Friday, November 14, 2014

Replacing Vehicles

As I was posting up an article a few moments ago,  this image appeared at the bottom of one of the blogs;

My partner is going through the process of replacing the family car.  Coincidentally, both our vehicles are the same vintage, with about the same mileage on the clocks.  I have been procrastinating about replacing mine for many kilometres!  I had intended to do it a couple of financial years ago.  I see the transaction pop up in Microsoft Money, and I simply push it out another 12 months. 

I really like my vehicle, but as I contemplate the arrival of a new vehicle, it reminds me that I am due for a service, I have an oil leak, the scratch cannot be fixed without respraying the whole door, and a kid scootered down the other side leaving a nice scratch, and did I mention that my blue tooth connection for the phone is also not working?  Seems like a car destined for replacing now doesn't it.

I would love to replace it with the black Range Rover Evoque pictured above.  But the image on the other side talks about business plan strategy!  The accountant says return when you earn $400k or before if one of the other requirements arises.  $400k is hard work and long hours, and frankly not what this Gen X with a mantra of 'Balance' is going to be undertaking.  In deciding how much income is enough, I reverted to my trusty series of spreadsheets.  The retirement planning spreadsheet says I am about a year ahead of my progress goal.  The mortgage spreadsheet says I am six months says that next year that I will revert to being on track, and behind if I do not pull my finger out by the end of the year!

Behind, big frown.  It did make me look at an income tracking spreadsheet.  Things are not as easy with fluctuating incomes streams over multiple clients!  Also, contracting doesn't come with annual leave or sick leave. Despite what you may think, this is an absolute positive.  I control how much I work, and this year I have had more time off than I normally would, absolutely guilt free, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  On one occasion I worked from the resort for a few hours before the family headed out for Thai overlooking the water.  The next morning the adults headed out for a run beside the beach.  It's the control over life that I am enjoying most about consulting and contracting.

Back to the car.  If I replace it now and buy the lovely vehicle my heart desires, then next year I am frantically working my arse off to pay for it and still achieve the financial goals, or I move out the milestone.  But if the milestone moves, then so will the following one.  The one after the mortgage is the retirement plan to the beach.  I want to be able to trek up and enjoy it on weekends whilst the kids are finishing school, then work on more time at the beach and less time working!  The pull to that goal is stronger than the one to the new car.

After $1,000 the car is serviced, and all three oil leaks found have been fixed.  The scratch I can live with for now, and the phone is annoying, but I will get BMW to take a look at that one in the not too distant future.  I may even go and get the car all detailed, just as a special treat for seeing in the New Year :-).

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