Weekly Thoughts: Good (and Bad) Automotive News

Well, it’s been an interesting week, automotively speaking.  Let’s start with the bad news: after my less than fun journey to my fiancée’s house last Friday, I took my car in to get fixed and ended up spending over $300 in order to get my headlights fixed.  This has most definitely put a bit of a crimp on my already tight finances, and when you’re only making about $1100 a month, spending nearly a third of your earnings just to allow you to use your car at night (or during another snow storm) again is a bit rough.

The good news, though, is that the car is fixed, running fine, and while $300 is pretty expensive, compared to the cost of buying a whole new car (or even doing major repairs), it’s still a pretty good bargain.  Plus, besides inspiring my post on Monday, this whole incident also led to a few readers contacting me and expressing their sympathies, and in one case, sharing a list of the 20 best blogs for amateur mechanics (an area where I could definitely use some more skills, I don’t mind telling you).

All in all, not nearly as bad as it might have been.  I do hope this is the last trouble I have with my car for a while, though; the costs of keeping it running do add up pretty quickly.  Now, onto the good posts from this past week:

Contests and Giveaways

Credit Cards Canada is hosting a guest blogging contest (of all things), where the winner has the opportunity to win $1000 (among other prizes).  I’m a brave enough blogger to say that such a windfall would be the most impressive payout I’d have gotten from blogging up to this point, and so I’m definitely going to enter myself by the January 31st deadline.

The Silicon Valley Blogger shares some Online Contests Galore; a set of three individual contests I won’t bother to link to individually.  (Why repeat work that’s already been done?)  For two of them, you have until the end of the month, although one ends on Monday…

Melissa of Mom’s Plans provides a review and giveaway opportunity for the Pear Budget budgeting system.  While I personally don’t share her skepticism of Mint.com and other ‘automated’ budgeting systems, I understand why people do, and Pear Budget sounds like a pretty handy alternative.

Life and My Finances is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card by the end of this month.  If you, like me, seem to spend more on books or other media than almost anything else, this would definitely be a nice little bonus.

The College Investor is giving away a copy of TurboTax 2011 Deluxe Edition, but you’re going to need to move fast; the contest ends at 11:59 pm on Friday!

Kevin of Invest It Wisely talks about falling prey to our temptations (as we sometimes do) and offers a copy of We Have Met The Enemy, a book about self control, to one lucky reader.  On that subject, I won one of his recent giveaways, and received a copy of ‘How to Profit in Gold’ yesterday; just a note that yes, people do actually win these contests!

Don’t forget that I’m running my own contest, and you still have time to win (although, not too much time, so don’t dawdle!)

Good Yakezie Posts

The Golden Voice Homeless Man Who Never Lost Hope – One of the first major news stories of the year, and easily one of the most inspiring, is the story of Ted Williams.  As the Financial Samurai relays on Yakezie.com, it is an inspiring and hopeful story (and hopefully Ted manages to make it through rehab with his optimism intact.)

Can Rich People Get Into Heaven? – Joe Plemon asks one of the eternal questions, about the link between wealth and rewards in the afterlife.  Personally, I agree with him (and Jesus, for that matter), that the wealthy, who are given much, have much that is expected of them to be considered worthy.

Helping One Person at a Time with Micro-Giving Network Love Drop – Evan, of My Journey to Millions writes about a truly amazing idea, and encourages others to participate.  I’m certainly going to do my part, to the best of my ability, and I hope others follow suit.

Why I’m Happy with a $5000 Car Repair Bill – Especially pertinent to me given my current situation, it does help to put the expenses of keeping my car running into perspective.  Thanks for the reminder of why I prefer (relatively) small repair bills to buying a new car, Barbara Friedberg!

10 Free Ways to Improve Your Mood – It’s always nice to get a healthy boost of positive energy in your life, and if you can do it without eating into your financial reserves, all the better.  Kay Lynn (the Bucksome Boomer, an excellent name, by the way) shares some of the ways she boost her own mood, most of which should help you, as well.

P.S. Happy birthday, Mom, if you happen read this (I know you’re not that big a computer person).  And for those who think this round up was too short (owing in part to me getting ready to see said mother), don’t worry, I’ll do an extra long round-up as soon as I am able to make up for it!

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