Kelli and I had our monthly financial meeting a few days ago. We discussed our current situation as well as future planning. I proposed keeping my Mazda5 and paying it off hopefully in less than 2 1/2 years. Doing to would free up money to pay for other things including my pilot loan.
The loan is currently at a comfy 5.75% interest.....but it's not the tax deductible kind. I currently spend double my current car payment a month in installment payments between my pilot loan, American Express card (paid off in full each month!) and the 2 zero percent interest accounts. Paying those off would free up a lot of cash. We miss our disposable income of yesteryear.
We went over to Wiley (still the longest single, non-stop trip we have ever taken in the Mazda5) last weekend. I did learn that credit unions do not differentiate between a lease buyout and a used car for rates. My main bank (good ol' Bank of America where I have had an account for 16 years....and never gotten a free toaster!) list rates for used cars in the 3 % range and lease buyouts in the 5% range. I looked at my employee credit union rates and they have used car rates for a 2008 model year as low as 4.24%. Happy medium. I applied for a loan yesterday. Once approved I will go ahead and finish the buyout paperwork now. The used car market is very strong right now so I don't see Mazda offering me a lower price at lease end. I applied for a 3 year, but should be able to pay it off in about 26 months. Even two years from now my Mazda will likely have less than 40K miles.
I did remark the other day that I like how "simple" the Mazda5 is. My last two cars had high tech engines and features that would have been expensive to fix. The most high tech thing on my Mazda are the headlights. They are motorized (for leveling) HID units. Beyond that, it's a basic (albeit nice) car. I plan on keeping my car until 2015....when Natali will be 5 (out of day care!) and my car will be 7.....almost 8 years old.
While over in Wiley two friends who were there were discussing wanting a new car. They currently have a Nissan Pathfinder and the back seat is a little tight for two car seats (they have twins). A Mazda5 could suit them well. Two car seats would easily fit in the second row Captain chairs. Plenty of room in the back for groceries and stuff. They scoffed though...because of the sliding doors. I used to be a little embarrassed by the sliding doors....but they are so useful I don't care anymore. It is a ton easier to put Natali in place while in a tight parking lot in my car than in a traditional car with regular doors. I also like that over the last 18,000 miles I have averaged 26.5 MPG. The highest ever was 29.24 (better than EPA highway....and we don't take highway trips!). The lowest was 22.94...right at EPA city....where most of my driving is done. This is much lower than Kelli's Prius at over 47 MPG average....but my car holds quit a bit more. There is a Prius Multi Purpose Vehicle coming out next year (the three photos below....photos borrowed from carscoop.blogspot.com....obviously.)....could be Kelli's next car.
We started using the baby monitor more. The unit we bought has a movement monitor as well. It is sensitive enough to measure breathing. If there is no movement for 20 seconds the monitor next to us sounds an alarm. This way we can rest a little easier placing Natali on her stomach. She sleeps MUCH better on her stomach than on her back.
Our Uverse boxes are plugged into the home network. They can pull music off my computers...but not video. Annoying. I would like to watch my video podcast in the bedroom but the TV in there only has a UVerse box. Boo. Cheap option would be a Roku box at $50. Bleh.