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Spring Cleaning of My Financial Mind

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I've had a lot of small quick thoughts on my head lately. Time to clear them out...

  • How Much Does it Cost to Drive a Car - Watching the Today this morning... Christie Hyde from AAA says it costs 42 to 68 cents a mile to drive your car. Going from a small to medium sedan will raise your price from 42 cents to 54 cents. That seems like a big jump to me. She mentioned that one of the things people forget to factor with cars is depreciation. One of the suggestions to save money was to save money on gas, but they didn't suggest buying a used car to cut on that depreciation.
  • California 9% Sales Tax - I don't think it's a 9% sales tax for every county, but it's been raised up to 9% for me in Silicon Valley. A 10.25% sales tax has been proposed for nearby Oakland. I realize the money comes from different pots (Federal, State, County, City, etc...), but it's strange to me that last year the government was creating a stimulus package to encourage spending. Now they are raising sales tax which encourages me not spend. Maybe I should advocate that everyone play the lottery a lot more so my taxes will go down... It's almost crazy enough to work.
  • Hawaiian Airlines Rocks - This is no surprise to me or my wife but Hawaiian airlines were top rated. We flew them from Hawaii to Australia last year and it was an amazing flight. They had free beer and wine open bar, multiple meals (that were very, very good), and I'm not joking, but snack break with Ben and Jerry's ice cream. We always take the lowest-cost flight, so we weren't expecting much, but it was incredible.
  • The Boston Globe May Be Closing? - Not long ago, this was completely unfathomable to me. The Boston Globe is central to the city - far more wide-read than the Boston Herald. It's no secret that Boston and New York have a little rivalry going on (heard of the Red Sox and Yankees?), so can I start the conspiracy theory that the New York Times bought the Boston Globe, just so it could shut it down 15+ years later? I'm joking of course.
  • Hannah Montana Movie - I chuckle about the statement of "tired of living a double life" in the upcoming previews. Lazy Man hears what she's saying.

Posted on April 8, 2009.

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4 Responses to “Spring Cleaning of My Financial Mind”

  1. Our older car is a ’98 Ford Contour with 101,000 miles. We had to replace the catalytic converter several months ago ($600ish) but it has been really good about not being too bad with maintenance costs. Definitely much further ahead than buying a new car.

    Our newer car is an ’06 Ford Taurus that we bought in April of ’06 (late in the 06 model year, as planned) to replace a 99 Taurus with 130k+ mile. It was a program car with 9500 miles on it. We saved a lot of money by getting a program car instead of a new one, and nobody could tell the difference.

    Iowa is considering eliminating the deduction for federal income tax on the state tax return. I’m in the 25% federal bracket and 9% Iowa bracket, so if this passes, I’d be paying an extra 2.25% in taxes. Also, the county where I work passed a 1% local option sales tax for flood recovery, and the county where I live has a similar initiative for the voters in May. Yep, taxation with representation is sooooo much better than taxation without representation :)

    The Rocky Mountain News closed a little while ago (just short of its 150th anniversary) – although the writers are trying to exhume the corpse and breathe life back into it. I wrote about it in my blog ( http://www.observingcasually.com/is-the-print-media-dead/ ) It’s getting difficult for newspapers to survive.

  2. Miss M says:

    The sales tax is higher here in LA, it’s just shy of 10% now. There was the 1% increase courtesy of the governator and then the voters passed a .5% increase in November to pay for road and transit improvements. I made sure to complete any expensive planned purchases prior to the April increase.

  3. chris says:

    CA sales tax is 9.25% where I live. Just wait until our utilities are taxed even more….our gas bill here in SO CAL is higher than my mom’s in Iowa! Yep, those who voted for change should be smiling…because we are certainly getting change from all sides now.

  4. jim says:

    We flew Hawaii Airlines inter-island when we were in Hawaii and they were pretty nice, never tried the Hawaii to Australia haul but if we ever go I’ll have to pick your brain about that. B&J snack eh? Nice.

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