On Monday morning, I took my car into the shop for repairs. I have to say, I’m quite pleased with how easy things have been. I dropped the car off and they called Enterprise to come pick me up. The agent picked me up and took me to their office to get my rental going. Because it was all through insurance, I only had to pay the deposit, and was only going to be required to pay 20% of the rental – well under the deposit, so I would be getting money back.
I had an option of two different cars – a base rental and then something one step up (an additional $5/day, so about 50 cents out of my pocket). I took the nicer car and man, it is fabulous. I drive an 8-year-old car that I love, but I didn’t realize just how many bells and whistles have been added to cars in the past 8 years. My rental is a 2012 with just over 10,000 miles on it. It is a really nice car to drive. It’s too much car for me – it’s probably considered a small luxury sedan, and the blind spots are driving me crazy, but I’m loving all the features. And the new car smell… yes, I know it’s probably toxic, but it’s so nice.
Does this make me want a new car? Yes. Am I going to go get a new car? No. My car has less than 60,000 miles on it (thanks mostly to 3 years of living with easy Metro access and rarely driving). I’ve had it under 8 years. I would love to get the car to 100,000 miles before thinking of getting a new car, but at minimum, I’d like to have it 10 years. But I need to start doing what I have been saying I should do. I need to create a car savings fund. I don’t have a car payment right now, and would love to be able to buy another without a car payment. While I don’t know if that will happen or not, what I can do is start putting money away each month in a savings account to help me towards that goal.
I’m enjoying driving the rental, but I can’t wait to get my car back. I’ve been through a lot with that car. It’s the first big thing I’ve ever owned (growing up, I shared cars with my siblings, and they were owned by our parents). Plus I’m a little terrified of dinging the rental. That would not be good.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.