Saturday, May 16, 2009

Buying a Car

Recently, the unexpected happened. One of the cars broke and started to feel like it was going to completely break down somewhere on the side of the road when there was no one around to help.

Personally, I am not a huge fan of living with stress. In fact, I'm nearly 100% convinced that this is the cause of many health problems. So, when I can avoid the stress, I do. In this case, having a car that was unreliable and just waiting for a final breakdown was not appealing to me.

So, after deciding on a car and what we thought would be a reduction in sticker price and trade-in, we went and found the car dealership closest to where we live, walked in, test drove, and finally bought a car. In short, we did it in a single trip, single transaction. Fortunately, we were able to afford it and had good credit. Other people are not so lucky.

The big lesson learned is to not wait until the last minute. The car had already started showing signs of getting worn down and needing repairs. A repair bill from only about six weeks ago topped 1000 dollars. So, it would have been much better to trade it in before those types of bills started cropping up because the trade in value probably would not have been much different.

I would follow the advice over at Free Money Finance on getting a car. It certainly seems like solid advice. So, like many things in life, the longer you wait to deal with the problem, the worse your situation will be.

There were many positive aspects though. And I think that one of the best things that you can do in life is to focus on positive things.

1. The car is brand new, eye-catching, reliable, and will hold its value better than the old car.
2. The monthly payment is easily affordable and is 100 dollars less than the old car payment.
3. We'll easily be able to pay it off early and finally be in a positive rather than negative equity position when we trade it in.
4. There will be savings on repairs as well as cost of fuel. So overall, a good deal.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Just Do It

One of the most basic things that I've realized this past month is related to health. For the past few weeks, I've been busy but have been unable to do something that has become so much a part of my life that I really miss it. And it has become second nature to me. The thing I'm missing is exercise.

Since I usually arrive home late from work, I find that there can be some pent up stress associated with work and also with my commute. After starting an exercise regimen, I found that my stress was under control. I started slow, and I followed up with my doctor to make sure that I was really doing the right thing.

After about two years of exercising, I've never had a bad experience in terms of a serious injury. Then, about two weeks ago, I was afraid that had changed. After what seemed like a normal exercise routine, I must have pushed too hard. The next day I was showing signs of pain.

I can't say that it was not completely unexpected. I didn't spend enough time warming up usually. But, more than that, I realized that even if I had warmed up, that there could be injuries that "just happen". In the end, I have not had to go to the doctor, but I won't soon forget the incident.

Here's three ideas to think about with regard to your health:

1. Be aware of your activities and make sure you're taking the possible risk into account. Certain injuries could cause permanent injuries and generate disability.

2. Be grateful for your health, whatever the status. This incident has made me even more happy for the days when I'm healthy without any problems.

3. Ensure that you are realistic. In taking on a regimen of exercise, take into account your age, your warm ups and other types of adjustments you may need to make over time. Just relaxing and taking it slow might save you from hurting yourself.

All that said, I can't wait to get back to exercising. I feel like the tiny risk from exercise is well worth it when I consider how much benefits it has for my overall health.

For options that are easy and cost effective include the following:

1. Try using a bike to exercise outside. Using this over and over will allow for you to be able to experience a great workout at a reasonable cost.

2. Pick up some small dumbells with adjustable weights. Using this and looking up the exercises on the internet, you can get many different types of exercises done without even having to go outside.

3. Finally, if you do choose to attend a gym, make sure you look for values. Some insurances will even give a partial reimbursement, so look into this before chosing a gym.