What I did when the mileage is maxed out and still months away from lease end

In my previous post, I discussed my situation, where I signed on 3 years lease contract  for 2015 Nissan Leaf, change job, and used all of the 36,000 miles allowed in the lease contract within 30 months.

After many weeks contemplating, and approaching 37,500 miles on the odometer, I decided to do option #3: Turn in the car, pay the remainder monthly fees in lump sum, and get a new vehicle.  If you are not sure what I’m talking about, you can read the previous post( Maxed out alloted miles on lease vehicle).

What are the costs breakdown associated with turning the 2015 Nissan Leaf early?

Below is what I calculated to be the breakdown to payoff  Nissan Leaf lease 4 months early with 1,500 excess miles:

$ 808 – 4 months remaining x $202 lease charge
$1,000 – Estimated cost to fix rear quarter panel
$ 395 – Disposition fee
$ 300 – $0.20/mile * 1500 miles overage
——–
$2,500 – estimated total out of pocket expense

I saved enough money, and decided to walk into the dealership to return the leased Nissan Leaf.

My final payment will surprise you! What I actually paid on my Nissan Leaf?

Maxed out alloted miles on lease vehicle

What happen when you maxed out the mileage on the lease vehicle?

In 2015, I signed a closed contract lease for Nissan Leaf (Electric Vehicle) for 3 years 36K miles.  Loved the car so much, and it became my commuter as well as my weekend car.  It was the go-to car for the weekend as well as the weekend.  Who does not love the convenient of electric car?  Plug the car at night, and it’s ready to go in the morning.  The term “gas station” became a foreign word.   It is also cheaper to operate, as the cost of electric is cheaper than the cost of gasoline.   At the time of the lease, Nissan also gave 2 years of free fast charging.  It allows 30 minute each day for fast charging.  This fast charge will fill the battery from zero to 85% in 30 minutes.  It was another way to save money, especially since there are few fast charging stations near my home.

2015 Nissan Leaf. Electric Vehicle.
2015 Nissan Leaf. Electric Vehicle.

As far as mainentance is concerned, the car practically had zero maintenance.  That is the beauty of electric vehicle (EV).  No oil change.  During the lease period, I spent about $300 to change 2 tires.  That’s about all I spent for maintenance.

Things changed in 2016.  The 35 miles commute turned into 60 miles commute.  All of the miles I used in the first year can’t be unwind.  By the end of 2017, I pretty much used all of the alloted miles.

What are the options when alloted miles in the lease vehicle are maxed out?

  • Continue using the car, and pay the excess milleage at the end.  I figured, at the rate I was driving the car, I would rack up another 4,000 miles by the end of the lease.  At $0.25/mile, that would means $1,000 out of pocket.  Since I was not going to pay-off the car and keep it for long term, this is not my top choice.
  • Let the car sit, pay the remainder monthly payments, and get a beater car in the meantime.  This option will minimize my excess milleage fees, however, it will also means more insurance cost to keep one more car.  Also with beater, there’s an element of gamble, assuming the beater car does not need additional maintenance.
  • Turn in the car, pay the remainder monthly fees in lump sum, and get a new vehicle.  While this option give a piece of mind in excess milleage and beater car gamble, it also forces for a big lump sum payment to payoff the remainder payments and down payment for a new car.

Which one is the best option?  What option did I choose?

Free Excel Cash Reconciliation tool

A simple bank reconciliation tool for a small business.

Monthly bank account reconciliation process involves taking the bank statement and comparing it against the accounting system or the book ledger at the end of the month.  Often times, the balance shown on the bank accounts is not the same as the one shown in the book.  The primary reason for the discrepancy should be due to timing.  The timing on when the checks are recorded versus deposited (Deposit in transit), as well as the timing on the checks issued not deposited by the recipient (Outstanding Checks).

The free download for today is a tool where one can record the bank activities in the PRIMARY tab for all of the incoming and outgoing transactions.  And further, being able to easily reconcile the bank account v. the ledger (PRIMARY tab) on the monthly basis.

To reconcile, simply go to RECON tab, and insert the following:

  1. Bank Account Balance per bank statement
  2. List of Outstanding Checks
  3. List of Deposits in Transit

As soon as these 3 things above are inputted, the VARIANCE cell should show zero.  If it’s not Zero, that means something must have been missed.

DOWNLOAD FREE EXCEL BANK RECONCILIATION TOOL NOW:   CheckRegBankRecon_MASTER

This simple and easy to use bank account reconciliation tool can easily customized to your specific need.  Multiple bank accounts can be added, more automation can be created.  Please contact me  at https://www.fiverr.com/joshmastaaa for further customization.

Definitions references:

deposit in transit is cash (currency, coins, checks, electronic transfers) that a company has received and is rightfully reported as Cash on its balance sheet, but does not appear on the bank statement until a later date.

An outstanding check is a check that has been written by a company (and deducted from the appropriate general ledger cash account) but it has not yet cleared the bank account on which it is drawn.

Personal cloud

Ever since I was introduced to cloud storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, and other similar cloud storage services, it changed my life.  Those cloud storage services give me the ability to access my files from anywhere as long as I am connected to internet.  Further, when smart phones became the main stream, it allows me to back up my photos and videos to those services.  Such a convenience, do not have to worry about losing photos, ability to access on the smart phone or on the computer.

Western Digital My Cloud. Personal cloud storage
Western Digital My Cloud. Personal cloud storage

Today, I want to talk about My Cloud by Western Digital.  I have this product for about 3 years, and it has been very reliable in backing and synchronizing my data across all of my devices.

Let’s talk about the Good, Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good:

It is a fairly inexpensive device to own.  It gives me the piece of mind that all of my data is stored locally in my home and not at some corporation’s computer.  It came with few softwares / apps that can be installed on your PC or smart phones.   You can setup backups, Sync files, and simply access it directly by mapping the device in your computer.  My favorite software that came with it is called WD Sync.  I installed WD Sync in all of my computers, and selected My Documents and My Pictures to be sync.  This allows me to have the same documents and pictures in all of my devices.  I do not have to worry about the files I may have at work or at home.  I can continue my work from any computer where the WD Sync is installed.

The Bad:

As I mentioned above, one of the feature I like that come with My Cloud is a smart phone app to automatically save your photos and videos.  Although it’s doing a pretty good job on backing up the photos and videos, accessing the photos and videos is a different story.  There is usually 30 seconds lag to open up the photos, even if you are in the same network.  Accessing the photos / videos through data from service provider is just unbearable.  For photos and videos I still prefer Google Photos.  For your reference, the internet speed in my home is averaging 100mbps download and 12mbps upload.

The Ugly:

Being an older model and the first generation of My Cloud, this device does not come with the ability to stream content.  Newer devices and more expensive devices usually come with media server.  Nor it has the ability to host web servers or web applications.

In Conclusion:

If you need a solid, dependable, and inexpensive device with the ability to sync or to backup your data, this device is for you.  It is nice to have your files and data sync across your devices.

Bokeh photos Sigma 30mm f2.8 and Sony SELP18105G f4.0

Comparing bokeh photos using Sony A6000 (ILCE-6000) using 2 lenses:

Sigma 30mm 1:2.8 DN and Sony SELP18105G 18-105 f4

 

1/1600 sec. f/2.8 30mm
ISO: 1250
Device: Sony A6000
Lens: Sigma 30mm 1:2.8
1/3200 sec. f/4 62mm ISO: 1250 Device: Sony A6000 Lens: Sony SELP18105G
1/3200 sec. f/4 62mm
ISO: 1250
Device: Sony A6000
Lens: Sony SELP18105G
1/3200 sec. f/2.8 30mm ISO: 1250 Device: Sony A6000 Lens: Sigma 30mm 1:2.8 DN
1/3200 sec. f/2.8 30mm
ISO: 1250
Device: Sony A6000
Lens: Sigma 30mm 1:2.8 DN
1/3200 sec. f/4 39mm ISO: 1250 Device: Sony A6000 Lens: Sony SELP18105G
1/3200 sec. f/4 39mm
ISO: 1250
Device: Sony A6000
Lens: Sony SELP18105G

Below are 2 pictures from Sony and Sigma lens with almost exactly the same setting: ISO500, f4, 1/320 sec at about 30mm and within minutes from each other.  At the same f stop of f4, both of these lenses are producing very similar images and brightness.  Both of these lenses are very sharp.

Taken with Sony SELP18180G 1/320 sec. f/4 29mm ISO: 500
Taken with Sony SELP18180G
1/320 sec. f/4 29mm
ISO: 500
Taken with Sigma 30mm 1:2.8 DN 1/320 sec. f/4 30mm ISO: 500
Taken with Sigma 30mm 1:2.8 DN
1/320 sec. f/4 30mm
ISO: 500

100mbps Everywhere: Fast speed with Google WiFi

After many dilemma on trying to resolve WiFi dead spots throughout the home as well as whether to invest in a new equipment, and basically getting rid perfectly good networking equipment, I finally decided to get Google WiFi.

As a background, my ISP have an output of 100mbps on the modem, which in theory should get me 100mbps speed for my devices.  In the previous setup, 100mbps only possible in the same room as where the wireless router is located.  The further away from the router, the speed decline significantly.  By the time I reach upstairs, the speed is less than 10% of what it should be.  In another word, the old setup is just simply does not work.  Wasted speed due to walls and distance from the main router.

With the new Google WiFi with mesh technology, we spread out the 3 units across the home, two downstairs, and one upstairs.  The results is 100mbps+ on every corner of the house.

At this point, I’m pretty impressed with the speed and reliability of the WiFi connection.  Read also my impression on parental control on this Google WiFi device.

Parental Control with Google Wifi

Managing and teaching children nowadays is not an easy task.  Electronic devices are the first thing they reach out the minute they wake up.  It is very hard to get them away from the electronic devices.  Often times, they forget about the time and  children are easily glued to electronic devices.
The questions remain how do we help the children to manage their time wisely, how do we limit their screen time without a lot of confrontation and finally how do we protect the children from things in the internet not suitable for their view.
Google WiFi - Family WiFi screen
Google WiFi – Family WiFi screen

Recently I purchased Google WiFi.  A mesh router system that helped me solve the dead zone in my home.

The following are some of the more reasons why I bought Google WiFi.
1) Easy to use app.  All of the setup, management and and network monitoring are thru the app.
2) Family Wi-Fi – ability to pause devices within the group with one touch, create schedules for devices to internet
3) Site blocking – one touch parental control to protect from unsafe websites
Now the children are fully aware of the schedules implemented.  They know when to play, and when not to play.  Further, they also aware that their parents have the ability to turn on and to turn off the internet access very easily.  They tend to obey and listen to what we ask.  Most importantly it’s easier for the parents to sleep at night as the children are protected from the unsafe sites.

Scoreboard: The tool every CEO need

Scoreboard is a one page executive report to help the Chief Executive Officer and President of the company to identify the areas of weakness and areas of strength within the organization.  It is a tool, a high level report with charts and graphics of the various aspects of the company.

What are the typical components of a Scoreboard:

  • Executive summary
  • Top 10 Credit Holds
  • Top 10 Unconfirmed sales
  • Top 10 Late Inventory styles
  • Gross Profit Thermometer
  • Revenue and Margin Outlook for the next few months
  • Distribution Center performance
  • Order book status

To upgrade or not to upgrade

As the struggle continues to eliminate dead-spots in our home, a question comes to mind whether to continue spend incremental investment on the current system or to invest on something totally brand new.

The current system is referring to a modem connected to a wireless router, the router then connected by wire and then to a switch, another connection over power line, and finally connection with wireless bridge.  The goal is to have more access points throughout the house.  As much as it sounds good, it’s also bad.  It is bad because as a device is roaming throughout the house, wireless connection have to be adjust continuously to connect to the nearest access point.  It is bad, as I further my investments on smart door bell, smart switches and IP cameras, serious delays occur.  It is also a headache when there’s a hiccups in the system.  When one of the device become malfunction debugging process is full of hassle and time consuming.  Process of elimination is required to find out if the device or the bridge or if the main router is malfunction.

GoogleWiFi - Mesh networking
GoogleWiFi – Mesh networking

The new system is referring to a mesh networking, such as Google WiFi.  If the decision is to purchase a new system it means few things:  Retiring all of the network devices, including TP Link AC 1200,  TRENDnet TPL-406E2K Powerline 500 AV Nano Adapter Kit, NETGEAR AC1200 WiFi Range Extender.  It means foregoing these devices collected throughout the year, which also probably worth about $300 altogether.  It also means spending about $300 for a new system, a solution that is not cheap.

What are some of the benefits on investing on a mesh network such as Google WiFi?

  • One SSID throughout the network – no more switching wifi as the device roam the house.
  • Fast connection throughout the house, elimination of dead spots.
  • Simple connection – no more managing multiple network devices.
  • Site blocking and parental control.
  • A smart phone app to control and change settings anywhere in the world.
  • Easily eliminate dead spots for homes up to 3000 sqft

To upgrade or not to upgrade?