Monday, August 2, 2010

Change and common cents . . .

Don't be afraid of change!  Sometimes change is hard, but change can be exciting and empowering.  Even though this blog is only a week or so old, I have been on this journey for a while.  In November last year, we traded in my Toyota Sequia that we leased and bought a Toyota Venza.  We learned the hard way that a lease was not right for us due to the amount of miles that we put on the car and ended up paying a hefty mileage penalty when we turned it in.  Lesson learned, and letting go of that car was very hard for me because I loved my SUV.  I had always wanted one, and I really enjoyed driving it.  BUT . . . between gas, accidents, and the increasing cost of insurance due to the accidents, we just could not afford that car.  That is really hard for me to say, "We just couldn't afford it."  But saying it out loud makes it a little more true.  I can remember when the gas pumps would shut off at $75 when I would go to fill up, my gas tank would not be full but I was not going to put my card back in to start it back up again, so when the price of gas was rising, I had no idea how much it actually cost to fill up my tank.

Then one day I was at the Sams Club in Pooler filling up, I watched as the pump ticked past $75. .  $80 . .  $85, I could feel my heart pounding as the numbers clicked on.  It finally stopped at $87.00, I will never forget that day.  I was filling up more than once a week, and that was an enormous amount of money to be spending on gas. 

Accidents you ask?  Yes, I backed that car into almost everything, and don't worry I have many friends and family who didn't let me forget.  Even worse was that the insurance on my car was rising considerably every year to the point where we were paying $267/month.  Comparing auto expenses from last year to this year, we have saved over $1,000 just from choosing a car that gets much better gas mileage.  Whenever anyone mentions my car or asks how I like it, I can't help but blurt out, "It only costs $35 to fill up!"  I can't even control myself.  I'm excited and I still enjoy driving this car, it still works for us and helps us live a better life within our means.  I encourage you to do the same, change is difficult, but no one ever did anything great without a little change.

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