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Summer Murphy

August 14th, 2009 at 12:26 am

**Murphy REALLY likes to visit us in the summer. Last year is looking preferable though - maybe $1500 all told.

WE are already up to $3k in car repairs (maybe a bit more) when dh calls me today to report his AC is not working in his car. SERIOUSLY? I know it could be something cheap to fix, and in fact he called me later to tell me he turned it off for a while and back on, and it worked for a bit. But still!!

The van is going to the shop Monday, it's s'posed to be 100 degrees - and that's our only vehicle??? I told dh it might work out - the car was so hot the other day I am not sure I could have driven it but the A/C cooled down the steering wheel rapidly. So I figure if we have to store it in the garage all day and he comes to pick me up after work, we may survive. The difficult part is driving a car on a hot, windless day, that's been sitting in the sun all day. Not much shade here. Could invest in a visor shade thing though...

I can look at the bright side - at least we are at the tail end of summer. Though September can be brutal hot. I think we will probably just take it in though, once the van is all fixed up. That's what our cash is for. But if we want to nurse our wounds a bit and put it off, sounds like it may be workable.

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As a frugal antecdote/side story, I remember I was on a local message board a few years back where I learned that the masses believe old cars cost more money (repairs) than new cars. They all said quite a few nasty things about old cars, and I always defended my old car. Anyway, so everyone had a 5-year or newer car pretty much, and I Remember one summer absolutely NO ONE on the entire message board had air conditioning except ME!!!!! My little $800, 12-year-old Saturn with 150k+ miles, yes. Never had an A/C problem with that car or any older car I owned the decade prior.

I just always thought that was pretty ironic. It was the summer of no AC.

So when dh tells me this - I say of course the AC doesn't work - now we have a newer car! Wait - the car is 8 years old. When did that happen? HEll, at 100k or so miles, it is one of the newest vehicles we have ever owned. I just don't get the feeling that they "make them like they used to" in many regards. I know more modern ACs have stricter environmental standards too.

Aw, hoping for us, it is just something simple like low on freon or something. I can hope? Reminds me, dh needs new tires too. We keep forgetting to look them over, but they have hit 50k miles of use - I am quite sure we should replace them before summer is out.

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I haven't been very bloggy. Expenses aside, just been very content. We made a lot of progress this year, and so can breathe a little.

WE had many years where money wasn't an object, and I just want to get back to it. IDeally, I think finances should be in the background. I don't want to obsess about it all the time. & my obbsession level has decreased dramatically this year. Phew.

For me, it's a bit of a balancing act. I don't want to obsess over my finances - just want to have long-term goals and keep an eye on things. BUT I love the subject, obviously, and so don't mind obsessing about the topic of finances.

Anyway, I Feel like worrying, stressing, focusing too much on finances has been my mode for a couple of years. & I would like to tone it down a bit. I have, and it's been NICE!

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Today the kids' accounts both hit the magic $3k mark. BM literally has $3k in his account - and a few cents to spare.

If the market starts off up tomorrow, I will execute trades for both of them to get into some more aggressive funds. I was just going to stick them in the Total Stock Market Index and go from there. I guess I should research a few funds before I trade. Hmmmmmm. A Target fund is also an interesting idea (since too little money to spread around much at this point). But was thinking of just going for the market index, and getting back into Star (balanced fund) next year with next year's birthday gift money, to get some more balance. Will be a while before I can spread out into more funds, but I think it's a nice start.

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I've been contemplating cash though I probably shouldn't. Not like I have much. We may get to stay above $20k, but depends what Murphy throws at us. A chunk of that is in my ROTH, as is.

But I have been considering a cutoff of when to cross over from cold hard cash to maybe some bond funds, etc. Either $30k or $40k, is what I Am thinking now. Depends. I read an article the other day about how great it is to invest in bonds vs. cash, and I wasn't very much convinced. Author bragged of returns no better than my own cash/CD returns of the last 3 years. But certainly took on more risk in bonds. So not sold there. Talked about mid-term bonds as well, which I Was also not sold on (prices fall when interest rates rise -and interest rates are so LOW). Though maybe we should just start dollar-cost-averaging into bond funds when we get to that point. Anyway, author was talking about some Vanguard funds, and I looked and the average maturity on these funds were more like 2 years. I assumed "mid-term" was a longer time frame. So yeah - I am starting to get more convinced.

Bonds just overall, scare me. I don't completely understand them. So I am wary. I am not in any individual bond funds at current, though I have some balanced funds (which have bonds and bond funds, etc.). But the bonds I had in 2000 definitely saved my portfolio in 2001-2002. I have just been wary to buy in with such low interest rates.

Well, I've got some time to study up on bond funds - that is for sure. For cash I might no need for over 5 years - I think I would be foolish not to invest a "little" more aggressively.

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I can't decide if work is slow or crazy. I think it's in the middle. The slow or crazy just depends on the day. But I feel stressed by approaching deadlines.

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This weekend isn't shaping up to be too cheap.

Dh drove LM to the Bay Area today - grandma wanted him for a few days. Gas $$$$

Dh has friends coming over this weekend who want to go out to dinner. We were invited to a BBQ and we offered to bring a lot of food. Plus it is a bit of a drive.

So it's shaping up to be a little busy and a little more pricey than the $0 we wanted to spend. That's life I guess!!!!

Here is to a really lazy, no spend, rest of August. After Sunday!

4 Responses to “Summer Murphy”

  1. frugaltexan75 Says:

    My Honda was about 3 1/2 years old when the A/C compressor went out on it. I was able to get it fixed (I think it was a rebuilt one) for a bit less than $800. My car is now 12 years old, and the AC is working great. That I think was summer of 2001.

    I hope it isn't anything too expensive to fix. You guys need a break from Murphy.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    Oh lord - I hope it is not a $800 fix!!!!!

    I think we were replying to each other at same time - hehe.

  3. frugaltexan75 Says:

    We just might have been. Smile
    I hope it isn't an 800 fix too - that was the second most amount of money I paid on my Honda so far. (The most was getting the boot axles thingy fixed - around 1k, thanks to swerving to avoid a cat in the road and ending up with half my car in the front lawn of a local IHOP in McAllen TX. Had to replace one tire from that incident too.)

  4. Caoineag Says:

    I think a mechanic wanted $1400 to fix my a/c (previous owner told me this). I haven't bothered to get it fixed. Generally not an issue because we have nice breezes. But then we tend to drive in the early morning or the afternoon, tends to keep it reasonable. Oh and we have a 1996 Subaru with 300k. Hopefully yours is a much cheaper fix.

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