Mr. 1500 doing all of the talking today…
Lately, I’ve been thinking that perhaps my life isn’t on quite the right path. I am perpetually tired from being perpetually busy. While I have a great life and don’t really have the right to complain about anything, it can all be overwhelming at times. The problem may actually be this very blog. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Last week Two weeks ago, we asked what kind of car you drove. By far, the most common cars were Hondas and Toyotas:
- Brad from Richmond Savers: Honda Civic
- Mrs. Frugalwoods: Ancient Honda Odyssey
- Chris from Flipping a Dollar: 2006 Scion xB (Scion is a Toyota brand)
- Savvy Financial Latina: 2007 Civic (80K miles)
- Reader Kim: Honda Civic
- Done by Forty: Toyota Matrix (congratulations on manual and 100K miles!)
- Reader Sara: Toyota Corolla (congratulations on manual and 180K miles!)
- Reader CheapRN: Honda Odyssey
- Reader Joy: Toyota Prius (so sorry to hear about your wrecked Accord)
- Reader Jennifer: Honda Civic (congratulations on 184,000 miles!)
- The Roamer: Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic (It was pretty great meeting you and your family on Saturday. Thanks for taking some time out of your vacation to come see us!)
- Julia from Golopomo: Honda Fit (another manual, woot!)
- Reader Thomas: Another Honda Fit
- Norm from Ridinkulous: Honda Civic (PS: Your post about fees was hilarious!)
- Mom at Three is Plenty: Toyota RAV4 (glad someone else shares my Tesla lust!)
- Adam at AdamChudy: Toyota 4Runner
- Reader Ramona: Mazda Miata
- Retired to Win Alex: Dodge Dakota (146K miles, way to go!)
- Reader Henrik: 150cc Kymco scooter
- Gen Y Finance Guy: Hyundai Sonata
- Reader Tar Heel Dan: Acura TSX (technically a Honda, but a pricier brand, so I’m listing it separate)
- Andrew at Living Rich Cheaply: Another Sonata
- Reader Bob: Dodge 1500 (love that number!)
- Mr. FSF: Ford Focus SVT
- Anton: In the most unusual category, a Skoda Oktavia wagon (bonus points for manual)
- Reader Sara: 2006 Subaru Forester (nice work on 100,000 miles!)
- Reader Allison: Nissan Altima
- Reader Joe: Pontiac Vibe
- The Recreator: Jeep Rubicon
- Reader OnlyKetchup: (soon to be sold) 2013 Ford Raptor (congratulations on your FIRE awakening)
- Reader ProfitProphet: Saab 9-3, but he (or she) wants a Mustang (I like Mustangs too)
- Reader jenlarson79: Mazda CX-7
- Reader Tom: Dodge Durango
- Reader Kitstownie: Lexus RX300 (technically a Toyota, but a pricier brand, so I’m listing it separate)
- Jason from Reaching our Balance: Nissan Sentra
- Reader Peter: Mercedes C32 AMG (That is one hot car, but I’m glad you are on the path to FIRE now!)
- Simon from Lending Memo: 1998 Ford Escort (220,000 miles, manual. Simon my friend, you are killing it! Go for 300,000!!)
- Reader Thomas: Smart (may your turbocharger live fovever!)
- Reader Jenni: Chevy Impala
- Reader Wade: Ford Edge and Explorer
- Debtless in Texas: Mazda 6
- Reader CincyCat: 2005 Dodge Caravan and 2002 Chrysler Concorde (way to go on keeping those old beasts on the road!)
- Renee Simone at 7years2freedom: Acura TL (Hi Pearl!)
The biggest winners in my opinion own no car at all:
- Finance Valley
- Mrs. PoP: Bike!
- Erin at Succinct Scribbler
- Fervent Finance
- Stephen from Simple Economist: 1981 10 speed (nice work Stephen!)
- The Goblin Chief: Trek bicycle
- Dave at The New York Budget
- The Frugal Buckeye: No car because the company provides one. (Woot! A free car is the best car of all!)
- Reader Ben: Diamondback bicycle (agree with your thoughts on buying a new car; I’ve made that mistake)
Two things stand out for me when I listed everyone’s cars:
Japanese brands dominate: I come from a “buy American” family. My parents have never owned anything but a Ford, GM or Chrysler product. However, they paid the price. As a kid, I remember my dad spending countless hours under the hood of various clunkers seemingly every weekend. Anyone remember the awful Chevy Citation? For a long time, domestic brands were inferior to their Japanese counterparts and Detroit paid the price. Toyota and Honda came on very strong with better products.
I do believe that Detroit now has its act together. If I needed another vehicle, I’d strongly consider a domestic brand.
Your vehicle echoes your frugality: If you’re reading this blog, you are most likely a frugal person. That lifestyle is clearly reflected in your car choices. Most of the vehicles that you told me about are cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and last a long time. Big high five!
Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about our cars. We have two quirky vehicles:
- 2003 Honda Element (145,000 miles, manual): We bought this because of its versatility. I can take the back seats out and haul 4×8 sheets of drywall or plywood around. Also, I can sleep in it. I’ve done this several times (none of them because Mrs. 1500 kicked me out mind you!) It’s been a great vehicle. Besides a seized rear caliper, it has been trouble free.
- 2010 Mazda 5 (90,000 miles, manual): We bought this because it has loads of room (seats 6), but smaller and cheaper than a conventional minivan. It’s been a solid, trouble free vehicle.
Our next car?
We expect to get at least 250,000 miles out of the Element and the 5. Since I work from home, it will take us a long time to wear either of these out. Most miles are put on when we take summer road trips with the children.
I mentioned in the original question that I had driven a Tesla and loved it. Piloting an electric vehicle was an epiphany. The first thing I told Mrs. 1500 after driving the Tesla was this: ‘internal combustion is dead to me.’ When I purchase another car 10 years or so from now, it will be propelled by electrons, not hydrocarbons. I’m sure of that.
Now, finally on to this week’s question…
I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment.
My job: I have a job which can be demanding and stressful. I put in a bunch of hours over the weekend to get stuff done.
- This blog: Writing here takes at least 10 hours per week.
- Our home projects: We are almost done with our home, but not quite. Normally, I wouldn’t care too much about finishing stuff like paint, trim and railings, but we may borrow against our home to fund another purchase. This will require an appraisal. Appraisers do not like unfinished homes. As a result, we are in a death race to get it all done before June*.
- Exercise: I’m sick of being out of shape.
- Family: Children want (and need) their parent’s time more than anything. If Little D asks me to help her with a puzzle, that comes first. Our older child is planning a business too, which I am helping her with.
My life will never be busier than it is right now. There is no free time. I don’t like doing something if I can’t put full effort into it. I have posts that I wanted to publish in January, but still haven’t found the time to complete. Life is overwhelming.
I’ve proposed drastic measures:
- Take the kids and run: “Mrs. 1500, why don’t you take the kids to the grandparent’s house over spring break?” Not having the family around would allow me to get a month’s worth of work done in a week. This plan was not feasible since tickets to Florida over spring break cost a small fortune.
- Stop writing here for a while: I enjoy writing, but it is the easiest thing to eliminate. Maybe I need a hiatus.
- Burn vacation time to get the house done: I’m taking the first week off in May just to swing the hammer around the house. It is painful burning precious vacation time for remodeling, but I have to do it.
- Hire someone to help me with the house: I have had a terrible time hiring help. The good guys already have more work than they can handle. I don’t dare go down this route.
Do you ever feel like this? How do you deal with it? Any suggestions for me? I’m tired, burned out and worn down.
*We are in very preliminary discussions with the seller of the property. We haven’t even talked money yet. So, we may bust our asses over the next couple of months to help along a deal that may not even happen.
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