I didn't realize it had been so long since I had written. 2023 was a whirlwind of spending. First, I amused myself with online shopping for shoes and a dress for my nephew's wedding. Not the nephew that lives in my mobile home, it was his older brother that got married. I spent way too much money on dresses that didn't fit and were unreturnable due to high restocking fees making it more convenient to put in my alterations pile but will probably get donated soon. I should have read the fine print but I was so hopeful that they would fit and that I would love them. I did return the Amazon purchases. The shoes were all uncomfortable no matter how much money I spent or insoles/pads I added. I just can't wear any heal without pain.
My nephew and I headed out early in the morning to make it to California by 1pm for the rehearsal dinner. Only an hour away from the hotel, a truck or van hit the back corner of my Camry and spun us across all of the lanes of the freeway. The car in the next lane hit us in the driver door/wheel area and we ended up stunned in the carpool lane. I don't know how we escaped without injury or worse. We made it to the center of the freeway and called for help. I was sure my car was totaled but surprisingly it still ran. The highway patrol blocked off the freeway so that we, and the other car, could get off the freeway. The truck/van that started the accident was long gone. No one saw it, at least no one stopped to offer information. The tow truck driver said the wheels were still in alignment and miraculously the tire wasn't cut so we limped to the hotel an hour late. The rest of the weekend was gratefully less exciting. I drove the car all the way back home and besides an increased wind noise from the crushed door hinge, it made it just fine.
Now for the insurance part. I was on hold with State Farm for hours. First they said it was covered. The next day they said it wasn't. It was true, the damage wasn't covered. In 2020, after I started working from home, I reduced my coverage to save money. I didn't realize that "hit and run" was only covered by Collision coverage. Oops. I decided to keep the car and ignore the damage until I had more money saved. The only problem was that every time I saw the car I relived the fear of the accident. The wedding was late April. I decided to buy a car for my birthday in May. I knew that I wanted a small SUV with the same reliability as a Toyota Camry but with higher clearance so that I could drive out to my property in Vail and not scrape the underside of the vehicle on the rocky road. After some research, I found 6 Honda CR-Vs at used car dealerships in Tucson. One dealership had 3 of them so I drove up for a look. I compared the ones on the lot and settled on a 2010. I loooove it. The only things I miss from my Camry are the automatic headlights and the remote trunk open button. But the cargo room and higher clearance are awesome. The CR-V was $12,000. The dealer took my beat-up car as trade for $1500. I could have waited for a private party to sell for cheaper but I am happy with my purchase and I didn't have to look at my sad car anymore. Buying a car did put a dent in my cash emergency funds but that is what emergency funds are for. I stopped my automatic investment for 2 months to give me more cushion in my account. I added Collision coverage for this vehicle.
Also, in 2023, I had snowbird tenants in my house until the end of April, which is the longest that I have had tenants stay. After I moved back in, I started fostering for the county animal shelter. I fostered cats, 2 small dogs, and lastly a mom and puppies. It was fun but expensive and I had a lot of cleaning to do when they left.
|Cute puppies. They all got adopted in a few hours at a Petco adoption event
|The puppies got bored.
|I fixed the puppy damage by gluing vinyl floor tiles to the door.
Oh, and my sister sent me two chihuahua because her neighbor passed away and the family couldn't take them. Originally, I planned to get them adopted but it turned out they were older than we thought and they have health issues. I put them online for adoption for about a week but no one was interested so with my sister's help with medical expenses, I decided to keep them. They are 13 and 14 so they probably have 3 or 4 years left. They fit in well with my other old dogs. I think I should call my house: Daizy's Senior Pup Retirement Home.
In August my tenants from my rental house in Tucson mentioned that shingles had come loose after a wild monsoon storm. I bought that house in 2004. I know shingles last around 20 years but I didn't like the timing. $8,000 to re-shingle the roof. There went the rest of my cash savings. I put my automatic investment on hold for a few months.
My tenants for March and April said that they wanted to come back in 2024 so I was very happy. But then they both changed their plans. One shortened their stay and the other cancelled because they decided to buy a house here. I was able to get another tenant for January 2024 and at the last minute I got a tenant for Christmas-New Years week. Moving out is always annoying and hard work but I did it. I am currently in my neighbor's guest room with 5 small dogs who all, luckily, get along with her 2 small dogs. As of now, I will be moving back to my house April 1st but it is available on VRBO so I could get a last minute booking.
So, how is my retirement fund looking? Not bad actually. Even with all of the expenses in 2023 and the stock market roller coaster, I am still on track to meet my goal in less than two years. And if I wait until I am 55, then I should have enough to support my hobbies like dog/cat fostering and crafting. I might even travel but the thought of going on road trips right now doesn't sound very appealing even though I still watch all of the van life, car camping videos and I have an SUV so I could do it. I even learned that my SUV has foldable seats by watching one of those camping videos. Of course, I had to run out to the garage and try it. It worked! Do you think I can sleep in there with 5 dogs? Maybe not.