In the past month money seems to disappear faster than I earn it. First my wife decided she wanted a newer car. Her old car, a 2000 Buick LeSabre, only had 103,000 miles on it. We bought it new in December 1999. We went shopping and, after looking at about 15 models, she found “exactly what she wanted”. We traded in the Buick since she didn’t want to mess with selling it ourselves. Now She owns a 2014 Ruby Red Jeep Grand Cherokee with as many bells and whistles she could find. It wasn’t cheap, but we paid less than many others in our region. She is very happy with it.
Lessons learned while shopping for a replacement vehicle are numerous.
Among them: if a dealership encourages its sales people to try to sell what is in the used department then Run, don’t walk away from the dealership. If sales people won’t show you a vehicle you have asked to look at (e.g., Lincoln Continental ) they DON’T CARE what you want to buy, they will only show you what they want to sell. Run, Run, Run, off the lot and never return!
Other lessons: if you find a “used” vehicle which is last years model but has over 2000 miles and needs body & paint repairs but the dealer insists on selling starting at the MSRP, then they are not serious about selling what you want, they only want to make money off you and could care less if you are satisfied. My wife liked the vehicle but the stealership, which had advertised the price as $$,$$$ on the internet but raised the price by $7,000 back to the MSRP (brand new, never been driven) and was willing only to take off $7,000, you know they really are not in the customer satisfaction business. They only want the quick buck and they don’t care if you come back.
When you find sales people who Listen to what you want to find out, then proceed to show you every vehicle the company sells all the while asking questions as to what you are looking to find, then you know you have found an excellent dealership. In our case, we found two Excellent dealerships with excellent salespeople. The first was a Chevrolet/Cadilac dealership which had a large inventory of both new, near new, and used vehicles. The saleswoman explained what each car’s good points as well as known problems. She showed us she knew what we were interested in finding but tried very hard to find the car we wanted.
The other dealership, which sells Buick and GMC trucks, also had a young salesman who tried his utmost to satisfy my wife’s wants. He didn’t fail, but a design issue ended up with us going elsewhere.
The last major issue: if you have a time constraint, DO NOT go to the dealer’s lot. You will never make your other meeting on time if you find the right vehicle. The time to close the deal, complete the paperwork, tour the showroom and shop, will not allow you the needed time to evaluate what the vehicle has and if it meets all the criteria you specified (in writing) to yourselves before you ever started shopping. This is especially true if you need to travel to another city to look at the replacement vehicle.
The last thing on my list of learning: Clean out the old car just to make sure you don’t have to do it in a hurry. The alternative is NOT to accept delivery, which means taking possession, of the new car until you have TIME to think about it over a warm or cold beverage away from the dealership!
Where I live we are in the tenth year of drought. The past two years are considered Severe Drought, which means the water tables are dropping. On my place, the water table has dropped from eight feet to 29 feet, which means my old well pump would not pull the water. This forced me into paying for a new well to be drilled and a submersible pump installed. Since everybody in the state is in need of water, the price of drilling has gone up. A few years ago, a well like mine would cost maybe $3,000, now its closer to $10,000. Every time the price of diesel fuel goes up, the price the well drillers charge goes up ’cause all the equipment is diesel run.
Last year, the pump quit working so the driller was called back to find out what the problem was with the pump. After he pulled the pump and motor assembly, he found the electric wire had a hole in it which could swallow a fifty cent piece. He replaced the wiring and put the pump/motor back into operation. Of course, this cost a few hundred dollars.
This year, I started irrigating the orchard since the trees really needed the water. After three days of pumping water through the two inch line, the trees were watered but I needed to water the grass and fruit trees using the one inch lines. Only no water would come up! I called a different company since the first one wasn’t available. This company pulled the submersible pump and found the problem. Somehow the tape used to secure the electric wire to the pump had come loose and was sucked into the pump. This resulted in the motor overheating and it burned out. It also warped the Schedule 80 pipe which piped the water to the surface. After I paid for a new three horsepower submersible pump and all the other things the service company required, I was in the hole an amount most people use as a down payment on a new car or house.
Our lack of surface water has affected the Poplar trees which provide a needed windbreak. They are dying and I need to have them removed. Since they average over 60 feet in height, I need to have somebody else cut them since they are next to an electric power line. This will mean more $$$$ going out of pocket.
I would eliminate going to the market except my wife insists, for some reason, on her need to eat! If we quit going to the store, we could save enough in the next few years to regain the money we have spent in the past month. I may have to look for another job just so I can restore the funds we had in savings. I’m sure glad we didn’t have to use the credit cards!