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Over a Month!

November 4th, 2009 at 03:46 am

It has been more than a month that I have posted on my blog. I just haven't really been in the mood...too busy with my children, work, and continuing education courses. I have been reading some of the blogs occasionally though.


I took my Honda in for a state inspection, oil change, and tire rotation today. It turns out the car didn't need any work to pass inspection! Yeah! Actually, other than maintenance (oil change/filter and air filter) the only item that I replaced so far were the tires, wiper blades, and the headlight bulbs. It has 79K miles on it. I bought the car new in 2005 and am well pleased with it. I would definitely purchase another Honda again in the future, but probably a certified used vehicle. In comparison, the Ford Escort that I've also purchased new in 1998, has a lengthy repair history. DD is currently driving it until she can afford to buy something more reliable and less costly.

Anyway, I had coupons for an oil change with free tire rotation for $18.99 + 1/2 price inspection. With taxes I paid less than $36!!

I plan to update my sidebar and post an entry bringing everything current since my last extra income deposit. Hopefully, I can frequent my blog on a more regular basis!

Have a great evening!

Tire savings, Interest, etc.

March 1st, 2009 at 02:05 pm

Friday after work I went to have the tires mounted on my car. I have been shopping around both tire centers and online tire businesses for a few weeks. I called a Goodyear center and got a quote of $600 (including mounting/installing) + tax for 4 tires= $636, which was way out of line. After comparing about 4 online sites, I decided that had the best prices on the 80K warranty tires that I wanted + offered price matching & free shipping. So I called a local installer listed on the website. I thought I might have to have the tires delivered to me and then transport them to the local shop for installation. When I called the shop, they offered to purchase the tires from Discount Tire Direct (matching the same price I was quoted online) & have them delivered there so I wouldn't have to bother with taking them there after I received them.

The tires ended up costing $508.80 including tax & installation-$25 rebate from Goodyear=$483.80. So by going with this option as opposed to the dealership I saved $127.20 ($636 dealership cost - $508.80 purchase online & local installer). I would have gotten the $25 rebate at the dealership also so I didn't figure that in the savings!

I earned $2.97 interest on money in the extra income fund for February, so I updated that info on the side bar.

Have a nice frugal day!

Tuesday Update

January 21st, 2009 at 03:00 am

Today I took my car for state inspection. It was due by the end of the month and I don't like waiting until the last minute because it is often difficult to get an appointment. Anyway the cost for that was $ passed inspection without needing anything!! In fact I haven't done anything to my Honda yet (other than oil changes) and it is 4 years old. The technician said it is in great shape; however, the tire tread is near the borderline of not passing but for now it is fine. They gave me a quote for 4 new tires which is valid for 30 days. This shop currently has a promotion B3G1F, but still I'm not sure if it is a good deal until I do a little homework and shop around. Did I mention that I love my Honda much better than my Ford vehicle??? It is undeniably much more reliable and very well built. On the other hand, over the years...mostly every time I get the Ford inspected it needs something replaced in order for it to pass inspection. This Honda is my first ever, non-domestic vehicle and it has served me very well thus far. It has 64K miles on it. I don't think I'll buy another domestic car, IMO they are poorly manufactured and always in need of something. Once the Ford dies, my top choices for a vehicle would definitely be a Honda or Toyota!


Our boss took us out to Chili's last night for dinner. I ordered my usual--Southwestern Cobb Salad. In fact, I don't think I've ever ordered anything different when I go there. It was very good. I had leftovers for lunch today. So a free dinner and lunch!


I got 2 rebate checks in the mail today for a total of $6.08, which will be deposited into the extra income fund at the end of the week.

Have a great evening!

Saturday Update!

December 27th, 2008 at 04:31 pm

Yesterday I did a mystery shop for an oil change at a dealership on my Honda. I've done these in the past many times on both of my vehicles. I don't often get to "sign-up" for these anymore due to a change in requirements in that they can only be done Monday through Friday. I used to always schedule the assignments on Saturdays since it was conveniently on my way to work. If there was a location near my full-time job (M-F), I would definitely get a chance to do them more frequently again.

Since I had off work yesterday(plus the vehicle was overdue for service), I figured it would be a good opportunity to see if any assignments were available and I was in luck. Fortunately, I was even able to schedule a service appointment at the dealership that was convenient for me also.

Anyway, the cost of the oil change & filter service was over $38, which I think is ridiculous when I normally pay less than $20 at chain oil change retailers. It is fully reimbursable plus I get a $8 shopper fee for completing the online questionnaire. You can't beat that!!


Starting in January, I need to replenish funds to my savings account that I needed to "borrow" to pay off the 0% CC #3 promotion.

Also, since I am saving $71/month from refinancing my mortgage from 8.5% to 5% and going from a 30-yr to a 15-yr term, I think I will apply that to the principal of my car loan. My payments are automatically debited from my checking account, so probably instead of changing the paperwork to include a principal payment...I will send it by check monthly.


I guess I will use the extra income sources for now (that I had been saving in a separate account to pay off the 0% CC) to add to my regular savings until it is fully funded again.

Have a great Saturday!

Time to say "goodbye" to my car??

September 10th, 2008 at 12:34 am

Since 2005, I've had two vehicles that I drive interchangeably. Since I am a single parent, I figured it made sense to keep a backup vehicle just in case the one breaks down. I don't have family to rely on, nor do I want to be so dependent on others.

So the vehicle in question is a 1998 Ford Escort station wagon, which has 205,000 miles on it. I purchased it new when I was married. I replaced the engine when it had about 185,000 miles. The air conditioner hasn't worked for years and I didn't want to put $ into it to fix it. A couple of months ago I noticed a "slipping" when the gears shift. Now I've never replaced the transmission and don't intend to. After all, IMO it is actually amazing that a Ford Escort has managed to
have over 200K miles on the original transmission. Last week, there was a rattling noise near the passenger's front tire when the car was idling at signal lights. So this morning I get in it to go to work and noticed a scraping noise when braking (maybe the brake pads/rotors?), so I went back home and got the Honda Civic to drive to work. Just so convenient to have that extra vehicle! So I think this car has many issues that could cost lots of money. I have kept up on the maintenance since I've purchased the vehicle.

Last night I checked the Kelley Blue Book value of the car and it is between $1300-1500. So my question is.. would you even spend the money to get a diagnosis, or just try to sell it privately for a few hundred dollars?

Like I said earlier, I do prefer to have a second car for emergencies and such. Car insurance is much less expensive when more than one car is on a policy due to the multi-car discount (at least with my insurance company), so that isn't an issue.

Since I am still paying on the Honda, I don't want another car payment at this time. I really would like to have an SUV or something that is good in snow like my Escort. The Honda doesn't seem to perform as well in winter weather conditions, perhaps because it is lighter than the station wagon and it sits somewhat lower to the road.

I definitely would prefer a used vehicle...maybe a certified used vehicle from a dealer.

I just don't know what to do...put more $ into the Escort or sell it. I'm looking for some feedback!

Lower Gas Prices

August 3rd, 2008 at 01:37 am

Gas prices in my area are 20 cents less per gallon than 2 weeks ago. At my one Saturday job, my commute is about 150 miles round trip. I used less gas today than I did two weeks ago. Since I start with a full tank each time it is easy to see that the mpg is in the 35-40+ range. Last week I got 4.56 gallons when I returned home to refill my tank and this week I got 3.31 gallons. So a savings in gas usage of 1.25 gallons. The highway I drive on has a speed limit of 65, but I try to keep it under 60 mph, if possible. Practically everyone is passing me. I don't really care, I'm seeing great savings by driving a little slower. Also, I use the air vent sometimes as opposed to the air conditioner (but I don't open the windows with the vent on).

I'm just wondering how long these gas prices will keep decreasing. Any ideas how long it will take for us to see the benefits of lower food prices??

Have a great night!

May Gas Expenses

June 7th, 2008 at 03:29 pm

For the month of May, I spent $139 in gasoline for both of my vehicles. It is easier for me to track now that each time I buy gas it goes on the Discover Open Road CC so that I earn 5% cash back bonus, which of course, I pay in full each month.

Both of my vehicles, a Ford Escort SW and a Honda Civic, get 30+ mpg. While I don't think the expenses for May are unreasonable, I do realize that probably a few months to a year ago I spent under half of this amount. My M-F job commute is 8 miles one way and the Saturday job 2X/month is 14 miles one way.

I do know that since gas prices are approaching $4/gal. in my area, I have been extra frugal with my driving practices. I try to not make any unnecessary trips and run my errands on my commute to or from work. I also have decreased the speed at which I drive the vehicles. In addition, I follow the recommendations for oil changes and air filter replacement more closely.

Have a great weekend!