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4 4567

So, just a couple of days ago I wrote about how the Land Rover hasn’t had any “incidents” for about six months

Well, yesterday, we had a little bit of snow, I was at a stop light, fourth or fifth in line, looked in my rear view and saw a Chevy Impala closing in fast.

He wasn’t sliding, no, this wasn’t weather related.

He just wasn’t paying attention.

SMASH!

My first thought was, “Damn… I really like this car…”

When I got out of the car, I was surprised to see how little damage was done to my car.

Back bumber is a little messed up and one of the parking lights encased in the bumber was totally smashed and hanging by a couple of wires.

The Impala didn’t fare as well and, yes, that makes me smile.

His headlight was smashed with glass and mirror crap everywhere, the grill came off, and the hood was crinkled up all the way back to the windshield.

Ha-ha.

While it sucks to be me…it REALLY sucks to be that dude.

The police came, and another motorist (the person behind the dude that hit me) even stuck around to give a statement. I wish that’d happened in my last fender-bender where I was wrongfully hosed.

Anyway, I’ll keep everyone posted on how the insurance claim goes…

4 2380

January 2012 Net WorthStarting the new year off right with a net worth just north of $250k.

Yep, that’s right, I’ve reclaimed my status as a quarter of a millionaire.

Cash:
December was a three paycheck month for me so there’s a little bit of extra padding here.

Savings:
Oh no! What happened? Well, property taxes came due. That’s okay, though. It’s totally built into my budget that when they come due (every six months), I’ve got enough in savings to cover it… no matter what.

Gov’t Bonds:
Will I hold on to these for the entire year? I doubt it. But while they’re still in my asset tank, I’ll gladly take the six or seven bucks for nothing each month…

Home:
Zillow.com currently lists my house as the most exensive on my street. This makes the roof of my mouth nice and warm. I know it’s not really true — but it’s still nice to see.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
With no movement on the BMW or Land Rover, I’m thinking that their values may have bottomed out. I can’t tell you how awesome it’s not having to pay a car payment for almost four years now

Credit Cards:
Crazy considering all of the Christmas expenditures but it’s on like Donkey Kong. Yep, I got started on my Goal for 2012 already.

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report.

Mortgage:
Just another minimum payment.

0 1779

Swimming in the Right DirectionSummer is over and along with it is the season of spending.

$1676.51 : Land Rover Repairs
$1345.28 : Vacation
$1220.18 : Business Expenses

$922.22 : Day Care
$724.54 : Gas
$520.00 : Cash

$498.72 : Mortgage
$251.97 : Eyeglasses
$239.45 : Auto Insurance
$200.46 : Finance Charges
$172.50 : Electricity
$170.00 : Dentist
$127.80 : Cable/Internet
$111.33 : Water/Sewer
$93.79 : Dining Out
$45.00 : Eye Doctor

$42.04 : Babies R Us
$40.84 : Clothing
$33.68 : Natural Gas
$28.05 : Toys R Us
$16.00 : Car Wash
$16.00 : Pittsburgh Pirates Tickets

Added up, that’s $8496.36.

August was a tough month. A great month based on the debt repayment end of things but with the car repairs, a vacation, and a dead computer (which cost over $1k to replace), well, it was a costly month too.

Thankfully most of the spending (the colored stuff) isn’t routine or was unusually high.

And, though this report doesn’t show it, I’m headed in the right direction again.

0 1755

Intro paragraph?

Not this month!

  • $2700.03 : Tax Collector
  • $922.22 : Day Care
  • $821.87 : Hockey Jerseys
  • $498.72 : Mortgage
  • $282.37 : Gas
  • $281.81 : AutoZone (Car Batteries)
  • $239.45 : Auto Insurance
  • $196.78 : Finance Charges
  • $180.00 : Cash
  • $172.92 : DVD Player for Car
  • $168.31 : Electricity
  • $127.80 : Cable/Internet
  • $90.00 : Department of Motor Vehicles
  • $84.29 : Business Expenses
  • $53.16 : Cars 2 Video Game
  • $41.51 : Natural Gas
  • $38.76 : Clothing

That adds up to $6900.

For the record, I don’t make $6900 in a month.

That’s why this is very bad.

Starting to make a little sense why I’m not ecstatic with my net worth increase, eh?

Property tax is thankfully only a twice per year thing. I’m done until December now.

Day care is what it is — worth it.

That was a last hurrah for the hockey jerseys. It was right at the start of July too — feels like the distant past now. I’ve been more disciplined. I swear.

The gas number seems high but, then again, the Land Rover only gets like 11 miles per gallon and drinks the expensive gas.

The AutoZone trip was very out of character but gained me two more sets of wheels. Totally worth it.

Finance charges make me angry. I’m better than that and I don’t expect them to creep much higher than this before starting to plummet.

The DVD player for the car (for vacation) was a good purchase. When he grew tired of looking out the window, Duncan watched Cars and The Incredibles over and over and over. Best of all, it came with two screens so once Henrik is a bit older, they’ll both be able to watch whatever they’d like.

Another fly in the ointment is the video game purchase. Sure, I *could* say it was for Duncan but it was probably more for me. First video game purchase in years (if you don’t include the upright Punch-Out arcade game that I bought — and still don’t regret.).

2 3150

Henry FordI couldn’t help but chuckle at Grant’s recent comment regarding my issues with the Land Rover.

He said, “Shoulda bought a Ford.”

It’s a tongue-in-cheek reference to a comment that I made on his site back in 2009 where we were both kicking ourselves for not buying a ton of Ford stock back when it was on the brink of worthlessness.

Re-thinking back to that time, and imagining if I had pulled the trigger on buying into Ford like I’d wanted to, what would I have done with it since?

Would have I have wisely sold it for a tidy profit before this most predictable downward trend of the past few weeks?

Or would I still have it in my portfolio?

Well, I’ll tell you… I’d still have it.

Since there’s nothing on television worth watching on Sunday or Monday nights, for the past few weeks I’ve found myself wathing those hoarding shows on A&E and TLC.

Personally, I much prefer the TLC variation of the show. It’s far less confrontational.

Anyway, from watching these shows, I think I’ve somewhat confirmed something that I’ve long suspected anyway.

I have hoarding tendancies.

No, no, I’m not *anything* like the people on the show but I do have a thing for collecting and accumulating things (cough, hockey jerseys, cough, cough) and then being reluctant to ever part with them.

Remember that $30k worth of photography equipment? Yeah, I should have sold the stuff that I no longer used back then for a tidy sum.

A Canon 10D, Canon 1D, and a Canon 1D Mark II aren’t worth nearly as much now — and I’m *still* not using them and have no plans to either.

Still, I’d have a hard time parting with them.

And that’s exactly what would’ve happened with the Ford stock.

5 3526

So I’ve kept everyone pretty up-to-date on my auto-repair expenses for the Land Rover.

We’re fortunate (or foolish?) enough to have 4 cars in the household so when one goes down, we’ve got plenty of back-up.

Or so you’d think…

My BMW Z3 hasn’t been out of the garage for over a year. Over the past two years, it’s driven maybe 30 miles. I couldn’t get it started months ago and didn’t even consider it as my back-up vehicle while the Rover was in the shop.

So, instead, I hoped in my wife’s Toyota Tacoma, turned the key, and heard the fabled “click-click-click-click” noise.

I’m no gear head but I do know that that means the battery is dead.

We hooked it up to the Scion (our only functioning vehicle) and it started right up.

Phew!

We let it run for an hour or so, you know, to charge the battery before shutting it down.

The next morning, I went out to take it for a spin, turned the key, and got nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Battery must *really* be dead.

And then a lightbulb went on!

Hey, maybe the only problem with the BMW is the battery?

Hmmm…

Needless to say, I went out to AutoZone and spent almost $300 on a couple of batteries and then spent an afternoon pretending to be a real auto mechanic.

I thought these were so cool.  When I was 5.For real, I looked like one of those guys who’s always working on his Trans-Am with the bird on the hood.

(I realize that changing the battery is a simple task — I have some great ideas on how this century old system should be modernized though…)

Three hours later, I had two more running vehicles.

How about that?

6 3274

So, last, last Friday, I got into a fender bender.

The details aren’t terribly important (I feel that I got screwed) but I decided not to get the insurance company involved and just have the repairs done on my own dime to put it all behind me.

On Monday, we dropped the car off at a local body shop.

On Thursday, it was ready and looking good as new.

Total damage was $1200-something…

I stopped in to pick it up, pulled out my wallet, and then they said, “Oh, we don’t take charge cards…”

Say what?

2 3356

So today when driving back to work after lunch, some dude in front of me decided to pull a last second u-turn downtown.

Guess what?

I hit him.

I swore at him.

I pulled over.

Turns out he was a really nice guy, thankfully.

Terrible driver but a nice guy.

We did the whole police report thing — he admitted it was totally his fault and then guess what happened?

Yep — I got the ticket.

Seriously, I’ve lost all confidence in law enforcement. The responding officer was pleasant enough but totally ignored what both us said happened.

Looking to do the bare minimum required in this non-event fender-bender, the officer just took the easy route — the car in the back is always at fault. That was me.

Um, hello? Last time I checked, u-turns aren’t allowed…

For real, I think the officer would have given me the ticket if this dude were a wrong way driver on the highway… I only wish I could be so lazy at my own job…

So now I don’t know what to do…

The car I hit (a HUGE contractor’s truck) wasn’t damaged at all and as far as the police report is concerned, he wasn’t in the wrong either.

My car, though, has some mega bumber damage to the point that I can’t turn left without the tire rubbing against the wheel well.

Do I get the insurance company involved when the police report is (wrongfully) stacked against me or do I just plunk down the thousand dollars that I’m just guessing it’ll cost to fix to the point that I can turn left again?

Not exactly how I wanted to start the month…

Oh, and it’s amazing that you can still pretty much get anywhere by turning right… I learned that tonight on the way home…

Can You Dig It?

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