How I destroyed a $20,000 car

It was a cold wintery Illinois day on December 31, 2013. The last day of the year, and one of the supposed best days of the year to go car shopping. Dealers want to get rid of their inventories, and the holiday season means plenty of auto manufacturers are offering discounts. So what was I doing on this day? Hunting for a new car.

The decision was a spur-of-the-moment happening, a quick “let’s take a peek at some used cars” for fun, I told my mother. I had plans to drive 3 hours north to celebrate the New Year with some friends, and had no intention of making a purchase that day. Yet after a good three hours at the dealership there I was, signing a loan for a 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

If you’ve read some of my recent posts, you’ll know that I have happily sold that Sonata, so here’s the reason why: I destroyed that $20,000 car.

IMG_01796It was the worst financial decision I’ve made thus far, or, on the other hand the worst mistake you could make when you purchase a like-new car. What did I do? I drove that Sonata (with only 2,000 miles on it at the time of purchase) into the ground, putting over 75,000 miles on it in less than two years. And I’ve been making payments on the car for the past two years, at $338.43 per month, and put $4,000 down at the time of purchase.Continue reading “How I destroyed a $20,000 car”

Debt Update: $34,030.34

It’s been about five months since my last post, so here’s an update. First of all, I’m no longer preparing for a wedding – my former fiancée and I decided it best to call it off as we both work on ourselves and deal with some personal issues that would prevent us from having a happy, long-lasting marriage. No big deal – it’s water under the bridge, we’re glad we made the decision we did, and all is well. But how does that impact my financial situation? Glad you asked!

Since I’m only accounting for my own financial picture now, the total debt number is a lot smaller. The debt meter originally read about $90,000. Today, it’s at $34,030.34. Here’s the breakdown of that number:Continue reading “Debt Update: $34,030.34”

Remembering my biggest money mistake yet

All of us make terrible mistakes with our money. Some of us more than others, but inevitably we all do it every once in a while. Since it’s the start of a new year, it’s always a great time to reflect and make sure we don’t repeat the same mistakes we’ve made before. Think for a second about your biggest money mistake. What was it? The biggest mistake I’ve made so far is buying a car on an impulse. I was 19 at the time, and I’m only 23 now, so I’m sure I’ll probably make a worse decision one of these days, but it was certainly a nightmare to remember for the rest of my life. Here’s my story:

When I was a sophomore in college, I was pretty above average money-wise. I had only accumulated about $12,500 in student loans halfway through my undergraduate education, I didn’t have a credit card, and I had over $2,000 saved in the bank. The only problem with a 19-year-old with that much money in the bank? Poor decision making skills.Continue reading “Remembering my biggest money mistake yet”