< DadBodfi >
Crack a Beer. Crack a Joke. Crack the code to Financial Independence.
Beer (Wine) Review: Chardonnay - Winking Owl, California (ALDI @ $2.89 a bottle??)
Cheap, well balanced, crisp white wine. I could have easily mistaken this for a $25 bottle. I've been wanting to hop on the ALDI train for quite some time. Today as I was waiting around the auto repair shop I walked across the street to check it out. Way more to come on this store. Official Review: 7/10 (Hard to beat that value)
The path to Financial Independence can be simple if you let it - cut your expenses, eliminate debt, and increase savings. I started this path a few months ago and started to obliterate my budget. I have also been slashing my student loans and most recently I paid off our family SUV. No more car payment feels great. I still can't believe I let that weasel talk me into financing that car four years ago.
As I recall, I shopped around the lot for a few hours test-driving and "negotiating". Towards the end of my journey, I was able to talk the salesman into taking $1,000.00 off the sticker price. He later rescinded this offer, saying that the dealership had mistakenly overpriced the vehicle. According to him, they were going to let it slide this time and I was getting a great deal. I knew this asshole was lying, but I had given enough time to this place and was willing to just sign away.
As my journey completed, I was escorted into another office where I met with a gentleman named Alex. "Let's talk warranties" he exclaimed. I politely told him "Alex, I'm just fine with the manufacturer's issue". The conversation ensued, and he finally talked me into $5 extra a month on my payment for a 7 year extended warranty. I had no clue what this got me but he made it sound pretty great.
I am not here to tell you that I know much about automobile warranties, or that I am an expert negotiator at the car dealership (that honor belongs to my father - he is the first human that I have ever seen walk into a car dealership and be avoided by the salespeople). In fact, I would avoid any car buying situation that is not a used-car cash sale ( see "Spending: The FI Way" http://dadbodfi.com/blog/spending-the-fi-way ). I simply would advise anyone to research what their warranty actually covers for this reason:
On Friday I went to start our car. The battery was dead. Fantastic. Normally, I would call a friend for a jump or maybe even get a tow to the nearest repair shop. I would then get an estimate on a new battery and be told that I have 12 other things wrong with my car. Instead, I researched my aforementioned warranty from Alex. I found out that I could get a free jump or tow as long as it was under $100. I also learned that my battery was covered for full replacement up to 7 years.
I called roadside assistance and they came to my house to jump my car. I drove it to a local shop and they replaced my battery. I had to pay taxes and a small labor fee. The entire fix totaled $27.53. If you factor in the tow/jump and new battery, my 15 minute research saved me about $200. That is how you become a little bet better than the guy next to you and reach financial independence.