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Archive for April, 2009

Service Car through Main Dealer ?

April 27th, 2009 at 06:13 am

My Honda is due a service so I booked it in with the closest Honda Dealership.

My brother & father think I'm crazy and should get it serviced by an independent garage that services anything and everything - cars, vans, lorries etc etc.

I know that the independent garage will be cheaper but I don't know what quality of service they will give the car.

I have doubts about:

Their knowledge of Honda cars.
The parts they will put into car.
Whether they will just do the bare minimum - change oil, filters etc.

I know the Main Dealer is equally capable of checking the bare minimum... but I'm hoping that they will have serviced 100s of cars like mine and through experience have learned to look out for certain things.

Also the Main Dealer will stamp the Service Log and that will be helpful when selling the car - (I'm no plans to do this - will hopefully get 8 or so more years of it until it becomes valueless anyway).

I bought it from a Main Dealer who said it had a Full Service History - closer examination of log book revealed it missed a couple of services - so I guess you can't trust Main Dealers either ??

What do you think ?

Birthday holidays booked !!

April 23rd, 2009 at 06:22 am

So my 30th B-day travels are now booked!!

2 nights in Galway in the West of Ireland - went to college there - great city.

The next night I'll be at home with my family for the actual B-day night.

Then the next day I'm off to Belfast (Northern Ireland) for 2 nights - never been there...

Staying in hotels for the 4 nights - got decent value - 60 euro per night in Galway and 72.50 sterling per night in Belfast.

To be honest, 4 nights away is kinda strething the budget but you're only 30 once right !! :-)

You see, I refinanced my debt 2 weeks ago and the new loan payments don't start until May so I had no loan repayment in April at all.

I was planning on adding that money to my EF. However, I then decided to spend it on my 30th B-day travels...

I hope to be able to pay for the two trips in their entirety out of my April and May budgets... it's just that my EF won't get any additional funding in those 2 months... but I can get back into that in June !! :-) I'll be so much older and more sensible then !! hehe

A Life Less Ordinary

April 18th, 2009 at 03:53 pm

Need some uplifting in these times of apparent doom and gloom ??

A 47 yr old Scottish woman, unemployed but looking, who has never been married. In fact, she's never been kissed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk

A cell phone sales man from Wales who has always struggled with self-confidence issues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA

And this is just something I can't help but share with the female bloggers here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWNoiVrJDsE

Enjoy !! :-)

Money can't buy what these guys have.

Oh the sensibleness of it all !! :-)

April 16th, 2009 at 06:17 am

My 30th B-day extravaganza celebration travels have suffered the following downgrades:

1. Once in a life-time month-long trip of a life-time to Peru.

to

2. A long weekend in Berlin, Germany.

to currently

3. A night or two in some cool city in Ireland or a night or two in England (drive over on the ferry).

mmmm how awfully sensible of me !!

This is in the name of not overextending myself financially and keepeing to my goals as outlined on sidebar.

Ah well... At least I'm gainfully employed at the moment and I know I have a million things to be grateful for.

btw... the Peru and Berlin trips will happen... just not until I have all the money for them saved up in advance....

OOmmomph... this personal finance thing is hard work sometimes !!! hehe

Closed Credit Card account

April 14th, 2009 at 05:52 am

Last week - on the day that the annual Government Credit Card Tax kicks in so I avoided paying it !! Wooooohhh !! 30 saved.

You see I paid off my CC debt about a year ago but kept the CC because it was useful for booking stuff online and I changed to a CC which gave me points for every euro spent - I could then convert these points into credit for my mobile/cell phone.

Well on 1st April got an email saying that the company was cutting the rewards point by half.

So...

Closed CC.

Moved checking account to a Bank which provides a VISA debit card - can use online but you can only spend what you have in your checking account.

AND the checking account pays 7% interest on balances up to 2000 - which happens to be the size of EF currently. So my EF has a new home... a very productive home !!

Big Smile !! One little victory for a consumer against the Banking Megaliths...

Gardening beginnings

April 13th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Well I don't really have a garden as I live in a 2nd floor apartment but I do have a balcony which I intend to make the most of... My family home has a garden but my Dad does most of the work on that.

So today I bought:

A compost bin for my balcony. I hope this doesn't smell too much or attract too many flies or dirty the balcony too much... we'll see... just want to recycle as much organic matter as possible.

A strawberry growing kit.

A mushroom growing kit - for indoors.

A growbag which is just a bag with compost in it. You make holes in the bag itself and just plant the seeds in the holes. Ideal for balconies.

Bought 2 packets of Lettuce seeds to put into growbag. Apparently I'll have leaves in 6 weeks. I can harvest some leaves and they'll just grow back !! Great !!

Also spent 25 taking my cousin's son and 2 of his friends to the bowling alley - had a good time - the kids seemed to really enjoy it - it was raining most of today.

Universe providing !

April 9th, 2009 at 04:42 am

So moved into my apartment a week ago... still have a few things to get e.g. vacuum cleaner, iron, 2 bins, compost bin and maybe a few plants.

Yesterday, my job held a get-together for those employees who had perfect attendance in 2008, of which I'm one, and gave us all 100 euro vouchers !!

100 euro, spent wisely, could just about cover the items above. It also turns out my mother has an iron she doesn't use !!

This week it really seems like the world is really helping me out !! And I am very Grateful.

p.s. I missed 2 days last week due to viral illness so no award next year - I got the email about attendance award on my return to work !! hehe

Debt below 10k !!

April 7th, 2009 at 05:51 am

On the cusp of a minor milestone...

my current debt level is approx 11300 - with 4 yrs left to pay.

Well last Friday, I got approval from a Bank for a loan of 9300 over 18 months. This will enable me to achieve my goal of being debt-free by the end of 2010.

I've closed a savings account to provide the 2000 difference. So, when I get the original loan paid back in the coming weeks, my debt level will be at 9300 !!

I also still have 2000 put aside as a mini - emergency fund.

I'll start building the EF up to 15000 when I get the 9300 paid back...

Real progress is being made !! :-)

The power of walking away

April 2nd, 2009 at 12:41 pm

So I've been waiting for the Internet to be connected to my new apt for over 2 weeks now... no explanation been given for the delay...

Called imto store several times and called...no phone calls back to update me.... so today I researched an alternative internet provider...

Went into original store and basically said "I'm gonna cancel with you and go with Company X who can have me online tonight". They said they couldn't get in contact with installer....

Lo and behold... knock on door 2 hrs ago and set up by original provider within 30 mins.....

Jeez... all that fuss over nothing !! It's hard to believe there are small companys dragging their feet connecting new customers in this recessionary environment...

Ah well... threatening to walk away did the trick !!