Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Look for the silver lining

The past week at first felt like a write off. I had my car break down and many other things and it just felt like a big fat mess. It is amazing how things can seem like huge problems at first, but then end up being blessings in disguise.

To start with the drive shaft dropped out of my Land Rover. A new one would cost $850 plus the labour is $110 an hour. Yep, not cheap. Thankfully we have a friend who works on Land Rovers, has the necessary tools and is doing it for nothing. We sourced the part for $300 + shipping costs (only $35) which should hopefully be here next week.

Now at first having no car sucks, but we were able to borrow my parents second car until ours is fixed and there is no rush to give it back. This little baby got us to Sydney for less than $25 in fuel. It is so cheap to run and the amount we are saving in petrol just in these few weeks (between the car breaking down and when it will be fixed) is equivalent to the part, so fixing our car is no longer as expensive as first thought.

Another bonus of the car dropping its guts is my husband is now on board to getting a cheaper car. As in one that is cheaper to run petrol wise, to fix, service, everything. I really began to think that he would never agree.

Our only problem is he wants a BRAND new car. I want a Camry that is a couple of years old. The price difference of what he wants in comparison to what I want is at least $10,000, mine is cheaper. I am still working on him. No matter which car we get, it will still be cheaper than keeping the 4WD.

Where will we get the money for it though? Well, there are a few ways. We have the cash now to buy the car I want (yet another reason to buy the car I want!) To buy the car he wants we need a loan. We can get one easily, that’s not a problem. I do not want to be in debt for a car though. Whilst we were trying to work out how to do it, it dawned on me we could redraw from our mortgage. This is not something I would like to do, but we were looking at our all options. In the end we did not go with this.

Brilliant thing about just thinking about redrawing and talking to the bank was I realised we need to refinance now. I had been planning on doing it next year when our fixed term is up, but since we are moving soon, neither of us will have been working long enough to qualify for remortgaging a loan. We would be stuck on a high interest rate with no options.

So, since our car broke down and forced us to look at all options, we are able to switch our loan now and will be saving ourselves a considerable amount of money. It would not have occurred to me until too late if our car had not died this week. I have about 2 weeks to get our mortgage happening elsewhere before it could be considered too late. I had stopped thinking about the mortgage as it is fixed until next year, so had no plans to do anything. Luckily things changed this week.

Another fortunate thing about refinancing the loan is there is a possible investment opportunity for me I would not have been able to take advantage of in the current situation, but by breaking the fixed mortgage I can. There’s a few other things to work out on it, but I am hopeful. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Also due to the car breaking down and us facing the expense of fixing it (before our friend offered to do it, and we were not to insult him by saying no) I jumped on eBay to list some things. I had been planning on doing it in November, but I figured I needed money NOW. I only got to list a bit of what I wanted and still have lots to go, but I am already up by $200. Another bonus of my car breaking down.

So all up, what looked like a disaster to begin with has ended up being a HUGE blessing.

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