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Subject:  Re: Newbie IRA question Date:  1/12/2005  6:10 PM
Author:  pgray007 Number:  44007 of 92040


After being a debt slave for so long, I want to help as many people as I can!! On the car front, I did some simple math. I was leasing so there was no way to avoid getting brutalized, but I looked at the hit I was going to have to take, then I looked at the potental savings of driving a "less impressive" vehicle for a year. At about $700/month on car payments and insurance, I could afford up to a $8400 hit if I drove the clunker for one year. I was able to make out significantly better than that, so in essence, it was about $6k into my credit cards. Sure I was a little less stylish in the 1991 max, but my friends and family loved me all the same!

Try checking with some family members and friends and see if any of them are willing to "donate" an older car to you, and do the math and you'll likely come out ahead, upside down or not. Our max is still going strong at 200K miles, and works great as a train car for my fiancee.

The key with all this stuff is to take emotion out of it. If you dedicate some time each week, and look at your finances with an impasioned eye, you're less likely to feel guilty and dread looking at all those bills every month.

The other trick I did in MS Money, which you could also do with Excel, is create a graph of total debt, and a graph of monthly finance charges paid, each over time. It's a nice morale boost to see both these lines going down, and in the case of the second graph, each dollar of that is one more in your pocket. Paying off my debt gave me nearly a $150-200 raise each month... now that's real money!

Good luck, and stay the course!

I just started so I have no idea how to cross-post... oh well...
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