Car stuffage

Good morning true believers. When we last left Matt he was about to test drive a new Mazda Protégé. That test drive went very well and the dealership I was at bent over backwards to try and make me a deal. I’m ironing out the final details on Monday but as it stands now I’ll be walking away with a ’03 Protégé 5 for $2500 below dealer invoice. Sticker is $18,5 and invoice is $16,9. I’m getting it for $14,400 ($13 something before TT&L). Things are looking up.

We’ve put a deposit on an apartment (but I think I’ve already said that), my folks are floating me the down payment for the car, I’m both consolidating my loans and shopping for car insurance at the moment and lastly I’m shooting a wedding tonight. Joy!

The job is going well. There’s a high stress/work level but it’s what I really like to do. It’s exciting. I get to run around and take pictures all day. I’m going to get a new Dell to retouch on and we’re getting a new epson 4400 (roll feed super printer) and some seriously kick ass Ilford paper to do some printing in house on.

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update. I really want my damn computer. I can only get on this one once a week or so. I really want our own apartment so I can just set everything up and not have to a) sleep on a futon and b) not rely on others for food, shelter and transportation. Other than that I don’t really have any complaints. Everything else is working out really well.

I’ll let everyone know what’s going on with the car. I’ll probably even post a few pictures. Later.

Apartments, Loans and Cars

Well, there’s been a whole lot of progress on just about every front. Lauren and I found an apartment that we like. It’s a swanky 1 bedroom/1 study with a huge living room and equally large master bath. The two bedroom was more expensive but the study in the one bedroom is nearly as large, so it’s a sneaky way of getting two bedrooms if we need’em. The washing machine, dryer, microwave and etc are all included. There’s door front trash pick-up and covered parking. It’s nice. We put down a $250 deposit so that they’ll hold it for us until Sept 30th so we have until then to decide if it’s really the place for us.

I also took some time today and started my school loan consolidation process with LendingTree/CFS. I applied and now I’m at the point where I need to gather up the information and details about my current loans and they’ll contact me by phone later this week. That was the option I chose since I don’t have my loan paperwork with me and that’ll give me a day or two to collect it and/or get it mailed to me.

Tonight we’re also going car shopping. I think we’ll try Toyota and Mazda tonight and Ford and Subaru later this week. Top contenders for cars this time around are pretty much the same as last time. Obviously a new Matrix would but my top choice but a Corolla S is also a consideration. I’d also like to test drive a Mazda Protégé 5 and the “Speed” edition of the regular Protégé. At Ford I plan on checking out the f150s and of course I’ve got to test drive a Subaru WRX at some point. I did a little fact checking and now I know all the dealer invoice prices as well as the average percentage “hold back” that the dealers use for leverage. For example, a Matrix XRS has a MSRP of $18,750 but an invoice price of only $16,960. There’s also a 2% hold back that they use to negotiate and there’s a $1000 rebate in effect. All that junk means that the car cost the dealer approximately $16,500 minus $1000 instant rebate. So, if I can get a Matrix for anything around $16,900 the dealer will have made at least $1200 profit and I’ve gotten a car for below dealer invoice (and obviously well below sticker price). I’ll never pay the sticker price. I know that they add $2000 to the invoice almost instantly and that they CAN go as low as invoice and still turn a profit. Any dealer not willing to work with me on a deal AND still turn a profit isn’t one I’m going to buy a car from. Perhaps I’m being unrealistic about it but I don’t feel like playing good cop/bad cop and I don’t feel like beating around the bush. I know how much the car is worth to the dealer and I want it for an acceptable margin above that. I don’t expect anyone to give me a car without making a profit, that’s unreasonable, but I’m not going to get taken for an extra $4000 when I don’t need to.

Anyway, things are starting to come together. Hopefully the next time I post I’ll have some exciting car news for you. Wish me luck. And a big thanks to everyone for their continued support. It’s very appreciated.

Matt out.


Paul and Carrie have gone back to their house for a minute leaving me a few seconds to put in an update. Things are going well at work. Today I put together a wedding album, retouched a half-dozen pictures and wrote up an order for to take with us to the body building tournament tonight. That’s where I’ll be tomorrow actually. It’s a pretty messed up schedule and I’m not really thrilled about it but it’s work and I’m not going to complain. I could be doing a lot worse. Like working retail or at a shitty photo lab somewhere. I really really enjoy working here, I just wish the hours were a bit more normal. I’m probably only feeling that way because I’m already back at work after spending a week working 18 hour days. Things should normalize fairly soon.

Car-wise I’ve been lucky to be able to borrow Lauren’s brother’s truck, which I am very grateful for. I kind of enjoy driving a pick-up. I’ve only done it once or twice before but I’ve enjoyed it so much that I’m actually considering buying an F150. Paul’s been very helpful in terms of calling people and talking to his contacts about places I could possibly get deals. The Mazda dealership apparently loves him and is willing to work on a below-invoice deal on a Protégé 5 for me. We’ll see. I was never really a big fan of the Protégé 5, considering it to be an inferior Matrix knock-off, but I’ll reserve judgment for after a test-drive. There’s a couple other cars I’d like to look at too.

Everything else is going pretty well. Life at Lauren’s house is pretty much like my house only without parents at baseball practices and my car being borrowed daily… now it’s just being borrowed permanently. Chris (Lauren’s brother) leaves for Northern Texas Univ. next week so I’ll be moving from the futon to a real bed, which I’ll jump for joy over since my back can’t take much more futon.

That’s about it. I’m having serious video-game withdrawal but I’m making due. In the next week or so I’m also going to be getting a new workstation, so customizing the crap out of that should sooth some of the pain. I wish I had the time to keep up with techy-news and links and such but I just don’t. I’m sure there’s some nefarious government plot or Microsoft product I should be bitching about. Perhaps that’s for the best.

Alrighty. Back to work. I’ve got to finish some retouches before we leave for the body building tournament prelims at 7:30.

Matt out.