been around but they don’t seem to have any negative feelings towards any of our vehicles.

If only I could have been so lucky.

Thanks, Dad…

RELATED NOTE:

In the past on here, I’ve posted that I like to attend car shows. Since I’m in no way a gear head and muscle cars do nothing for me, it’s mostly because they’re outdoors and have free admission.

Anyway, one of the shows I’ve brought the kids to each year only includes Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Bugattis, and Maserattis.

Sorry, Porsche — you’re ghetto and are turned away at the gates.

Scissor Door SkepticismDuncan, my oldest, even had the opportunity to ride in a Countach a couple years back — and though I’m not one to get all excited about riding (or even just sitting) in a fancy car, that was pretty cool.

So, that show only happens once per year since the owners of that type of vehicle aren’t usually the type looking to show off their wheels.

They have the funds, they buy a neat toy, and then drive it every so often and usually for charity events. That’s what this specific show is all about.

The regular car shows (seemingly on weekly basis) that happen around here are pretty much a collection of American muscle cars and wannabe “too fast too furious” Mitsubishi’s with wheels the size of skateboard wheels.

You know, bitchin’ Camaros with racing stripes, Mustangs with the blowers coming through the hood, and t-top Firebirds that even have the bird painted on the hood — mostly driven by short fat guys with hairy backs in Confederate flag tank-tops.

And then on the other side of the street, the primer gray Hondas and Mitsubishi’s mostly made out of bondo crowd — guys and girls, rail thin, vaping, and with an abundance of cheap jewelry on — blaring tunes with so much bass, their license plates rattle as loud as the engine does.

You get the picture.

I enjoy the people watching at these events — what a collection!

Perhaps I’ll start calling them people shows instead of car shows…

Anyway, at one of them late last year, I asked my boys to show me which car they though was “better” than our Z3 because, certainly, even at the primarily domestic muscle car shows, there are some really nice (and unique) vehicles that I’d trade my BMW for in a heartbeat.

To my surprise, they both agreed — it was the Ferrari. I wasn’t surprised they liked the Ferrari, you know, I just patted myself on the back for giving them good taste — I was just surprised they actually agreed.

But a Ferrari? Here? Where?

They walked me over to a maroon 1980’s style Ford Mustang — you know the type that looks just like a Ford Escort of the same era except the Mustang had goofy plastic shutters down the rear window… This, apparently was their favorite car.

Yeah, my kids thought it was Ferrari. So much for good taste…

Horse Logos

And that might seem pretty funny but, honestly, what the hell was Ford thinking in the early 1980’s? The entry level Escort and their flagship muscle car looked nearly identical. Sheesh…

The best part was that the meathead owner of the car seemed a little offended at their mis-identification… I thought it was hilarious!

I give the kids a lot of credit for semi-“recognizing” the logo but quietly explained (our of earshot of the owner, of course) that while the logos are similar but that this car’s logo was more of a pony than a horse.

And Ferrari’s don’t come in a colour as ugly as that.

Ever.

1 2944

Okay, so it’s been a bit…and for that I apologize but I’m getting excited about paying down debt again.

Seems that once I reached my goal of being debt free, well, the excitement my finances brought kinda waned.

Hey, I’ve never wavered from the fact that I’m a lot more skilled at paying down debt than growing savings

Anyway, as you may have already guessed, I’m carrying a considerable amount of debt again so it’s time to put my head down and eliminate it…again.

Let’s get down to business.

Briefly, a rundown of my current debt situation is this:

  • $3k in credit card debt at 12.9%
  • $11k in an auto loan debt at 2.9%
  • $154k across two mortgages both below 5.5%

And here’s the plan…

Though the credit card has the lowest balance (which would take almost no time to eliminate) and the highest rate (which means it’s costing me the most to carry), it’s not my primary target.

Reason being, its minimum monthly payment is tiny so it has almost zero effect on my budget.

Yeah, it sucks paying finance charges each month but I can totally handle an extra $26 or so tacked on to my balance each month.

Sure beats the old days when I was dropping over $400/month in finance charges across multiple cards…

The mortgages are what they are.

Did you remember that my primary mortgage payment comes in at under $500 per month? Yep — my housing payment is amazingly low for a four bedroom house.

So low, in fact, that during my blogging hiatus, I took out a home equity loan to help finance that garage I’ve been talking about for so many years.

It’s not built yet…but most of the money to get it done is already in place.

So, as I’ve repeatedly stated in the past, there is ZERO benefit for me in paying down the primary mortgage at an advanced pace and the second mortgage balance doesn’t cause me sleepless nights either though that’s likely due to the fact that I still have the entire balance sitting in a savings account (so it really doesn’t feel like debt…yet).

So that leaves the auto loan…

Remaining balance on the loan is $11099 and the monthly payment is $444.15. Interest rate is 2.9% which, unfortunately, is the highest interest rate I’ve ever had on an auto loan.

This loan originated back in April of 2013 when we bought the Swagger Wagon to replace my beloved (in a nostalgic sort of way) Land Rover Discovery. Original balance was $24k.

Having never lost my love for paying down debt quickly, I’m so far ahead on this loan that I don’t actually have to make another payment on it until April 2016. Yeah, an entire year.

That said, it’s minimum payment (not that I need to pay it or anything) is pretty chunky in my opinion.

Sorry — paying almost $450 per month for a $12k balance just rubs me the wrong way…so I want it GONE.

Ready for this? My plan is to have it PAID OFF in four months.

The method of attack is tried and true for me — every last dollar goes to paying this off.

EVERY. LAST. DOLLAR.

Extra payments to the mortgage(s) are halted. Credit card payments are just covering my current purchase expenses plus the minimum payment — essentially keeping the current balance relatively level.

And that’s okay because once the auto loan is paid in full, the credit cards are next and within striking distance of a full payoff the following month leaving just the mortgages.

Let’s do this.

0 3583

So, even before we’ve got all of our ducks in a row, TD Bank has revised their offer from the original offer.

I know this would happen as even the hard copy printed estimate numbers are just barely more that the teaser offers they openly advertise.

I remember when I leased a VW Jetta back in 1997. I was in the dealership with my dad and I was getting ready to sign the lease when we looked at the bottom line. My payment would be $251 per month.

Confused, we pointed to the poster on the wall — with numbers 3 feet tall — that said that VW Jetta’s were $199/month. I still see car ads that hawk numbers like that… No clue how they get away with it — it’s never true.

Anyway, back then, we met half way between their advertised number and their offered number.

Today, for the home equity loan, they said the appraisal on my house came in lower than what I said it would. I kinda figured that would happen but no harm in aiming high, right?

Now I didn’t go all out and lie about what I think my home is worth. In fact, I used the Zillow zestimate which generously lists my house as the most expensive on my street. And this is BEFORE the garage is built!!!

In reality, as far as I can tell, Zillow is boosting the value of my home (in comparison to the others on the street) based on square footage and lot size.

My house isn’t the biggest — maybe 3rd largest — but it’s on the biggest lot. To them, that’s worth as much as a renovated kitchen — which I don’t have but most of the other homes on the street probably do.

No worries — the garage addition will still not price my home outside the rest of the neighborhood. Sure, my house will take the crown, officially, as the best on the street but it certainly will NOT look grossly out of place compared to the others.

So the amount I’m borrowing ($70k) is the same, the term (15 years) is the same, but they jacked the interest rate by about a half percent.

If I take all 15 years to pay it down, which I won’t, this’ll “cost” me an additional $3k.

No big deal.

It’s still a go.

2 2642

I talked before about how I’m more apt to paying down debt than I am building savings.

I dunno — for some reason, the “money game” is more fun that way for me.

Playing with someone else’s money — and then paying them back — just feels safer than risking my own.

Reality tells me that’s a wacked out way of thinking but it’s always worked for me. Can’t argue with that.

So, going back to this garage dream that I’ve had brewing for the past few years… I’ve decided the time is now.

I’d always been afraid of the “second mortgage” — why would you ever leverage your HOUSE? — but I’ve come to realize that, well, it’s probably one of the smartest things I could do for me and my family right now.

We need this garage. We need the space. We need the re-configured yard.

My kids are getting older. I’m getting older. And, really, this is the time when, if at all possible, I should have the things I want — you know, when they’ll be appreciated the most and for the longest.

I tried “saving” up. It’s not working. Something always comes up. You know how it is…

That new car put a real damper on the savings trend line…

And, really, it would be foolish to save for 15 years only to be priced out (as things naturally increase in price) rather than get something now and pay it down over the next 15 years…

Buying my house when I did was an excellent financial move. It would be irresponsible NOT to build a garage now — regardless of the added risk.

Right now, I believe we can afford an “additional” $600 per month payment. Combined with my current mortgage, that would bring my monthly mortgage payments to $1100 per month, which, in this neck of the woods is unheard off unless you bought your house in the mid 1980’s and are 27+ years into the mortgage.

I’ve got like 27 years to go…

Really, my current sub-$500 mortgage payment is off the charts.

Like, under the charts.

Underground, even.

So, my goal is to secure at least $60k in the form of a fixed rate home equity loan. If I can secure more, great, but my primary objective is to secure a minimum of $60k at somewhere between 4 and 6 percent.

Minimal research indicates that these terms will land me a roughly $600 payment over 10 years. I’ll shoot to secure a 15 year loan for added flexibility at the onset.

My preference of a regular loan over a line of credit is simply because I’m more comfortable with a fixed rate -and- having all of the money at once is just easier to manage. There aren’t withdrawal windows, or limits, potential overdraws, or variable sized payments to be made.

Here’s the money, do what you want with it, pay us back this much each month.

Simple.

As for the dollar figure, I think it will take $60k to build the exterior of the garage that I want and, frankly, we need. It may take a bit more to “finish” it — as in make the upper level look, well, like a real finished room — but at least the expensive part will be taken care of.

My minimal research also indicated that, using my very conservative guesstimations, $60k is about what I expect a lender will offer to me based on my current loan-to-value ratio.

Time is of the essence here too, I think.

I’ve said before that I feel that I’ve plateaued when it comes to my earning power. Sure, I might be a little young to make that claim but I still feel it’s true.

It would be incredibly stupid of me not to take advantage of the “numbers” supporting my position at this very moment.

Buy low, sell high. I feel my stock is high right now…

Also worth mentioning, our oldest son will be joining the public school ranks next fall as a kindergartner. Financially, this is HUGE as it will cut our childcare expenses by at least 40%.

Forty percent is like $750 extra per month in my pocket.

Yep, that’ll make a $600 second mortgage payment that much easier.

Two years later, both kids will be in school. Barring a third smurfling (which I’m actually hoping for — we *can* afford it!), paying this loan doesn’t carry much risk as far as I’m concerned after the first few months (which, technically, I’ll be able to use the funds from the loan to pay).

Seems like a pretty solid plan, no?

Time to start getting all of my documents together and testing the waters…

4 19448

Okay, so there’s some tumbleweed tumbling around here lately.

And a whole boatload of spam comments regarding expensive sneakers, weight loss drugs, and forex schemes. I’ll clean it all up when I get a chance…

First, though, I need to get everyone still stopping by up to speed on what’s happened to my finances.

See, I lost my focus, my motivation, my direction, and as a result, a lot of my financial comfort.

No, I’m not in dire straits. Far from it, but I’m also a long way off from where I’d like to be.

Where I should be.

Where I could have been, you know, had I not stopped holding myself accountable here.

I do still track my finances.

I still check my balances multiple times per day. And, yes, I’m still paying my bills on time.

I’m just not moving towards any kind of goal… like a $1 million net worth (long since abandoned), zero credit card debt, or that 3-car garage we’d like.

So, here we go, starting over in a way…

Here’s the bad news…and what needs to be corrected in a hurry.

  • I’m currently carrying in excess of $6k in credit card debt. Debt that I’m paying finance charges on — that hasn’t happened to me in YEARS?!
  • I have a big auto loan balance. Again, not really anything unusual in the grand scheme of things but we’d grown accustomed to owning our cars outright. Prior to the past couple months, I’d forgotten what it was like to have a car payment and, I’ll tell ya, it’s really crampin’ my stlye.
  • My savings account has been tapped out so there isn’t any kind of back-up reserve. Much of that is due to the fact that I just paid my property taxes this week but… well, it’s troubling me to not having *any* emergency money when it’s just always been there for the past few years.

So, I’m not going to tiptoe around how I got here — I spent a lot of money and depleted my reserves. Pretty obvious.

Thankfully I’m not in a hole I can’t dig out of. Not even close.

But I do need to get back on track so… wish me luck!

Can You Dig It?

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