A Vehicular Crossroad

Rachel’s car has finally hit that point.

The point at which we need to choose to keep it till it falls apart or get rid of it now.  For the second time in the roughly 60,000 miles that we’ve owned it, it needs a head gasket.  The car is a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu with a 3.1L v6.  From what I’ve heard this is an extremely common problem with this engine.  Awesome.

So, our dilemma…

The car is paid off.  Irregular maintenance has not yet turned into regular maintenance, so monthly costs have been negligible for the better part of a year.  It’s in good mechanical condition (besides the recent development), although it’s in extremely poor cosmetic condition.

The cost of repair is approximately $1200.  We can safely assume if we were to buy a new (to us) car to replace the Malibu we’d be looking at payments somewhere between $200 and $400 a month and a minute trade in value.

At those costs it would only need to last us another 3-6 months before the benefit of repairing it outweighs the cost of a new car payment.  Of course, this assumes that we don’t have any other major issues with the car in that 3-6 month time period which is big possibility.  On the other hand, we haven’t had to do anything to the car (and it’s been paid off) for almost a year, so really it’s already earned the new head gasket.

It’s a gamble, we either bet on our car to last another 6 months or we bet against it, and move on with our lives without the complication, but with a little added cost.

One last thing to consider: We only drive 1 car on a regular basis as I ride the bus to and from work.  Therefor; having one unreliable car has been something we’ve been prepared to live with for a while.

What would you do?

We haven’t decided but if someone decides they want to give us an offer… let us know in the comments.

A Few Things

1. Snow
Where the F expletive deleted is it? Ok sure it snowed today but fairport only saw a dusting and my parents place got only a few inches. What they did get is fluff not enough to really ride (snowmobile) on. AND to top it off the rest of this week it’s going to be in the 40’s. I was calculating the other day and my snowmobile has cost me somewhere around $15 dollars per mile ridden not counting gasoline (which at 10 miles to the gallon and 3 dollars per gallon out on the trails…. adds up quite a lot). Let’s figure that in real quick shall we? just for fun…Ok so the gasoline has really only added 33cents per mile but still!!!!???

Thank ‘YOU’ global warming! (for those of you who get the Chuck Norris reference)

2. Goals

I’ve decided to start keeping track of my personal goals. This is my first post on the subject and I will most likely expand upon it later. I think the system society forces you into of working your whole life and saving everything you can so that you can enjoy that last 5% of your life is retarded. That being said, i’m going to try to ‘screw the system’ so to speak. Steps to completion:

– Gain 100% financial independence.
This means no loans, no debt. all transactions paid for with cash (where appropriate). Not to say that i’m really that far off, but a car, student loans and a house all subtract from that
– Retire after 10 years. This may seem impossible but i’m already taking steps to make this a possibility. Rental property being one of my key proponents.
– Learn to Fly. No not by flapping my featherless wings. I’m not on LSD don’t worry. I mean with a plane. Its something I’ve always been interested in but the barriers to entrance are large. lots of time with an instructor which means lots of money. given step 1 and 2 this shouldn’t be as large of a problem as it is now.
– Buy a (pontoon) Plane. This may seem silly to you if Flying is just a weekend Hobby but see what i want to do next…
– Start a Shipping Company that runs cargo to northern Canada. by now some of you are probably thinking I’m off the handle. That may be so. Even more so when I tell you I want to do this in the dead of winter and north of the Arctic Circle if there’s anyone up there.
– Buy a professional (DSLR) camera setup with some very high mm lenses. This will be what I use for wildlife/nature photography on the trips north. Lately Photography has become sort of a hobby and I’d really like to make use of that. Plus it’ll keep me from getting bored on the long long flights.

So that’s it. Now you know at least part of my crazy plans. Maybe you can help make it happen? Maybe you know some people you can get me in touch with to help it along? Maybe you think I’m absolutely crazy and will never talk to me again because of these crazy ravings? Who knows?

To sum it all up: This “working for the other guy” BS is crazy and I cant believe so many people just put up with it. I’ve got 3 ideas for companies (well 4 really but the 4th I’ll talk about some other time) and I just wish I had some capital to get it all started. I’ve started on the 1st (Real Estate/Rental) and I’m going to look into classes to start on the 2nd (photography).