Friday, May 9, 2014

Exciting few days

Student Loan: OVER!
I made the last payment today. WOO HOO! I am officially debt free!... For a few days, until my car loan is finalized. I am super excited and happy to be student loan AND credit card loan FREE! Can't wait til it posts so I can see the zero balance. I have to remind myself that checking the account every 2 hours is not going to make the process faster.

Car deductible: is the difference it worth it?
Together with more loan documents came a request to change the car to my insurance. They wanted a $500 deductible for both collision and comprehensive coverage. That's a huge chunk of change. I called to see if that could be waived or raised, since I've paid down on the car so much, and would have cash available to pay any deductibles. They couldn't waive it entirely, but they could increase it to $1000. I took that and went back to my insurance for a quote... it was only a $30 ($5/mo) change. Ugh! (With $500 deductible, 6mo premium was $513; with $1000 deductible, $483.)

I am truly disillusioned that the change was so minimal. Is this typical? What would you do? Keep it at $500 deductible for $5 more a month or go with the $1000 deductible?

Infantry graduation: the (really) long drive
Yesterday I used one of my vacation days (and I noticed a post about it didn't go through, so I'll redo it and post it this weekend). Me and my dad went over to NC to see my brother graduate from infantry marines' school. He was shipped to CA only a few hours later. Small ceremony, and very short, compared to his bootcamp graduation. Still very nice.

The drive was about 7hrs each way. Didn't help that we couldn't find the correct base, and made it there late. It was 90 degrees in NC and the car we took happened to be the one with no AC. Not one of our brightest ideas. We were both tired as could be. Left the house at 2am, got there at 9:15am for the graduation, then left NC at 1pm, reached home around 9pm (we made a small stop and hit some leftover DC rush hour traffic). We drove close to 800 miles. Can't say I want to do that again, but since it was with my dad, I wouldn't complain too much if I had to.

Total cost was a lot more than I'd want to fess up. But here it is anyway:
Gas: $148 (3 refills, one not necessary, but I like to leave my dad with a full tank)
Motor oil, windshield wiper fluid and snacks: $41
Tolls: $13 (for VA bay bridge and my dad paid the $6 for MD bay bridge because I ran out of cash)

Grand total: Too expensive. Let's leave it at that.

I am glad I went though. It is very strange to have a brother again. He's such changed person, and I can't thank and admire the marines for making him into the person he is today.


  1. Congrats on paying off your debts! you are doing amazing. I'm sure your brother appeciated that you both made the trip. For $5 a month, I'd probably leave the deductible at $500. Insurance is so frustrating to figure out.

  2. Congratulations on paying off your student loans and clearing your debt. That waiting for the payments to show up so that you can see the zero balance is very frustrating but it'll be over soon and you'll have the satisfaction on seeing all those 0s.

  3. *happy dance happy dance* worked so hard for this!!!

    As for your deductible...I would leave it at $500 for $5. You are going to pay $60 for the year...which is $440 less than you would have to pay if you go to $1000. Hopefully you will never need it at all.

  4. Yay! Congratulations on paying off your student loans!

  5. Ok....I am waiting for the earth to shake and a "I'm Debt-Free!!!!!" scream any minute now......

    Super proud of you! 8-)

  6. I am so proud of you. Now don't you dare disappear becasue I need you to help me get there also. i just wish I was as young as you with your freedom and skills.

  7. Congrats on the pay off!

    I have $500 deductible, mostly because the savings are so minimal, and I've had the same company, multiple polices, no claims, etc. for years and years. But $30/month is $360/year, so if you don't have a comp or collision claim in 3 years, it's covered. And you don't have to hit the EF, or you can replenish it faster if something bad does happen. MAKE SURE GLASS REPLACEMENT HAS NO DEDUCTIBLE! If it does look elsewhere. I've had 2 windshields and a rear window replaced in 3 years, and they do not count as claims against me, nor cost 1 cent in deductible.

    Peace <3

  8. Congratulations on paying off the student loan!! Such a feeling of relief.

  9. Congrats on being debt free. I can't wait for that day! As far as the deductible. Last time we attempted to "dave ramsey" we increased all our deductibles to $1000. Our van got totaled. Take the $1000 off the amount they gave us (which we had in emergency) and we spent and extra $1000 to get a replacement van. We had changed our deductible back to $250 with the newer van because like you said the price wasn't that much different. We just recently wrecked our van this week and are thankful our deductible is $250. We have over $1000 in EF, but also have a lot of extra bills this month. So maybe it was a blessing.

  10. Congratulations! This is an exciting moment! I hope you get your car loan paid off fast, too.

  11. Congratulations on being debt-free! It’s definitely a huge accomplishment! Just thinking of all the emotions you’ve felt and the pressures you've dealt with, it’s such a relief that it’s all over now. And I hope you can keep it that way. Also, congratulations on your brother’s graduation. It may be a bit expensive, but having the chance to see and hug your brother again made it all worth it.

    Charlena Leonard @ WeidnerLaw

  12. I understand the loan company not agreeing to waive the deductible (if that's what you meant in your post). They have to make sure the loan will be paid in the event the vehicle is totaled. If the savings are minimal, I'd keep your deductibles at $500. That'd be a huge weight off your shoulders if something were to happen to your vehicle and you needed to have it repaired immediately.

    Lastly, being as intelligent as you are, I'm sure you already know all of this, but a few tips from a former coverage/casualty auto insurance adjuster:

    -As boring as it is, read your policy. And ask questions if you're confused about anything. Areas I've found that confuse customers most is what constitutes a collision vs comprehensive loss, what's covered under roadside assistance (or similar), who can drive your car (remember insurance follows the vehicle, NOT the driver), & how rental vehicles work. I have a pretty good understanding of those areas, but like medical coverage.. I ask my insurance company lots of questions.
    -Please, please, please carry high liability limits. It absolutely, positively BLOWS.MY.MIND that some states only require limits such as 15/30/5 (Pennsylvania). That's $15k per person, $30k per accident in injury coverage and only $5k in property damage. No matter if you're a careful driver, accidents do happen. It would be awful if you were deemed responsible for an accident that totaled someone's car and/or injured them/their passengers and that's the only liability coverage you carried. $5k barely covers a fraction of what a new car costs. And if those limits are exhausted, the insurance company will come after you for the remaining bills.
    -Since you live with roommates (I think), you may want to make sure they have their own insurance and do not have access to your keys
    -Even if your payment is automatically deducted, like mine is, check to make sure your insurance policy is paid to date every month

    Sorry if I sound preachy. Auto insurance is something I'm (somewhat) passionate about, so I try to share tips I've learned along the way :)

  13. I had to pay the $1k deductible when I crashed my car, and it really hurt to pay the money. At an extra $60 a year, you'd have to be incident-free for more than 8 years before you'll feel the savings of a $1k deductible. Stick with the $500. Car insurance is expensive. No way around it.