Debt Managements

We bought a used car

Good news and bad news! Our Fiesta died after hitting nearly 200,000 miles. It doesn’t run anymore, and our mechanic said the repairs would cost more than the car is worth, so we should just invest in a used car.

But the good news is that we were able to purchase a low-mileage used car for a little more than our preferred budget of $15,000. In our area, sedans are not very popular. We couldn’t find a sedan that fit the budget and mileage we were considering. They all had very high mileage or were luxury sedans that cost anywhere from $5k to $10k.

We settled on a Chevy Trax

Fortunately there were plenty of small SUVs on the market, including a beautiful three-year-old Chevy Trax, which is what we ended up with. We only paid $16,500 for it and negotiated a free brake job with purchase because it seemed a bit strict. It only has about 25,000 miles on it, and we are happy with it. Obviously we paid cash, which was great! It’s a good idea to have the money set aside for a big purchase already so you don’t have to stress.

Believe it or not, the Trax’s MPG is almost the same as the old Fiesta. It tracks mpg on the dashboard and we averaged about 37. I think that’s because we drive mainly on back roads, so there’s not a lot of stopping and starting and we don’t go very 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 also happy 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.

A new job may require moving

I wanted to know 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 advertised salary range for the role shows that it could be a 40% salary increase over my partner’s base salary. This is if my partner only earns on the low end of the salary range. It is possible to negotiate a higher wage.

There would have been a smaller jump in pay if the bonuses were still coming, but we haven’t gotten anything since the changes to the compensation structure. Unfortunately, we don’t see this changing based on how rewards are calculated. This new role does not have the same amount of reward potential, which is why the base pay is much higher.

Although we will have to sell the house and perhaps rent an apartment or buy a new place, this seems like an opportunity we should not pass up based on the salary increase. Do you all agree that this kind of pay increase is hard to pass up?

The cost of living in the new location is low

Small apartments at the new location rent for only about $700 a month, so it’s a low-cost living area as well. It’s in the same condition, only three hours away. If we don’t want to rent, we can also buy a house for a similar amount or maybe less. I’m open to downsizing and putting some of the money we make from selling our house into retirement to support us with our other financial goals. what about your opinion?

Obviously nothing is set in stone. There is currently a hiring freeze, which is why interviews cannot yet take place. Hiring freezes seem to happen every year at this company, so it’s not a concern. It’ll be over in about two months, so we should know more then. But my partner has been actively following through the department and having some positive conversations about the new role. So there are good chances that there will be a positive result. The only hurdle is the possibility of moving to a new area. 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.

Love your ideas!

Read more

Spring cleaning, house maintenance, and learning to drive

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