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Posts tagged with: personal experiance

We Bought a Used Car


We bought a used car

Good news and bad news! Our Fiesta died after reaching nearly 200,000 miles. It would not start up anymore and our mechanic said the repairs would cost more than the car was worth, so we should just invest in a used car.

But the good news is that we were able to buy a low-mileage used car that only cost a bit more than our preferred $15,000 budget. In our area, sedans aren’t very popular. We couldn’t find a sedan that fit the budget and mileage we had in mind. They all had way too many miles or were luxury sedans that were $5K to $10K too expensive.

We Settled on a Chevy Trax

Luckily there were a lot of subcompact SUVs on the market, including a nice three-year-old Chevy Trax, which is what we ended up going with. We only paid $16,500 for it and negotiated a free brake job into the purchase because they sounded a little squeaky. It only has about 25,000 miles, which we’re happy with. Obviously we paid cash, which felt great! It’s so nice to have the money for a big purchase already earmarked so you don’t have to stress.

Believe it or not, the Trax’s MPG is about the same as our old Fiesta. It tracks the MPG on the dashboard and we’ve been averaging about 37. I’m guessing this is because we drive mainly on backroads, so there isn’t a lot of stopping and starting and we don’t go too fast.

Insurance is a touch more at $30 per month. But we also changed our homeowner’s insurance to lower it by about the same amount, so it’s pretty much a wash. We’re excited to be able to sleep in the back of the car to save money on hotels when we go on road trips to visit family!

New Job May Require a Move

I wanted to get your opinion on something else going on in our lives. My partner is vying for a promotion to another department, but the new job may require a move. The stated salary range of the role shows that it could be a 40% pay increase over my partner’s base salary. And that’s if my partner only earns on the lowest end of the salary range. It’s possible that even higher pay could be negotiated.

It would’ve been less of a pay jump if bonuses were still coming in, but we’ve gotten nothing since the changes to the compensation structure. And unfortunately, we don’t see that changing based on how the bonuses are calculated. This new role doesn’t have as much bonus potential, which is why the base pay is much higher.

Although we would have to sell the house and potentially rent an apartment or buy a new place, this feels like an opportunity we should not pass up based on the salary increase. Do you all agree that this type of pay bump is too hard to pass up?

Cost of Living in New Location Is Low

Rent prices for small apartments in the new location are only around $700 per month, so it’s a similarly low cost of living area. It’s in the same state, just about three hours away. If we didn’t want to rent, we could also buy a home for a similar amount or potentially even less. I’m open to downsizing and putting some of the money we make from our home sale into retirement to further us along in our other financial goals. What do you all think?

Obviously nothing is set in stone. Right now there’s a hiring freeze, which is why interviews can’t proceed yet. It seems like hiring freezes occur every year at this company, so that isn’t concerning. It’s going to end in about two months, so we should know more then. But my partner has been actively shadowing in the department and having some positive conversations about the new role. So chances are good that there will be a positive outcome. The only hurdle is potentially having to move to the new territory. It’s possible we could negotiate to stay where we are, but we don’t want my partner to lose the role just because of logistics.

I’d love your thoughts!

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Spring Cleaning, Home Maintenance, and Learning to Drive

Making Summer Plans

Electric Lawnmower Purchased


I bit the bullet and purchased a lawn mower. Electric, self propelled, and the right size for my yard. Here she is in all her beauty.

Ryobi electric lawnmower

And the guys (my two daughter’s friends) were super excited to try it out. Phew, a few more weeks until I have to start doing it myself.

I greatly appreciate the push toward electric. With the smaller size of my yard, the lower maintenance yard we are working towards, and my angst at having to maintain a lawnmower, this seems to be the solution to all my problems. I deep dived into reviews and was down to the Greenworks and the Ryobi.

I’ve had great success with all my power tools that are Ryobi and it’s available locally, so decided to go that direction. The last decision was self-propelled or not, which was about a $70 difference. I decided to bite the bullet and give myself the easier way out…or so I’ve heard.

It’s so easy to start compared to our previous gas mowers which I always struggled with. And it’s super quite, well, until you start the blades.

And a huge selling point for me was that it folds up so you can store it vertically. Since I have no real storage for outside tools, that will make a huge difference. My carport is already pretty tight so having this stand or hang on a wall, will allow me to still park my car under cover.

That cost $399. By my math, I have to cut my own yard 8 times to make that back since I was previously paying $50 every two weeks for yard maintenance in the summer months.

And frankly, I am not dreading the actual work as much as I was previously. Well, a little bit less.


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