The Best of Finance Blogosphere + "My Car Finally Died – May it Rest in Peace"

Less than a couple of week ago, I had written about our car trouble. Last Thursday morning, finally, our trusty car gave in. It came to a dead halt very close to the better half’s work place. The better half has pushed it into a parking lot with the help of a friend and we are keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t get towed away during the weekend. We are pretty sure the engine is busted and have decided to give it away to the charity organization Kars 4 Kids to salvage whatever they can. (We picked the charity through a random Internet search, so if you have some other charity you would like us to consider, please leave a comment below. Thanks!) We are scrambling to find another car, but do not want to make any hasty decisions. Since both our offices are in very different directions surviving with just one car is not really an option for us. So we have gone ahead and booked a rental car for a week.

To me, it feels like we should have made this decision two weeks back when the car gave us warnings that the engine was in trouble. But then as the better half points out, every time we made a car payment we would wonder if we could have pushed our old car a bit more. Now we know that we really did squeeze every last bit out of it. Frankly, that logic sounds skewed to me, since the memory of the ~$260 we forked over for the repairs is still too fresh. But hey, if the car did run for another 6 months (like it did after the repairs before the last one), I wouldn’t have had anything to complain about would I? It was a gamble and we knew it – no point in second guessing ourselves.

We pretty much have mind made up our mind about which car we want to buy, but don’t want to rush in without being totally absolutely sure that we got the bestest deal possible. So while we look through the online inventories and we pore over the infinite details of which color, which trim etc., here are some great reads for you that I came across during the last week.

Since we are talking about cars, let me start out by pointing this great series about buying used cars by golbguru over at Money, Matter and More Musings. Golb went through a similar experience with his old car and has done a very good job in recording in great detail the process he went through for purchasing a used car. I highly recommend this if you are in the market for a used car.

Used car not your cup of tea? Prefer a new car? Then you will likely love this article by SVB about 10 popular reasons to buy a new car at the Digerati Life. For the purchase of our next car, we plan to find a middle ground between the “used Vs new” debate by going for a relatively new used car :)

OK, enough about cars already! Moving on to other things, David at My Two Dollars has an ongoing challenge to start digging out of credit card debt. It’s *never* too late to join. Here is week 3 of the challenge.

J.D. at Get Rich Slowly is out vacationing in Europe and has given the mike over to guest authors in his absence. And he has done a great job in making sure that the guest authors keep up with the quality of posts that we have come to expect from GRS. This particular article about extreme personal finance by Tynan about his experience of moving from a Penthouse to an RV really grabbed my attention!

In the market for a credit card? Drop that application! Do not make any decisions until you read this detailed listing by Flexo at Consumerist Commentary about 50 credit cards offering 0% APR on purchases.

While we are on the topic of 0% APR, I must point you to this article by Sun at The Sun’s Financial Diary. It is his net worth update for the month of July, and if you pay close attention, you will notice that he has over 100K in credit card arbitrage! I thought I dabbled too much in credit card arbitrage (last year I had around 56K, but right now I have much less). But my amount almost pales in comparison to what Sun has going for him! (If you are not familiar with credit card arbitrage, you can read about it here and here).

And rounding off this best-of edition is this interesting post by Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity about how he financially survived college. Here is a quote from the post that really resonated with me, except that I had to wait until much later in life to wise up - “While I still believe that (hard work is what you need), I think that the idea that I could sell something on eBay and earn as much as I did doing a work-study at minimum wage (or slightly above it) really turned my world upside down.”

With that I bid adieu – beckons me :)

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golbguru said...

ispf, I will usually shy away from pasting any links in the comments, but since you asked for it, here is one:

If you are not too high on the "donation" aspect. Call up a junkyard and see if they are going to buy it for some cash. You could be surprised how much some people might pay for it. :)

The Digerati Life said...

Thanks for including me here! :)

David said...

Thanks for including me!