Outstanding Items: My New Car (sort of), 401(K), and My New Headphones

Dude, I Totaled My Car (Update 3):

I have been living the past 5 and a half weeks without a vehicle.  I have updated the status of my search for its replacement once, shortly after my initial post about my accident and my carless situation.  At this point I have foolishly put all my eggs into two vastly different baskets, and I am waiting until the end of August to see which one hatches the most chicks.

  • Basket One: A friend of mine is selling her 99 Nissan Pathfinder.  It has 106,000 miles on it which is mostly highway miles.  She is the original owner and has driven it for every one of those miles.  The car is priced reasonably, however the initial cost of the vehicle is about the same figure the insurance company gave me for my total loss.  After registration, tags, etc.  I will have likely lost a little bit of money on the deal.  However, I feel I will be able to sleep at night driving a car that I know has been taken care of instead of some car that I bought randomly off of Craigslist (that piece of mind may be worth an extra thousand dollars to some; it could be priceless to others)  Furthermore, she has made me agree that if I buy her car, I have to pet it before driving it on road trips (what is that about?!?).  Deeper Analysis: Buying a car from a friend is risky, but it has some rewards.  I am not thrilled about the price tag, but at the price I am looking to spend I am not thrilled with a lot of the cars.  I may have to up the amount I am willing to pay for my next ride.  Also, the MPG on a Pathfinder is a concern, then again, with as often as I drive, is it worth stressing over an extra $100 a year in gas when I haven’t really slept the past month because I have been carless?  This is my best option and if it still presents itself in late August when I get back from vacation, I will write her a check.

99 Pathfinder vs. 09 Civic

  • Basket Two: Go to a dealer in late August and say, “How much are you giving car’s away for today?”  Now really is the best time to buy a new car.  In a month from now, when 2010 models start to show up on lots, the timing will be even better.  The price I wanted to spend on a new car was $14,000.  It is a possibility (albeit not a fantastic one) that I can go into a car dealership and walk out with a brand new Honda Civic LX for $14,500 with 0% financing for 3-5 years.  If that is the case I can afford to put $7000, finance $7500 and have a car that I know will last me 15 years.  Deeper Analysis: This is my last resort, but if the numbers work in a way I think they could, I have no reason not to consider this option as it represents the difference between value and cost.

I Gave Myself a 10% Raise This Week:

I started to contributed to my 401(K) this pay period.  I have mentioned it before, but the reason I hadn’t been contributing prior was because I my employer didn’t match until you’ve been employed there for six months.  This is the first pay cycle that fell after that six months, hence today is my first payday where I have my 401(K) contributions withheld.  You may ask, how did I give myself a 10 percent raise? Well this is it:

Employer match ($0.50 on the dollar with no limit) x Personal contribution of 20% of salary = 10% raise from employer

That’s right, 20% of my salary is being dumped into my 401(K) a month.  All of those part time jobs are starting to seem worthwhile now, huh?  Should I mention that this is just one more reason I am going to be a millionaire some day?

My Six Month Disposable Headphones:

Hopefully I have found a new pair of headphones that will last me a while.  I purchased the Zagg Z-buds.  I was very close to purchasing them through their online store for $80 + S&H.  I even started to shop for a coupon code.  Then I quickly scanned e-bay and saw the same pair I wanted, with iPhone compatibility for $46.50 Buy It Now with free shipping. I was about to click the “Buy” button when I saw the “Make an Offer” tab on the eBay page.  I needed to get that order placed that day, but I said I may as well try.  Instead of typing in something ridiculous like $25 or something, I typed in the reasonable price of $40 (a $6.50 discount).  A half second later, my offer was accepted, making me feel like I should have offered a lot less, because they always could have said no and I could have paid the higher price, but, they also could have said yes and saved me more money.

I really like the new earbuds.  They sound great, look durable, even have a funky bud piece that looks like, well, I don’t know how to describe it, but look to the right and you will see a picture.  They are very comfortable and because of how they are designed to be worn, you don’t the occasional pull on the front of your earphone chord that will pluck your buds from your ears.  So far, I would recommend these to anyone, however, we will see in six months if I am back in the market for another pair. Time will tell the story on Zagg’s Z-buds.

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