Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Tesla Purchase Experience: Week 4


Getting impatient now that delivery is supposed to be sometime next week.


Got an email from my electrician saying my permit inspection has been requested and that it may take up to 72 hours to get scheduled. Hmm. I requested the inspection be performed tomorrow. The email gave a number to call that turned out to be for the Washington State Licenses and Inspections Department. According to the person I spoke with, the inspection was requested this morning to be performed tomorrow. I guess the way the process works is the inspectors call in each morning to see where they need to go that day. So I don't actually have an appointment, per se. Great.

The email also stated the inspector will call me to give me a time s/he will show up. The call will be from a restricted number and they will not leave a call back number. So I'm sure if I miss the call, the inspection will be delayed at least one day.


No phone call all morning, so I was expecting the inspection would not happen today. Then I got a call around 1:00 PM from the electrical inspector saying she was on her way over and was about 15 minutes away. I'm glad I can work from home some days!

Once she arrived, she took the cover off the electrical panel and looked inside, checked out the two grounding stakes that were put in outside my house, and the water pipe bond - the connection between the grounding wire and the water pipe. The whole inspection took about 10-15 minutes and most of that time was spent unscrewing and then screwing back on the electrical panel cover.

I spent some time reading about other Tesla buyers' delivery appointment experiences. Most recommended really going over the car when it is delivered for things like paint scratches, loose panels, etc. You could get the impression that the cars are in crappy shape when they are delivered, but I realize people who post to forums usually do so because they have some sort of complaint. Rarely do people post online that everything went swimmingly. Nevertheless, I will make sure I do a pretty thorough inspection when my car is finally delivered.


Start of the long Labor Day weekend! My wife's twin and her family are coming up to visit. We'll be renting a boat and tooling around on Lake Washington on Sunday and just hanging around the other days.

Logged in to my Tesla account today and noticed they updated the Owner's Manual in the Documents section of my account. The one that was available before was posted as soon as my deposit was accepted and was dated March, 2018. This new one is dated August, 2018. I'm hoping the update means my car will be delivered soon!


Took another trip to the Tesla store to show the in-laws what I will be getting. Someday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Tesla Purchase Experience: Week 3


My parents made a surprise visit to see me for my 50th birthday (which was actually yesterday). We took a trip to the Tesla store so they could see the color and model I bought. I got a handmade card from my daughter in the shape of a Tesla, complete with a functioning door. I wish I could draw as well as she can!

I'm either 50 or 100. Or, god forbid, 50^50. Either way, sprinkles make a party!


Electricians came today and installed the new electrical panel and Tesla wall charger. My power was off for about 5 hours while they did the work. Here's the new panel:

Plenty of room for expansion

And here's the wall charger:

Now I just need something to plug this into
I just realized that I've been calling this thing a wall charger all the time, but officially, it's a wall connector. Wall connector sounds stupid to me, so I'm sticking with wall charger.

A city code inspector will be stopping by next week to make sure the work meets city codes.


Good news! I got an email from my Tesla Delivery Advisor saying my car has started production and the ETA is the "very beginning of September!" Once the car is on its way to the delivery center, they will start the loan approval and trade-in process. I guess they aren't too worried that someone might not get approved for a loan.


I decided to check out the Kelley Blue Book site and see the rough estimate of of what my current car is worth. Wow! is way off on the value. Mint values my car at $9,000. The Kelley Blue Book value is between $4,400 and $6,200 for trade-in value and between $5,800 and $8,000 for a private party sale. For sale by owner ads on Craigslist show my model with similar mileage selling for $7,400 to $9,000. This is strange because Mint says it gets the car value from Kelly Blue Book.

It turns out Mint was still using the mileage I put in for my vehicles when I first added them to Mint several years ago. When I updated the mileage to the actual value (which was about double what was in there), the value dropped back down to what Kelly Blue Book said it was worth.

Friday night, Elon Musk backtracked on his plan to take Tesla private. Now he said it will stay a public company.

Goal Update: End Of August 2018

At the end of each month, I post an update of my goals, including a brief discussion of any notable events that might have occurred during the month. The latest month's figures can always be found under the Featured menu in the menu bar at the top of the blog.

Last updated: End of August, 2018
Current value: $51,680
Change from last Month: +$3,271
Percent of Goal:  Undefined

Events Of Note Last Month:

The big news, of course, was I bought a Tesla! Not sure what I'm going to write about here each month now, besides continuing to track my net worth. As I mentioned before, I'll likely start counting down until the loan is completely paid off. Right now, however, I'm in a bit of a holding pattern. I've placed an order for the car, but I don't have it yet, so there's no loan. I'm posting all the details of the Telsa buying experience, so you can follow along at home.

My savings took a big jump this month because I've adjusted my budget to be as if I already had my car payment. Instead of sending those funds to a loan, I'm making payments into my savings account. I'm also including in this figure the $2,500 deposit I made when I placed my order.

My SQL courses on Udemy generated $70.99 of income. My courses on SkillShare earned $37.32. All my Tesla savings are in cash right now, so no changes in value due to the stock market. I'm less than $100 away from hitting $11,000 in lifetime earnings on Udemy for my online courses. I hit $10,000 last November and next month I should reach $11,000.

You wouldn't know if from looking at the data below, but I've sped up my credit card payments this month in preparation for the car loan application. I typically pay off my credit card in full each week, but I schedule the payment to be made 3 weeks in the future. This gives me the maximum time for my money to stay in my checking account earning (a pitiful amount of) interest before paying off the credit card without getting charged any (insanely high) interest.

This has the side effect of making it look like I always carry a balance when I really don't. Outstanding credit card balances are reported to credit bureaus at the end of each statement cycle. Therefore, this month I'm making payments within days instead of weeks so it appears my outstanding credit card balances will be low when Tesla pulls my credit report for the loan application. I'm not worried about being turned down for the loan - my credit score is over 800 and I'm making a down payment of about 33%, so there is no way I'd be considered a credit risk. I just want to make sure I get the best rate possible on the loan.

Net Worth Update

Our net worth hit another all-time high, rising $36,098 to $912,595. Our investments rose by about $21,000 and our house went up by about $5,000. Getting close to the one million dollar milestone!!

I'm not sure we'll get there this year. I've got the car purchase coming up and we're approaching the holiday season, which is always expensive. On the other hand, in September, my wife will hit the income cap for social security withholding, so her paycheck will see a big increase which will last for the rest of the year. My plan is to funnel that extra income into paying down the car loan. So who knows. The same thing will happen to me, but in December.

I can't say getting to a net worth of one million dollars was ever a stated goal of mine. It just sort of happened as I started to take control of and manage my finances more. You can draw your own lesson from that factoid.

July 2018
August 2018

Our credit card balance went up, but that was due to the electrical work I had done for the Tesla wall charger. I've got the cash to pay for that and it will be paid before this post is published.

I hate that red dot next to the credit card entry. That means Mint was unable to connect to an account to update it. In this case, the account is our Gap card, which right now has a $125 balance on it. (Back to school shopping, don't you know.) That will be paid in two weeks.

I know our net worth will drop next month at least a couple thousand. While researching the resale value of my current car, I noticed that Mint was valuing it much higher than the Kelly Blue Book site does. More on that in my second post today!

If you have any questions or suggestions for topics, please drop me a line in the comments section!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Tesla Purchase Experience: Week 2


Returned from Las Vegas. We won some money this trip and I'll put it towards the electrical work that's going to be done next week. Got an alert from Fed Ex letting me know the wall charger will be delivered on Monday.


Expected the wall charger to arrive today. Turned out I read the email wrong and it's due tomorrow. Scheduled the electrical work to be performed a week from Wednesday, on August 22. I had to put down a 50% deposit for the work. Did I mention I also had to pay $65 just to have the electrician come out and give me an estimate? I'm in the wrong business...


Wall charger was delivered.


Thinking about what personalized license plate I should get. Washington has a bunch of rules about what characters can be used on a personalized plate, so it limits things somewhat. There's a 7 character limit and you cannot use any of the below formats.

Those rules knocked out out a couple of my choices, but I believe I have one picked out that meets these requirements and is not already taken.

Oops! Sorry!

Ack. I discovered a ton of blog comments that were queued waiting for my approval to published - some from as far back as June! Sorry! I thought I used to get an email notification when some were waiting for approval, but I guess I don't.


Called my insurance company to check on what it will cost to insure this car. To be honest, I was dreading this call because I thought my premium would rise significantly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my insurance will only go up by $8 a month!