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To drive or not to drive, THAT is the question

To drive or not to drive, THAT is the question

Last week, our van died. It was a cruel, fast death. The head gasket blew, engine light was flashing and the van produced a noxious smell with fumes and smoke. Not pretty. Luckily a friend was able to help me get where I needed to go. Once the dust settled, we got the van towed to a repair shop for an estimate. They estimated $2050. My goodness! Having looked up the selling price of the van, I knew that this repair would cost more than the entire value of the van.

We had some options to weigh:

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Do I have to repair all things wrong with my vehicle?

Do I have to repair all things wrong with my vehicle?

We have recently found ourselves back at the mechanics. We didn't want to spend a whole lot of money on repairing it, because we want to save our money instead to purchase a new vehicle or use that money on current every day expenses. So we wondered if we really had to get everything fixed.

After discussing it with our mechanic here's what we found we could do:

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Reducing your Entertainment Expenses

Reducing your Entertainment Expenses

Most people who track their spending accurately (see CalendarBudget) will notice that their expenditures on entertainment add up to more than they expect. I know for me and all of my friends this is true. Of course, this makes sense. What else are we going to do with our disposable income? Given that, here are a few ideas for less-expensive entertainment alternatives so you can take your extra money and pay down that debt or invest for your future... and you'll find some of these ideas are great fun!

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Working with what you've got

Working with what you've got

There are certain purchases you deem are NECESSARY things to buy. For us, one of those things was a vehicle. We had to purchase a new vehicle before we got married because my previous vehicle had, how shall I say it..., "given up the ghost". After we were married and had our first child we realized one thing we should have taken into consideration - the difficulty of getting a baby in and out of the backseat of a 2 door vehicle. But we decided to put up with it, that it wasn't enough of a reason to purchase a new vehicle.Then as time went on the next pregnancy brought twins and we didn't see any way to be able to get 3 car seats in our little car. Although I never wanted to be a van guy, we switched to a nice family minivan, also taking into consideration that we wanted to have more children.

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Avoiding the technology trap

Avoiding the technology trap

Futureshop and Circuit City are the adult candy stores of today.

For many people (mostly male) who walk into these stores, our eyes widen with excitement... I find myself asking "Which items most badly want to come home with me?" So many new toys, gadgets and .. oh ya, they cost money... lots of money. But surely my pleasure and bragging rights will compensate for the high price, right? Maybe for a few days, but then you have to face the bill, or the other need that you now cannot afford.

I find when I go into those stores, I go with a purpose and item in mind, and go directly to that item and then make my purchase and leave. Otherwise, the temptation can be too great :). 

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I Need My Big Screen TV!

I Need My Big Screen TV!

I heard it said the other day that all guys need a big screen TV. Of course it was said as a joke, but it highlights the mindset many people have. We confuse our wants with our needs and end up being unable to prioritize our spending properly.

Our needs consist of food and shelter and true needs associated with those. Perhaps there are a few others depending on where you live, your religion, etc... but we should not be getting to the point where we need the big screen TV.

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