Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Car is Paid Off!!

Guess what today is?!?!

That's right - today is "Pay off the Car" day!! That's right - today I submitted my very last payment to Honda for my car. Hooray! My little buggy is now officially mine. I can tell you, it feels pretty good. I had been spending about $300 a month on my 5 year car loan and now it gone. Yeeeeessssss!

Now, the smart thing to do would be to take that $300 and just keep clipping right along and put that amount in a nice little savings account so when the time comes for me to get a new (used) car, I would be all set. I'm not going to do that, however, well, at least not yet...

This house painting thing is taking a lot out of me. I have two sides that are almost done, but it has been a significantly larger drain on my extra income than I planned. I had anticipated the labor costs, but the supply costs are getting me. My painter has been great, he has worked with me, showed me exactly what he is buying and why, and is going extra steps to help me keep the costs down. Still, I am not sure I am going to be able to afford the next two sides for a few months. I rather expected that, but I was hoping to possibly just keep going and get the whole thing done at once. No such luck.

So for now, (June, July and August,) the "extra" money from my auto payments are going to my general reserves. That will give me $900 - one month's income. Then hopefully once summer is done, I will be able to start that car fund up. I want to build up a reserve fund for both the purchase of a new (used) car and for unexpected car maintenance. Fortunately, my Honda is a great little car and I have no intention of getting rid of it anytime soon. In fact, as I have mentioned here before, I plan on driving it until it becomes a lawn ornament! I am assuming, at the very least, that will give me another 5 years - if not a whole lot more. So, waiting three months to set up my car fund doesn't worry me too much. I bought my current car brand new, but the next time I think I will go with a good condition, low mileage used car.

If you are wondering about how paying this off will effect my goal of getting nine hundred each month, it really won't - at least not until the house is painted. It is still going to take me quite a bit of work to earn enough to pay for the completion of the work. Not paying the car payment each month will give me a jump start on the nine hundred, but essentially, the goal doesn't change at all.

The great news is that I am now at less than $125 of unsecured consumer debt - and that will be paid off shortly as well! It looks like I am going to have to have a very frugal summer to get the house done, but once that is tackled, fall might be a little easier! (Let's hope!)



Vintage Honda ad photo by: gingerbeardman

15 comments:

psychsarah said...

Congrats on the last car payment. I'm in a similar countdown (10 months to go on a 5 yr loan- the home stretch!) You should give yourself a major pat on the back!! Bummer that the house stuff is costing more than you thought. I find that with every single project we undertake at home-it drives me up the wall! Hang in there-you've done so well with your money so far, you can handle this house painting adventure!

Dawn said...

Thanks psychsarah! Doesn't it feel good to be in that countdown? I was even able to save a few dollars by paying it off a little early.

I am with you on the house painting project - no home improvement project is ever as easy (or cheap) as you think it will be!

Catie said...

WA-HOOOOOOOO! I am so happy for you. And once that credit card is gone, you will have so many more options to how you allocate your savings. Great work, Dawn.

Dawn said...

Thanks Miss Catie! I'm doing a little jig over here myself!

RML said...

Congratulations! Great news and wonderful to hear about your painting plans for the summer as well. I think you are doing the right thing all up.

Dawn said...

RML - Thanks so much! I have fingers crossed that this summer will work out well, but as we know - the best laid plans....

Serendipity said...

congrats on that last car payment! it must feel like a weight has been lifted, not to mention wiggle room in your budget!

Dawn said...

No too much wiggle, but the weight is definitely gone, Serendipity.

Simplelivin' said...

Congrats!!!! That def. must be a huge relief! Honda's are terrific cars and last a long time if treated right.

Kristy @ Master Your Card said...

Yay! Congrats Dawn! I know it's a relief to have one major debt out of the way! If I were you, and this is just my suggestion - for what it's worth, I'd build up the emergency fund a little bit. Not just what you're planning to put towards the house as far as painting goes, but towards your actual emergency fund. If memory serves, you only have a month or so in there, is that right? With as much as you've got going on, you should definitely have more. I'd like to see you with some more cushion. If you think that car will last you another 5 years, you've got a golden opportunity to sock some money away!

Whatever you decide to do, as always, I wish you the best!

Frugal Dreamer said...

Congratulations!!!

I bought a brand new car, too! And I CANNOT wait to experience NO CAR PAYMENTS!!!

Good for you!!! :)

Dawn said...

Simplelivin'- That is what I am hoping. I want my car to last a loooooooooong time.

Kristy - You are absolutely right, that is definitely something I want to do. I want to have a good 6 month in emergency savings stashed. I would like to be funding both the emergency and car funds at the same time, knowing of course that the car fund is a "Plan B" emergency fund.

Frugal Dreamer - I was glad I bought the new car and have been thrilled with it, but next time I probably will look for a used vehicle. Having no payments is going to be awesome!

Frugalchick said...

Congrats!!

J. Money said...

Awesome!! Good for you, that is bad A$$.

Dawn said...

Thanks Frugalchick and J. Money!! It was great checking in on the website and seeing Amount owed: $0.00!!!