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Expensive Day!

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Yesterday was an EXPENSIVE day, though not as bad as it could have been.

My car is a 2011 and, all in all, it has been pretty reliable. We’ve had some bad luck in the tire department in the past year, but (knock on wood), we’ve never had any major mechanical issues. All we need to do is regular, routine maintenance and the car has been great for us!

So when the brakes started squeaking a few weeks ago, I knew it would be time to replace them soon.

But life has been busy with work, school, and the holiday season approaching. I’ve kept putting it off, not wanting to spend the money. Then over the weekend, the brakes progressed from what I would describe as a “squeal” to what I would describe as a “grate.” It was truly an awful noise – the kind that hurts your ears, like nails on a chalkboard. I knew it was time to get in STAT!

I called around to a few shops to compare prices and went with a nearby shop that I trust. New brakes, rotors, fluid, and a serpentine belt later, my bill came to $643.28. Ouch! 

But never forget to Google for coupons! I’d taken my laptop and was working in the waiting room while my car was being serviced. As a last-minute thing, I decided to google coupons for the services I was receiving. And I stumbled across a 15% off coupon, good for all parts and service at the shop I was using!

When I went to pay, they scanned the coupon from my phone and my bill dropped to $549.11. BAM!

But it gets better still! The brakes I got came with a $50 online rebate. I had to wait 24-hours to enter my information, but I did so today and will be receiving a $50 rebate check in the mail in the next couple weeks.

That officially brings my total down to $499.11!

Still an expensive day, to be sure, but not nearly as bad as it could have been! And all because I was willing to do a little Google search to find applicable coupons while I waited.

No one wants to drop $500 on car repairs, especially around the holidays and at a time when we’re really not doing well financially. But to put things in perspective, $500 amounts to less than 2 months of the old car payment (I paid off the car in January 2016). Since we’ve owned the car an entire 2 years since then free-and-clear, a $500 investment here and there to keep the car in good running order is not too bad. I’m very grateful we no longer have that monthly payment in our list of bills!

 

Have you had any major car repairs lately? 


Ragnar Relay = Complete!

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Just popping in with a fun “life” update today. If you are only interested in strictly financial posts, just skip this one and check back tomorrow – I’m finally posting my budget!

I’ve mentioned a couple times about how I’ve been training for a big running relay race called Ragnar.  Well, the race is complete! It started Friday and ended Saturday. Today, I’m at home and in full recovery-mode (meaning, as little movement as possible and fully stocked with ibuprofen) 😉

Here’s a picture I posted on my Facebook:

23 hours, 15.4 miles of mountain running, 2.7 hours of sleep, 8 crazy teammates. So much fun!

Each member of our team had 3 different legs ranging in length from 4.1 – 6.6 miles of trail-running/mountainous terrain. I ran my first leg on Friday evening, my second leg on Saturday about 3am, and my last leg on Saturday at 10am. This photo was taken as I was taking off for my last leg of the relay. My shirt, appropriately, says “Everything Hurts and I’m Dying.” A little tongue-and-cheek, but definitely fitting for how I felt at that moment. I wore my Fitbit the entire time and for Saturday, my stats indicated that I’d gone 37,726 steps (= 17.91 miles), and climbed the equivalent of 114 flights of stairs (from the mountains we were running)! To say I’m pooped today is an understatement!

BUT – tired as I may be, I had an absolute blast! It was THE BEST time ever! And, as I’ve got 3 half-marathons under my belt (but nothing longer), this is a PDR (personal distance record). YIKES!

All my teammates immediately said they wanted to sign up again for next year. I’m still on the fence. I loved it, but I typically only sign up for a big race once every couple years. Committing to do it again next year feels like a lot to me. There’s a lot of time and effort dedicated to training, but it also costs money to go (the race was $120/person + we all pitched in another $25 for team shirts + a day off work, food and snacks for while we were there, etc.). We’ve got a few months to think it over so we’ll see.

For today, though, I just wanted to share this major accomplishment! I’ve heard of Ragnar races before, but never really considered doing one myself. If it weren’t for my teammates (friends/colleagues from my department) I probably never would have pushed myself to try to complete a Ragnar race. But the feeling of pride and accomplishment is huge! Just the little psychological boost I needed going into a new month! If I can accomplish something this big physically (15+ miles of running on mountainous terrain), surely I can conquer our monthly budget. Right?

I’ll be back tomorrow asking for your advice! I’m already nervous, so bring your patient pants, as I could use your support!

Have a great end to your weekend!

~Ashley